September 26, 2016 Edition

A Note from the Rabbi

With Rosh Hashanah and the High holidays quickly approaching marking the Jewish New Year of 5777, the focus is on the last few days of the last Hebrew month of the year, Elul. The month of Elul is traditionally a time of introspection and stocktaking—a time to review one’s deeds and spiritual progress over the past year, and prepare one’s self for the upcoming “Days of Awe” of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

As the month of divine mercy and forgiveness, Elul is a most opportune time for teshuvah (“return” to G‑d), prayer, charity, and increased respect and love for ones fellow, in the quest for self-improvement and coming closer to G‑d. There are various customs and practices that are performed, including Sounding the Shofar (ram’s horn) each day of the month of Elul (except for Shabbat and the last day of Elul), the shofar is sounded as a call to repentance.

During the last week of Elul, in the days leading up to Rosh Hashanah, the extra prayers called “Selichot” are recited. This is a time to reflect over the past year to correct any shortcomings and to commit upon ourselves to a positive and productive year.

With this preparation we herald in the New Year.

The festival of Rosh Hashanah—the name means “Head of the Year”—is observed for two days beginning on 1 Tishrei (eve of Oct 2nd-nighfall Oct 4th ), the first day of the Jewish year. It is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, and their first actions toward the realization of mankind’s role in G‑d’s world.

Rosh Hashanah thus emphasizes the special relationship between G‑d and humanity: our dependence upon G‑d as our creator and sustainer, and G‑d’s dependence upon us as the ones who make His presence known and felt in His world. 

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year—the day on which we are closest to G‑d and to the quintessence of our own souls. It is the Day of Atonement—

For nearly twenty-six hours—from sunset on 9 Tishrei to after nightfall on 10 Tishrei (Oct 11th – 12th )—we “afflict our souls”: we abstain from food and drink, and other pleasurable things.

Yom Kippur begins with the famed Kol Nidrei service. Over the course of Yom Kippur five prayer services are preformed: Maariv, with its solemn Kol Nidrei service, on the eve of Yom Kippur; Shacharit—the morning prayer, Musaf, which includes a detailed account of the Yom Kippur Temple service; Minchah, which includes the reading of the Book of Jonah; and Neilah, the “closing of the gates” service at sunset.

The day is the most solemn of the year, yet an undertone of joy suffuses it: a joy that revels in the spirituality of the day and expresses the confidence that G‑d will accept our repentance, forgive our sins, and seal our verdict for a year of life, health and happiness.

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy sweet new year

Rabbi Elchonon Tenenbaum
Campus Rabbi
Touro University California

OMED 2016

The city of Anaheim buzzed for days as osteopathic doctors, including Touro University California (TUC) alums and faculty, recharged and reconnected at OMED 16, the annual American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Osteopathic Conference (OMED). It was also a place for Touro University California alums to reunite with their alma mater. 

Dozens stopped by the sizeable and well displayed Touro booth during the three-day event, which featured information, giveaways, and posters representing TUC, Touro College and University Systems, and Touro University Nevada. 

But it was the TUC alums that highlighted the event throughout the weekend. 

For Joe O’Saben, a 2003 alum who goes by the name of “Hawkeye,” being at this event is an annual tradition and a place to connect with fellow alums.

“I don’t think I’ve ever missed an OMED event,” he said smiling. “I’m always here representing Touro.” 

Other alums also provided updates on life after TUC, most continuing the mission of Touro University California. 

Gary Kirkilas, a 2010 alum, is now part of a mobile clinic in Phoenix where he and a group of healthcare providers provide services to to the underserved community. Likewise, 2009 alum Satinder Mahal works in Kansas with the underserved and senior communities. 

The event also highlighted one of TUC’s faculty members – Dr. Alesia Wagner, who was selected as the 2016 W. Douglas Ward, PhD Educator of the Year. The award is presented to an individual who emulates the osteopathic profession’s highest standards of excellence in teaching, and one who is passionate about osteopathic medicine, has made a significant impact on the academic advancement of osteopathic students and has made long-standing contributions to the profession in the academic arena. 

No doubt, this was a wonderful celebration for all who represent Touro University California!

Participants were able to choose from hundreds of opportunities for inspiration, education and connection. OMED provided DO's of all specialties and all stages the ability to renew the purpose that drew them into osteopathic medicine. From keynote speakers, to continuing medical education, to an array of medical conferences, DO's connected with colleagues and continued the passion that fulfills DO's.

