Nicki Feerst of Long Beach has been selected to receive the prestigious Sarah Rivkah and Dr. Bernard Lander, zt’l, Scholarship given jointly by Touro College and NCSY. She will be attending Tiferet seminary in Israel next year on the Touro College Israel option.
Touro College, which has long enjoyed a close working relationship with the Orthodox Union, offers scholarships to outstanding NCSY graduates who choose to attend one of Touro’s Lander Colleges in New York City: Lander College for Men in Queens, Lander College for Women–The Anna Ruth and Mark Hasten School in Manhattan, and Lander College of Arts & Sciences–Flatbush.
The scholarships, in memory of Touro’s founding president, Dr. Bernard Lander, zt’l, and his wife, Sarah Rivkah, were announced by Touro president and CEO Dr. Alan Kadish and Orthodox Union president Martin Nachimson.
“Dr. Lander always insisted that Touro offer scholarship opportunities to outstanding NCSY leaders,” Dr. Kadish said. “We have presented over $2 million in such scholarships over the years, and it is only appropriate that these scholarships bear Dr. Lander’s name and the name of his beloved wife, Sarah Rivkah.”
Mr. Nachimson added, “These scholarships represent yet another significant link between the Orthodox Union and the Touro College and University system,” noting that NCSY also offers scholarship assistance that enables these exceptional future leaders to attend school in Israel prior to enrolling in one of the Lander Colleges.
Feerst has served with great distinction as regional president of NCSY’s New York region. As a public-school student with no previous formal Jewish education, she was inspired by NCSY to transfer to the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County (HANC) for her last two years of high school.
Rabbi Yehoshua Kohl of New York NCSY praised Nikki as a “supremely dedicated NCSYer” who is a role model for all of us. “The fortitude and perseverance she demonstrated when Hurricane Sandy destroyed her home and displaced her family is only matched by her dramatic personal spiritual growth from a student with little Jewish background to an accomplished yeshiva student and acclaimed leader of her peers,” he said.
Marian Stoltz-Loike, dean of Lander College for Women, commented on the meaningful bond that exists between OU’s NCSY and Touro College. “Year after year, it is hardly a surprise that a large portion of our students come from the ranks of NCSY. This reflects the unmatched emphasis that NCSY places on empowering and inspiring the next generation of Jewish leadership.”
NCSY international director Rabbi Micah Greenland said that each scholarship recipient’s “commitment to continued personal growth and pursuit of academic excellence is reflected in her welcomed decision to attend Touro’s Lander College for Women.”
Other scholarship recipients are Caitlyn Franks of Baltimore; Jamie Epstein of Memphis; Moriah Barber of Eugene, Ore.; Emma O’Quin of Tacoma, Wash.; Sara Lederer of Bergenfield, NJ; and Natasha Zucker of Minneapolis.
Dr. Bernard Lander served as founder and president of Touro for almost 40 years, until his passing on February 8, 2010, at the age of 94. He built Touro from a fledgling institution with only 35 students in 1971 to an educational powerhouse with more than 19,000 undergraduate and graduate students across the United States and in Israel, Germany, France, and Russia, making Touro the largest not-for-profit independent institution of higher and professional education under Jewish auspices. Touro and its affiliates offer superior yeshiva and other Torah educational opportunities, along with a myriad of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs for the general population.
NCSY is the international youth arm of the Orthodox Union. Since 2011, Touro College and the Orthodox Union have offered full-tuition scholarships to outstanding NCSY graduates who choose to attend one of Touro’s Lander Colleges in New York City. v