Rabbi Dr. Bernard Lander z”l

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dr-bernard-landerIt is with sadness that we report the passing of Rabbi Dr. Bernard Lander, founder and president of Touro College, former rov of Beth Jacob Congregation of Baltimore, Honorary Vice President of the Orthodox Union, and dean of Yeshiva Or Hachaim in Queens. Dr. Lander’s son is Rav Doniel Lander, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Ohr Hachaim in Queens.

Dr. Lander was the recipient of the landmark teshuvah from Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l concerning the Torah position on Christian-Jewish dialogue in a 1967 letter published in Shailos Uteshuvos Igros Moshe.

He was 94.

Dr. Lander, a social scientist and educator, was one of three associate directors of the Mayor’s Committee on Unity, established in 1944 by former New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, which became the city’s first Commission on Human Rights. The Commission prepared the first civil rights legislation for New York state.

Dr. Lander with former President George W. Bush.
Dr. Lander with former President George W. Bush.

Dr. Lander built Touro College from scratch into a multi-million dollar institution with an international presence. Before establishing Touro College in 1971, he served as a professor of sociology for over two decades at City University of New York and at Yeshiva University, where he established the university’s graduate schools of education, psychology and social work and served as dean of its Bernard Revel Graduate School.

Today, Touro College/Touro University is a multi-campus, international university with more than 23,000 students at campus locations in New York, California, Florida, Nevada, Israel, Russia and Germany.

Dr. Lander served as a consultant to three United States Presidents and was part of the seven-member commission that established the historic “War on Poverty” program in the U.S. He served as a consultant to the White House Conference on Children and Youth; on an advisory council on public assistance established by Congress; and was a member of the President’s Advisory Committee on Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Crime under the Johnson and Kennedy administrations.

For eight years he served as a senior director of a national study for the University of Notre Dame of South Bend, Indiana on the problems of youth. He was the author of “Towards an Understanding of Juvenile Delinquency,” published by Columbia University Press, and numerous articles in the field of sociology. He also served as a consultant to the Maryland State Commission on Juvenile Delinquency.

news_signingDr. Lander was honored by the Council of New York State College Presidents for his lifetime contributions to higher education.

Dr. Lander is survived by his children, Rav Doniel Lander, Mrs. Esther Greenfield, Mrs. Debbie Waxman and Mrs. Hanna Lander, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The levaya will take place tomorrow at 11 a.m. at Yeshiva Ohr Hachaim in Queens.

Yehi zichro boruch.

{Dovid Bernstein-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Rav Doniel Lander is a true talmid chochom and a great nachas surely to his father. Dr. Lander has left behind a son to be proud of.
    Yehi zichro boruch

  2. Rabbi Lander once said that he founded Touro College at the age of 55 because he believed that a new educational institution was needed to educate the Jewish and general populations. He said: “One should live a long life, but a life of meaning, purpose and creativity. This is the purpose of life and the purpose of Touro.”

  3. From earlier this year:

    At 94, Dr. Bernard Lander, Touro College’s founder and president for 39 years, is finally ready to pass on the leadership mantle.

    Last month Touro announced that Dr. Alan Kadish, formerly professor of medicine at Northwestern University, will succeed Dr. Lander as president in the near future with Dr. Lander set to become the university’s chancellor. Meanwhile, Dr. Kadish will serve as the college’s senior provost and chief operating officer.

  4. Boruch Dayan Emes. Dr. Lander was the Nasi Hayeshiva of my yeshiva, yeshivas Ohr HaChaim and his son is Harav Doniel Lander Shlita, is our beloved Rosh Hayeshiva . I am currently in the twelfth grade of the Mesivta, Mesivta yesodei Yeshurun.All I can say is, I can wish my yeshiva only simchos in the future, and Hashem should help us get through these tough times. Amein.

  5. Dr. Lander Z’L is so identitifed with Touro it is virtually impossible to imagine the institution without him.At one graduation Dr. Lander spoke about was not preperation for life but for living.
    a LOSS NOT EASILY REPLACED Baruch dayan emmeth.

  6. What many people don’t know is what he had to endure when he set out to start Touro. Now we all see the finished product, but when he began, he was literally receiving death threats! In his own words – his picture was on all the lamp posts saying “Mitzvah L’hargo!” B”H he persevered and look at all that has been accomplished! May his memory be a blessing!

  7. I had the z’chus of davening with R.Dr.Lander for many years in Forest Hills, as was always impressed at how a man of such tremendous accomplishments remained such an Onav–never seeking kovod, though it was obviously due him.My son learned in his son’s Yeshiva, and as a result is now learning in kolel in Yerushalayim–of which I am extremely proud –and grateful.R’Doniel is a TalmId Chochom of stature.
    May the Chosuva family know only Simchas.

  8. Rabbi Lander had a lofty vision but was unique in that he had the ability to fulfill his goals. Though he was involved in mega-transactions with the world’s movers and shakers, R. Lander never lost his mentchlichkeit. In fact, he kept up with his surviving RJJ classmates of 1928.


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