TOURO COLLEGE , one of the largest institutions of higher and professional education under Jewish sponsorship. Touro has grown from a small liberal arts college consisting of 35 freshmen in 1971, situated in midtown Manhattan, to an international university of over 23,000 students.
It was founded and was under the leadership of Dr. Bernard Lander. The guiding mission of the school can be noted from its being named for Judah and Isaac Touro, who both exemplified in colonial and early America a love for the democratic ethos and their Jewish heritage.
Touro's vision is to serve the larger community in keeping with the Judaic commitment to social justice, intellectual pursuit, and service to humanity.
Under Dr. Lander's guidance Touro's programs had a two-pronged thrust. One is to serve the Jewish community by developing a cadre of committed and concerned Jewish youth in the United States by giving them a higher and professional education with a curriculum based on Jewish values. Secondly, Touro's programs also serve the educational needs of the total society, non-sectarian as well as Jewish. One of Touro's mottos has been "where there is a need, Touro reaches out to help." Touro does not wait for the student to come to the school but brings the school to the student.
Based in New York are separate programs for men and women that meet on alternate days. The Lander College of Arts and Sciences offers a traditional yeshivah program combined with a full secular college curriculum, which is offered at the Men's Division in Kew Garden Hills, Queens. A Men's Division enabling yeshivah students from other institutions desiring to study for a college degree in secular studies was opened in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn in 1977. A Women's Division was initiated in Manhattan in 1974 with a dual Judaic and secular studies curriculum. A parallel Women's Division was opened in Flatbush in 1979. These programs offer broad appeal to Orthodox Jews and allow them to attend their respective religious institutions and earn a higher or professional degree simultaneously.
The Touro School of Lifelong Education (a mentoring program opened in 1988) provides an opportunity for ḥasidic and yeshivah students to be the first in their families to earn a higher and/or professional degree. An affiliate Machon LaParnassa allows students to earn an associates degree. A similar undergraduate program opened in Los Angeles in 2005 and one in Miami is scheduled for 2006.
Touro also has an affiliate full time yeshivah program, Ohr Hachaim (1984), and a yeshivah high school for boys, Yesodai Yeshurun in Queens (1994).
The Graduate School of Jewish Studies was opened in 1979 offering a master's degree.
Touro has opened several professional divisions. A division of Health Sciences was opened in 1972 offering a physicians assistant (pa) program, and added a medical records administration program in 1980. The Touro Center for Bio-Medical Education in Long Island offers a ms-md degree in conjunction with the Technion Medical School in Israel (1983). A physical therapy (pt) program was added in 1984 and an occupational therapy (ot) program in 1996. A graduate program in speech language pathology began in 2000.
In 1997 Touro opened a Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine, currently located in Vallejo, California, with a branch campus in Las Vegas in 2004. A similar school is planned for 2006 in New York State.
A school of nursing opened in 2005 in the Boro Park section of Brooklyn creating the opportunity for ḥasidic women to attain a career.
The Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law School was founded as a division of Touro in 1980 and is situated in Huntington, Long Island. In addition to the general law curriculum it has an Institute of Jewish Law.
Touro has also been a leader in innovative pedagogy establishing Touro University International based in Las Alamitos, California in 1999, offering graduate degrees in business over the Internet. The Graduate School of Education and Technology also offers many online courses as do the undergraduate departments in the Lander colleges.
Touro's international programs teach Jewish studies and business courses. Campus sites include Moscow, Berlin, and Jerusalem. Programs are planned for other sites, such as Rome and Budapest.
The Touro campus in Givat Shaul Jerusalem offers a program for Americans in Israel and an affiliate Machon Lander for Israelis. There is also a division of the Touro Graduate School for Jewish Studies in Israel.
The School for General Studies (1974) and the Division of New Americans (1985) began particularly to aid many refugees coming from the former Soviet Union. The latter division was renamed the School of Career and Applied Studies and was eventually merged with the School of General Studies. These divisions, which are community based and have several campuses in New York, have over 6,000 students from all ethnic backgrounds matriculating for the associate and bachelor's degrees.
[Ted Lauer (2nd ed.)]