On Tuesday, November 19th, the Debate Team, led by Mrs Levitt, organized an interactive discussion on the topic of medical ethics. Euthanasia, or physician-assisted suicide, has been a major point of controversy in the field of medical ethics for many years now. The upcoming novice debate that is hosted by the Heschel School, will examine that topic. It was of great help for the novice and even experienced debaters to hear a very interesting discussion on the Jewish view of euthanasia.
The evening began with a speaker from Yeshiva University’s Medical Ethics Society (MES), Kalman Laufer. An MTA graduate in 2010, he is now he president of the MES. He started by saying that nowhere in the Torah is there an opinion that euthanasia is allowed, but added that there is a halachic distinction between passive euthanasia or active euthanasia. The rest of the presentation was about why that distinction is correct. As mentioned, the discussion was interactive, and Tsahi Halyo (’16) and Meir Barg (’16) contributed to it greatly in the form of a small debate with the speaker. At the end of the presentation, there was a surprised reaction from the audience when they heard that in some cases, the doctor can withhold the medicine, but he still has to give the basic necessities like food and water.
The last part of the meeting was devoted to two upcoming debate events. As mentioned earlier, MTA will be having a novice debate in the Heschel School. The second event is the highly anticipated Great Debate. The Great Debate is a gathering of many debate teams at MTA, and is considered to be the Super Bowl of debating. The resolution is going to be whether or not the US Government should stop collecting the digital records of its citizens without warrants. Tryouts were held, many good arguments were brought up, and the cross-examinations were as intense as ever. The evening ended with everyone having a clearer understanding of the Jewish view on euthanasia in particular, and the value of life in general.
On Monday, Associate Dean and Entrepreneur-in-Residence of the Sy Syms School of Business Michael Strauss, kicked off the MTA LEAD program. As part of his role with the business school, Dean Strauss is able to assist students who have a business proposal or idea, and he gives them the opportunity to work one-on-one with a successful entrepreneur to help refine their career aspirations, to develop or to launch successful entrepreneurial businesses, and to provide immediate access to practical, real world experience and perspectives.
MTA LEAD is a program designed to provide YUHSB students with lasting business and communal leadership skills through high school and university leadership training. Participants will be mentored by industry leaders, like Michael Strauss, and will be able to participate in the Doris and Dr. Ira Kukin Entrepreneurial and Executive Lecture Series of the Sy Syms School of Business. The program will accomplish its objective, in part, by empowering YUHSB students with the ability to build on their entrepreneurial ideas to create meaningful and sustainable business projects. Students will learn to work as a team and will gain invaluable lifelong skills.
Over the course of the program, students with business ideas will work to develop a presentation, while receiving mentoring from a Syms student and advice from a business leader. Syms professors will also lead some workshops on business communications and marketing. Ultimately, students will present to an Executive Council; the winning presentation receives an Amazon gift card and present at the college business plan competition. Additionally, the Executive Council will work to try to find a business leader who can serve as a long-term mentor. Last year’s winner, Tsahi Halyo (’16), created a proposal for a USB watch.
Dean Strauss ended his presentation by giving the audience his contact information, so that if they have ideas or proposals, they could and should contact him.
The topic of discussion was:”Synagogue and State In America: The Landmark First Amendment Cases of Our Age.” The discussion was about whether or not the United States may sponsor a synagogue according to the First Amendment. Being that Justice Scalia and Nathan Lewin are close friends, both spiced up the evening with clever humor. The discussion was fresh and relevant to our times.
One of the things that makes MTA so special is the fact that we can take advantage of the resources that YU offers, including many unique and special events; this conversation was definitely one of them.
Read more about the event on the YU Blog
Speed. Reflexes. Hand-eye coordination. Sweat. Tears. Intelligence. Can you guess which sport I am thinking about when referring to these things?
That’s right: college bowl. Three times a year, we, the MTA college bowl team venture out of our own fortress, aka the MTA building, and into the academic battlefield known as Yeshiva League College Bowl. Thursday, November 7 marked the first of our intellectual gladiator bouts this season.
In college bowl, four players on from each team are each given a buzzer. An intellectual question is read by a highly trained professional teacher. The object is to buzz in as quickly as possible to give the answer. Buzz in too early and get the question wrong, your team loses a point. Buzz in too late and the other team might just beat you too it.
The long day began at 9:50 am as we took the subway to Heschel. There, the varsity team played three schools. First came our mortal enemies, Ramaz. Although the contest was hard fought and close the whole way through, we came up just shy of a victory. The next match pitted us against the mighty Westchester team. Buzzer after bloodcurdling buzzer could be heard throughout the match as the battle raged on. Westchester came within a point with less than a minute left, but in the end could not defeat the Lions. With our newly found confidence, we easily defeated the Flatbush team by doubling their score. In the end, we came out 2-1, a respectable and competitive record, worthy of both the praise and glory of a well-earned Starbucks visit after the horrors of the combat had ceased.
This past Monday, the Names, Not Numbers oral history class had the privilege of going to the Jewish Heritage Museum. Leaving school at 9:15, we began our journey at the museum by traveling back though time to the era of World War II. This beautiful museum, overlooking the Statue of Liberty, is a testament to the vitality of the Jewish people.
The large group of students was split into six smaller ones, each one having their own wonderful guide. The smaller groups enabled us to enrich the experience, as we were all able to get more involved in the tour.
After a hearty lunch of wrap sandwiches, several recovered “ethical wills” from Holocaust victims were handed out. An ethical will is what these people wrote when they saw their own demise looming on the horizon. These ethical wills were varied –from last words to loved ones, to a call for vengeance on behalf of the Jewish people. Over the next hour, with the insights of our rebbeim Rabbi Cohen and Rabbi Kerner, we had a deep and meaningful discussion about ethical wills. Thank you Mrs. Rosenberg and Dr. Cahn for this exceptional experience.
Later in the week, theNames, Not Numbersstudents listened to a tutorial on interview techniques given by Jeanette Friedman, the editor of the Jewish Link of Bergen County. She is also a freelance editor and writer, and president of The Wordsmithy, a small publishing company specializing in Holocaust survivor memoirs. She has worked on more than 60 Holocaust survivor memoirs and published a number of them. She was also the editor of Lifestyles, which profiled Jewish people of distinction, including Steven Speilberg, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, and even Robin Williams, who is not Jewish but made a Holocaust movie called Jacob the Liar.
All the students gained a great deal from both of these experiences.
This past Wednesday, Rabbi Kessel’s tenth grade shiurtook a trip to the Bronx Zoo. The shiur boarded the buses after breakfast for what would be a great bonding experience for the class.The boys had many opportunities to witness the incredible creatures at the zoo, ranging from sea creatures to reptiles to land mammals to those that can fly, and to admire the amazing beauty, wisdom, and complexity of Hashem’s world.
However, the students did have to end the fun at some point and return back to school for their afternoon classes.Walking through the zoo together had a truly positive impact on the class, and the boys hope to participate in many more shiur trips throughout the year.