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Faculty Fast Facts

September 23rd, 2014 by azimmer

NechamaPriceNechama Price ’01S, ’06A, ’19BR, the new director of the Stern College Graduate Program for Advanced Talmud Studies (GPATS), has been a professor of Judaic Studies and Bible at Stern College for Women since 2004. Prior to that, she completed the GPATS program at Stern in 2003, received her Master’s in Jewish Education from the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration in 2005 and her Master’s in Bible from Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies in 2008. She is also a graduate of Nishmat’s Yoetzet Halacha program and is a yoetzet in Englewood, NJ.

1. What did you do before you joined YU as a faculty member?
Since being a student at Stern College, I’ve never really left the campus. After Stern, I studied at Azrieli, Revel and GPATS. Immediately after completing GPATS, Rabbi Ephraim Kanarfogel, the E. Billi Ivry University Professor of Jewish History, Literature and Law and Chair of the Rebecca Ivry Department of Jewish Studies, offered me the opportunity to teach Hilchot Niddah, and learn in the Beit Midrash with Stern women. Four years later, I became a full-time instructor. Each step in this process was an opportunity to learn and grow.

2. What is your favorite aspect of your job at YU?
I love my students, their excitement for Torah, and the enthusiasm they bring to the classroom. I enjoy developing relationships with them in and outside the classroom.

3. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
None! I am very happy in my role at Stern, being a Kallah teacher, Yoetzet Halacha for a number of communities in NJ, and now director of GPATS. However, I’ve learned that you never know what new opportunities will come your way.

4. What is your goal as a Jewish scholar and what is your goal as a teacher?
My goal is to spread the love of Torah to as many people as possible. More specifically, my goal is to inspire women to learn Torah and empower them in their shemirat hamitzvot.

5.What would your current and former YU students be surprised to learn about you?
I never learned Gemara until after high school.

6. How do you plan to advance women’s learning as the new director of GPATS?
I am so excited to be able to give back to the program that transformed my life. My GPATS experience developed my skills in Gemara and Halacha, while enabling me to grow in understanding the halachic process and reinforcing within me an unceasing appreciation for Chazal. My new role will allow me to facilitate similar, and enhanced, opportunities for a new generation of women to engage with Gemara and Halacha after their college years, to develop women who are role models for their peers, and to help form women leaders who can better serve on behalf of Am Yisrael.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Find Out What It Means to Ilana Weiss ’03S, Associate Executive Director of RESPECT

September 23rd, 2014 by azimmer

Ilana_Weiss2As summer turns to fall and the air turns cool and crisp, students return to the classroom and parents everywhere are reminded of a familiar worry: This may be the year that their children encounter a feared and legendary phenomenon, otherwise known as the class bully.

Not if Ilana Weiss ’03S has anything to say about it, though. As the Associate Executive Director of RESPECT, a non-profit dedicated to preventing school bullying, Weiss helps provide many schools and communities in Nebraska with educational theatre assemblies and theatre-based training sessions for students on bullying and healthy peer and friend relationships. A lot of her job is writing—to school administrators, or grant writing—and she credits her skills in that area to her time at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women.

Growing up in Fair Lawn, NJ, in a traditional family, Weiss started to become more observant during high school, and joined the Orthodox Union’s youth movement, NCSY. “By the time I was a senior, I was committed to Torah observance and I wanted to attend Stern so I could develop my Judaic knowledge and skill set,” Weiss explained. “I also wanted to be in an environment that was conducive to a Torah-observant lifestyle.”

At Stern, she did an “art-shaped major” with a focus on graphic design, thinking that she would parlay her high school yearbook layout design experience into a career. But, by her own admission, she was more adept at the technical elements of graphic design than its artistic potential. She focused on developing strengths in other areas, including writing.

“Of all of the courses I took, I think the one that I remember the most and gave me the greatest number of tools was my very first English Composition course with Professor Manfred Weidhorn,” said Weiss. “I will never use a dangling participle because of him. I do a lot of writing in my job and I know that much of my skill in that area was honed in his class.” Weiss also loved her courses with Rabbi Dr. Basil Herring (who would later become one of her bosses). She made time to enjoy the city with her friends and roommates, and participate on Torah Tours and other service trips to assist Jewish communities across the country.

