May 3, 2004 — Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, will receive an honorary doctoral degree from Yeshiva University at its 73rd Annual Commencement on May 20. The exercises will take place at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, where YU President Richard M. Joel will deliver the commencement address and confer more than 2,000 undergraduate and graduate degrees.
President Joel will also bestow honorary degrees on Dr. Ruth Roskies Wisse, Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Literature and professor of comparative literature at Harvard University, and Dr. Maurice Wohlgelernter, professor emeritus of English, Baruch College, City University of New York.
Following a 1977 visit to Holocaust sites in Europe, Rabbi Marvin Hier established the Simon Wiesenthal Center, one of the world’s foremost Jewish human rights agencies. The center has more than 400,000 members and maintains offices throughout the US, and in Canada, Europe, Israel, and Argentina.
Rabbi Hier also established Moriah Films, the center’s film division, and is the recipient of two Academy Awards – one in 1997 as co-producer for The Long Way Home, a movie about Holocaust refugees, and another in 1981 as co-producer and co-writer for Genocide, a Holocaust documentary. Under his direction, the Wiesenthal Center served as consultant to Steven Spielberg’s epic Schindler’s List, and ABC Television’s adaptation of Herman Wouk’s novel War and Remembrance.