April 15, 2024
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NJ Native Receives Top Award at Touro Graduation

(Courtesy of Touro’s Lander College for Men) Azzi Kimmel, of Hillside, received the Dr. Bernard Lander Memorial Award, presented by Rabbi Dr. Moshe Sokol, dean of Touro’s Lander College for Men at the virtual commencement held this weekend. The award recognizes overall excellence in academics, limudei kodesh, moral character and community service.

Kimmel, 22, is graduating with a BA in psychology and plans to pursue a doctorate in psychology. His ultimate goal is to specialize in the treatment of adolescents struggling with addiction.

“Azzi excelled in every area and was active in student life from the moment he arrived at Lander,” said Dean Sokol. “He eventually rose to serve as president of the student government, and he made it one of the very best student governments in Lander College history. He organized numerous activities, including father-son learning, and developed a student hub for socialization and group projects. Among his many achievements, he conceived of a program to honor our custodial staff with a special Thanksgiving breakfast—with all preparations and cleaning done by the students themselves. It was a deeply moving event. Azzi served as gabbai as well and played a leadership role in easing the transition to a Zoom environment during COVID-19.”

“Azzi truly embodies the many values and ideals that Dr. Lander, z”l, held dear to his heart. All of us at Touro’s Lander Colleges are proud to present this award to him,” continued Dean Sokol.

Kimmel, who attended JEC for high school and Mevaseret for his gap year in Israel, plans to earn semicha before pursuing his graduate studies. “My dream is to open up a drug rehab center geared for people from religious Jewish families. Dr. Sokol encouraged me to volunteer at Our Place, a drop-in center for at-risk Jewish teenagers, which made me realize that my dream can become a reality,” said Kimmel.

“I feel truly honored to receive the Dr. Bernard Lander Memorial Award. Lander College has taught me that wherever one goes in life, one should strive to make a Kiddush Hashem in whatever they do, a goal that Dr. Lander exemplified. I look back at my time at Lander and contemplate the valuable lessons my rebbaim and teachers have shared and look forward to taking all this with me in the future,” continued Kimmel.

For more on Touro’s Lander College for Men, visit www.lcm.touro.edu.

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