Two Alumni Receive Torch of Learning Award

Gary P. Naftalis '67 and Mary Jo White '74 Receive Torch of Learning Award

Leading American lawyers Gary P. Naftalis ’67 and Mary Jo White ‘74 received the George A. Katz Torch of Learning Award from the American Friends of The Hebrew University (AFHU) on February 5th at Cipriani in New York.  Former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales Rt. Hon. Lord Harry Woolf will be the keynote speaker.
Naftalis is co-chair of Kramer Naftalis & Frankel LLP and heads the firm’s litigation practice.  He was recently named as one of the 10 Leading Trial Lawyers in the United States by Legal 500, as one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America by the The National Law Journal, and as one of the Top 10 Lawyers in New York by Super Lawyers.  He served on the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society and was awarded the Benemerenti Medal by Pope Benedict XVI.  He has been a lecturer at Columbia Law School and was a member of the faculty of Harvard Law School.
“Gary Naftalis’s support for civic and charitable organizations, and desire to teach and pass on his legal knowledge to others, make him a prime example of what the George A. Katz Torch of Learning Award exemplifies.  He is a natural choice for this award due to his commitment to society and an extremely successful legal career,” said Martin E. Karlinsky, President Emeritus of AFHU’s Greater New York Region.
White is the chair of the Litigation Department at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.  Consistently ranked as a top-tier lawyer throughout her career, in 2008 she was recognized as one of only two White Collar Crime & Government Investigations lawyers to be considered “above top-tier” by Chambers USA.  As U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, she worked successfully on pivotal cases of national and international importance.  For her work, White received many awards, including the George W. Bush Award for Excellence in Counterterrorism, the Agency Seal Medallion from the CIA, and the Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Distinction in Public Service.
“Mary Jo White’s tireless work on behalf of the American people, and her commitment to pursuing justice has reminded us how much of an impact one determined person can have,” said George Schieren, president of AFHU. “We are so pleased to be able to honor her.”
The George A. Katz Torch of Learning Award is presented annually to a distinguished member of the legal community in recognition for their outstanding leadership, scholarship and dedication to society.

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