Full of pride, hundreds of friends and family members celebrated their graduates at the 42nd Annual Commencement of Touro College. The ceremony took place on May 28, 2017, at the David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center.
During the ceremony, guests heard speeches from the valedictorians of Touro’s Lander College of Arts and Sciences (LAS), Simcha Bordon and Rachel Tabi; valedictorian of Touro’s Lander College for Men (LCM), Steven “Lippy” Treitel; and valedictorian of Touro’s Lander College for Women (LCW), Meira Goldberg. They were among the 592 graduates receiving baccalaureate degrees, along with 129 graduates who received associate degrees, from LAS, LCM, LCW, Machon L’Parnasa/The Institute for Professional Studies and The School for Lifelong Education (SLE).
LAS Men’s valedictorian Simcha Bordon spent five years at the exclusive Brisk Yeshiva in Israel before attending LAS. He will be attending the Albert Einstein College of Medicine next year. “Touro has guided me, encouraged me, and celebrated my successes every step of the way,” he said.
LAS Women’s valedictorian Rachel Tabi is headed to PriceWaterhouseCoopers to begin her career as an actuary. She thanked her Touro professors “for teaching me how to think, how to understand and how to use my imagination.”
Afterwards, the audience heard from keynote speaker Jason Dov Greenblatt, an Assistant to the President of the United States and Special Representative for International Negotiations. Greenblatt received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Touro College.
After receiving his honorary degree, Greenblatt spoke about his own remarkable history and the unlikely journey he, the son of a Holocaust survivor and a Hungarian refugee, took to the halls of the White House.
After graduating from New York University’s Law School, Greenblatt worked as an associate at a law firm before launching a coffee company. After Starbucks began their expansion, Greenblatt returned to the field of law and was recruited by the Trump Organization and spent twenty years rising up the corporate ladder until he became the Chief Legal Officer.
“None of us can predict tomorrow’s twists and turns,” Greenblatt advised. “What I would like to impress upon each of you today is the importance of keeping an open mind, embracing new opportunities and maintaining the willingness to reinvent yourselves and the resilience to do so.”
Rabbi Moshe Krupka, Touro’s executive vice president, called Greenblatt’s work an “ongoing Kiddush Hashem, a sanctification of God’s name.” Speaking to Greenblatt, Rabbi Krupka said, “You serve as a role model for Jewish youth as you maintain your Jewish identity while maintaining professional excellence in a secular workplace. You are the embodiment of universal Jewish values of integrity and humility.”
Touro President Dr. Alan Kadish said Greenblatt’s life demonstrated “Jewish values of honesty, humility, kindness and integrity. You show that Torah study and Shmirot HaMitzvot is not a challenge to success in one’s career but the foundation to what one creates and achieves.”
He encouraged all of the graduates to aim high, “Each of you can make a difference to yourself, to your family, to Klal Yisrael and the world,” he said. Source: Touro