News

Rabbi Sussman to present a talk on DelVal’s founder

Apr 18, 2016

The Liberal Arts Multicultural Forum is pleased to announce a presentation to be given by Rabbi Lance J. Sussman, Ph.D. entitled "A Man For All Seasons: The Life and Vision of Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf, Founder of Delaware Valley University." Please join the DelVal community for the event on Thursday, April 28 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in room 114 of  the Mandell Science Building. The presentation is open to the public at no cost. Guests do not need to register in advance.

Rabbi Sussman, an honorary DelVal trustee, is the senior rabbi of Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. He has written numerous books and articles in the field of American Jewish history and has taught at Princeton University, Binghamton University (SUNY) and Hunter College (CUNY). Rabbi Sussman is currently working on a book on Jews, Judaism and law in America.

DelVal’s founder, Dr. Joseph Krauskopf, was an activist rabbi who was a tireless advocate for social justice. He purchased a 100-acre farm in Doylestown, Pennsylvania and arranged for the construction of a small classroom building, employed a faculty of two and enrolled six students. With this modest start, the National Farm School (now Delaware Valley University) came into being. Two years earlier, Krauskopf had traveled to Russia in hopes of a personal appeal to the Czar to allow Jews the right to own land and the opportunity to pursue agriculture, the calling of their ancestors. The Czar would not see him; instead Krauskopf spent time with Leo Tolstoy who advised him to return to America and “lead the tens of thousands from your congested cities to your idle, fertile lands…”

Although the school was founded primarily with the needs of young Jewish men in mind, Dr. Krauskopf insisted the school be open to people of all faiths and backgrounds. Academics were combined with work experience. Krauskopf’s motto was “science with practice.”

This marriage of the theoretical and the practical survives today at DelVal through the Experience360 Program, which requires 100 percent of undergraduates to gain real-world experience to graduate.

Today, DelVal offers a wide variety of academic programs in business and the humanities, life and physical sciences and agriculture and environmental sciences. While its academic programs have expanded, its core values and programs were created with the beliefs of the founder in mind.