Yeshiva University News » Convocation

David Brooks Delivers Keynote Address; Jack Belz, Dr. Susan Horwitz, Harvey Kaylie and William Zabel Honored

Acclaimed journalist and New York Times columnist David Brooks delivered the keynote address at Yeshiva University’s 89th Annual Hanukkah Convocation and Dinner on Sunday, December 8 at The Waldorf Astoria in New York City. President Richard M. Joel bestowed an honorary doctorate upon Brooks, calling him “a noble exemplar of what we hope our students will become” and drawing on the words of American poet Robert Frost to praise the morality in Brooks’ writing: “In a world which has moved inexorably down a path paved with hyperbole, cynicism and categorical one-dimensionality, you have mustered the courage and integrity to take the road less traveled.”

“How fitting it is to host you tonight at this annual assembly honoring Yeshiva University and the value which it adds to the world,” said President Joel. “Ultimately, the mandate of Yeshiva University boils down to this belief: our responsibility is to partner with God, not in retreating from but engaging with the wide world around us, forever informed by the eternal values of our tradition. That, too, is a road less traveled by, a road which necessitates patience, sensitivity and bravery.” Read the rest of this entry…

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David Brooks to Keynote December 8 Convocation; Jack Belz, Dr. Susan Horwitz, Harvey Kaylie and William Zabel to be Honored

David Brooks, acclaimed journalist, author and New York Times columnist will be the keynote speaker and receive an honorary doctorate at Yeshiva University’s 89th Annual Hanukkah Convocation and Dinner on Sunday, December 8, at The Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

David Brooks

New York Times columnist David Brooks will keynote YU’s Hanukkah convocation.

In addition to Brooks, YU President Richard M. Joel will confer honorary degrees upon Jack A. Belz of Memphis, TN, chairman and CEO of Belz Enterprises and a Benefactor and Trustee of Yeshiva University; Harvey Kaylie of Great Neck, NY, founder, president and CEO of Mini-Circuits International and a YU Benefactor; and William Zabel of Manhattan, founding partner of Schulte, Roth & Zabel and head of the Individual Client Services Group. President Joel will also present the Presidential Medallion to Dr. Susan B. Horwitz of Larchmont, NY, Rose Falkenstein Professor of Cancer Research and co-chair of molecular pharmacology at Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Read the rest of this entry…

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Yeshiva University Honors Jewish Communal Leaders at June 13 Ceremony in Beverly Hills

More than 425 guests were in attendance for Yeshiva University’s Inaugural Los Angeles Convocation and Dinner on June 13 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. President Richard M. Joel conferred honorary degrees upon Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center; Mitch Julis, co-chairman and co-CEO of Canyon Partners, LLC; Louis Kestenbaum, philanthropist and YU benefactor; and communal leaders Larry and Barbi Weinberg.

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“We honor five wonderful individuals who join Yeshiva University’s constellation of celebrated thinkers and doers, poets and scientists, leaders and inspirers,” said President Joel. “The highest award a university can bestow is an honorary degree.  We confer such honor on those who we believe are the best reflection of what we wish for our children. They are all now a part of an institution intent on ennobling and enabling the next generation steeped in Jewish History and committed to Jewish destiny to advance Western Civilization.”

Read more about the honorees here.

In addition to the conferring of degrees, the ceremony featured an invocation by Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and a performance by the Maccabeats, YU’s popular a cappella group.

During the dinner portion President Joel paid tribute to Ouriel Hassan, Dr. Helen Nissim, Rivkah Rogawski and Daniel Rubin—four current students and graduates of Yeshiva University with Los Angeles roots. “Your firm commitment to Jewish values and passionate pursuit of excellence has enriched our student body as a whole,” said President Joel.

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Newark Mayor Cory Booker Delivers Keynote Address, Record $4.1 Million Raised

Cory A. Booker, mayor of Newark, NJ, delivered the keynote address at Yeshiva University’s (YU) 86th Annual Hanukkah Dinner and Convocation at The Waldorf=Astoria in New York City on December 12. The mayor implored members of the audience, and the Jewish community at large, to be true to themselves, to their faith and to their heritage.

“This world needs Jews who are manifesting the truth of who they are, who recognize that yes, there is a ‘chosen-ness’ in Judaism but it necessitates in the individual making a choice.”

