Communal Leaders and Einstein Dean to Be Honored at Hanukkah Dinner and Convocation

Dean Purpura

Nov 30, 2004 — Four of Yeshiva University’s extraordinary communal leaders and philanthropists and Dominick P. Purpura, MD, the Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, will be honored at the university’s 80th Annual Hanukkah Dinner and Convocation on Sunday, Dec. 12, at The Waldorf =Astoria.

The Convocation begins at 5:30 pm in The Starlight Roof, where YU President Richard M. Joel will confer honorary degrees upon the four communal leaders and philanthropists: Hyman Arbesfeld, Muriel Block, Ronald Gruen, and Dinah Pinczower–and he will present the Presidential Medallion for achievement to Dean Purpura.

Dominick P. Purpura, MD
A world-renowned neuroscientist and the longest-serving dean of any medical school in the country, Dr. Purpura has been dean at Einstein since 1984 and holds the additional title of vice president for medical affairs at YU. He is internationally known for studies in mental retardation that demonstrated the primary involvement of certain structural abnormalities of nerve cells in the brain.

Dr. Purpura’s scientific and administrative leadership have had a major impact on Einstein. During a dramatic period of realignment in healthcare, he positioned the medical school as the educational hub of a network that includes five teaching hospitals in New York.

Dr. Purpura first joined the medical school in 1967 as chairman of the anatomy department and was later named director of the college’s Rose F. Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. In 2001, Dr. Purpura received New York City’s highest scientific honor, the Mayor’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in the Medical and Biological Sciences. He is a past president of both the Society for Neuroscience and the International Brain Research Organization and served for more than 25 years as chief editor of the journal Brain Research.

Rabbi Hyman Arbesfeld has been a member of the board of trustees of YU’s affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary for the past 20 years. He has helped make RIETS the vibrant center of Torah scholarship and rabbinic training that it is today. Rabbi Arbesfeld graduated from Yeshiva University High School for Boys in 1949, earned a BA degree from Yeshiva College in 1953, and was ordained by RIETS in 1956. His wife, Ann, was president of the Yeshiva University Women’s Organization for nine years and each of their four children is a YU graduate.

Muriel Block, owner of Gray Block Realty, is a longtime supporter of Einstein. She is a member of both the board of directors of the National Women’s Division of Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Executive Board of its New York chapter. A philanthropist who dreams of a healthier world, Ms. Block’s gift of real estate to Einstein, valued at more than $21 million and the second largest in Einstein’s history, is being used to expand research and education facilities at the medical school through the construction of The Harold and Muriel Block Research Pavilion.

Ronald Gruen, one of the Dallas community’s most prominent Jewish leaders, continues to have a tremendous impact on the various projects in which he is involved. Mr. Gruen and his wife, Ethel, are YU Benefactors and partners in an innovative program to expand and enhance learning among Jewish students nationwide. Mr. Gruen has served as chairman of the education board of Shearith Israel Congregation and president of Akiba Academy.

Dinah Pinczower has been dedicated to furthering the work of Yeshiva University Women’s Organization for more than two decades. Through her inspiring leadership and tireless devotion, YUWO has raised millions of dollars for scholarships, academic facilities, stipends for needy students, and other important projects. Ms. Pinczower, a licensed real estate broker, and her husband, Joe, a certified public accountant, have two sons, Kenneth and Lawrence. Both sons are alumni of YU’s High School for Boys and Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

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