April 14, 2024
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Former Sen. Joe Lieberman To Teach at YU

New York—Former United States Senator Joseph Lieberman has been appointed the Jo­seph Lieberman Chair in Public Policy and Pub­lic Service at Yeshiva University for the 2014– 2015 academic year. During that time, he will teach one undergraduate course and give three public lectures on topics ranging from Judaism and public service to the Middle East at schools throughout the University.

“We are thrilled to welcome Senator Lieber­man, whose public life and values serve as a model for our students, especially those who aspire to careers in public service while em­bracing Orthodox Judaism,” said Dr. Selma Bot­man, university provost and vice president of academic affairs. “Interaction between Sena­tor Lieberman and the students will be a truly transformational experience.”

The Lieberman Chair was established through a gift from University Benefactors Ira and Ingeborg Rennert, who also recently gave a gift to support the re-appointment of Am­bassador Danny Ayalon as the Ira and Inge­borg Rennert Visiting Professor of Foreign Pol­icy Studies. “This chair enriches our academic programs and strengthens the Jewish values and ideals that the Rennerts, Senator Lieber­man, and Yeshiva University hold most dear,” said Botman.

“I am very honored that Yeshiva Universi­ty is establishing this Chair, deeply grateful that Ira and Ingeborg Rennert are making it possi­ble, and personally surprised that YU and the Rennerts have asked me to be the first occu­pant of the chair,” said Lieberman. “I am excited about working with the students at YU to en­gage and inform their interest in public policy and public service.”

Lieberman represented Connecticut in the U.S. Senate from 1989 to 2013 after serving in the Connecticut State Senate for 10 years and as attorney general of Connecticut for six years. He was the first Orthodox Jew to serve in the Senate and became the first Jewish Ameri­can to be named to a major political party tick­et when Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore selected him as his running mate in 2000. Lieberman played an instrumental role in cre­ating a new Department of Homeland Securi­ty after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and is also famous for championing, au­thoring, and leading the effort that led to the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” In 2008, he re­ceived the U.S. Senator John Heinz Award for Greatest Public Service by an Elected or Ap­pointed Official, an annual award conferred by the Jefferson Awards.

“Joe Lieberman was the first Jewish candidate on a national ticket and has become an iconic fig­ure; that’s important for history,” said YU President Richard M. Joel. “But Joe Lieberman is much more than that. He’s a passionate Jew, a statesman, and a man of integrity. And to be able to build on who he is and what he represents is critical to the mul­tifaceted dimensionality that must be Yeshiva.”

Lieberman and his family are already well acquainted with YU. He was awarded an hon­orary doctorate from the University in 1989 in recognition of his leadership in Jewish and civic affairs; addressed YU students at com­mencement; and, more recently, engaged in a dialogue about religion in America as the fea­tured guest in the “Great Conversations” se­ries of the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought. His wife, Ha­dassah Lieberman, has been honored by Stern College for Women, and their daughter, Hani, attended Stern.

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