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Jewish Theological Seminary Awards Honorary Degree to Ruskay rss

Posted on: May 19th, 2011

The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) awarded an honorary degree on May 19th to John S. Ruskay, executive vice president and CEO of UJA-Federation of New York.

The seminary, one of the pre-eminent centers of Jewish learning in the world, gave the honorary doctorate of humane letters to Ruskay during its 2011 commencement exercises. “Tirelessly devoted to compassion and justice, you are a model for us all,” it said in the degree citation read to Ruskay. “It has been your steadfast vocation to nurture inspired Jewish communities so that larger numbers can experience the ability of Jewish life to sanctify human existence and invest it with meaning.”

John S. Ruskay, UJA-Federation executive vice president and CEO, receives honorary degree

John S. Ruskay, UJA-Federation executive vice president and CEO, listens as Jewish Theological Seminary Chancellor Arnold Eisen reads the citation for his honorary degree. UJA-Federation board chair Alisa R. Doctoroff, also a JTS trustee, is at left, and in the rear is Rabbi Michael Greenbaum, vice chancellor of JTS.

Ruskay has held the top leadership post at UJA-Federation since 1999. Before joining UJA-Federation, he was educational director of the 92nd Street Y and vice chancellor at JTS. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and received a doctorate in political science from Columbia University.

The honorary degree citation from JTS concluded: “Countless Jewish lives have grown deeper in purpose as a result of your many years of passionate service. Yours has been a most eloquent voice in teaching us how the American Jewish community can thrive in an open society through unwavering commitment to core Jewish values.”