Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Our Immigrant of the Day was honored in April 2016 as Outstanding American by Choice by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. He is Uri D. Herscher, President and CEO, Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, California.
Uri D. Herscher is the Founding President and CEO of the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, CA, a dynamic cultural institution devoted to the appreciation of Jewish heritage, American democratic ideals, and the formative impact of immigration on American society. Since its founding in 1996, the Skirball has welcomed millions of visitors from across the nation and around the world.
Born in Tel Aviv in 1941 to parents who fled Nazi Germany, Dr. Herscher immigrated with his family to San Jose, CA, in 1954. In 1960, while still in high school, he chose to become a U.S. citizen. In 1964 he graduated with honors with a B.A. in history and sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. (GO BEARS!) He received rabbinic ordination at Hebrew Union College in 1970 and a doctorate in American Jewish history in 1973. He went on to become its National Dean of Admissions (1970-1974) and Executive Vice President and Dean of Faculty of its four campuses in Cincinnati, OH; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; and Jerusalem (1975-1995), while simultaneously holding an appointment as Professor of American Jewish History, specializing in immigration studies.
Throughout his years of institutional and communal leadership, Dr. Herscher has sought to build public support and appreciation for the constructive role of immigration in American life. The Skirball Cultural Center's exhibitions and programs frequently focus on the significant contributions of immigrants from many lands and cultures to the character and fabric of our nation.