In an address replete with references to Jewish history and the Torah that brimmed with humor, warmth and wisdom, Mayor Booker sought to outline exactly what that choice means.

“We are in a world that cries out for redemption; there is pain and suffering all around us. Why am I so drawn to Judaism? Because this world needs people who will choose to live those values, instill them in their hearts and manifest them in their actions.”

Recently re-elected as Newark’s mayor with a clear mandate for change, Mayor Booker understands the importance of working with and depending on others.  He noted that his bold vision for Newark could not have been set into motion without vital outside help and cooperation. And he sees in YU opportunities for cooperation and unity and restorative hope that must continue to be carried out.

“We are sitting here in homage not to individuals but to a tradition at a university that at its very core is that mission. Why I am so honored to be here, why I feel the gravity of the gift of kindness that you all have shown me, is because this university is answering that call.”

President Richard M. Joel conferred the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree on Mayor Booker, and honorary degrees were also awarded to Emanuel Gruss, a prominent investment executive and philanthropist, and Benefactor and honorary trustee of Yeshiva University; business executive Arthur N. Hershaft, a Benefactor and member of the Board of Overseers of YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine; attorney and community leader Murray Laulicht, a YU alumnus and Benefactor and member of the Board of Overseers of the University’s Stern College for Women; and philanthropist and civic leader Laurie M. Tisch, a Benefactor and significant supporter of YU’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

The convocation and dinner, the University’s main annual fundraising event, raised a record $4.1 million this year.

Echoing the words of Mayor Booker, President Joel summed up the evening with these words: “Nights like tonight are so important for those of us who dream about the Jewish future. We must continue working with other people of goodwill to advance civilization; that’s our sacred mission, and that’s what we are celebrating tonight and what we will continue to celebrate in the days and months and years to come.”

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Newark Mayor Cory Booker Implores Audience to be True to Itself in Hanukkah Dinner Keynote Address

Cory A. Booker, mayor of Newark, NJ, and the keynote speaker at Yeshiva University’s (YU) 86th Annual Hanukkah Dinner and Convocation at The Waldorf=Astoria in New York City, implored members of the audience, and the Jewish community at large, to be true to themselves, to their faith and to their heritage.

“This world doesn’t need ‘Jews.’ This world needs Jews who are manifesting the truth of who they are, who recognize that yes, there is a ‘chosen-ness’ in Judaism but it necessitates in the individual making a choice.”

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In an address replete with references to Jewish history and the Torah that brimmed with humor, warmth and wisdom, Mayor Booker sought to outline exactly what that choice means.

“We are in a world that cries out for redemption; there is pain and suffering all around us. Why am I so drawn to Judaism? Because this world needs people who will choose to live those values, instill them in their hearts and manifest them in their actions.”

Recently re-elected as Newark’s mayor with a clear mandate for change, Mayor Booker knows the importance of working with and depending on others.  He noted that his bold vision for Newark could not have been set into motion without vital outside help and cooperation. And he sees in YU opportunities for cooperation and unity and restorative hope that must continue to be carried out.

“We are sitting here in homage not to individuals but to a tradition at a university that at its very core is that mission. Why I am so honored to be here, why I feel the gravity of the gift of kindness that you all have shown me, is because this university is answering that call.”

President Richard M. Joel conferred the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree on Mayor Booker, and honorary degrees were also awarded to Emanuel Gruss, a prominent investment executive and philanthropist, and Benefactor and honorary trustee of Yeshiva University; business executive Arthur N. Hershaft, a Benefactor and member of the Board of Overseers of YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine; attorney and community leader Murray Laulicht, a YU alumnus and Benefactor and member of the Board of Overseers of the University’s Stern College for Women; and philanthropist and civic leader Laurie M. Tisch, a Benefactor and significant supporter of YU’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

The convocation and dinner, the University’s main annual fundraising event, raised a record $4.1 million this year.

The dinner portion of the evening opened with a viewing of the hit song and music video “Candlelight,” performed by Yeshiva University’s a cappella group, the Maccabeats. The song has recently been featured on CNN, CBS and many other major media outlets, as well as receiving more than three million views on YouTube.

President Joel then honored the Points of Light, eight people who exemplify YU’s mission, one for each candle of the menorah. They included:

Chanan Reitblat, founder of the Yeshiva College chapter of the American Chemical Society, who is helping to develop a drug to prevent kidney stones and working with special needs individuals for Keshet.

