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October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Touro College’

Stereotypes And Responsibilities: A Ben Torah In Two Worlds

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

I have tried to lead a life in which the core values are Ahavas Torah and Ahavas Yisrael. To the extent I have succeeded I did so by taking an unusual route – one I do not generally recommend. I moved into the Torah world and Torah learning after I already had a sophisticated secular education and a clear path to a wide choice of prestigious professional opportunities.

I struggled mightily – I hope with some success – to crack the barriers of Talmudic text after I had a drawer full of Ivy League honors.

I write this not to make sure readers know my individual history, but as a preface to the message I’d like to convey – basically, that life and people are complex and in our day there is too much stereotyping to reflect the true complexities of whom we really are and the challenges we face.

Many of us understand the need to navigate the outside world, which includes making a living that enables one not only to support his or her family in dignity, but hopefully also to help others and to sustain our institutions.

What I’ve learned is that you don’t have to drag along either part of life in mediocrity. You can be truly excellent and committed in both parts of your life – the learning of Torah and the living of a Torah life (surely the first priority) and the conduct of a business or professional career.

Today there are role models all over the place: Great lawyers, doctors, bankers, builders of businesses, academics who at the same time are serious talmidei chachamim – individuals who make serious contributions to the Jewish world and live exemplary Torah lives.

There is no inconsistency between being a true ben Torah and having an outstanding career.

I want to make another suggestion about the avoidance of stereotypes and the responsibilities of bnei Torah.

Miracles are everywhere to those who see. And in my lifetime at least two very profound miracles have occurred to Klal Yisrael.

Seventy years ago the Jewish people helplessly stood by during the slaughter of forty percent of our population, which included a much higher percentage of the Torah world. Many of those not caught in the storm, especially here in America, were in denial, and those who weren’t seemed to have no idea how to stop the horror.

The infinitely rich Torah life of Eastern Europe appeared to have been obliterated. I am old enough to remember a time in America when the vast majority of Jews assumed that the Judaism we call Orthodox was inevitably flickering out, to be replaced by a new and totally assimilated and artificial form of Judaism.

Even in Israel, Ben-Gurion assumed that so few men would choose yeshiva deferments that he had no problem giving them.

Seventy years is a big part of our lives, but a fleeting moment in Jewish history.

Today, the reality confounds every prognosticator of seventy years ago. The number of people learning in major yeshivas in Israel, America and other parts of the Jewish world is staggering. Orthodoxy is by far the fastest growing segment of Jewry all over the world and the general Torah educational level of Orthodoxy is astounding.

Our young people are incredibly fortunate to have been brought up in this Torah world, and many of our ancestors who lived in immediate postwar America stare down from heaven in disbelief.

Second miracle: The Jewish people are helpless no more.

A Jewish government and a Jewish army control the Jewish homeland where every Jew has the right to live. And ultimately that army and that government protect every Jew in the world.

Primarily for this reason, the attitude of Diaspora Jews – including those of us in America – about our rights and our power to advocate for the protection of ourselves and of Jews in Israel and the rest of the world is completely different from what it was seventy years ago. We feel entitled and at ease arguing our case as a united Jewish community in the highest halls of government and power.

These two miracles, the revival of Torah and the control by Jews of our own homeland, are intrinsically related phenomena.

Dr. Lander Remembered

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

To commemorate the shloshim of Touro College founder and president, Dr. Bernard Lander, z”l, some of his friends and colleagues shared their memories of him with The Jewish Press. Here are their thoughts:

 

“The Jewish world has lost a prince and a prophet. Rabbi Dr. Bernard Lander was a rare combination of vision and compassion. Hopefully, we all will learn from him to dream, to dare, and to care.” – Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, executive vice president emeritus, Orthodox Union

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The loss of Dr. Bernard Lander is not only being felt on the campus of Touro College, but throughout the Jewish community and all of New York. As the founder of Touro College, a leader in the Jewish community, and a world-class educator, Dr. Lander was one of those rare individuals who not only brought about real change in the world, but touched many lives while doing it. His life and legacy will always be remembered and his contributions to society will never be forgotten.”   - Senator Charles Schumer, United States Senator from New York

 

 

“Bernard Lander was a leader among the great personalities who built and advanced Jewish life in America after the Holocaust. The institution he created will be a lasting monument to his incredible contributions, which impacted and elevated this generation and generations to come. He was a unique visionary who was totally devoted to the principles of Torah im Derech Eretz. Most remarkably, he translated his dreams into reality. The entire Jewish community and many others are indebted to him and join in mourning his passing.” – Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

 

