Yeshiva University Milestones

The Yeshiva University interactive timeline captures major milestones from the University’s inception to today. We invite you to take this walk with us down memory lane and learn things you might not have known about YU. If you have any feedback, please e-mail to

1886-09-01 00:00:00

September 1886

Yeshiva Eitz Chaim, the origins of YU, is established at the , 44 East Broadway, Mariampol Synagogue, on New York’s Lower East Side.

1896-03-01 00:00:00

March 1896

Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Spektor, rabbi of Kovno, Lithuania, dies. A year later, the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) is chartered by New York State Board of Regents.

1906-12-01 00:00:00

December 1906

First RIETS ordination ceremony is held at Kalvarier Synagogue, 13-15 Pike Street. Semicha is granted to three rabbis.

1915-12-01 00:00:00

December 1915

Dr. Bernard Revel is inaugurated as YU’s first president.

1915-12-16 00:00:00

September 1916

Yeshiva University High School for Boys/Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy opens its doors at 9-11 Montgomery Street as the first academic high school under Jewish auspices in the United States.

1928-03-01 00:00:00

March 1928

Yeshiva College—the first college of liberal arts and sciences under Jewish auspices—is established.

1929-01-01 00:00:00

January 1929

RIETS and Yeshiva College move to Washington Heights quarters—Main Building, 2540 Amsterdam Avenue (186th Street).

1932-06-01 00:00:00

June 1932

Yeshiva College holds first commencement, graduating 19 students.

1934-10-01 00:00:00

October 1934

Albert Einstein receives an honorary degree.

1935-06-01 00:00:00

June 1935

Benjamin N. Cardozo receives an honorary degree.

1941-04-01 00:00:00

April 1941

YU announces the appointment of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik as rosh yeshiva at RIETS, succeeding his father. Known as ''the Rav,'' he was a leading authority and exponent of Halacha and the mentor of two generations of spiritual leaders.

1941-09-01 00:00:00

September 1941

Graduate School expands and is renamed Bernard Revel Graduate School.

1944-05-01 00:00:00

May 1944

Dr. Samuel Belkin is inaugurated as second president of YU.

1951-03-01 00:00:00

March 1951

Albert Einstein sends a letter to President Belkin in support of the new “Yeshiva University Medical School” and its importance to the Jewish community. The school would later be named after Dr. Einstein.

1952-06-01 00:00:00

June 1952

Eleanor Roosevelt receives an honorary degree.

1954-09-01 00:00:00

September 1954

Stern College for Women—the nation’s first liberal arts college for women under Jewish auspices—opens at 253 Lexington Avenue with 33 students.

1955-09-01 00:00:00

September 1955

Albert Einstein College of Medicine opens—America’s first medical school under Jewish sponsorship. First class comprises 56 students. Albert Einstein expresses gratitude for “using my name” for the University’s new college of medicine.

1957-10-01 00:00:00

October 1957

Yeshiva University presents the Charter Day Award to John F. Kennedy for his distinguished public service.

1959-06-01 00:00:00

June 1959

Jonas E. Salk receives an honorary degree.

1961-11-01 00:00:00

November 1961

Lyndon B. Johnson receives an honorary degree.

1962-09-01 00:00:00

September 1962

School of Social Work is renamed Wurzweiler School of Social Work.

1964-09-01 00:00:00

September 1964

Sephardic Studies and Sephardic Community Activities Programs are established to help preserve and enrich the Jewish heritage and develop leaders for the Sephardic community.

1965-10-01 00:00:00

October 1965

Groundbreaking ceremonies for new 20-story, $20,000,000 Science Center at 2495 Amsterdam Avenue (184th Street) for Belfer Graduate School of Science, now Belfer Hall.

1966-01-01 00:00:00

January 1966

Hospital of Albert Einstein College of Medicine opens; first new university-sponsored hospital in the New York area in 77 years. The 12-story structure has 375-bed capacity.

1966-05-01 00:00:00

May 1966

Groundbreaking for the Rose F. Kennedy Center for Research in Mental Retardation and Human Development at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

1967-11-01 00:00:00

November 1967

Robert Francis Kennedy receives an honorary degree.

1968-06-01 00:00:00

June 1968

Yitzhak Rabin receives an honorary degree.

1969-01-01 00:00:00

January 1969

Agreement is reached for the establishment of the Caroline and Joseph S. Gruss Center in Jerusalem.

1969-04-01 00:00:00

April 1969

The Mendel Gottesman Library is dedicated at the Main Campus.

1973-03-01 00:00:00

March 1973

Golda Meir receives an honorary degree.

1973-04-01 00:00:00

April 1973

Yeshiva University Museum opens to the public. The museum is devoted to Jewish art, architecture and history.

1973-06-01 00:00:00

June 1973

Elie Wiesel (far left) receives an honorary degree.

1976-04-01 00:00:00

April 1976

Symposium and convocation dinner mark the opening of Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, committed to making a unique contribution to legal education and the welfare of the general community.

1976-08-01 00:00:00

August 1976

Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm is elected the third president of Yeshiva University.

1978-05-01 00:00:00

May 1978

Menachem Begin receives an honorary degree.

1978-07-01 00:00:00

July 1978

First commencement of Block Education Plan, Wurzweiler School of Social Work. Forty-three students receive master’s degrees in the plan.

1979-06-01 00:00:00

June 1979

First commencement of Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Degrees awarded to 283 students.

1982-09-01 00:00:00

September 1982

Caroline and Joseph S. Gruss Kollel Elyon (Post-Graduate Kollel Program) opens at RIETS.

1983-06-01 00:00:00

June 1983

RIETS’ Cantorial Training Institute is renamed the Philip and Sarah Belz School of Jewish Music.

1983-12-01 00:00:00

December 1983

YU renames Graduate Jewish Education the David J. Azrieli Graduate Institute of Jewish Education and Administration.

1984-12-01 00:00:00

December 1984

Yitzhak Shamir receives an honorary degree.

1985-11-01 00:00:00

November 1985

The Max Stern Athletic Center is dedicated at the Main Campus—with YU’s Maccabees playing the first home game on their own court, at the Melvin J. Furst Gymnasium, since the basketball team’s founding more than half a century earlier.

1985-12-01 00:00:00

December 1985

George H. W. Bush receives an honorary degree.

1986-06-01 00:00:00

June 1986

Institute of Yemenite Studies is added, offering courses in Yemenite history, culture and tradition.

1986-06-01 00:00:00

June 1986

As part of the Statue of Liberty 100th Birthday Celebration, electronic announcement of YU’s centennial appears atop One Times Square.

1986-09-01 00:00:00

September 1986

Stamp honoring Dr. Bernard Revel, first YU president, is issued by the U.S. Postal Service as part of the “Great American” series. It is the first to cite a Talmudic scholar.

1986-11-01 00:00:00

November 1986

Mayor Edward I. Koch proclaims “Yeshiva University’s Centennial Year in New York City” and is awarded a Centennial Medallion.

1986-12-01 00:00:00

December 1986

President Ronald Reagan is awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws in the Oval Office of the White House in a centennial ceremony—the first incumbent president to be so honored.

1987-09-01 00:00:00

September 1987

Sy Syms School of Business opens.

1989-05-01 00:00:00

May 1989

Joseph Lieberman receives an honorary degree.

Yeshiva University Milestones

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