Dr. Dermer Makes His Jewish Mom Proud

In front of thousands of graduates, their family members and friends, gathered in the Madison Square Garden Theater on Thursday, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer delivered the keynote address – his first commencement since his own graduation – at Yeshiva University’s 86th Commencement.

“Doctor Dermer, Doctor Dermer. Finally, after all these years, my Jewish mother can be proud,” the American-born Israeli Ambassador said with a touch of pride in his voice after receiving YU’s honorary doctorate.

The Donald Trump connection: “When I was 15, I read a best-selling book by a very successful entrepreneur who had gone to the Wharton School of Business. I wanted to be an entrepreneur too so I decided to study there. But my life ended up taking a very different course. From an interest in business and finance, I became interested in public policy and politics, and later decided to move to Israel determined to serve my new country. The funny thing is, I just saw the author of that best-selling book in Israel and he lives not far from me in Washington. His book is called the ‘Art of the Deal’ and people call him President Donald Trump. I guess reading that book proved to be very useful after all.”

The Hillary Clinton connection: ‘While this degree from YU is not a first, this commencement speech is. Last time I attended a commencement was my own graduation from the University of Pennsylvania in 1993. The speaker that day was the new First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton. I don’t remember what she said, but I do remember how I felt.  I had no idea what I’d be doing the next year, let alone for the rest of my life.”


Subscribe now to
the Daily Kickoff

The politics and business news you need to stay up to date, delivered each morning in a must-read newsletter.