(Courtesy of Touro College) A record-breaking 582 students will graduate from Touro’s Lander Colleges this month with baccalaureate degrees, and 116 students will graduate from Machon L’Parnasa/The Institute for Professional Studies and The School of Lifelong Education with associate’s degrees at the College’s 46th annual commencement. The graduates will be awarded their degrees in a virtual ceremony on Sunday, May 24.
The ceremony will be presided over by Touro President Dr. Alan Kadish and the Lander deans, including Dr. Robert Goldschmidt, dean of Touro’s Lander College of Arts & Sciences; Dr. Moshe Sokol, dean of Touro’s Lander College for Men; and Dr. Marian Stoltz-Loike, dean of Touro’s Lander College for Women, the Anna Ruth and Mark Hasten School.
The 2020 graduates will pursue a wide range of professions including health sciences, medicine, dentistry, law, psychology, computer science, engineering, accounting and speech-language pathology. Student valedictorians are planning careers in medicine, dentistry and marketing communications.
Chaya Beniawski, Valedictorian, Lander College of Arts and Sciences Women’s Division
Chaya Beniawski chose Touro in Flatbush for its career-focused approach and supportive Jewish atmosphere. She excelled in her studies and was part of the Honors Program and the Touro Flatbush Society of Fellows. “The faculty guided me and focused on helping me achieve my professional goals in a timely manner, and equally important, my fellow students shared my values,” she said.
Beniawski majored in biology and will attend Columbia College of Dentistry in the fall. She has always been fascinated by the detailed procedures that dentists perform. She also wanted an active, hands-on profession.
While studying for the Dental Admission Test, Beniawski felt well prepared; Touro had given her a strong grasp of the subject material, from biology to organic chemistry. “My professors were always available to answer questions, even if I was no longer in their classes,” she said.
A highlight of Beniawski’s Touro experience was participating in the school’s Medical Mission to Nepal. She helped with check-ups for children at elementary schools, volunteered at a women’s clinic and learned how lucky she was to have access to healthcare and how meaningful it could be to care for those who don’t.
”Chaya Beniawski has distinguished herself as an exceptionally gifted student whose character traits demonstrate her commitment to the essential values of a true Bas Yisroel, “ said Dean Robert Goldschmidt.
Beniawski attended Torah Academy for Girls High School and Machon Raaya seminary in Israel.
Joseph Weingarten, Valedictorian, Lander College of Arts and Sciences Men’s Division
Joseph Weingarten chose Lander College of Arts and Sciences in Flatbush (LAS) because it offered an excellent education and enabled him to continue learning at Yeshiva Torah Vodaath at the same time.
Weingarten earned a stellar academic record at Touro, published articles in the Touro College Science Journal and had the opportunity to conduct research in the nuclear medicine department at Mount Sinai.
This fall, Weingarten will matriculate at Albert Einstein Medical School, the next step on his path toward becoming a doctor. Weingarten’s career goals were inspired by his father, a physician assistant who is deeply committed to his profession and dedicated to his patients. Weingarten accompanied his father on house calls to immobile patients and observed the comfort these visits brought. He is grateful to his professors at Touro who guided him along the path to medical school acceptance. “They showed me where to focus my efforts,” Weingarten said.
“Joseph Weingarten is a true Ben Torah,” said Dean Goldschmidt. “I am confident that he will become a highly respected physician who will create a Kiddush Hashem in the professional world.”
Weingarten attended Yeshiva Toras Emes Kaminetz, the Yeshiva of Philadelphia and Yeshiva Torah Vodaath.
Gavi Berman, Valedictorian, Lander College for Men
Gavi Berman made the Dean’s List every semester and scored in the 100th percentile on the MCAT, the medical school admission exam. Berman credits the Lander College for Men (LCM) faculty with giving him a strong foundation in the sciences and providing him with helpful and accessible academic advisors. He majored in biology and has been accepted to Touro’s New York Medical College for the fall.
Along with a rigorous course load, Berman found many ways to enrich his college experience outside of the classroom. He served as vice president and president of the student government, founded a running club and an investment club and tutored in the chemistry and biology departments. He also spent a summer working as a researcher at a pediatric hospital.
For as long as he remembers, Berman has been interested in the science of the human body. Along the way, he realized that he wanted to work in a profession in which his interaction with people would make a difference for them. Becoming a doctor became his dream. “There isn’t anything I would rather do,” he said.
“Gavi Berman is one of those rare students,” said Dean Moshe Sokol. “He is intellectually gifted, mature, disciplined and self-possessed. He is wonderfully good-natured and caring as well, just the kind of person you would want as your physician.”
Berman attended Yeshivas Ner Yisroel Toronto and Yeshivas Toras Moshe in Israel for three years.
Hannah Rubin, Valedictorian, Lander College for Women, the Anna Ruth and Mark Hasten School
Hannah Rubin chose Lander College for Women (LCW) because it offered a stellar education and an environment where she was surrounded by women who share her values. An English major with a Judaic studies minor, she received an academic scholarship, made the Dean’s List, was a member of the selective honors program and wrote a senior honors thesis on “Literature as Equipment for Living: The Interplay of Allegory and Social Directive in Victor Hugo’s 'Les Miserables.'”
“Lander prepares students for professions in the broader world because of its small size, not despite it,” she said.
Rubin is now working as a writer and producer at Elland Road Partners, a communications and media consultancy based in New York City. She began working at Elland Road Partners as an intern, a position that the LCW career services office helped her attain. Hannah further developed her writing skills as editor of the Touro Torah newspaper.
When Rubin began college, she was a math major, intent on becoming an actuary. However, she had always enjoyed and excelled at literature and writing, and in her first semester at LCW, she followed that passion and switched her major to English. “A BA in English literature develops skills that are in high demand at every workplace, such as analytical ability, communication skills and an open mind. Thankfully, people at LCW have shown me that my passion for words and language can be marshaled into a gratifying and profitable career,” she said.
“Hannah Rubin represents the true values of Lander College for Women,” said Dean Marian Stoltz-Loike. “She is academically gifted, intellectually perceptive and kind and thoughtful of others. Additionally, her wonderful communication skills as a gifted writer and effective speaker define her as a natural leader.”
Rubin attended Bais Ya’akov of Ramapo then spent a year at seminary at Machon Ra’ayah in Israel.
For more information on Touro’s Lander Colleges, visit www.touro.edu.