Lowell Milken to Receive Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Graduation Ceremonies - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Lowell Milken to Receive Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Graduation Ceremonies

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., President of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), announced that he will present the Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, to Lowell Milken, Chairman and Co-Founder of the Milken Family Foundation. The degree will be granted at HUC-JIR’s Los Angeles Graduation Ceremony on Monday, May 18, 2009 at HUC-JIR/LA, 3077 University Avenue in Los Angeles.


Rabbi Ellenson said, “Lowell Milken is a loyal son of our people who has created the Milken Archive of American Jewish Music to explore the vast panorama of sacred and secular works reflecting 350 years of Jewish life in America.  His combination of business acumen and personal commitment has made him a singular voice in the nation’s largest teacher recognition program.”

The Milken Educator Awards (www.mff.org) recognize the importance of outstanding educators and encourage talented young people to enter teaching.  Created by Milken in 1985, the program has evolved as America’s preeminent teacher recognition program with a national network of over 2,300 recipients.

Realizing that sufficient numbers of quality teachers would never result from current education practices, Milken created the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP)in 1999 as a comprehensive reform to create powerful and sustained opportunities for career advancement, professional growth, teacher accountability and competitive compensation.  TAP’s proven system has raised student achievement in high needs schools from Chicago to New Orleans.  Today TAP is operated by the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET)(www.talentedteachers.org), which Milken established as an independent public charity to link diverse stakeholders in the goal of a quality teacher for every American classroom.


The Milken Archive of American Jewish Music (www.milkenarchive.org) is a cultural and historic project of unprecedented scope, created by Milken in 1990 to preserve the diverse body of sacred and secular music inspired by 350 years of Jewish life in America.  Key elements include 50 CDs released through Naxos American Classics, a full curriculum, oral histories, and a virtual 20-volume World of Jewish Music in America, intended to educate and inspire people of all faiths and cultures.


In his home community of Los Angeles, Milken established the Jewish Educator Awards, and continues to be a force in support of Milken Community High School, a state-of-the-art Jewish day school designed to educate students to the highest standards across all disciplines, and HighTech-Los Angeles, a public charter school targeting low and middle income students with a rigorous education and real-world internships. 

Named by Worth magazine as one of America's most generous philanthropists, Milken is also an involved businessman who chairs Knowledge Universe, Inc., a leading company in early childhood education and educational programs and services, and London-based Heron International, a worldwide leader in property development.

Milken is a product of California's public school system, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California at Berkeley, where he received the School of Business Administration's Most Outstanding Student Award. He earned his law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, with the distinctions of Order of the Coif and UCLA Law Review.


For more information on the HUC-JIR Graduation, Investiture, and Ordination ceremonies in New York, Los Angeles, and Cincinnati, please visit http://www.huc.edu/newspubs/pressroom/article.php?pressroomid=271.


For more information, contact Jean Rosensaft, 212-824-2209 or jrosensaft@huc.edu.


View the national invitation for event details:  http://www.huc.edu/external/email/09/03/graduation/

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates leaders to serve North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu