Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat to Keynote Hanukkah Convocation

Joseph Appleman, Gitta Nagel and Joshua L. Muss to be Honored at December 11 Gala

In celebration of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the reunification of the city of Jerusalem, the Honorable Nir Barkat, mayor of Jerusalem, will be the convocation speaker and receive an honorary degree at Yeshiva University’s 92nd Hanukkah Dinner and Convocation on December 11, 2016, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. President Richard M. Joel will also confer honorary degrees upon Joseph Appleman, Gitta Nagel and Joshua L. Muss.

“It is with great delight that we confer the University’s highest tribute on this year’s group of honorees, who in their passion and dedication epitomize the best that YU has to offer to the world,” said President Joel. “We are especially delighted to welcome the Honorable Nir Barkat into our community and honor the work he has done, which complements our own commitment to the health and well-being of the State of Israel.”

“I am humbled and honored to be welcomed into the prestigious community of leaders and influencers who have received YU’s honorary doctoral degree,” said Barkat. “This is an honor that I share with Jerusalem’s residents, as well as Jerusalem’s shareholders and friends around the globe. Together, we celebrate a Jerusalem that upholds the promise of its founding, a capital city for the State of Israel that serves as the beating heart of the Jewish people.”

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat

Nir Barkat has served as mayor of Jerusalem since 2008, transforming Israel’s capital into an international leader in business, culture, and innovation. His record of closing economic gaps in the city’s education system, driving tourism to the city, and enhancing the city’s cultural landscape all served as the basis for his reelection in 2013. Barkat’s marked successes in his public service are rooted in his previous work as a tech entrepreneur. He has brought his business acumen and entrepreneurial approach to City Hall, fostering a municipal culture dedicated to constant innovation and swift execution. Barkat received the rank of major during his six years of service in the Israel Defense Forces, which included serving as a company commander of paratroopers during the First Lebanon War.

Joseph Appleman

Joseph Appleman

Attorney Joseph Appleman graduated from the Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy/Yeshiva University High School for Boys (MTA) in 1943 and Yeshiva College in 1947. He received his LLB from New York Law School in 1960. As a proud alumnus, he served as president of the Yeshiva College Alumni Association, and he is currently an honorary member of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Board of Overseers.

Gitta Nagel

Gitta Nagel

Gitta Nagel is a community leader admired for her devotion to Jewish education, Holocaust remembrance, and the State of Israel. Together with her husband Jack Nagel, chairman of Decron Properties and member of the Yeshiva University Board of Trustees, the Nagels have been active and generous donors to many organizations, including Shaare Zedek Medical Center, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, YULA High Schools, Bar-Ilan University, Israel Bonds, the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and Yeshiva University where they created the Nagel Family Atrium and Student Commons and the Nagel Scholarship Program for California students. Gitta received an honorary doctorate degree from Bar-Ilan University in 2001.

Joshua Muss edited by LA 383x383

Joshua L. Muss

Joshua L. Muss—who serves as principal of Muss Development, a family company founded by his grandfather, Isaac, in 1906—has a rich history with Yeshiva University. He graduated from MTA in 1958, Yeshiva College in 1962 and Harvard Law School in 1965. Muss continues his relationship with the University by serving on the YU Board of Trustees, Yeshiva College Board of Overseers, YU Executive Committee and YU Recruitment and Admissions Committee, and he chairs the YU Real Estate Committee. He and his wife, Harriet, are YU benefactors whose contributions support the Rabbi Hyman Muss Torah Learning Center and Beit Midrash Complex, Yeshiva College and Yeshiva University as a whole.

The annual Hanukkah Dinner and Convocation draws hundreds of the country’s leading Jewish philanthropists and community leaders. Past speakers at the black tie gala have included President George W. Bush, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Secretary of State and then-Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Vice President Al Gore and Senator John McCain.

For more information, please visit or contact Robyn Hartman at 212.960.5468 or


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