During her junior and senior years at Stern, she worked at the Rabbinical Council of America, while Rabbi Herring was its Executive Vice President. “My experience at the RCA was my first real office experience and allowed me to feel like I was a part of history,” said Weiss. “On a single day, I could be going through the archives of the older generations and then handling the intake of applications for new rabbis. During my first weeks working there, I typed a letter dictated by the President of the RCA to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and faxed it over. It was a small task, but it seemed pretty significant to me.”

Weiss won a spot in YU’s prestigious Presidential Graduate Fellowship program following her graduation. Working in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and getting a feel for nonprofit management proved to be an invaluable experience. Weiss specifically highlighted the usefulness of learning the fundamentals of public speaking and networking, as well as fundraising. “The knowledge and experience that has stemmed from the Fellowship has been a real asset to the positions I’ve had since,” said Weiss.

After finishing her Fellowship, Weiss married Yaakov (Jeffrey) Weiss ’03YC, ’05R, ’07AZ, whom she had met at her roommate and fellow Presidential Fellow’s engagement party. And so began a period of jet setting for the couple.  They spent their first year married living in Israel. While Yaakov completed his semicha at the Gruss Campus in Jerusalem, Weiss interned in the fundraising department of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, where she acquired invaluable grant writing experience. The couple then spent a year in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where Yaakov found a job as a congregational rabbi and Weiss worked as a Jewish educator and program coordinator. Finally, they moved to Omaha, NB, where Weiss worked at the Institute for Holocaust Education, which, at the time, was a division of the Plans States region of the Anti-Defamation League.

In 2010, she began working at RESPECT, and founded its first Student Advisory Committee. “I quickly began taking on more responsibilities, and was eventually promoted to become the Education Director and then the Associate Executive Director, my current position,” said Weiss. In her current role, she performs an array of tasks, including grant writing and reporting; overseeing the Student and Community Advisory Committees; handling the publicity and communications for the organization; and working with schools throughout Nebraska to create specific program packages for each school according to its budget and needs. And, each year, she organizes a major conference for educators, counselors and other youth-serving professionals on bullying prevention, which draws between 75-100 people.

The organization creates programs tailored for schools with very young students and features kid-friendly costumes and catchy songs teaching children about how to make and treat friends, and it also creates programs for schools with students in high school and college, which can include a discussion about what to do if they’re in an abusive dating relationship. The programs are all performed by professional actor-educators under the supervision of RESPECT’s Executive Director, who is a child psychologist. RESPECT produces about 200 programs each year. Weiss’s job is more in the background, working to get the funding to provide the programs and coming up with ideas on developing new programs and publicizing them.

While there’s no typical workday, a recent one looked like this:  Weiss had a 7:30 a.m. meeting with RESPECT’S Community Advisory Committee to get feedback on a new program before it was presented to students, followed by a meeting with staff to discuss how to update additional programs, and then a phone meeting with a school principal to brainstorm ideas for a sustainable anti-bullying campaign at his school. Finally, Weiss worked on various grants and administrative duties.

“RESPECT’s work setup is very different from most other companies and organizations in that we are a very small administrative staff and we all work according to our own schedules,” said Weiss. “I usually work from home or out of coffee shops. This is a huge plus for me as a mom, because I can always make time for my kids, and on days that are less busy, I can pick my kids up a little earlier. When I am very busy, if I need to be somewhere for personal reasons, I can take some time off during the day and get back to work at night.  I don’t think there are many jobs out there with so much flexibility, but that’s also a challenge; Not being in an office at the same time as everyone else means I have to be clear in phone calls, emails and text messages about what needs to be done and who is doing it. I keep a to-do list for every little task so I don’t miss anything.”

In addition to her work with RESPECT, Weiss also runs regular events for children of the three synagogues—one Orthodox, one Conservative, and one Reform—for the Federation: A Synagogue Discovery Tour for 1st and 2nd graders, A Mitzvah Fair for 3rd and 4th graders and an Historical Jewish Omaha Tour for 4th and 5th graders.

Weiss and her husband have three daughters: Naama, 5, Meira, 2 ½, and Adira, 7 months. They enjoy life in Omaha, where Weiss said the people are extraordinarily friendly and nothing is ever more than 20 minutes away—even in rush hour. And Weiss relishes being one of the relatively small number of Orthodox Jews in Omaha, where she knows others look to her and her family as an example of what it means to be an Orthodox Jew.

