Touro University will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a gala and convocation on Sunday, December 4, to be held at the Marriott Marquis in New York City.

Touro was founded in 1970 by visionary educator, sociologist, and rabbi, Dr. Bernard Lander, to perpetuate the Jewish heritage, as well as to serve the general community in keeping with the historic Jewish commitment to intellectual inquiry, the transmission of knowledge, and service to society. Today it is America’s largest private institution of higher and professional education under Jewish auspices, serving 19,000 students at 35 schools across four countries.

“Over the years, we have grown exponentially in terms of our academic offerings and research capacity, but we remain as committed as ever to our mission to support, serve, and strengthen the Jewish community,” said President Alan Kadish, MD.

In addition to its 50th anniversary, Touro is celebrating its new university status, a singular accomplishment. University status is awarded to academic institutions in recognition of the breadth and depth of degree programs offered. Touro students are pursuing undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees in such fields as medicine, law, dentistry, psychology, business, education, Jewish studies, and other health science areas and disciplines.

At the gala, Touro will honor several individuals who led the university’s expansion, impact, and innovation over the past 50 years.

Dr. Alan Kadish is President of the Touro University System. He is a prominent cardiologist, dedicated teacher, researcher, and scientist, and he is an experienced administrator. Alan Kadish, MD, has developed Touro into one of the largest healthcare educational systems in the US and, under his leadership, Touro continues to prepare a new generation of scholars, entrepreneurs, and professional leaders.

Dovid Lichtenstein is an entrepreneur, real estate investor, and a Touro University board member. He is the founder and CEO of The Lightstone Group, one of the largest and most diversified privately held real estate companies in the United States. He has authored several volumes entitled Headlines, which highlight contemporary issues in Jewish law, based on his weekly podcast, “Halacha Headlines.”

Dr. Robert Goldschmidt joined Touro in 1974 and has served in many capacities, including his current roles as Touro Vice President for Planning and Assessment and Executive Dean at Touro’s Lander College of Arts & Sciences in Brooklyn. He also serves as the Touro College Accreditation Liaison to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Hon. Shelley Berkley is Senior Vice President of External Affairs of the Touro University System. She previously served as CEO and Senior Provost of Touro’s Western Division, where she was administrative and academic head of the Nevada and Northern California campuses of Touro University. Prior to that role, Shelley served the State of Nevada in the United States House of Representatives, from 1998 to 2013.

At the gala, the university will present an honorary doctorate to Dr. Albert Bourla, chairman and CEO of Pfizer. During his more than 25 years at Pfizer, Dr. Bourla accelerated the company’s transformation to become a more science-driven, innovative company. Under his leadership, Pfizer delivered a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19 in just eight months – a process that typically takes eight to ten years – without compromising quality or integrity. A year later, Pfizer delivered the first FDA-authorized oral antiviral treatment for COVID-19.

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