YU High School for Girls Renames Program Dedicated in Memory of Joy Rochwarger Balsam z”l

Samuel H. Wang Yeshiva University High School for Girls (Central) recently dedicated their Israel guidance program in memory of Joy Rochwarger Balsam, a beloved teacher who touched the lives of hundreds of students in Israel and the United States. The program will now be known as the Joy Rochwarger Balsam Israel Guidance Program, thanks to funds donated by Joy’s family.

Joy Rochwarger Balsam z"l

Joy Rochwarger Balsam z”l

“Joy’s relationship with Central, her devotion to the State of Israel and contributions to Jewish education were remarkable,” said CB Neugroschl, head of school at Central. “Her cheerful disposition, tremendous faith, love of Israel and infectious devotion to learning lishma [for its own sake] inspired countless students, making it particularly appropriate that the Israel Guidance Program be dedicated in her memory. I know our students’ learning will continue to honor her memory.”

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Rabbis David Horowitz and Dovid Miller to Deliver Annual NYC – Jerusalem Kinus Teshuva Lectures on September 30

Rabbi Dr. David Horwitz and Rabbi Dovid Miller, Roshei Yeshiva at Yeshiva University-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), will be the featured speakers at the 30th Annual Hausman/Stern Kinus Teshuva Lectures. The lectures, given between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, will take place in New York City and Jerusalem on Tuesday, September 30, the seventh of Tishrei.

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Staff Recognized for Their Contributions and Dedication at Annual Human Resources Barbecue

On Wednesday, September 10, the Human Resources Department presented Staff Appreciation Day on Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus. Hundreds of faculty and staff participated in the annual barbecue lunch that recognizes University employees for all of their contributions.

Employee Appreciation lunch at Wilf Campus

Appreciation Day for employees on the Israel Henry Beren Campus took place on Tuesday, September 9.

Yeshiva University Listed Among Best National Universities and Best Values in U.S. News Annual Rankings

Once again, Yeshiva University is listed among the very best institutions of higher learning, according to the U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings released today. In this year’s ranking of nearly 1,600 four-year colleges and universities across the country, YU came in at 48 in the category of “Best National Universities.”

Yeshiva University ranked

Yeshiva University continues to rank among U.S. News & World Report’s Best National Universities.

Factors that account for YU’s top-tier ranking include high SAT scores, small class sizes, graduation and retention rate (40th), faculty resources (24th), and alumni giving rate (48th). Yeshiva also ranked 18th in the country for financial resources—the average spent per-student on instruction, research, student services and related educational expenditures.

“While no ranking captures the complexity of a university experience, particularly the rich Yeshiva University experience, nonetheless, this is well-deserved recognition and a tribute to a remarkable faculty whose dedication to students is evident through mentorship, collaborative research, and high-level instruction,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. Selma Botman.

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YU Scholars to Offer “Perspectives on Teshuva And The Yamim Noraim” Throughout September

Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future launched its Kollel Yom Rishon continuing adult education programming on Sunday, September 7, with lectures from Rabbi Meir Goldwicht, Joel and Maria Finkle Visiting Israeli Rosh Yeshiva at YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), and Mrs. Chaya Batya Neugroschl, head of school at YU High School for Girls. The lectures were the first offerings of a month-long series titled “Perspectives on Teshuvah and the Yamim Noraim.”

This special edition of the popular Abraham Arbesfeld Kollel Yom Rishon and Millie Arbesfeld Midreshet Yom Rishon Sunday Torah learning series will meet every Sunday in September at the Schottenstein Center, 560 West 185th Street in Manhattan, and will feature an all-star lineup of Torah scholars and rabbinic thinkers from throughout Yeshiva University.

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Interdisciplinary Seminar on Art History and Jewish Thought to be Offered at YU Museum in October 

Yeshiva University will present a Community Beit Midrash program at the Yeshiva University Museum in the fall. The Image and the Idea is a six-week interdisciplinary seminar on art history and Jewish thought taught collaboratively by Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik, director of the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought, and Dr. Jacob Wisse, director of the Yeshiva University Museum and associate professor of art history at Stern College for Women.

Model of the Beth Alpha Synagogue (early sixth century C.E.) Displaycraft, 1972, Collection of Yeshiva University Museum Endowed by Erica and Ludwig Jesselson

Model of the Beth Alpha Synagogue (early sixth century C.E.) Displaycraft, 1972, Collection of Yeshiva University Museum Endowed by Erica and Ludwig Jesselson

The course will explore the process through which art and artists use physical means to achieve spiritual or intangible ends and the ways that Judaism and Jewish sources deal with the tension between the physical and the spiritual and between the visual and the intellectual.