“It was my experiences through YU on Torah Tours that sparked my interest to live in a smaller Jewish community, where every person makes a difference,” said Weiss. “Here in Omaha, I essentially live Torah Tours all year long.  In fact, the way that I came to work for RESPECT is that I was giving a class for women on Simchas Torah in a style that I came up with during my Torah Tours experiences, and it just so happened that the Executive Director of RESPECT had started attending our shul and came to my class, and she offered me a job soon after!”

That Weiss works for an organization dedicated to helping others, though, is no coincidence, especially given her professional history working for so many worthy causes.

“I can’t imagine working for a cause that I didn’t care for strongly,” she declared. “As a mom now especially, I want to know that the time that I spend away from my children is filled with meaning, and I feel blessed that I can find purpose in what I do every day.”

Faculty Fast Facts

August 26th, 2014 by azimmer

Daniel TsadikDr. Daniel Tsadik is an Assistant Professor of Sephardic and Iranian Studies at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. He received his PhD from Yale University in 2002 and wrote a book in 2007 called Between Foreigners and Shi‘is: Nineteenth-Century Iran and its Jewish Minority (Stanford: Stanford University Press). Dr. Tsadik was recently granted tenure along with seven other faculty members from across YU’s undergraduate and graduate schools, in fields ranging from art history to mathematics and Judaic studies. His teaching and research interests include the history of the Jews in Islamic lands; modern Iran; Shi’i Islam; Iran’s religious minorities; and Iran’s Jewry.

1. What did you do before you joined YU as a faculty member?
I taught at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in its Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Department and its History of the Jewish People Department.

2. What is your favorite aspect of your job at YU?
I love interacting with students, teaching them and learning a lot from them.

3. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I would be probably teaching kids in elementary school or own a small bookstore.

4. What is your goal as a scholar, and what is your goal as a teacher?
In general, I would be happy to further explore and research the history and culture of Iran and its Jews; specifically, I would like to pursue my projects on Iranian Jewry’s rabbinical literature and on Shiite perceptions of Jews and Judaism. My goals as a teacher are to  make the material I teach as clear and as enjoyable as possible, and to make my students understand the significance of the material for their past and occasionally for their present, as well.

5. What would your current and former YU students be surprised to learn about you?
I almost got accidentally shot when I was 20 years old during my army service by my own commander.

 

 

Ross Gordon ’05SB: Accidental Entrepreneur

August 26th, 2014 by azimmer

Ross GordonWhen Ross Gordon ’05SB took over operations for the Morg Mart, the popular student-run convenience stand in the basement of Yeshiva University’s Morgenstern dormitory on the Wilf Campus, he was just looking for a way to make a few extra dollars. Instead, he says, his entrepreneurial spirit began to flourish.

“Our famous Wednesday Night Chinese Food became a campus hit, and students flocked to the crowded basement to get their General Tso’s and hear tunes from Credence Clearwater Revival, which became our customary soundtrack,” said Gordon.

Gordon had originally majored in Marketing at YU’s Sy Syms School of Business, intending to go into advertising, but after a few English Composition courses, he realized his passion for writing. He switched his major to English with a focus in creative writing, planning to be a copywriter at an ad agency, with a minor in Business.

“Once I was in the English program, my writing continued to improve every semester,” said Gordon. “I won ‘Best Short Story’ in the annual writing contest in 2004, which was definitely one of the highlights for me at YU. I also found a lot of other outlets at YU for the things I loved, like playing basketball on the varsity team for a semester and a stint playing in the YU jazz band.”

“After Gordon graduated, he found it difficult to break into the advertising industry; many candidates had worked on their portfolios for their entire time at college, and competition for jobs was stiff. “Because I was getting married and needed a job, I took an unpaid internship at a small web-design firm run by Sholom Strick ’99SB,” said Gordon. “The internship became a full-time position by the end of the summer and was a do-it-all role as a copywriter, project manager, account manager, and garbage taker-outer, and I quickly learned the ins and outs of the web-design process.”

After two years, the firm closed, and Gordon got a job as a digital project manager at Arc Worldwide, the marketing services arm of Leo Burnett Worldwide, Inc., that specializes in digital communications, direct and database marketing, promotions and brand navigation. There, he played a more creative role on a few different projects by offering ideas and coordinating the process, and was eventually approached by the Vice President of Creative, who wished to gauge Gordon’s interest in becoming a copywriter. “Of course, I said yes right away,” said Gordon.

