• Commencement

  • Honorary Degree Recipients

    John_Ruskay John Ruskay
    Dr. John S. Ruskay is the executive vice president and CEO of the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, Inc. (UJA-Federation), a position he has held since 1999. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh, Ruskay earned his doctorate in Political Science at Columbia University. He has served as the educational director of the 92nd Street Y; vice chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America; as senior consultant to the Wexner Foundation and the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies; and has chaired the Publication Committee of the Journal of Jewish Communal Service and the Professional Advisory Committee of the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program. Ruskay has written extensively and speaks nationally on how the American Jewish community can most effectively respond to the challenges and opportunities of living in an open society, the critical role of Jewish philanthropy, and the central role of community. He has recently announced that he will be stepping down from his position with the UJA-Federation on June 30, 2014.

    Dorothy_Schachne Dorothy Schachne
    Dorothy Schachne, Yeshiva University Benefactor, holds a deep commitment to communal service, Jewish causes, and to organizations and institutions dedicated to improving people’s lives. Beneficiaries of her generous and impactful philanthropy have included CancerCare, where Dorothy has served for many years as a member of the Board of Trustees; Gurwin Jewish Geriatric Center; Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center; and Yeshiva University, to which Dorothy and her late husband, David, have contributed more than $3 million. The Schachnes support and service has focused on the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, where they have endowed the David I. and Dorothy Schachne Deanship of Wurzweiler and created several scholarship funds.

    Joshua_Gortler Joshua Gortler
    Joshua Gortler, MSS, ACSW, is the current president and former CEO of The Kline Galland Center Foundation, a Seattle-based healthcare provider. Born in Poland, Gortler and his family fled Nazi persecution, residing in Siberia and then Uzbekistan, until the end of Wolrd War II. In 1951, the family settled in Arizona and, with the guidance of a YU-trained rabbi, decided to send their son to pursue his studies at Yeshiva University High School for Boys, tuition-free. Gortler continued his education at Yeshiva College and then Wurzweiler School of Social Work, where he met his wife, Sarah Barash ’61S. After graduating Wurzweiler in 1960, he was employed by numerous organizations, working with Holocaust survivors, the elderly, street gangs and other troubled youths, before joining Kline Galland as executive director in 1969. Gortler, along with his wife, established the Joshua H. Gortler and Sarah B. Gortler Scholarship in Geriatric Social Work at Wurzweiler, to recognize the institution for having such a profound influence on his life and to express gratitude for the scholarship assistance that was afforded to him as a student.

    Presidential Medallion Recipient

    Mort_Lowengrub Dr. Mort Lowengrub
    Dr. Morton Lowengrub has served as leader of the Yeshiva University faculty and deans since 1999. A serious scholar and professor of mathematics, he was appointed provost and senior vice president for academic affairs in 2007. A graduate of New York University, Lowengrub also holds a master's degree from California Institute of Technology and a doctorate in mathematics from Duke University. He joined the Indiana University faculty in 1967 and held a series of administrative positions, including chairman of the mathematics department, dean for research and graduate development, and director of the Institute of Advanced Study. In 1988, he was named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Lowengrub has written or co-authored several books and monographs and a number of scholarly articles in the field of applied mathematics dealing with mathematical theory of elasticity, mixed boundary value problems and integral equations. He has also held several prestigious fellowships and won a series of awards for excellence in teaching and research. Lowengrub will step down from his current role on June 30, 2014.


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