Lamm Elected Yeshiva U. President; First American-born in That Post
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Lamm Elected Yeshiva U. President; First American-born in That Post

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Dr. Norman Lamm, philosopher, author and teacher, and a chemist who became a rabbi, has been elected president of Yeshiva University, the third in the institution’s history. Lamm, 48, is the first American-born chief executive officer of the 91-year-old institution.

The announcement was made by Max J, Etra, chairman of Yeshiva University’s Board of Trustees. Lamm was elected following his nomination for the post by a 50-member university-wide Presidential Search Committee. He succeeds the late Dr. Samuel Belkin who died April 18, 1976. Belkin was president from 1943 until he became chancellor in September 1975.

Lamm, born in Brooklyn, earned his bachelor’s degree from Yeshiva College in 1949, graduating summa cum laude as a chemistry major. During Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, as a student at the college, he worked on a secret munitions research project for the struggling state under the direction of Dr. Ernst D. Bergmann, who later became head of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission.

Lamm went on to graduate study of chemistry at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. He was ordained at the University-affiliated Rabbi Israel Elchanan Theological Seminary in 1951. In June 1966 he was, awarded a Ph.d. degree in Jewish philosophy from Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel Graduate School.


In 1966 he was named Erna and Jakob Michael Professor of Jewish Philosophy at Yeshiva University and has been a faculty member since 1953 serving as a philosophy instructor. He has been spiritual leader of The Jewish Center in New York City since 1958 and served as rabbi of Congregation Kodimoh in Springfield, Mass. In 1954-58 and as assistant rabbi of New York City’s Kehilath Jeshurun in 1952-53.

A prolific writer, Lamm’s works include: “A Hedge of Roses: Jewish Insights into Marriage and Married Life” (Feldheim, 1966), published in six editions, three in the U.S., one in England, and in Hebrew and Portuguese; “The Royal Reach: Discourses on the Jewish Tradition and the World Today” (Feldheim, 1970); “Faith and Doubt: Studies in Traditional Jewish Thought” (Ktav, 1971); and “The Good Society: Jewish Ethics in Action” (Viking Press, 1974), part of B’nai B’rith’s Jewish Heritage Classics.

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