In his role as a copywriter, Gordon worked on national campaigns for Purina, Whirlpool, Kellogg’s, and a few other major brands. “My main account was Purina and I helped re-brand Fancy Feast,” said Gordon, who, despite this coveted role for any copywriter, admits to not being a cat person. “At one point, Purina had a competition among a few different agencies for an interactive campaign. Each agency had to vote on their favorite idea, and my idea won.”

In 2008, Gordon quit ARC to start his own digital advertising agency, at first called Tribe9 Interactive, which focused on affiliate marketing. Gordon further refined his skills in writing and digital branding for a diverse group of companies, including those dedicated to home improvement. Eventually, the company morphed into CraftJack, a lead generation/software company dedicated solely to home improvement contractors. In June 2012, the company was acquired by HomeAdvisor (itself owned by IAC).

Shortly after, Gordon helped found a subscription commerce company called Mystery Tackle Box, which sends a monthly box of fishing supplies to subscribers. “A lot of people don’t realize that the fishing market is a $45 billion industry,” said Gordon. “More people fish than play baseball. Fishing is especially huge in the South, where plenty of people fish exclusively in their free time. I grew up in Minnesota and had become interested in the industry early on, so it made sense to start a company that focused on it.”

Mystery Tackle Box has grown to become the leading subscription company in the fishing space. Encouraged by its success, Gordon next founded a fishing lure manufacturing company called BioSpawn Lure Company, which launched to an auspicious start this past summer.

“I wasn’t one of those kids who set up a lemonade stand at five years old and just knew he was going to be a captain of industry,” said Gordon. “Even with my Morg Mart experience, I didn’t envision going into business. I became an entrepreneur in a very organic, steady way, and woke up one day to realize that I owned three companies.”

For Gordon, the biggest challenge is staying focused on one project at a time. “I have a lot of ideas and see a lot of opportunities and I always want to get involved, but starting a company is a lot of work and sometimes taking on too much at once can be a distraction,” said Gordon. “But there is nothing as rewarding as seeing something you thought of and built being used by tens or hundreds of thousands of people. Getting daily e-mails of gratitude for building a great service is a wonderful feeling and helps encourage me in times of doubt.”

Gordon partially credits his success with his experience at YU, where the writing fundamentals he learned there still play a major role in everything he does. “The YC classes I took made me a better writer, thinker, and doer, and I strongly encourage anyone thinking of majoring in business to consider taking a few extra classes in YC, particularly writing classes,” he said.

For budding entrepreneurs at Syms who are hoping to one day build their own successful companies, Gordon suggests this tried but true simple tip: hard work. “An idea is important but it’s also virtually worthless if you don’t put in the work and attention to detail,” he explained. “It’s the execution of an idea that makes a company ultimately successful.”

Gordon lives in Chicago with his wife, Alyssa ’04S, and their three children: Caley, 6, Coby, 4, and Zack, 3 months.

Alumni Who Hire Summer Interns Pay it Forward

August 26th, 2014 by azimmer

The partnership between alumni and current students provides an essential professional network that benefits everyone. Hundreds of alumni participate in programs of the YUCareer Center, including student mentorship, participation on career panels, and opportunities to hire students as interns at their own companies.

“Yeshiva University alumni are an amazing resource for career information and the most ardent advocates of our students in the job market today,” said Jocelyn Coalter, the Director of Employer and Alumni Relations. “They give so much of their time and energy to help YU students succeed and achieve their goals. Here at the Career Center, we feel very strongly that one of our roles is to facilitate and manage those alumni-student connections.”

Daniel Krul ’10SB, a senior analyst at Sunrise Securities, hired four students to intern in his firm this past summer. Working at Goldman Sachs for five years both during college and after graduating from YU, Krul met many alumni and saw firsthand the strong network of committed alumni willing to offer professional assistance.

“When I first began working at Goldman, I had a mentor named Dorian Levy ’01SB, who worked at Lehman Brothers, and I spoke to him weekly,” said Krul. “I asked him why he helped in this way, and he told me that there was a YU alum who mentored him when he was just starting out and he wanted to pass that benefit along. It inspired me to continue carrying that torch, and I’ve helped recruit and train YU students for interviews at Goldman and other major banks in this industry.”