Leah Larson, a Stern college student and founder, editor, and publisher of YALDAH magazine, which she started at age 13.

Michael Goon, a current student at YU affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) serving as a Sanford Lurie Scholar at the Jewish Center and rabbinic intern at the Roslyn Synagogue, who founded “Shabbat Heights Link,” which organizes Shabbat dinners for singles and couples in Washington Heights; he also designed and produced “Peacekeeping: The Game,” a board game that teaches the challenges of intrastate conflict.

Joey Small, who holds a master’s from YU’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration and launched a fellowship program at YU with two tracks – “Give Back” and the “Legacy Heritage Teacher Training Fellowships,” both of which focus on encouraging recent graduates to pursue careers in education.

Tova Fish-Rosenberg, the chairperson of the Hebrew language department at Yeshiva University High School for Boys and creator of the acclaimed “Names, Not Numbers©” Intergenerational Holocaust Oral History Project.

Martin Leibovich, a student at YU’s Sy Syms School of Business, who grew up in Argentina and was heavily recruited by American college basketball programs before eventually transferring to the University, where he has shown a tremendous love of Torah learning and a continued talent for basketball.

Dr. Arturo Casadevall, the chair of microbiology and immunology at Einstein and a major force behind Einstein’s foray into biodefense following September 11, 2001;  he also helped develop a new therapy for metastatic melanoma.

Jaqueline Murekatete, a second-year Cardozo student who, at the age of nine, was the sole survivor of her Tutsi family during the Rwandan genocide of 1994. She founded Jacqueline’s Human Rights Corner and has raised $100,000 for a community center in Rwanda for other genocide survivors.

Echoing the words of Mayor Booker, President Joel summed up the evening with these words: “Nights like tonight are so important for those of us who dream about the Jewish future. We must continue working with other people of goodwill to advance civilization; that’s our sacred mission, and that’s what we are celebrating tonight and what we will continue to celebrate in the days and months and years to come.”

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Feb 11, 2010 — On Sunday, March 7, 2010 Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and the Yeshiva University community will celebrate the ordination of the most recent class of musmakhim [ordained rabbis] at their Chag HaSemikhah Convocation, which will take place at Nathan Lamport Auditorium in Zysman Hall, Amsterdam Ave. at 186th St. in New York City.

“Every four years, RIETS celebrates the commitment of its devoted students who join the ranks of our world-class musmakhim,” said President Richard M. Joel. “The Chag Hasemikha is our way of acknowledging their years of hard work and signifies our profound pride in their commitment to the Jewish people.”

This year over 190 musmakhim—the largest group ever—from the classes of 2006-2010 will join the thousands of young men who have passed through the batei midrashim [study halls] of RIETS and gone on to become distinguished Orthodox rabbis, scholars, educators and leaders around the world.

RIETS will also honor Marvin S. Bienenfeld, a distinguished member of its board, with the Eitz Chaim Award and Rabbi Dr. Herbert C. Dobrinsky, vice president for university affairs, with the Harav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik zt”l Aluf Torah Award. Those who received semikhah 50 years ago – members of the RIETS classes of 1957, 1958 and 1959 – will also be honored.

The record class of rabbis represents an internationally diverse group, hailing from five continents and 59 North American cities. While most of the musmakhim will remain engaged in either full-time post-semikhah Torah study or in religious work—Jewish education, the pulpit, outreach, or non-profit work—many will pursue careers in other professions, including 12 doctors and 15 lawyers. The majority of those pursuing rabbinic careers will be spreading the Torah of RIETS outside the tri-state area in communities such as Memphis, Oakland, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, Columbus, Boca Raton and Toronto, among others.

The musmakhim will enter their calling well-equipped with the unique training that only a RIETS education can offer. Along with its rich history of unmatched Torah scholarship, the Seminary has implemented an enhanced Rabbinic Professional Education Program. Designed to meet the communal and spiritual needs of our time, the innovative program offers students an extensive curriculum on topics ranging from pastoral psychology and public speaking to leadership training and community building—all taught by renowned experts and rabbis. In addition, students are exposed to contemporary halachik [Jewish law] issues they may encounter in fields such as bioethics, technology and business—embodying the Torah U’Madda philosophy.