“Dr. Lander was a man of many unique qualities. A combination of Torah, Jewish values, honest concern for another individual, and the klal. His forward-looking vision was coupled with the ability and stamina to implement his visions. His endeavors affected Jews on numerous continents; the ripple effects of his activities will benefit klal Yisrael for generations. He was a leader, a mentor and most of all, a friend. He will be sorely missed.” – Rabbi Pesach Lerner, executive vice president, National Council of Young Israel

 

“Rabbi Dr. Lander was always giving. Every thought that he had was, ‘How can I help the other person? What can I give him?’ Never was he thinking, ‘What can I get out of this? What can I take for myself?’ It was always giving.” – HaRav Shmuel Kamenetsky, rosh yeshiva, Philadelphia Yeshiva

 

 

 

 

“Dr. Lander, zt”l, found and continuously immersed himself in the Fountain of Youth. Youth is the ability to change, to develop, to improve. For 94 beautiful and fruitful years, Rabbi Lander changed, improved, and developed himself and the world, all in honor of Hashem.”  – Rabbi Mordechai Finkelman, mashgiach ruchni, Yeshivas Ohr Chaim

 

 

 

 

“Rabbi Dr. Bernard Lander was perhaps the greatest provider of Torah study and parnassah in our time. He truly represented, Torah u’gedulah bmokem echad. I am personally indebted to him for giving me the chance to advance my education in Holocaust studies.”- Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, assistant rav, Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills

 

 

 

 

 

“When historians will one day write the history of the growth of the Torah community in America, Rabbi Dr. Bernard Lander will occupy a central role in the narrative. klal Yisrael owes him a tremendous debt of gratitude. Yehi zichro baruch.”- Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive vice president, Agudath Israel of America

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Dr. Lander’s brilliant vision and achievements embraced the broadest needs of klal Yisrael, and even beyond, but this was rooted in the empathy and love he showed for every human being who crossed his path.” – Rabbi Dr. Moshe Sokol, dean of the Lander College for Men and rav of the Yavneh Minyan of Flatbush

 

 

 

 

“The great Ponivitcher Rav, zt”l, was once asked, ‘If you are such a great scholar, then where are all the books you have written?’ The Rav took the individual inside his beis midrash and pointed around to all of his students, and said, ‘These are my books!’ There is no one today who has written as many books as Rabbi Dr. Lander.” – Dr. David Luchins, professor and chair of the Political Science Department at Touro College

 

 

 

 

“Rabbi Lander changed the Torah world, to allow Torah students to learn a livelihood and receive a secular education. All this, without compromising the student’s Torah values and tzenius. He was a legend in our days, tireless, and committed to bringing his vision to Jewish students all around the globe. He and his vision will never be forgotten.” – Rebbitzen Esther Jungreis, founder of Hineni, personal friend of Dr. Lander and recipient of an honorary doctorate from Touro College

 

 

“Rabbi Dr. Bernard Lander was an amazing phenomenon. Though legally blind, he had better than 20-20 vision in the most important terms. Although, nearly 30 years beyond retirement age, he had more energy and vigor that people half his age. His imprint will remain, through the people he prepared for the professions and marketplace without diluting their primary loyalty to Torah.” – Rabbi Nosson Scherman, general editor, ArtScroll Publications and noted lecturer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Rabbi Dr. Bernard Lander, zt”l, was a pioneer and a true visionary in the field of higher education. His legacy is the tens of thousands of students who studied on Touro’s multiple campuses. Most importantly, as a rav and a manhig throughout his career, locally, nationally and globally, he was mekadesh shem shamayim.” - Rabbi Michael Miller, executive vice president, Jewish Community Relations Council

 

 

 

 

 

(Photo credit for all pictures: Shimon Golding)

‘Reputation Always Lags Behind Reality By Several Years’: A Conversation With Touro College’s Future President

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

At 94, Dr. Bernard Lander, Touro College’s founder and president for 39 years, is finally ready to pass on the leadership mantle.

Last month Touro announced that Dr. Alan Kadish, formerly professor of medicine at Northwestern University, will succeed Dr. Lander as president in the near future with Dr. Lander set to become the university’s chancellor. Meanwhile, Dr. Kadish will serve as the college’s senior provost and chief operating officer.

Dr. Kadish, born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens, received his medical degree from Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine and postdoctoral medical training at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (an affiliate of Harvard Medical School) and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He currently lives in Bergenfield, New Jersey with his wife and four children.

The Jewish Press recently spoke with Dr. Kadish.

The Jewish Press: Northwestern University is one of the best universities in the country. What made you leave that institution to come to Touro?