Krul is just one of over 300 alumni who are part of YU Info Link, a database of alumni available to assist with career development . Alumni conduct mock interviews or discuss graduate school programs and careers with aspiring students.  They also regularly visit campus to conduct one-on-one informational interviews about their industry.  The Career Center manages a “Women in Business” mentoring program and co-coordinates an accounting mentoring program. Recently, the Career Center collaborated with the pre-law advisor to initiate a pre-law mentoring program.

“Yeshiva University’s mentoring program for pre-law students provides incredible engagement potential among alumni and current students,” said Eliana Baer ’06S, an attorney at Fox Rothschild LLP who mentored two pre-law students last year. “Not only that, but the larger alumni community benefits.  A strong alumni network makes for a stronger Yeshiva University, and increases the value of each of our degrees. For Yeshiva University to continue to be a strong university, a strong alumni network is essential.”

The YU alumni network is already quite vibrant, enhanced by the interconnectedness of our alumni through families, communities and the professional world.  As Krul said, “Yeshiva University’s alumni network is unique, and if utilized correctly, doesn’t compare to any other university’s network that I’ve encountered,” continued Krul. “The extent to which a YU alum will help a current student is unparalleled.”

With so many ways to give back, alumni can easily find the right fit for them:

  • The Career Center coordinates more than 100 programs and events each year for students. Last year, more than 90 alumni participated in programs such as Being Orthodox in an Unorthodox World, How to Succeed at Work, Mock Interview Night, Careers in Psychology, and Hot Tech Careers. Alumni and their firms can recruit students by posting internship and job opportunities, presenting company and career information sessions on campus, attending career fairs, and conducting on-campus interviews. The Career Center currently works with several thousand alumni in this capacity. To post a job or internship, click here.
  • Every year, 20-40 sophomores participate in a job shadowing program over their winter break in January. Students visit the work site of an employer in their field of interest for a day, learning more about that career path and industry. The Career Center also coordinates site visits where a group of 10-20 students can tour a company and hear about the different types of opportunities available.

And, when alumni reach out and give back, it inspires ripple effects for future students.

“Over the years, I have had the pleasure of providing various internship and other job opportunities to Yeshiva students, and I am confident that they will do the same for the students who come after them,” said  David Rabinowitz ’80YC,  Director of Equity Research and Head of International Equities and Portfolio Manager at ING Investment Management, who has taken interns in his department last few summers.

The Career Center invites alumni who might have creative ideas regarding programming or ways to contribute their assistance to contact Jocelyn Coalter at coalter@yu.edu or 646-592-4140.

The Center for the Jewish Future Marks Its Ninth Counterpoint Israel

August 4th, 2014 by azimmer

Glasser-199x300This summer marked the ninth year that Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) operated Counterpoint Israel, which is tailored for Israeli teens from low socio-economic development towns in Southern Israel. This program is operated in collaboration with local municipalities and the mental health agencies in the region. Rabbi Yaakov Glasser, the newly-installed David Mitzner Dean of the CJF, wrote the following in light of the situation in Israel this past summer that saw many programs change course:

“In past years, our students were greeted enthusiastically by the government, the communities, the campers, and their families; this summer, they were greeted as well with missiles, and we needed to reorient to ensure they were always within close proximity of communal bomb shelters. Counterpoint and all other summer programs were forced to shut down in Kiryat Gat and Kiryat Malachi. Along with our partners in the South, we have searched for ways to provide the Israeli teens with a sense of continuity – an opportunity to enjoy what Counterpoint has to offer – in a careful and safe way. Dimona has been under attack, and as a result we transported the teens from Dimona to a campsite in Arad, so that they too can have the summer experience they had been waiting for. “

 

Eve Stieglitz ’07SB: Conquering The Professional and Volunteer Realms By Doing, Not Talking

July 30th, 2014 by azimmer

Eve_StieglitzFor Eve Stieglitz ’07SB, talk is cheap. Doing, however, is much more valuable, and as a testament to her strongly-held beliefs, Stieglitz does things—a lot.

