The Institute was originally established on June 16, 1999. It is now a Touro-wide center that covers the full spectrum of Touro College’s many contributions to the field of human rights education and embodies Touro’s deep commitment to developing and conveying the lessons of the Holocaust. On July 20, 2007 the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council granted the Institute special consultative status with the UN, thus providing it with unique access to global decision-makers and increasing the reach of the Institute’s message.
The Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust aims to understand, explore and evaluate contemporary mechanisms for protecting human rights and the rule of law in view of the lessons of the Holocaust and its aftermath. Its purpose is to promote tolerance through educational programs and activities. The Institute aims to improve our understanding of the importance of the promotion of human rights and freedoms.
The Institute, therefore, has a dual purpose: to remember the Holocaust and its affect on the Jewish people and to use its lessons to promote human rights for all peoples. Its goals reflect the dual mission of Touro College: to strengthen Jewish life and perpetuate the Judaic tradition on the college campus, and at the same time, to help build a better society for all through educational opportunities.
The Director of the Institute, Professor Anne Bayefsky, is a leading expert in the field of international human rights law and combating anti-semitism. Professor Bayefsky has been a Professor at Touro College since 2005. She is also a Senior Fellow with the Hudson Institute and has taught at the University of Ottawa, York University, and Columbia University Law School. Professor Bayefsky has served on many delegations to the UN with the government of Canada and various non-governmental organizations since 1984. She is a member of the International Law Association Committee on Human Rights Law and Practice, and Editor-in-Chief of the series "Refugees and Human Rights", published by Brill Academic Publishers. She is the author or editor of 12 books in the field of human rights. She holds a B.A., M.A. and LL.B. from the University of Toronto, an M.Litt. from Oxford University, and is a barrister and solicitor of the Ontario Bar.
Dr. Anthony J. Polemeni, Ph.D, Vice-President, Division of Graduate Studies, joined Touro College in 2001, after a 20-year career with the New York State Education Department, which was followed by another highly successful career in international business. When Dr. Polemeni joined Touro College as Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Psychology the school had a modest enrollment of 500 students. During his seven-year tenure, the student population has swelled to over 4,500, making Touro the largest graduate school of education in New York State. Dr. Polemeni was appointed Vice President of the newly created Division of Graduate Studies in 2008. The Division is comprised of seven graduate schools: Business, Education, Health Sciences, Jewish Studies, Psychology, Social Work, and Technology.
Dr. Alan Kadish, M.D., is president and chief executive officer of Touro College and Touro University, the largest Jewish-sponsored educational institution in the United States. A nationallyrenowned cardiologist, Dr. Kadish joined Touro in September 2009 as senior provost and chief operating officer from Northwestern University, where he served on the faculty and as an administrator for 19 years. Dr. Kadish, who also held various positions at the University of Michigan prior to Northwestern, succeeded Touro College founder Dr. Bernard Lander as the college’s second president in March 2010 after Dr. Lander passed away. Dr. Kadish has authored over 300 peer-reviewed papers and contributed to several textbooks. He serves as chairman of the Clinical Cardiology Program Committee of the American Heart Association, and has been elected to several prestigious scientific research and education societies. Dr. Kadish is deeply committed to Touro's mission of serving the educational needs of both the Jewish and secular communities throughout the country and around the globe.
United Nations Related Activities
The Institute has formal UN-accreditation. NGO accreditation allows the Institute's staff and students to attend UN meetings and to present oral and written statements at designated sessions. In particular, Institute staff and students regularly follow the work of the United Nations concerning human rights, anti-semitism, Holocaust education and Israel. Alerts on significant UN developments are sent regularly to thousands of journalists and subscribers.
Touro College Berlin Holocaust Institute
|Dr. Sara Nachama, Director
Touro College in Berlin offers a Master of Arts in Holocaust Communication and Tolerance. The goal of the program is to deepen the historical knowledge of participants and foster an appropriate form of remembrance through innovative means of communicating and educating about the Holocaust in memorials, plaques, film, speech, and rituals.