Dr. Kadish: I believe, and I came here with the belief, that Touro is on its way to becoming an outstanding academic institution. It’s a relatively young school but we have over 17,000 students in 29 schools. There are outstanding faculty members. It takes time to develop a reputation, but what I saw when I visited Touro was evidence of academic quality throughout the institution which far exceeded its reputation.

Of New York’s two Jewish colleges – Yeshiva University (YU) and Touro College – Touro has a reputation among some for being the less “serious” of the two. How do you regard this characterization?

I don’t think that calling something serious or not serious is really useful. What I would say is that Touro and YU have different goals. YU has a particular philosophy, [Torah U'mada], that it tries to inculcate in its students and it directs its education accordingly. And that’s great.

But Touro feels there’s a role for another kind of education. In fact, the kind of education that Touro offers is really the kind of education most universities in the world offer. Most universities in the world don’t promulgate a particular political philosophy, at least not on paper. They provide education, and that’s Touro’s philosophy. We provide education.

Perhaps the fact that Touro’s education in some of its schools is more goal- oriented rather than philosophically motivated leads people to perceive it as less serious. But we certainly don’t view it that way.

How about Touro’s reputation, in certain circles, for providing a decent rather than a great education?

I think that reputation always lags behind reality by several years.

If you look, for example, at Touro’s undergraduate colleges right now, these are actually outstanding institutions with tremendous faculty and world-class deans educated at Ivy League schools who have tremendous commitment to education. I think our goal in the short term actually is not so much to change all that much in these institutions, but rather to get the word out.

It’s also true that because Touro is such a complex institution with many components to it, sometimes there can be some spillover effect [reputation-wise] if one component is not working so well. That’s why one of my goals is to increase quality throughout Touro.

What are some of your other goals?

The first goal, like I said, is to continue to strengthen the academic quality throughout the institution. It’s a large institution with 29 different schools, and there’s excellent education throughout. But there are some places where it can be made better.

A second goal is to solidify the health sciences programs. We want to increase integration and coordination among these programs to help cross-fertilize ideas and educational opportunities.

And a third goal that Dr. Lander has, which I fully support, is to try to help grow the international programs at Touro, which he views as outposts of Touro and Yiddishkeit for a variety of different communities throughout the world.

Any other goals?

No, those will take a couple of years!

Touro College, 13th Ave., Brooklyn

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Question: Have you encountered any hostility from family or friends for attending college?

 

 


No. There was and still is no resentment from my family or others for attending college. They understand why I have enrolled and my views on furthering my education to secure a stable future. I even received the blessings of my rosh yeshiva.

-Itschak Krakaur



 

 



No. I can’t speak for other yeshivish boys who attend or want to attend college, but I know that in my particular Orthodox circle and in my family upbringing, college was always part of the plan. It is understood that attending college is a good step in bettering oneself educationally and professionally. This is not something that’s looked down upon at all.

- Meir Doblin

 



Yes and no. Some of the people in my life who gravitate more to the right did have questions and concerns on how comfortable I would be mixing my religious studies with secular studies. I find that if they see that I’m fine with the coexistence of the two, then so are they.

- Izick Vizel

 



No. In my family you have two directions, two options, to choose after high school – beis medrash or college. Fortunately for me, they see the positive elements in both worlds.

-Shlomo Magen

Breaking The Cycle

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

The ability to maintain a pleasant and peaceful relationship with in-laws is of the greatest importance for the young couple entering marriage. The more you understand the in-law relationship, the more likely you will achieve happiness in marriage.

Most parents are just as interested in the success of the marriage as are the children. But if the goals are the same, why do we have so much conflict? If we are going to understand the in-law conflict, we must first reflect on the family life pattern. The mother is wrapped up in the children from the time they are born until they leave home. As small children, she looks after their every need. To them she represents security. Although a father is in the home, he is usually more occupied with making the family living and is not so closely as­sociated with the children. It is normal for children to feel a measure of dependence upon the mother. Even under the best family guidance, most people have not been completely weaned psychologically when they marry.

We can’t expect a pattern, which was built up over a period of 20 years, to disappear with a wedding. After the wedding, many mothers continue to give help­ful suggestions to the son, and in turn the son will con­tinue to seek advice from his mother. The same pattern will be found in the wife’s family, except that her perception of his relationship is not the same as hers. Now here is where the problem begins!

Since the wife is striving to establish herself in her new status, she may feel resentful and insecure of his close relationship with his mother, whom she now perceives as the one who holds the dominant place in her marriage. There’s an element of jealousy or at least a competitive attitude that she finds difficult to dis­cuss. After all, how do you explain the concept of two women “fighting” over the same man! The wife would like to set better boundaries with his family of origin, but does not know how.

