May 30, 2024
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May 30, 2024
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Touro’s Lander Colleges Name 2018 Valedictorians

(Courtesy of Touro College) On May 27, Touro College and University System will honor four outstanding students as valedictorians at the 44th commencement ceremonies of the Lander Colleges at David Geffen Hall in Lincoln Center.

At an early age, Betzalel Krasnow of Lawrence learned that he would need extensive—and expensive—dental work. After a regimen of orthodontics, bone grafts and implants, he flashes a million dollar smile and is on his way to a career as a dentist.

He maintained a 3.94 GPA, scored in the 98th percentile on the Dental Admissions Test and was accepted to three dental schools. Krasnow also served as editor-in-chief of the school’s Science Journal and president of the Pre-Dental Society in Flatbush.

Krasnow chose Touro College of Dental Medicine to continue his education. “Visiting the campus, I saw the commitment to excellence with cutting-edge technology to train students to deliver the best patient care. Equally as impressive were the many top professionals proudly walking around with yarmulkas,” says Krasnow.

Helene (Chanie) Weinreb chose Touro in Flatbush for its convenience to her home, but she quickly fell in love with the school. This spring Weinreb is graduating as the valedictorian.

Weinreb maintained a 3.9 GPA in her demanding biology major. She began working as a medical assistant in a pathology lab and volunteered at NYU Langone Medical Center. She also researched and wrote an article for the school’s Science Journal.

The combination of experiences led her to choose a career in physical therapy, which involves science and the ability to work well with patients. “I like physical therapy because it is more than physiology. It is reliant on motivating each patient to do the work required,” she said

Weinreb will start a doctoral program in physical therapy at Touro’s School of Health Sciences this fall.

Joshua Goldmeier, the 2018 Lander College for Men (LCM) valedictorian, chose the school for its holistic learning environment. “Education is not simply about memorizing. It is about engaging with information and using it to transform your relationship with yourself and others,” he said.

At LCM, Goldmeier sent a cold email to a developer at Sefaria, a nonprofit in Israel which is creating a massive, interconnected, living library of Jewish texts, and asked for a summer internship. “Somebody told me that the best way to learn is to work on a project you are passionate about,” he said. He got the internship, and worked on the data team, writing code, and uploaded over three million words of Torah to the Sefaria application.

After finishing classes in January, Goldmeier moved to Israel to pursue a career in artificial intelligence. He is currently enrolled in an elite machine-learning program through the Israel Tech Challenge.

Goldmeier’s dream is to use artificial intelligence to improve lives. “I would like to look back at the end of my life and know that I invested my time with the goal of helping others,” he said.

Ayelet Schwerd has always wanted to become a psychologist. Next year, she will begin at PsyD program at Rutgers University, one of the top-ranked programs in the nation. This month, she will graduate from Touro as the valedictorian of Touro’s Lander College for Women—The Anna Ruth and Mark Hasten School.

After spending her first year of college at a secular university near her home in Queens, Schwerd transferred to Lander College for Women in search of a more balanced education. “I wanted the very best secular education coupled with very best Torah education,” she said.

Through internships Schwerd honed her skills in psychology and developed a hands-on understanding of the mental health field. At the Institute for Applied Research and Community Collaboration (ARCC), she analyzed the effectiveness of teacher and principal training programs. She also found time to do research at CUNY and dedicate time to Jewish outreach, running weekly kiruv programs and assisting children and families struggling with mental, physical and emotional disabilities.

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