The accomplished corporate recruiter currently holds a full-time position at MediaVest, a leading full-service media specialist company, and a part-time job managing professional development seminars at New York Institute of Technology. Despite her busy professional life, Stieglitz—who, like many other young Jews, frequently discusses causes of concern to the Jewish community—turns talk into action. She has helped organize and run a host of events, rallies and committees for various Jewish causes, including her most recent success: a Pro-Israel Solidarity rally to express support for Israel and its ongoing military operation against Hamas and to call for peace in the beleaguered region.

Stieglitz was instilled with a strong sense of Jewish identity and communal involvement growing up in Providence, Rhode Island. “It was a small, very tight-knit Jewish community where everyone , no matter their affiliation, did things together and got along,” said Stieglitz, who began volunteering at the age of ten at the local Jewish Community Center by making fundraising phone calls. “I thought every Jewish community worked like that and was surprised to learn later on that it wasn’t the case.”

After freshman year in a public high school, Stieglitz chose to attend the Maimonides School, a Modern Orthodox school in Brookline. “Continuing my Jewish education was very important to me, and without those years at Maimonides, I might not have had a religious anchor today,” said Stieglitz. “Realizing the critical role Jewish education plays in life was a big part of the reason I also decided to attend Yeshiva University.”

At YU’s Sy Syms School of Business, Stieglitz loved the New York City locale and the smaller environment that Syms offered—the type of setting in which she thrived. In addition to devoting time to her studies and majoring in Marketing, Stieglitz served on the Sy Syms Student Council and managed the marketing and scheduling at YUWR, Yeshiva’s student-run radio station. There, she co-hosted her own show with fellow Syms student Yoni Shenkman ‘07SSB called The Random Tandem. “We were on the air on Wednesday nights in a great time slot, which I freely admit was only due to my influence as scheduling manager,” laughed Stieglitz.

In the classroom, Stieglitz found great support in her peers. “We studied together and cheered each other on, and no one was selfish when it came to succeeding in class,” said Stieglitz. “We supported one another, and it helped that we were all similarly motivated to succeed professionally. Most of us had several internships while we were students, and I think something like 90 percent of us had jobs already secured before we graduated.”

Stieglitz wasn’t sure what kind of career she wanted; real estate, perhaps. But when she attended a Sy Syms alumni and board networking event at Abigael’s during her junior year, she took a proactive approach and scanned the guest list prior to the event to see where—and next to whom—she wanted to sit. “I asked to be placed next to Phil Friedman, a member of the YU Board of Trustees who owned Computer Generated Solutions,” said Stieglitz. “Most of the other professionals there worked in accounting and finance, and I knew I didn’t want to pursue those fields.”

She and Friedman got along famously, and by the end of dinner, he had offered her an internship at his company as a recruiter. “I hadn’t thought of recruiting before that, but I liked doing it, and I was good at it,” said Stieglitz simply.

She secured a position at a powerhouse New York executive recruiting firm in February of her senior year, and went to work two weeks after commencement. After five years, she obtained her current position at MediaVest, where she recruits top talent in the advertising and digital media space. Along her professional journey, she kept in close contact with Deborah Cohn, one of her professors at Syms, who often served as a reference. And it was this line of communication that led Cohn to recruit Stieglitz to help manage professional enrichment seminars at New York Institute of Technology, where Cohn now teaches.

But Stieglitz, imbued with the spirit of social action in the Jewish community at such a young age, needed an outlet for that part of her, too, and so she began seeking opportunities to get involved. “After a family trip to explore our roots in Poland, I was really inspired and wanted to give back in a relevant way,” said Stieglitz. “I did some reading and discovered that there are tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors at or below the poverty level. It was tough to learn that we’re not taking care of our own. I volunteered for an organization called Blue Card, which provides direct financial assistance to needy Holocaust survivors. They liked my work so much that they created a young leadership committee so that I could chair it.” Since then, Stieglitz has run five fundraising events, each raising between $18,000-$20,000, and helped launch a program for people to visit survivors who are hospitalized.

Stieglitz also volunteered for pro-Israel events, but it was only recently, with the events unfolding in Israel, that she was inspired to take even further action. When her good friend Uri Turk ’07SB—who served as paratrooper in the IDF for two years—called to tell her that he was founding Bring Back Our Boys NYC in the wake of the kidnapping of three Israeli teens, she quickly signed up to help, and co-chaired a Bring Back Our Boys fundraiser on June 25 at a Lower East Side lounge that raised over $16,000. “Just because we’re in the U.S. doesn’t mean we can just sit back,” Stieglitz told The Jerusalem Post at the time.