Comments to a third party, such as “He always goes to his mother” or “He always listens to his mother,” are not well received by the husband. The partner is often put in a position of having to choose sides. An emotional separation is about to take place between mother and son, which takes time and special consid­eration. Failure in clarification will lead to misunder­standing and distortion.

Many mothers experience a crisis in their lives when children marry and leave home. What is commu­nicated to the mother and daughter-in-law is often ver­bally misunderstood or distorted. The mother offers her help in hope for a close relationship with her new daugh­ter-in-law. The daughter-in-law may view this help as either parental interest or as interference. This mis­communication will often cause distance, separation, and a negative in-law communication cycle to begin.

The chief function of Pre-Marital Counseling is prevention. There are four steps in preventing in-law conflict so that a negative in-law communication cycle does not occur;

1. Give your future in-laws the benefit of the doubt

2. Look for positive qualities in your future in-laws

3. Give your in-laws time to adjust

4. Let in-laws know that you appreciate them.

CPC – Center for Pre-Marital Counseling, is endorsed by Rabbi Pikus of COJO of Flatbush, and leading rabbonim and Torah authorities in the NY community.

Moishe Herskowitz MS., CSW, is a marriage counselor and maintains his private practice in Brooklyn as founder of CPC. He is an educator, lecturer, consultant and adjunct pro­fessor at Touro College. He is the counseling coordinator for Career Services at Touro College and the At Risk Center in Brooklyn. Moishe is presently working as a licensed guidance counselor for the NYC Board of Ed. in Special Education. For more information or to obtain a free brochure, please contact Moishe Herskowitz at 435-7388 or at CPCMOISHE@aol.com.

Touro College, Boro Park

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Question: Does it bother you that an increasing number of Orthodox Jewish families don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, viewing it as a secular holiday?

 

 

     

Yes, it bothers me. I don’t understand why some Jewish families choose not to celebrate it. After all, it is not a specifically Christian holiday. It’s is a good reason for families to get together — in fact, my family has a dinner. It’s a day to show gratitude.


 – Izick Vizel, student


 

 

 


No, it doesn’t bother me. It is an individual’s choice whether he or she wants to celebrate Thanksgiving. I think the backlash is so ironic; people preach America’s freedom and then turn around and criticize others for choosing not to do the same things they do. Personally, to some extent I do celebrate the day by eating a silver-tip roast. We have many other American holidays to celebrate, so people shouldn’t be bothered if some don’t celebrate this one.


 – Duvy Spira, student




 

 


I’m neutral. Some years my family gets together and eats turkey and other years we don’t; it’s not a tradition that’s enforced. It does bother me that some Jewish families don’t celebrate the national holiday at all, but there is a big misconception about this. I think many more Jewish families celebrate it than one might think. Most of my friends celebrate Thanksgiving and I know when I have a family of my own I will celebrate it as well.


 – Shlomo Maghen, student


 


 

 


No. It’s not a Jewish  based holiday meaning it’s not halachically mandated, and besides, we as Jews don’t need one day set aside on the calendar to appreciate this country like the secular world does. We express our gratitude for America and everything else every single day when we daven and thank Hashem.


 – Shmuli Hershovitz, student    

Touro College, Brooklyn

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007


I look at it as a national holiday. Usually I make a barbeque on that day and my family will light up some fireworks. - Meir Dobkin, student



 

 



 

No. To me July 4th is simply a vacation day from work and school. Last year our family got together and we had a barbeque, and we might do that again this year, but the actual day has no historical meaning for me.

- Isaac Vizel, student

 

 

 

 

 


Yes, It means a lot to me, especially because I have friends and family members who are and have been in the military. I remember huge celebrations of the Fourth of July even when I was in Jerusalem. I definitely will be celebrating the day.


- Ilene Stroh, administrative assistant

 

 

 

 

 


No, but I do thank God we have this democratic country. My grandparents came from Ukraine, where there were no freedoms, so I appreciate the significance of the day. However, for me Israel’s  Yom Ha’atzmaut is more important. I used to celebrate Israel’s independence day, but lately I don’t, due to all the corruption there.


- Chaim Breitkopf, student



 

 




Yes, but generically. I may go out to dinner with my family and watch the fireworks. To me, the day is very important and still very relevant to Americans. The colors of the fireworks reflect our diversity in this country.


- Ron Goldman, professor

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/touro-college-brooklyn/2007/07/04/

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