Our Judaic Values

Touro University California, in keeping with its founding mission and principles, prides itself on its Judaic foundation and the values that this represents. Those values involve a commitment to social justice, intellectual pursuit, and service to humanity.

Touro College was established in New York City in 1971 by Bernard Lander, PhD, LHD as a Jewish-sponsored independent institution of higher and professional education. The institution has grown to over 20 campuses worldwide involving undergraduate, graduate and professional education as well as specific programs serving the religious educational needs for observant Jewish students as well as the observant Jewish community in the United States and abroad.

The institution derives its name from Judah and Isaac Touro, leaders of colonial America who represented the ideals upon which we base our mission. The Touro brothers were inspired by the democratic ethos enunciated by George Washington, when he visited the Touro Synagogue at Newport, Rhode Island in 1790. The Touro brothers provided major endowments for universities, the first free library in this continent, community infirmaries in the new United States of America as well as pioneering settlements in Israel.

In keep with these founding traditions and values, Touro University California observes the Jewish calendar. This means that observant students, faculty and staff can pursue their studies while observing Jewish religious holidays as well as the Sabbath (Shabbat). The calendars on this website, kept by the University, reflect these observances. The University and campus is closed on the Sabbath and Jewish Holy days. In addition, offices are closed from 3 p.m. on Friday to allow for travel prior to sundown that day (the beginning of the Sabbath). Non-religious activities are not scheduled from sundown on Friday until an hour after sundown on Saturday, to observe the Sabbath, and on religious holidays, with attention to travel requirements as well. In addition, there are various instructional days wherein examinations will not be given in order to accommodate travel as well as religious observance. All of these observances are noted on the formal Touro University California calendars.

Also in keeping with the traditions and values of the University's heritage and sponsorship, all food served on the campus, as well as at University-sponsored events, is Kosher. The campus community and our guests are afforded the highest in food quality as insured by the supervising Kosher authority, Rabbi Aharon Simkin.

The Office of Campus Life/Student Jewish Life provides for the coordination of Shabbat (observance of the Sabbath) in the campus synagogue, as overseen by the Rabbi. In addition, counseling, consultation and religious instruction are available to students and to members of the campus community as well as to the local community. In addition, student organizations are sponsored out of this office.

More on Jewish Life at TUC