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President George Bush Highlights Upcoming Convocation

As we enter the middle of November and leave the holidays of Tishrei behind, Hannukah is not too far away. For event planners at Yeshiva University, it is time to think about the annual Hannukah Dinner and Convocation, one of the University’s most prestigious events of the year which often takes about six months to plan. This year’s Convocation, which will take place at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Sunday, December 14th, will be its ninetieth rendition of this cherished University tradition.

The annual Hannukah Convocation recognizes distinguished members of the YU community who have demonstrated committed leadership and dedication to the University's unique mission. According to a statement from President Joel, “The Hanukkah Dinner serves as a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate those who best reflect the ideals of Yeshiva University. Each year we pay tribute to honorees and prominent public figures, as well as students, faculty and alumni who embody the mission of the University. Honoring major public figures showcases what Yeshiva University is and celebrates our signature role in the larger national and global community.” At this year’s event, President Richard Joel will confer honorary degrees upon Michael Gamson, a member of YU’s Board of Trustees, Judith Weiss, an important supporter of a number of Yeshiva University programs and initiatives, and Anita G. Zucker, the chief executive officer of The InterTech Group, Inc., a global investment company.

For each convocation, YU brings in a special keynote speaker. This year, Yeshiva University is honored to hear from former President George W. Bush. President Bush, who served as 43rd president of the United States between 2001 and 2009, will address nearly one thousand of the country’s leading Jewish philanthropists. According to Matthew Yaniv, Director of Public Relations for YU, “President Bush’s appearance was made possible through the generosity of University supporters who have underwritten all expenses.” President Bush’s appearance at the event, whose security is being coordinated by the Secret Service in addition to YU Security, is sure to attract a lot of attention, and may even bring in further donations. Past keynote speakers at the black tie gala have included Vice President Al Gore, Senator John McCain, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

While spots at the dinner run at $750 a plate, select student government leaders are also invited. For others, there has been talk of having an overflow room available for some students to videoconference President Bush’s keynote address. Details will be sent out via y-stud.