Bagels with Berkley

“Slowly but surely, we are making extraordinary advances on this campus.”  

CEO and Senior Provost Shelley Berkley sat down with TUC students in the library on Monday, September 12, 2016, for her monthly lunchtime session, where they openly discussed current issues taking place on the campus. Working with the Student Government Association, Senior Provost Berkley created this opportunity for students to discuss their needs and wants. To date, improvements have already been implemented. For example, the library has seen several changes requested by the students, including updated restroom sinks, added tall study desks, and an added door to reduce noise level in the study section. 

At Monday's meeting, Senior Provost Berkley was joined by Campus Rabbi Tenenbaum who discussed and explained the upcoming High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. He also shared the annual tradition of Honey Cakes being distributed throughout the campus, and the meaning behind a "sweet new year." 

Concerns expressed by the students include:

  • The mosquitos on campus and removal of the swimming pool by Farragut Inn.
  • The establishment of a campus-wide office of Diversity & Community Outreach.
  • Extended library and study hall hours during exam time.
  • Cost of Kosher food for student events, options to lower cost of catering services for student groups.
  • Main entrance to TUC road improvements.
  • More signage to direct visitors to the campus. 

Senior Provost also took this opportunity to discuss current on-goings and initiatives on the campus, including: 

  • Visits from various members of the Touro College and University System.
  • A grant request submitted for a TUC Simulation Lab.
  • TUC's 20th Anniversary for the 2017-2018 year, which will include a fundraiser gala for scholarships.
  • A recap of the Inaugural Diversity Scholarship cocktail reception in June, which was a very successful event. This will become an annual event occurring each June.
  • An invitation to the Surgeon General of the United States to meet with students and speak at the Gala.
  • The possibility of student housing on our campus.
  • Continued conversations on renovating the Mare Island Hospital.
  • Improvement of security on campus through key cards and cameras. 

Optimum experience for our students is important to Senior Provost Berkley, who wants them to leave our campus knowing they can do well because of the education they received. She marvels at the quality of our students, faculty, and staff, and adds, “We’ll do the best we can to improve everything that we’re talking about, as quickly as we can, with the resources that we’re given."

Student Affairs Update

In Financial Aid, we welcome Jacque Bradley as an Interim Financial Aid Director. Jacque has had a long career as a Financial Aid Director and brings expertise in the many nuances of the many Financial Aid Federal regulations.  While she is here, Jacque will be reviewing the TUC FA processes and supporting the FA staff in serving TUC students.   

In the Registrar’s Office, we welcome two new Enrollment Counselors who will be assisting students with overall student enrollment verifications, registration activity and academic record services.

Nicole Huckle Enrollment Counselor, actually joined TUC Registrar staff as a temporary employee in May.  In late August she signed on as a permanent staff person.  Nicole comes to TUC with a background in the insurance industry.  We already appreciate her attention to detail and abilities to track complex processes and student requests.  Nicole has known about TUC for a long while as she is related to Lynn Huckle in Admissions. 

Laurie Cheatham, Enrollment Counselor, joins TUC after serving many years at Solano Community College in the Admissions and Records department.  Laurie has a  great deal of experience in supporting student academic record needs and she has worked with the Banner student data records system.  Laurie’s talent and skill is a welcomed support to all of the Registrar functions. 

Laurie and Nicole join Dr. Ron Travenick , Registrar and Marisol Delgado , Associate Registrar.  The Registrar’s office is now fully staffed and are focused on improving services to students, faculty and staff.  In the near future, specific staff will be assigned to support specific academic programs and student cohorts.  We appreciate your patience as TUC shifts away from processing student records manually with paper forms to electronic processing.

Please come by 690 Walnut Avenue, suite 200 to introduce yourself and to welcome these new staff to TUC.

Class of 2006 Reunion

Touro University California proudly welcomed back it's College of Osteopathic Medicine Class of 2006 for their 10 year reunion on Sunday, September 11, 2016 to return, reconnect and rediscover.  This event brought over 40 alumni, family members, faculty and staff to the campus for breakfast, a campus tour, and lunch.  The reunion was spearheaded by Dr. Tami Hendriksz, a 2006 alum.  During the tour Dr. Hendriksz took several of the alums to see the concrete planter that was their class gift 10 years ago.

Reunion

Class Gift 06