For much of his adult life, Paul Miller has maintained close ties with both the Jewish community and his alma mater, Rutgers University. He received a bachelor’s degree in 1960 at its Newark campus, then a law degree from the university two years later. He and his wife, Carol, established the Paul S. Miller Distinguished Lecture at the School of Law-Newark.
Currently, he is working to combine those interests with a trip to Israel next month, in the hopes of forging strong academic relationships between Rutgers and Israeli universities.
“The whole world is interrelated, and Rutgers should be part of the global scene,” said Miller, who retired in 2001 as executive vice president and general counsel of Pfizer Inc. “Rutgers has a lot to offer, with tremendous knowledge in agriculture, civil law, civil rights, and anti-terrorism.
“It seems the time is right to move forward in the global arena.
Between March 4 and 7, Miller and his traveling companions, Rutgers Law School dean John Farmer and former dean Stuart Deutsch, will visit the campuses at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya; the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies; the Minerva Center for Human Rights at The Hebrew University; and Ben-Gurion, Haifa, and Tel Aviv universities.
(Both Rutgers School of Law-Newark and its School of Social Work have taken part in exchanges with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, in efforts partly facilitated by various state Jewish federations.)
“The objective is to set up joint programs, joint studies, joint papers, and, hopefully, exchanges of students and professors as a way of producing the best of both institutions,” Miller told NJJN.
“There is a lot they can teach us and a lot we can teach them, and hopefully we could come up with papers that would be a major force for the world to understand,” he said. “We will be extremely focused and extremely busy.”
In addition, the three men hope to meet with Israeli President Shimon Peres, who was Israel’s prime minister when Miller served on the board of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Peres, said Miller, “used to speak about global initiatives with students working together and professors working together.”
Miller’s affinity for Israel and Jewish causes is a strong one. In addition to chairing AIPAC’s executive committee and its northeast region, he is a board member of the Jewish Theological Seminary and a former president of the American Jewish Congress.
He received the 1999 Shaare Zedek Medical Center “Jerusalem Humanitarian Award” and the 2001 JTS “Louis Marshall Award.”
He resides in West Orange and is a member of Temple Beth Shalom in Livingston.