OU Ben Zakkai Honor Society Honors Memory of Dr. Lander 1/30

January 5, 2011


The Orthodox Union will pay tribute to the remarkable legacy of Dr. Bernard Lander z”l and honor Vivian and Dr. David Luchins of New York and Rivkah and Rabbi Zev Leff of Moshav Mattityahu in Israel (formerly of North Miami Beach) for 50 years of involvement with NCSY | Jewish Youth Leadership, the OU’s international youth program. The presentations will take place at the Ben Zakkai Honor Society (BZHS) Annual Scholarship Reception, Sunday, January 30 at 5:00 p.m. at Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street in New York.

In addition, the Society will salute Brenda and Dr. Howard Rosenthal of Kansas City, with the Enid and Harold Boxer Memorial Award; and honor its newest inductees, Aaron Horn of East Windsor, NJ; Jessica Hoffman of Seattle; Noach Klein of Southfield, MI; and Rabbi Michael Rovinsky of St. Louis.

Vivian and David Luchins will receive the Sarah Rivkah and Dr. Bernard Lander Memorial Award. Rivkah and Rabbi Zev Leff will be the recipients of the Ezra Ben-Zion Lightman Memorial Award. Interestingly enough, Vivian and David and Rivkah and Zev were among 400 teenagers who attended NCSY Founding Events in the Catskills and Miami in May 1965. Four of those teenagers have stayed involved for 50 years – Vivian, David, Rivkah and Zev. One reason, perhaps, is that they met their respective spouses in NCSY. The Luchins’ are the only married couple who both serve on the Orthodox Union Board of Directors. Both the Luchins’ and the Leffs’ are regulars at NCSY events including National Conventions as well as other Orthodox Union gatherings.

BZHS is an alumni “Hall of Fame” whose new members are nominated by, and voted on, by its current members based on the nominees’ service to NCSY and the Jewish community. The Society’s main function is to raise funds for scholarships for high school NCSYers for summer programs in North America and Israel and for teens to continue their Jewish education after high school. The Society has helped pay tribute for more than forty years to esteemed NCSY alumni and community leaders who have demonstrated their dedication to Torah and their service to the Jewish people. The January 30 event will be the 15th Annual Scholarship Reception. Isabelle Novak of Los Angeles serves as Chair of Ben Zakkai.

Rabbi Dr. Bernard Lander was the founder of Touro College and served as its President for almost 40 years, until his death on February 8, 2010 at the age of 94. He built the school from a fledgling institution with only 35 students in 1971 to an educational powerhouse with some 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students across the United States and in Israel, Germany, France, Russia and elsewhere, making Touro the largest Jewish-operated educational institution in the world.

Touro offers yeshiva, secular and professional studies to Jewish and non-Jewish students alike. The Touro educational universe includes the highly competitive Lander Colleges for Men and Women in New York. Along with his Touro involvement, Dr. Lander served for decades in a leadership capacity at the Orthodox Union and played an historic role in creating and nurturing NCSY.

“Dr. Bernard Lander’s historic role in helping to create and nurture NCSY ensured him a special place in contemporary American History even before he set out to revolutionize higher education by founding Touro College,” declared Dr. Luchins. “Vivian and I are honored to receive an award that bears his and his extraordinary wife’s names.” David serves as Chair of the Political Science Department of Touro College and was Founding Dean of Touro’s Lander College for Women, the Anna Ruth and Mark Hasten School.

Brenda Fogelson Rosenthal and Howard Rosenthal didn’t bother to wait until they joined NCSY to make each other’s acquaintance – they met in the sixth grade, in Phoenix. Then came NCSY. After completing their medical training in New York, the couple moved to Kansas City, KS, where they have both served as presidents of their synagogue, Beth Israel, Abraham & Voliner, and participate in and host NCSY events throughout the year.

The four new inductees — Aaron, Jessica, Noach and Rabbi Michael — bring the living membership in BZHS to 935. Rabbi Steven Burg, International Director of NCSY summed up the honorees as follows: “The warmth, commitment and passion for Judaism of our inductees has resonated with so many Jewish teens over the years and I feel very fortunate to have them as part of the NCSY family.”

For information on attending the BZHS Annual Scholarship Reception or to contribute to its Souvenir Journal, contact www.ou.org/bzdinner or Elaine Grossman at 212-613-8350 or Grossman@ou.org.

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