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Ruskay Keynoter as YU Celebrates 83rd Commencement

New YorkDr. John S. Ruskay who is retiring this year as executive vice president and CEO of the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, Inc., will deliver the keynote address and receive an honorary doctorate at Yeshiva University’s 83rd Commencement Ceremony. It will take place on Thursday, May 22, 2014, at 11 a.m. at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, NJ. YU President Richard M. Joel will also confer honorary doctorates upon Joshua Gortler, president of The Kline Galland Center Foundation and alumnus of YU’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work, and YU Benefactor Dorothy Schachne. Dr. Morton Lowengrub, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, will receive the Presidential Medallion.

Ruskay served as the executive vice president and CEO of the UJA-Federation since 1999. 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.

Gortler is also the former CEO of Kline Galland, a Seattle-based healthcare provider. Born in Poland, he and his family fled Nazi persecution to Siberia and then Uzbekistan, until the end of World 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. He continued his education at Yeshiva College and then the Wurzweiler School of Social Work where he met his wife, Sarah Barash, a 1961 alumna of Stern College for Women. Gortler and 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.

A YU benefactor, Dorothy Schachne holds a deep commitment to communal service, Jewish causes, and to organizations and institutions dedicated to improving people’s lives. Lowengrub has served as leader of the Yeshiva University academic team since 1999. A professor of mathematics, he was appointed provost and senior vice president for academic affairs in 2007. He has previously served at Indiana University, where he was chairman of the mathematics department, dean for research and graduate development, director of the Institute of Advanced Study, and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

In all, some 600 students from Yeshiva College, Stern College for Women, and Sy Syms School of Business will be awarded degrees from Yeshiva University during its commencement season.

For more information, visit www.yu.edu/commencement.

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