Professor Jonathan Halevy will receive an honorary doctoral degree and serve as commencement speaker for Touro’s Lander Colleges on May 26 at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. Co-director General of Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Halevy established the hospital as a center of excellence and has played a central role in the Israeli healthcare system overall.
“Professor Halevy is a role model for our graduates,” said Dr. Alan Kadish, president of Touro College. “He is highly accomplished in his field and places Torah observance as his highest priority. He represents the ideal of what Orthodox Jewish professionals should strive to be.”
According to Professor Halevy, in his role, there is no need to balance commitment to Judaism and one’s profession. “They go together. When Shaare Zedek was established, its founders determined that the hospital would forever run according to ancient Jewish law …. From conception, stem-cell research, to end-of-life issues, we work with our onsite medical halachic research institute to address and resolve current ethical dilemmas in strict accordance with halachah.”
Under Halevy’s direction, Shaarei Zedek became a tertiary care center, enabling the hospital to add numerous new departments and provide the Jerusalem public with every available modern medical treatment. Halevy is particularly proud that this modernization didn’t cause the hospital to lose its basic character. “Shaare Zedek is known for humane and highly personalized care. Even as we received accreditation similar to American hospitals, we continue to be recognized for our individualized care and compassion.”
Halevy urges today’s graduates to “be a mensch first and foremost. After that, you can work on becoming a top professional … In order to be successful in any field, keep reading and learning and always maintain your curiosity. Learn from others and once you become a leader in your discipline, become a mentor yourself and try to give back.”
Halevy exemplifies his own guidance, says Dr. Kadish. “He earned a top education both in Israel and the U.S., continued to deliver clinical care to patients even as he rose through the ranks as an administrator, continually serves the community and public, and is a lifelong learner.”
A graduate of the first class of the Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, Halevy completed his medical studies in 1973 and graduated summa cum laude. He served in the IDF medical corps for four years.
In the early 1980s, he was a research and clinical fellow at Yale University where he was dedicated to research of diseases of the liver and intestinal tract. Halevy is Israeli board-certified in internal medicine, gastroenterology, and health administration and is also a clinical associate professor at the faculty of medicine of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
In 1988, he was appointed as the director general of Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, today Jerusalem’s fastest-growing major hospital. In 2019, following resignation from the position of director general, he was appointed as co-director general and remains responsible for many strategy and development roles.
Professor Halevy has also held a wide range of public positions, including chairman of the Public Committee of the National Basket of Health Services which is charged with selecting technologies to be funded by the government health systems. He was chairman of the Israeli National Transplant Center, and is active in promotion of medical education. He served as the chairman of the Committee of the Council of Higher Education that established the Bar-Ilan University School of Medicine in the Galil.
For more information on Touro’s Lander Colleges, visit Touro.edu.