“Our semikhah program represents the gold standard of excellence,” said Rabbi Yona Reiss, the Max and Marion Grill Dean of RIETS, who will oversee his first Chag HaSemikhah since joining RIETS as dean in 2007. “Aside from the erudition and scholarship – which remain the emphasis of our program – we are also producing professionally qualified and sensitive individuals who have received the requisite professional skills to serve as community leaders.”

Founded in 1896, RIETS is the leading center for education and ordination of Orthodox Rabbis in North America. To learn more about the Chag Hasemikhah, please call 212-568-7093, email chaghasemikhah@yu.edu or visit www.riets.edu.

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Nov 18, 2009 — Dr. Lawrence H. Summers, Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to President Barack Obama for Economic Policy, will be the keynote speaker at Yeshiva University’s (YU) 85th Annual Hanukkah Dinner and Convocation on Sunday, December 13 at The Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Prior to his appointment by President Obama in 2008, Dr. Summers served as the Secretary of Treasury under President Clinton and as president of Harvard University from 2001 to 2006, making him the first Jewish president in the institution’s history.

YU President Richard M. Joel will confer the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree on Dr. Summers. He will also confer honorary degrees on community leader and prominent clinical social worker Froma Benerofe, a member of the Board of Overseers of YU’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work; investment executive Roger W. Einiger, a member of the Board of Overseers of YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine; award-winning actress, singer and playwright Tovah Feldshuh; inventor and entrepreneur Maurice Kanbar; and the renowned Cantor Joseph Malovany, of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue Synagogue and Distinguished Professor of Liturgical Music of YU’s Philip and Sarah Belz School of Jewish Music.
Dr. Summers began his public service career as a domestic policy economist with the Council of Economic Advisors from 1982 to 1983 under President Ronald Reagan. He then began teaching at Harvard, where he was Professor of Economics for a decade. During this period, he also served as Vice President of Development Economics for The World Bank.

Dr. Summers returned to Washington, D.C. in 1993, where he served as Under Secretary for International Affairs with the United States Department of Treasury. He was named Deputy Secretary of the Treasury from 1995 to 1999, when he was appointed to the department’s top post by President Bill Clinton. His research contributions were recognized when he received the John Bates Clark Medal, given every two years to the outstanding American economist under the age of 40, and when he was the first social scientist to receive the National Science Foundation’s Alan T. Waterman Award for outstanding scientific achievement.

Froma Benerofe graduated from Vassar College and received an M.S.W. from Columbia University. A clinical social worker currently in private practice, she has counseled and assisted children and adolescents, victims of interpersonal trauma and domestic violence, survivors of sexual abuse, and parents coping with the needs of their children, for more than 20 years. She serves as a director of the Hadassah Foundation, Westchester Jewish Community Services, UJA, and the Parsons Dance Foundation. Mrs. Benerofe and her husband, Andrew, established the Benerofe Family Scholarship at Wurzweiler.

Roger W. Einiger is President of Hardscrabble Associates, LLC, a private investment firm. Prior to joining Hardscrabble Associates, he spent three decades at Oppenheimer & Co. and its successor companies, most recently serving as Vice Chairman. He joined the Einstein Board of Overseers in 2005 and currently serves as Treasurer and Chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee, and as a member of Einstein’s Executive Committee. He is also a member of both the Finance and Investment Committees of the YU Board of Trustees. His commitment to Einstein began with his parents, Glory and Jack Einiger, who became active in the earliest days at Einstein, joining the Society of Founders in 1961. His mother continued as a leader of Einstein’s National Women’s Division for many years. He is also on the boards of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of New York City, Jewish Communal Fund, UJA-Federation of New York and the Anti-Defamation League.

Tovah Feldshuh, who has had a remarkable career as an actress, singer, and playwright on stage, television and film, illuminates the Jewish diaspora through her portrayals of strong, complex women. She has earned four Tony nominations for Best Actress and won four Drama Desk Awards, four Outer Critics Circle Awards, the Obie, the Theatre World Award and the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Actress for Golda’s Balcony, which became the longest-running one-woman show in the history of Broadway. Film audiences recognize her from such movies as Kissing Jessica Stein; A Walk on the Moon; Brewster’s Millions and Daniel. On television, she received her first Emmy nomination for her portrayal of the Czech freedom fighter Helena in Holocaust. She has taught at Yale, Cornell and New York Universities. She is a supporter of Seeds of Peace, a non-profit, non-political organization that helps teenagers from regions of conflict and is the recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitas Award and the Israel Peace Medal, among others.

Maurice Kanbar, an inventor and entrepreneur born and raised in Brooklyn, has made an indelible impact on American culture. He has changed the way we view films, receive medical injections, socialize after a tough day at the office, zip through traffic, see the world, and pick fuzzy little balls from our sweaters. Indeed, he created New York’s first multiplex theater, and invented the Safetyglide hypodermic needle protector, SKYY Vodka, a new LED traffic light, a cryogenic cataract remover, and the D-Fuzz-It comb for sweaters. His latest inventions include Blue Angel Vodka and Zip Notes. He is also a real estate investor, film producer and author whose book, Secrets from an Inventor’s Notebook, outlines five proven steps to turning your good idea into a fortune. He produced the animated film, Hoodwinked, a offbeat and humorous retelling of the classic tale Little Red Riding Hood, which debuted in January 2006 and is currently completing Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil. A YU Benefactor, Mr. Kanbar established a scholarship fund for deserving law students at Cardozo.

Cantor Joseph Malovany, one of the world’s most accomplished tenors, has served as Cantor of the Fifth Avenue Synagogue since 1973. He began singing at the age of seven and studied at Bilu Synagogue School in Tel Aviv. His musicality was so profound that he became director of the choir at age 12, and his mother sold her wedding ring to pay for the piano. He holds diplomas from the Music Academy in Tel Aviv, and Royal Academy and Trinity College of Music in England, where he is also a Fellow. He holds the Joseph Malovany Chair for Advanced Studies in Jewish Liturgical Music at the Philip and Sarah Belz School of Jewish Music. Cantor Malovany is also Dean of the J.D.C. Moscow Academy of Jewish Music, which he helped establish in 1989 with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. He tours extensively throughout the world, singing with major international symphony orchestras, and traditionally sings memorial prayers at Holocaust commemorations at Madison Square Garden and the U.S. Capitol. An honorary president of the Cantorial Society of America, he is a former chairman of the American Society for Jewish Music. Cantor Malovany is the first Jewish cantor to receive the Poland Legion of Honor and also a recipient of the Poland/UNESCO International Prize for Tolerance in 2007.

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Jul 23, 2009 — Over 600 attendees ensured the historic success of YU’s Montreal Special Convocation and Dinner, held on Monday, June 15, 2009, at the Shaar Hashomayim Congregation in Westmount. The event raised $1,100,000 for scholarships for Canadian students attending Yeshiva University’s undergraduate and graduate schools.

Honourees included Supreme Court Justice Morris J. Fish and Senator Yoine J. Goldstein, each of whom received an honourary Doctor of Laws Degree. Rabbi Howard S. Joseph, retiring as spiritual leader of Montreal’s Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue after almost 40 years, received an honourary Doctor of Divinity Degree.

The Yeshiva University Distinguished Alumnus Award was conferred upon prominent Montreal Jewish communal leader, Donald S. Davis, who has advanced the Jewish education agenda for several decades. Special Awards were conferred upon Norman and Johanne Sternthal and Mrs. Alta Chaya Hirschprung in honor of the Sternthals’ establishment of a Rabbinic Fellowship in memory of Rabbi Pinchas Hirschprung, as well as in tribute to the memory of Norman’s parents, Joel and Sarah Sternthal. Rabbi Hirschprung served as Chief Rabbi of Montreal and was also Norman Sternthal’s teacher. Pearl Jonassohn, retiring as Assistant Director of Development after some 35 years, also received a Scroll of Appreciation Award.

The event was co-Chaired by Morton Brownstein, Samuel Aberman and Renee Lieberman, with David J. Azrieli as Honourary Dinner Chair,

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Article Photo L-R: Sheldon Silver, Speaker of the New York State Assembly; Michael Jesselson, member of the YU, RIETS, and YUHS Boards, Einstein Overseer and vice chair of the YUMuseum Board; Governor David Paterson of New York State; Felix Glaubach, YU Trustee and member of the Yeshiva College, YUHS and RIETS Boards; and President Richard Joel.

