Dr. Norman Lamm, a distinguished rabbi, philosopher, teacher, and author, was elected president of Yeshiva University in August of 1976, succeeding Dr. Samuel Belkin and Dr. Bernard Revel. He was the university's third president and the first native-born American to head the nation's oldest and most comprehensive institution of higher learning under Jewish auspices.
Born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1927, Dr. Lamm received his elementary and high school education at Yeshiva and Mesivta Torah Vodaath. In 1945, he entered Yeshiva College where he continued his Jewish learning and undertook a liberal arts program with a major in chemistry. He graduated summa cum laude in 1949 and was class valedictorian.
Upon graduation, Dr. Lamm pursued advanced scientific studies at Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn while continuing his Judaic studies and rabbinic scholarship at Yeshiva. He was ordained as a rabbi at RIETS in 1951, and earned a Ph.D. in Jewish philosophy from the university's Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies in 1966.
During the 17 years preceding his election as president, Dr. Lamm served on the Yeshiva University faculty, culminating in his appointment as the Erna and Jakob Michael Professor of Jewish Philosophy in 1966.
Dr. Lamm, author of 10 books, has gained wide recognition for his writings and discourses on interpretation of Jewish philosophy and law, especially in relation to problems involving science, technology, and philosophy in the modern world.
Dr. Lamm's writings and teachings on Jewish law have been cited in two landmark decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court: the 1966 "Miranda decision" regarding police interrogation of suspects held in custody and a 1967 case involving guarantees against self-incrimination. Also in 1967, Dr. Lamm testified before a US Senate subcommittee on the right of privacy from the perspective of Jewish law.
Dr. Lamm was installed as chancellor of the university on June 10, 2003.