New Initiative Honors Rabbi Norman Lamm’s Visionary Leadership and Preserves His Legacy

Jan 9, 2008 — A $5-million endowment will serve as an enduring imprint of the legacy of Dr. Norman Lamm, Chancellor of Yeshiva University who has spent his entire career in service of the university, including 27 years as President. The Lamm Heritage, a series of initiatives that will honor exceptional scholarly, spiritual, and leadership contributions to the university and the world Jewish community, was announced by President Richard M. Joel at the 83rd Annual Hanukkah Dinner and Convocation at the Waldorf-Astoria in December.

The Lamm Heritage was announced in celebration of the 80th birthday of Dr. Lamm, who also holds the position of Rosh HaYeshiva of Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS).

“Norman Lamm is a visionary of Torah Umadda who continues to guide and inspire us,” President Joel told the crowd of some 770 attendees at the dinner. “He is a miracle worker who made a small jar of oil burn not just for eight days but for decades.

“Those of us who are inspired by his leadership and seek to build on his achievements need to be surrounded by his legacy—to remember his work and keep it alive.”

The Lamm Heritage will consist of four initiatives.

The Norman Lamm Prize will be awarded annually to a preeminent scholar who exemplifies the values of Dr. Lamm. As visiting scholars at YU, Lamm Prize winners will give lectures, teach courses, and lead discussions with the YU community and receive a substantial financial award.

Secondly, Yad Norman Lamm—a permanent, visible tribute to Dr. Lamm and his legacy—will be dedicated to telling the story of “the Lamm years” at YU through text, pictures, memorabilia, and other displays.

The already existing Norman Lamm Yadin Yadin Kollel (institute for advanced rabbinic study), which prepares the most outstanding RIETS rabbinical students to serve as judges on rabbinical courts, will be enhanced by additional funding.

Lastly, a Web site dedicated to the ideas and scholarship of Dr. Lamm will make more than 800 of his sermons available to the millions who live in Jewish communities around the world through email, message boards, and live video-conferencing sessions.

“In Yeshiva University, we have an opportunity to influence future generations,” Dr. Lamm said in accepting the honor. “My faith in President Joel when he began his tenure has morphed into knowledge of his tremendous energy and creative leadership.”

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