Dr. Alan Kadish
Touro College derives its name from Judah and Isaac Touro, leaders of colonial America, who represented the ideals upon which the College bases its mission. Inspired by the democratic ethos enunciated by George Washington at Newport, Rhode Island when he visited Touro Synagogue in 1790, the Touro family provided major endowments for universities, the first free library on this continent, community health facilities in the United States, and pioneering settlements in Israel. This generosity was exercised to better the lives of all people through the encouragement of education and charitable and vocational enterprise without regard for creed or color.
Touro College was chartered by the Board of Regents of the State of New York in June 1970. Under the leadership of its founding president, Dr. Bernard Lander, the College opened with a class of 35 Liberal Arts and Sciences students in 1971. Since 1971, the College has continued to demonstrate dynamic growth. A women’s division was added to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 1974. In the late 1970’s, a Flatbush division was established, moving into its current facility in Brooklyn in 1995. In 2000, a new Lander College for Men was established in Queens. The College also organized sister institutions in Israel and Russia. The School for Lifelong Education, offering a non-traditional contract-learning-based program, was organized in 1989. The Institute for Professional Studies (IPS) was established in 1999 to provide higher education with practical applications for the ultra-orthodox Chasidic community.
Schools of general studies, law and health sciences were also organized. A graduate school of education and psychology was founded, and an international school of business was established. In 1985, a school for new Americans was created, which in 2002 merged with the School of General Studies to create the New York School of Career and Applied Studies.
In 1997 and 1999, respectively, Touro University California (TUC) and Touro University International (TUI, also based in California) added to the professional options available to Touro students. TUC includes colleges of osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, health sciences and education. In 2004, Touro University Nevada opened in Henderson, Nevada with colleges of osteopathic medicine, including a School of Physician Assistant Studies, and health and human services, which encompasses schools of nursing, occupational therapy and education.
An overseas branch of Touro College - Touro College Berlin - which offers both Jewish studies and professional courses – opened in 2003. Touro College Los Angeles, a liberal arts college modeled after the program of the Lander Colleges, opened in 2005 in West Hollywood, California. Touro College South, based in Miami Beach, Florida, opened in 2006. Also in 2006, Touro opened graduate schools of social work and technology.
The College experience, however, consists of more than classroom instruction. Touro seeks to foster an atmosphere of warmth, in which close faculty-student relationships, student camaraderie and individual attention are nurtured in many ways.