Dr. Josefa Steinhauer, assistant professor of biology, was recently awarded National Institute of Heath’s Academic Research Enhancement Award R-15 (AREA) to continue her research on male fertility in fruit flies. Steinhauer’s lab studies the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster which has served as a model genetic organism for over 100 years. Scientists use the fly to gain insight into fundamental genetic, cell biological and molecular mechanisms at play during the development of an organism. AREA supports small-scale research projects at educational institutions that provide baccalaureate or advanced degrees for a significant number of the nation’s research scientists.
Dr. Emil Prodan, associate professor of physics at Stern College for Women, recently published an article that was selected as one of the 2014 highlights of the scientific journal Europhysics Letters. The article, “Characterization of the quantized Hall insulator phase in the quantum critical regime,” was coauthored by Juntao Song of Hebei Normal University and will be prominently featured on the journal’s site. Additionally, Prodan recently co-published an article in the Physical Review of Letters titled, “Topological Criticality in the Chiral-Symmetric AIII Class at Strong Disorder.”
Yeshiva University President Richard M. Joel delivered the keynote presentation at the Leadership Summit of the Jewish Federation of Monmouth County on September 7, on the topic of imperatives and challenges of change. Titled “Change for God’s Sake,” President Joel’s address outlined how a leader can build a successful community, involve others in positive change, and articulate what truly matters. The leadership summit, which brings together a broad-cross section of community leadership, encourages partners to explore greater partnerships and think out of the box.
“We chose President Joel [as the keynote speaker] because he is one of the Jewish world’s renowned leaders and speakers—and someone who has thought about, implemented and dealt with fall-out relating to organizational and strategic change,” said Keith Krivitzky, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Monmouth County.
Rabbi Benjamin Blech, professor of Talmud at Yeshiva University, spoke at the AIPAC’s third National Rabbinic Symposium on September 3 in Washington D.C. The symposium afforded American pulpit rabbis the opportunity to meet and hear insightful leaders and speakers on the topic of United States and Israel relations.
The one day seminar featured sessions and plenary presentations delivered by top thinkers and influential policy makers. Rabbi Blech’s lecture, titled “Tears of Hope: Chomer L’Drush, What our Congregants Need to Hear on the High Holidays This Year,” focused on the ideas of hope, global community, and partnering with God to improve an imperfect world. Rabbi Blech also emphasized the need for rabbis to join together and make their voices heard collectively and communally in the power centers of American life in Washington, so that support for Israel can remain a firm and unquestionable foundation of American policy.
Other presenters include Dr. Einat Wilf, former member of Knesset, Mr. Mosab Hassan Yousef, author of Son of Hamas, The Honorable Antony Blinken, assistant to the President of the United States and deputy national security adviser, and Ambassador Dennis Ross.
Professor Joy Ladin, David and Ruth Gottesman Professor of English and director of the Beren Writing Center, will publish her seventh book of poetry, Impersonation (Sheep Meadow Press), in spring 2015. Ladin’s poems were recently featured in Sweet, Cutbank, Right Hand Pointing, and The Forward. Additionally, Ladin’s essay, “Both Wilderness and Promised Land” is forthcoming in the next issue of Tikkun as well as poems in The Southern Review, OCHO, The Lavender Review, and Up the River. She has been invited to present lectures this fall at the University of San Francisco on “The Genesis of Gender” and at Brown University about her memoir, Through the Door of Life.
Dr. Emil Prodan, associate professor of physics at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, recently published an article in the September 2014 edition of Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical, a journal reporting on the mathematical structures that describe the fundamental processes of physics. His article, “Mathematical and physical aspects of complex symmetric operators,” discussed the structure of complex symmetric operators, C-selfadjoint extensions of C-symmetric unbounded operators, resolvent estimates, reality of spectrum, bases of C-orthonormal vectors and conjugate-linear symmetric operators. Prodan co-authored the article along with Dr. Stephen Garcia of Pomona College and Dr. Mihai Putinar of University of California at Santa Barbara and Nanyang Technological University.
Rabbi Kenneth Brander, Vice President for University and Community Life, recently participated in the Chief Rabbi Cyril Harris Annual Rabbinical Conference via skype together with 60 rabbis from the South African Jewish community. Rabbi Brander’s lecture focused on a vision for a synagogue and developing creative initiatives that synagogues can be engaged in. Some examples suggested to create a dynamic synagogue atmosphere include creative adult and youth programming both inside and outside the classroom, effective use of volunteers, and the need for synagogues to participate in Tikkun Olam. “There must be recognition that successful synagogues need a mission statement which allows for multiple portals of spiritual entry and diverse opportunities for people to connect to God and each other,” said Rabbi Brander.
Dr. Arthur Hyman, distinguished service professor of philosophy and former dean of Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, will be recognized with the Alumni Award of Merit at the St. John’s College where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1944. The award, which will be conferred at the homecoming ceremony in September, recognizes “distinguished and meritorious service to the United States and outstanding achievement within his/her chosen field.” Hyman is an expert in the field of medieval Jewish philosophy and a member of many professional societies.
Peninnah Schram, professor of speech and drama at YU’s Stern College for Women, recently published a story in New Mitzvah Stories for the Whole Family (Reclaiming Judaism Press, 2014), an anthology of 43 stories in honor of poet Danny Siegel. Her story is titled, “Bringing Joy to Others.” The first anthology in the Mitzvah Stories series, Mitzvah Stories: Seeds for Inspiration and Learning (2011), was published in honor of Schram with a foreword by YU President Richard M. Joel.
Schram also recently participated in the fifth New CAJE Jewish Education Conference held at the University of California-Los Angeles’ Hillel and Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, California from August 8-15, 2014. Her workshop topics included “Sacred Stories for Debriefing Techniques,” “Your Jewish Name: Stories and Methods for Strengthening Connection to Jewish Names and Personal Identity,” and “Master Class: Jump in and Become a Mitzvah-Centered Storyteller,” in addition to an evening storytelling performance. Schram served on the faculty of the newly organized Jewish Spiritual Education Maggid-Training program, which was initiated at this conference.
Professor Ephraim Kanarfogel, E. Billi Ivry University Professor of Jewish History, Literature and Law at Yeshiva University, has been named to the Executive Committee of the American Academy for Jewish Research, where he joins colleagues from Columbia University, Princeton University, the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Toronto. The American Academy for Jewish Research represents the oldest organization of Judaic scholars in North America. Fellows are nominated and elected by their peers and thus constitute the most distinguished and most senior scholars teaching Judaic studies at American universities.
Kanarfogel currently chairs the committee that awards the Academy’s prestigious Salo Baron Book Prize for the best first book in Jewish studies. In addition to Kanarfogel, members of the Academy from the core faculty of YU’s Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies include Dean David Berger, the Ruth and I. Lewis Gordon Professor of Jewish History; Professor Yaakov Elman, Herbert S. and Naomi Denenberg Chair in Talmudic Studies; Professor Jeffrey Gurock, Libby M. Klaperman Professor of Jewish History; Professor Arthur Hyman, Distinguished Service Professor of Philosophy; and Professor Richard Steiner, professor of Semitic languages and literature.