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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777
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Nefesh B’Nefesh Founders Get YU Honorary Doctorates

“We have been taught to open our eyes and see the myriad number of concerns that need to be addressed and repaired in our community."

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Nefesh B’Nefesh founders, Tony Gelbart & Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, received honorary doctorates from Yeshiva University.

Nefesh B’Nefesh founders, Tony Gelbart & Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, received honorary doctorates from Yeshiva University.
Photo Credit: Yeshiva University



Hundreds of students received their degrees at YU’s 82nd Commencement exercises, presided by President Richard M. Joel at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, NJ May 30.

In his keynote address to the Class of 2013, Rabbi Joshua Fass—an alumnus of YU’s Yeshiva College, Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, and Azrieli Graduate School for Jewish Education and Administration—reflected on the way his YU education had equipped him to pursue his difficult but world-changing vision as co-founder and executive director of Nefesh B’Nefesh, an organization that has helped more than 36,000 Western olim settle in Israel.

“We have been taught to open our eyes and see the myriad number of concerns that need to be addressed and repaired in our community and beyond, to have the fortitude and courage to make those changes, while being grounded securely in Torah and halakha [Jewish law],” Fass said, telling his audience: “As YU graduates, you are uniquely positioned to make a difference—you have the talent, conviction, passion and ideological drive to script the future story of our people.”

President Joel conferred an honorary degree on Fass, and on Tony B. Gelbart, co-founder and chairman of Nefesh B’Nefesh and an entrepreneur who serves as a member of the national board of directors and adviser to the president of the Jewish National Fund.

The reunion classes of 1963, 1973 and 1988 were recognized at the graduation ceremony for their 50th, 40th and 25th reunions, while in all, more than 1,400 undergraduate students from Yeshiva College, Stern College for Women and Sy Syms School of Business, as well as graduate students in the fields of law, medicine, social work, education, Jewish studies and psychology, were awarded degrees from YU during its Commencement season.

More than 7,600 undergraduate and graduate students study at YU’s four New York City campuses: the Wilf Campus, Israel Henry Beren Campus, Brookdale Center, and Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus. YU’s three undergraduate schools – Yeshiva College, Stern College for Women, and Sy Syms School of Business – offer a unique dual program comprised of Jewish studies and liberal arts courses. Its graduate and affiliate schools include Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, and Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. YU is ranked among the nation’s leading academic research institutions.

Jewish Press Staff

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  1. Chuck Morse says:

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  2. Manuel J. Lombas says:

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