Dr. Bernard Lander, founder of Touro College, was a social scientist and educator, a preeminent leader in the Jewish community and a pioneer in Jewish and general higher education. As associate director of former New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia’s Committee on Unity, a precursor to the city’s Commission on Human Rights and a leading organization in the nation attacking discrimination and prejudice, Dr. Lander promoted key fair employment legislation and attacked discriminatory quotas in higher education. An ordained rabbi, he held a doctorate in sociology from Columbia University.
Dr. Lander’s record of achievement in creating and building new educational institutions is unparalleled. In 1950, he served as president of the Queens Jewish Center where, under his leadership, a school building was constructed. Two years later he co-founded Yeshiva Dov Revel, a major day school in Queens. He also served on the founders committee for Bar-Ilan University in the early 1950s. Prior to establishing Touro College in 1971, he served as a professor of sociology for over two decades at City University of New York. He served as dean of Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel Graduate School from 1954 through 1969 and reorganized Y.U.’s graduate programs into the schools of social work, education and psychology between 1954 and 1959. Today, Touro College/Touro University is a multi-campus, international institution with more than 17,500 students at campus locations in New York, California, Florida, Nevada, Israel, Russia, Germany and France, and is one of the few institutions of higher learning that has attained university accreditation in multiple states.
Dr. Lander served as a consultant to three United States presidents. He was a consultant to the White House Conference on Children and Youth; served 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 in the Johnson and Kennedy administrations. For eight years he acted as a senior director of a national study on the problems of youth for the University of Notre Dame of South Bend, Indiana. He was the author of “Towards an Understanding of Juvenile Delinquency,” published by Columbia University Press, and numerous articles in the field of sociology. Dr. Lander also worked as a consultant to the Maryland State Commission on Juvenile Delinquency. He was honored by the Council of New York State College Presidents for his lifetime contribution to higher education. A former Rabbi of Beth Jacob Congregation of Baltimore, Dr. Lander served over thirty years as a vice president of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America.