And, when the terrible news came that the teens had been murdered, and with the escalating violence in Israel and negative world opinion, Stieglitz had more work to do. Along with a few friends and within the span of just six days, Stieglitz organized a major pro-Israel rally and solidarity protest attended by thousands of New York-area Jews at which she spoke publicly on stage. The protest was widely covered in the Jewish press, and Stieglitz was interviewed by numerous media outlets, including CBS, ABC, and Shalom TV.

“It’s a little sad that it takes something like this to unify the Jewish people, but it was beautiful to see so many people present in a space with no hatred or politics,” said Stieglitz. “I was speaking to a friend on Facebook before the rally, and he was bemoaning the current state of world affairs and I challenged him to come to the event. He didn’t show up, and that’s very hard for me to respect. There’s talking, and then there’s doing.”

Rousing people into action is a natural fit for Stieglitz, as she sees the corporate recruitment she does as integral training for her volunteer communal work. “My job is getting people from point A to B to C,” said Stieglitz. “And that’s what the Jewish community really needs: its members, its family, to actually show up.”

New Leadership at YU Helps Bring YU into the Future

July 30th, 2014 by azimmer

As Yeshiva University reaffirms its commitment to offer an outstanding education in both Jewish and secular studies, we extend a warm welcome to new leaders who will be spearheading the future and strengthening academic affairs. Below, we highlight their plans for moving the University forward.

For Dr. Selma Botman, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, the road ahead is paved with opportunities. “YU should build upon its storied past while at the same time create a 21st-century university that continues to be indispensable to the Jewish community and the greater world,” said Botman. “As a 21st-century university, YU will continue to innovate and reimagine its academic and intellectual offerings. Two special task forces charged with considering the role of technology in instruction, among other areas, have just concluded their work.”

Indispensable to technology-assisted instruction are the faculty, said Botman, who will be an integral part of this plan by adapting their course materials for online courses and courses that are taught in a blended fashion. “I’m looking forward to working with the entire Office of Academic Affairs and with the various deans, faulty, and faculty council to ensure that the highest quality of instruction is maintained and student success is ensured,” said Botman.

Dr. Scott Goldberg, the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning at YU, will help lead various initiatives at YU’s undergraduate and graduate schools that use 21st-century methods and media. Goldberg is not a newcomer to YU: he joined the YU faculty in 2002, and eventually assumed the inaugural position of director of the Institute for University-School Partnership (YUSP). He taught at Stern College for Women and at the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, where he served as director of the Fanya Gottesfeld Heller Division of Doctoral Studies and where he is currently a tenured associate professor.

Though some may express a sense of anxiety about online education and blended instruction, Botman and Goldberg are confident that it will only enhance the field of education in general and education at YU in particular.

“I think there’s a real misinterpretation of the role of technology in education, and I can’t even imagine how we would be marginalizing the role of the educator,” said Botman. “Online learning gives students who have wildly diverse learning styles the opportunity to learn from faculty and fellow students as well as access to global resources that are much bigger than any one university could provide.”

For Goldberg, any anxiety surrounding this progressive method of learning is nothing new. “The pencil was denounced, too, when it was first invented,” he said. “Online and blended learning is just another communal response to create something that creatively engages the world. In the field of education, innovation is key: technology-assisted instruction is just what’s next. What is learned and how and when it is learned may change, but universities must continue to be centers of teaching and learning.”

Many classes at YU currently integrate media content and online instruction into their curricula, particularly in some of YU’s graduate schools. Azrieli launched an online master’s degree last spring, and, last summer, a Principles of Financial Accounting class at the Sy Syms School of Business was taught entirely online, marking the first such course for a YU undergraduate school.

Another feature of Goldberg’s position is to reach untapped markets by broadening the University’s reach through new degrees, certificate programs and continuing education opportunities on campus, abroad and online, and developing partnerships with businesses.

To play a key role in building a sustainable University, YU welcomed Seth Moskowitz, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, in June. Moskowitz brings a wealth of development experience and leadership to YU’s fundraising team.