Dec 15, 2008 — New York State Governor David A. Paterson paid tribute to the values of charity and public service that guide Yeshiva University’s mission as the keynote speaker at its 84th Annual Hanukkah Dinner and Convocation at The Waldorf=Astoria on Dec. 14. President Richard M. Joel awarded honorary degrees to five leaders whose lives have embodied these values: philanthropists David Feuerstein and Roslyn Goldstein; Elliot Gibber, president and CEO of Deb-El Food Products; Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, rabbi of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun and head of the Ramaz School; and Governor Paterson.

View photo gallery from the Hanukkah Convocation and Dinner.

“We joyously celebrate five outstanding men and women who exemplify the breadth and depth of this university, which we seek to inspire in our students and kindle a light throughout the entire community,” President Joel said.

The convocation and dinner, the University’s main annual fundraising event, raised $3.2 million this year, just over $1 million more than last year.

“After 122 years and only four presidents, this university is thriving,” Governor Paterson said. “President Joel is pursuing the opportunity to fulfill the true meaning of education: a higher knowledge and a greater spirit.” He was introduced by Sheldon Silver, Speaker of the New York State Assembly and a 1965 alumnus of Yeshiva College.

The governor, New York’s 55th and its first African-American to hold the office, has held several offices over the course of his political career. At the age of 31 in 1985, he was elected to represent Harlem in the New York State Senate, becoming the youngest senator in Albany. In 2003, he became the minority leader of the New York State Senate, the first non-white legislative leader in New York’s history. He made history again in 2004 as the first visually impaired person to address the Democratic National Convention. His inclusive approach to governing has won him the respect of colleagues and a reputation for uniting disparate forces toward consensus that benefits all New Yorkers.

Governor Paterson spoke about the nature of public service, saying it was not for the sake of “the congratulation but the people whose lives we change.” He drew a direct parallel to the charitable work done by Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, who were killed in the recent Mumbai terrorist attacks.

Speaking at the convocation, President Joel invoked the story of Hanukkah, which tells of the Maccabees’ triumph over the Greeks and the miracle of the Temple candles that burned for eight days. “We as a community, even during seemingly dark times, focus on investing in the world through the majestic and timeless Jewish mission to illumine, to ennoble, to enable,” he said.

In a ceremony punctuated by moments of warmth and humor, President Joel spoke eloquently about each of the honorary degree recipients’ achievements. To read more in-depth biographies of the honorees, click here.

Elliot Gibber was honored for his crucial role in helping the University to grow and his commitment to Jewish education and community involvement. He sits on YU’s Real Estate Committee with a special focus on development and acquisition for the Wilf Campus and serves as liaison to the University’s Board of Trustees for space planning and capital expenditures. “You bring a special sense of loyalty to our sacred goals and a willingness—indeed, a gentle determination—to assist us in fulfilling our mission in any way asked and to offer ideas in ways not asked but profoundly needed,” President Joel said in his citation.

Joining in the hooding of Gibber were all six of his children—a first at a YU convocation—five of whom are alumni with the sixth a student at Yeshiva University High School for Boys.

David Feuerstein, a Holocaust survivor who fought in the Polish resistance before moving to Chile, has dedicated his life to preserving the memory of the 6 million Jews who perished. He serves as president of the Chilean Society for Yad Vashem and established the Yom Hashoah Prize in 1988 to recognize Chilean citizens for their outstanding work in keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive. In 2004, Feuerstein built a memorial monument to the martyrs of the Holocaust, which stands in the Estadio Israelita of Santiago, Chile. “You grappled with some of the greatest challenges facing a Jew in the past century, triumphing over adversity and helping to write an extraordinary chapter of the Jewish story,” remarked President Joel.

Through their foundation, Roslyn Goldstein and her husband, Leslie, are key supporters of stem cell and cancer research, many Jewish agencies and synagogues, health care and other philanthropic organizations. Mrs. Goldstein, who sits on the board of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, supports the research of Dr. Mark Mehler, founding director of Einstein’s Institute for Brain Disorders and Neural Regeneration. “You are a woman whose desire to heal has shaped an extraordinary life,” said President Joel.

