YESHIVA UNIVERSITY DEMONSTRATES UNWAVERING COMMITMENT TO ISRAEL WITH SECOND COLLOQUIUM
Submitted to: Education 
Posted: March 12 2007

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YESHIVA UNIVERSITY DEMONSTRATES UNWAVERING COMMITMENT TO ISRAEL WITH SECOND COLLOQUIUM

ACADEMIC CONVOCATION GRANTS HONORARY DOCTORATES. BEIT MIDRASH DEDICATION AND ALUMNI SHABBATON TO BE HELD

(NEW YORK/ JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – MARCH 12, 2008) – An academic convocation ceremony was held today, opening the week- long Second Annual Yeshiva University Colloquium in Israel. The ceremony included the awarding of honorary doctorates to 97-year-old Mrs. Clara Hammer as well as Rabbi Dr. Chaim Brovender, Professor Jonathan Halevy and Dr. Michael Rosenak.

Founded in 1886, New York’s Yeshiva University (YU) is both an outstanding academic institution as well as a leading center of religious Jewish study. These twin pillars, known as “Torah and Madda” are the institution’s guiding principles. More than 7,000 undergraduate students study at YU’s four New York City campuses. The university’s three undergraduate schools offer a unique dual program comprised of Jewish studies and liberal arts courses. The university is consistently ranked among the leading academic research institutions in the US.

Yeshiva University has a long history of commitment to the State of Israel. Every year some 350 YU students spend their winter break volunteering in the country. Over 80% of undergraduates have spent a year in Israel, with over 50% spending two years and one in ten spending three years or more studying in Israel. In addition, over 3,600 YU alumni have made aliya. Many alumni have served in the IDF, including some who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

At today’s convocation ceremony in Jerusalem, Yeshiva University President Richard M. Joel presented four honorary doctorates. According to Joel, “Yeshiva University combines the very best in academic education with a serious commitment to the highest level of Torah study and a deep dedication to traditional Jewish values. These values include an unwavering support for Israel, expressed this week in our Colloquium in Israel.”

Mrs. Clara Hammer, who at 97 will become one of Jerusalem’s oldest doctoral recipients, is universally known as “The Chicken Lady.” After observing a poor family’s need for chicken and other food, Mrs. Hammer pledged to give two chickens per week to needy families and subsequently established the now legendary “Chicken Fund.”

Also receiving a doctorate was Rabbi Dr. Chaim Brovender, president of ATID – The Academy for Torah Initiatives and Directions in Jewish Education and Rosh Yeshiva of Web Yeshiva.org. Brovender commented, “The ongoing attempt to discern what Torah and Madda have to say to each other has enriched me personally and religiously. I am humbled that Yeshiva University has chosen to grant me this honor.”

Professor Jonathan Halevy MD, the third honorary doctoral recipient is the Director General of Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. Halevy is recognized as a world expert on hospitals dealing with major terror attacks.

The final honorary doctoral recipient, Dr. Michael Rosenak is one of the world’s preeminent philosophers of Jewish education. Rosenak commented, “I am proud to have been a student at YU and thankful for the honor YU is bestowing in making me a member of this most distinguished community. These men and women wish to discover how to walk the road bearing the twin signposts of religious commitment and modern sensibility.”

As part of the colloquium, an open public discussion “Contemplating Torah U’Madda” between YU President Richard Joel and Yeshivat Har Etzion’s Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, will take place at Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue on Thursday, March 13 at 8 pm.

Also included in the week’s events is a dedication of the YU Israel Beit Midrash in memory of the late Rabbi Israel Miller on Friday, March 14 at 9:30 am and an alumni Shabbaton featuring top speakers and personalities, over March 14-15, at the Renaissance Hotel, Jerusalem.

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