Former President George W. Bush was the special guest and keynote speaker at Yeshiva University’s 90th Annual Hanukkah Convocation and Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City on Sunday, December 14. More than 750 people came to show their support for the University and to witness YU President Richard M. Joel confer an honorary doctorate upon the 43rd U.S. president.
“What an honor it is to have you as part of the Yeshiva University family,” said President Joel in his introduction of President Bush. “We celebrate you for the steadfastness of your integrity, for your commitment to democracy, and your clarity of vision that only in a democratic society can people achieve and grow and thrive. Put simply, you taught Americans that democracy is a condition for civilization.”
He added, “We applaud you for the loyalty of your friendship and commitment to the State of Israel and the Jewish people.”
In his keynote address, President Bush said, “Yeshiva University is a prestigious university and I am proud to accept this degree.”
He added: “Students leave Yeshiva with, not only a fantastic education, but as better citizens of the world.”
While In NYC< the former president made a surprise visit to the Sept. 11 museum in New York City.
A museum spokesman says the man who was president at the time of the terrorist attacks arrived unannounced around 6 p.m. Sunday. He was greeted by museum President Joe Daniels and Director Alice Greenwald.
Spokesman Michael Frazier says Bush toured the museum and exhibit and “took the time to shake a lot of hands” from people who thanked him for his service.
The museum announced in September that it had gotten its millionth visitor in less than four months after opening to the public. Visitors have come from all 50 states and more than 130 countries.