The President lauded Rabbi Haskel Lookstein as “one of the bright lights of the rabbinic firmament, glowing brighter and brighter for 50 years.” His influence in the pulpit and his commitment to advocacy and chesed [acts of kindness] have earned him a national reputation, with “Newsweek” naming him the second most influential pulpit rabbi in America. He serves as the Joseph H. Lookstein Professor of Homiletics (named for his father) at RIETS, where he has taught since 1979 and form which he received his ordination in 1958.

The dinner portion of the evening showcased the Points of Light, a group of students, faculty, alumni and donors who represent the excellence that YU is known for. They were:
- Stern College student and physics major Malka Bromberg, who is conducting in-depth research under the guidance of Dr. Anatoly Frenkel as a Kressel Scholar
- Yofi Jacob, a junior at Yeshiva University High School for Boys, whose family in Mumbai plays a crucial role in supporting the Jewish community there
- Professor Leon Wildes, director of the Immigration Law Externship, and Professor Peter Markowitz, director of the Immigration Justice Clinic at YU’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
- Yeshiva College student Avi Amsalem, co-president of the student-run Medical Ethics Society, whose experience as a bone marrow donor prompted him to spearhead an on-campus bone marrow recruitment drive that resulted in eight potential matches
- Rabbi Ari Zahtz, a fellow of the Dr. Lamm Kollel L’horaah at RIETS and assistant rabbi at B’nai Yeshurun in Teaneck, NJ, who compiled two volumes of serious Torah scholarship to mark the occasion of Rabbi Zevulun Charlop’s transition from his 37-year deanship of RIETS to become the President’s special advisor on yeshiva affairs
- Dan Kelly, a 2008 Einstein graduate, who founded a national nonprofit, the Global Action Foundation, and built a free clinic with his Sierra Leonean colleague Dr. Mohammed Barrie for amputees and other victims of that country’s devastating violence
- Sofia Gordon, a student at Stern College and a Wilf Scholar, who discovered her true Jewish identity as a young Russian immigrant in Germany

“The brilliance of our faculty, students, researchers, alumni and philanthropists inspires us and brings the promise of light and hope to the world around us,” said President Joel.

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Nov 13, 2008 — Yeshiva University (YU) will bestow an honorary doctorate on Roslyn Goldstein at YU’s 84th Annual Hanukkah Dinner and Convocation on Sunday, Dec. 14 at The Waldorf Astoria. YU will also confer honorary degrees on four other leaders: David Feuerstein; Elliot Gibber; Rabbi Haskel Lookstein; and New York’s governor, the Honorable David A. Paterson.

For Mrs. Goldstein, and her husband, Leslie, supporting stem cell research and its potential treatments of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other diseases is a profoundly personal one, triggered by President George W. Bush’s vetoes of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. “This could wake people up,” she said at the time. “The private sector also has a responsibility to take care of society.” The Goldsteins made the decision to take on that responsibility by supporting the research of Dr. Mark Mehler, founding director of the Institute for Brain Disorders and Neural Regeneration at Albert Einstein College of Medicine at YU.

“Mark has great ambition to find cures,” said Mrs. Goldstein, who joined the Einstein Board of Overseers in 2005. “He works day and night and is always in his lab. He’s a great humanitarian and he’s become a great friend.”

The Goldsteins established the Leslie and Roslyn Goldstein Foundation in 1980. The Foundation is not only a key supporter of stem cell research but also funds cancer research, many Jewish agencies and synagogues, health care and other philanthropic organizations. Mrs. Goldstein serves on the board of the American Friends of Jordan River Village, a camp for seriously ill children in Israel. The Jordan River camp, a project initiated by actor Paul Newman, will aid Jewish, Christian and Muslim children in need.

She is currently a national commissioner of the Anti-Defamation League and a board member of Evelyn Lauder’s Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the American Friends of the Israel Museum. She was formerly president of the United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford and Darien (CT), a former trustee of the Healthcare Chaplaincy, Inc., and a former president of the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation.

Mrs. Goldstein founded RB Enterprises, a jewelry design business that specialized in unique designs utilizing precious gems. Mr. Goldstein is a former director of Advanced Magnetics, Inc, a publicly traded pharmaceutical company founded by him and his brother. He served as an investment analyst and advisor with Ingalls & Snyder, LLC prior to his retirement.

Roslyn and Leslie Goldstein have a son and daughter and six grandchildren. “For my children and grandchildren,” she said, “we must find cures through stem cell research for everyone’s children and grandchildren.”

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