“I plan to follow up on the successful development efforts of Dan Forman, who oversaw the raising of nearly $1 billion since 2006, and to continue expanding the role of YU in securing a strong future for the greater Jewish community,” said Moskowitz, who previously served as the senior vice president for the American Society for the Technion and has held positions with American Friends of the Israel Democracy Institute, Nefesh B’Nefesh, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Jewish National Fund, and the United Jewish Appeal. “We have an important role to play in Jewish life both here and in Israel, and we need to continue educating bright, leadership-minded Jewish men and women who contribute and give back to the world. We have a strong fundraising team in place with a fantastic track record, and I am confident that we will excel in transmitting our message to the greater community.”

Regarding internal finances, Jacob “Jake” Harman will serve as Vice President of Business Affairs and Chief Financial officer. He will lead the University’s finance functions and play an integral role in developing and implementing financial and operational plans to meet the strategic goals set by the University. He will serve on the executive cabinet and work closely with Senior Vice President Josh Joseph on strategic initiatives.

“Jake brings to YU a deep skill-set with more than 35 years of experience as a seasoned well-rounded financial executive,” said President Richard M. Joel. “We are confident that Jake will provide new energy, focus, and commitment to YU’s finance operations at this important juncture in the University’s development of a long-term sustainable business model.”

Prior to joining YU, Harman spent his career at KPMG, where he most recently served as a senior audit partner in the firm’s Office of General Counsel.

Israel Under Attack

July 11th, 2014 by azimmer
israel under attack

Our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael find themselves under attack, and we stand united in prayer for their safety. The citizens and soldiers of Israel are constantly in our hearts, as we devote ourselves to Tefilah and Torah learning in their merit. Below you will Tehillim and Shiurim that may be of interest at this time.

Tehillim
Sefer Tehillim Online Text (English and Hebrew)
The recitation of perakim 83, 130 and 142 are recommended, followed by the tefila of Acheinu.

Misheberach for the IDF

Relevant Shiurim
Shiurim on Israel

Torah Perspectives on Amud Anan
(Israel’s previous anti-terror operation)
The Ethics of War

May there be only peace in Eretz Yisroel speedily!

YU Professionals Kick Off the Summer Season with Networking Events

July 2nd, 2014 by azimmer

The siren call of the beach and vacation was put on hold while YU’s professional networking groups organized two outstanding events for alumni and industry professionals in June.

On Thursday, June 19, the YU Wall Street Group presented “Current Trends in Activist Investing” featuring Peter W. May, President and founding partner of Trian Partners, in conversation with Andrew Conway, Managing Director at Credit Suisse.

YUWSG_eventThe event, hosted by Credit Suisse, attracted more than 150 alumni and friends of YU who work in various roles in the finance industry. “In addition to learning from Peter May’s life experiences and investment advice, it also enabled friends to reconnect with former classmates, and for attendees to network and create new relationships that will hopefully assist them in furthering their careers,” said Ovadyeh Aryeh ’02SB, a director at Credit Suisse. “Yeshiva played an integral role in enabling me to be in my current position today, and it continues to play an active role in my career advancement through the ongoing educational and networking opportunities it creates for alumni who work in finance.” View photos here.

On Thursday, June 26, the YU Real Estate Professionals hosted Bruce Ratner, Chairman of Forest City Ratner, in conversation with Michael Stoler, host of The Stoler Report at the New York Times building.

14560694975_47f7a14850_m“The event was an informative and fun forum for us to learn from Bruce Ratner about who he really is and what has made him successful. The close friendship he shares with Michael Stoler was apparent, and their easy interaction allowed us a real glimpse into the person Ratner is behind the title of titan of industry,” said Jennifer Prince ’99SB, who was profiled here by Alumni News in 2012. View photos here.

Prince’s friend Ellee Kim said, “The dialogue between two industry superstars, Michael Stoler and Bruce Ratner, was not just interesting and entertaining but also very inspiring. YU organized an incredible event at the architecturally-significant New York Times building.”

Finally, on Tuesday, July 22, YU Legal Professionals present “Silicon Wadi: A Guide to International Lawyering in Israel,” (CLE credits available) featuring Jeremy Lustman ’96YC, a partner at DLA Piper, and Benjamin Waltuch ’88YUHS, ’92SB, a partner at Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer Baratz. Both Lustman and Waltuch are Americans who practice law in Israel. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. and the program begins at 8:30 a.m.  Register today!