May 28, 2024
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Touro College Community Pays Tribute to Dean Emeritus Jerome Miller

Last week, Touro College leadership, faculty and administration gathered to pay tribute to Dean Emeritus Jerome Miller, of Jersey City, upon the the conclusion of the 30-day mourning period following his passing. The tribute was held at the college’s main administrative center and was attended by Touro leadership, faculty and Dean Miller’s sister Mrs. Lorraine Zywotow and other family members and friends.

President Alan Kadish opened by mentioning Dean Miller’s three-plus decades of service and his historic contribution as founding dean of the School for Lifelong Education (SLE), a school specifically designed by Dean Miller to meet the educational needs of the chasidic community. “As founding dean, Dean Miller made an enormous impact on the lives of countless students who would not otherwise have had the opportunity to pursue higher education. He enabled them to receive a quality education that would forever enhance their lives and their livelihoods,” said Dr. Kadish.

The president also mentioned the role the dean had played in helping orchestrate the Touro College Commencement exercises and ensuring that each individual would receive the attention and respect that the occasion demanded.

Vice President Stanley Boylan followed the president, highlighting Dean Miller’s introduction of the concept of the faculty member serving as mentor, spiritual guide and friend in addition to instructor. “Dean Miller, known to his colleagues as ‘Jerry,’ was an expert in innovative teaching techniques. He coined a unique term, ‘mentorial,’ for this modality of instruction,” said Boylan.

Dean Miller was initially recruited from Fairleigh Dickinson University, where he held a tenured position, to serve as chairman of the Touro communications department in the early 1980s by Dr. Solomon Simonson, then academic vice president of the college. When the School of Lifelong Education was created, Dean Miller became its founding dean. “A singularly talented individual, Dean Miller had extremely high intellectual and moral standards, with a wonderful sense of humor and great moral integrity. Jerry was not only a religious man, but a mensch, and a true yashar, a righteous individual. For over 35 years at Touro, he was an academic leader, a colleague, a faculty member and a friend. Jerry pioneered the concept of mentorship, and he might well be considered the mentor of many at the college,” continued Boylan.

Dean Robert Goldschmidt, who had worked closely with Dean Miller in the context of graduations, and Middle States accreditation committees, presented Miller’s sister with a memorial volume of photographs culled from the numerous files of graduation ceremonies in which he participated. Dean Miller had worked with the valedictorians to help prepare them to speak at the commencement. Contained in the memorial volume were letters of appreciation from students, reflecting on Dean Miller’s care and the attention that he provided them.

Aliza Rubenstein, PhD, the valedictorian of the Class 2012, wrote that “Dean Miller’s warmth, his authenticity and his eagerness to assist remain with me still. He gave me a lasting education on how to speak in public.”

Dean Leon Perkal spoke of Dean Miller as a faculty member in Touro’s NYSCAS division, a position that Dean Miller held at the end of his career at Touro. Dean Perkal recalled the great love and affection that Miller displayed toward the NYSCAS students.

Rabbi Moshe Krupka, executive vice president of Touro College, concluded the tribute by recalling Dean Miller’s care for each individual with whom he came in contact. He then recited the Kel Moleh prayer, which asked that his neshama, his soul, should reach its final peaceful abode.

By Dr. Stanley Boylan


Dr. Stanley Boylan is the vice president and dean of faculties at Touro College.

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