“The course offers a unique opportunity to explore the compatibility of and tension between traditional Jewish thought and traditional art and art history,” said Wisse. “We will address the ways that Judaism is sensitive and responsive to the power and character of art, and also the ways the greatest artists channel ideas that we associate with Jewish ways of thinking.

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Dr: Jess Olson: The Yazidis and The Armenians of Musa Dagh

The crisis faced by the little-known religious minority, the Yazidis of northern Iraq, captured the attention of western humanitarians. Their capitulation to their pursuers, the forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), whose strict interpretation of Islam regards the Yazidis as polytheists, would mean physical destruction. To escape, thousands of these practitioners of an obscure faith, who have dwelt in the Ninveh region for centuries, encamped on the desolate summit of Mount Sinjar, desperate for rescue by a foreign power.

Dr. Jess Olson

Dr. Jess Olson, associate professor of Jewish history

A remarkably similar story was told a little over eighty years ago by German-speaking Jewish novelist Franz Werfel, in his blockbuster novel The Forty Days of Musa Dagh. Virtually unknown today, the 900-page novel was widely read when it appeared. Just in time to serve as a prescient critique of Nazism, it was optioned by studio giant MGM in 1934 to produce an epic film starring a young Clark Gable, then on his way to winning an Academy Award for It Happened One Night.

Werfel’s inspiration was a footnote to the Turkish anti-Armenian atrocities of World War I. In June 1915, receiving news of mass expulsions and murder, the inhabitants of six Armenian Christian villages on the Mediterranean coast collected their few possessions and weapons, and fled to the summit of Musa Dagh, highlands on the coast of the Mediterranean, to escape the approaching Turks. The leader of the revolt, Moses Der Kalousdian, a European-educated Armenian gentleman, rallied the spirits of the villagers, held off assaults on their stronghold until, on the verge of capitulation, they were rescued by a passing French warship.

Although the revolt of 4,200 Armenians at Musa Dagh received scattered attention in the press, it was a small event in a much larger conflict.

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Yeshiva University Museum Hosts First Large-Scale Exhibition of Haunting Catskills Photos by Marisa Scheinfeld

Turquoise barstools punctuate trash-strewn ruins of Grossinger’s coffee shop. A jumble of weeds clogs the outdoor pool of the Pines Hotel. Colorful furniture rots inside the Nevele’s ski chalet.

Coffee Shop - Grossinger's Catskill Resort and Hotel Liberty NY

Coffee Shop – Grossinger’s Catskill Resort and Hotel (Marisa Scheinfeld)

In the museum debut of a major photographic talent, Yeshiva University Museum will present Marisa Scheinfeld’s haunting photos of abandoned sites where Borscht Belt resorts once boomed in the Catskill Mountain region of upstate New York.

Echoes of the Borscht Belt assembles images Scheinfeld has shot inside and outside structures that once buzzed with life as summer havens for generations of New York Jews.

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Having Recently Completed Their Service, IDF Vets Begin College Careers at Yeshiva University

One night, as Ethan Gipsman, a light machine-gunner in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) from San Diego, California, stood guard over a group of suspected terrorists in the West Bank, one of them asked him a surprising question: What was Ethan, an American, doing there? “He said, ‘I thought America had everything,’ ” Gipsman recalled. “ ‘Why would you leave your country to come here?’ ”

Having recently completed their IDF service, Shmuel Goldis, Jonathan Sidlow, Daniel Gofine and Ethan Gipsman are beginning their college careers at Yeshiva University.

Gipsman thought about his answer for most of the night before replying, in a mixture of Arabic, English and Hebrew, “There is only one Jewish country in the world. I left America because, as a Jew, I have an obligation to protect it.”

His answer resonates strongly with several lone soldiers—enlistees from America and countries around the world who come to Israel to serve in the IDF—who, like Gipsman, recently began their studies at Yeshiva University.

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Stern College Student Melissa Kramer Examines The Effects of Pharmaceutical Contamination in Summer Internship

Up to 90 percent of a pharmaceutical can leave the body in its active form, meaning that drugs we ingest every day enter the environment via waste water. What happens to those chemicals left behind after waste water processing, and can they have adverse effects on the people and animals that come in contact with that water? Melissa Kramer, a senior at Stern College for Women, spent 10 weeks this summer trying to find out.

melissa kramer

Melissa Kramer

As part of the Research Experience for Undergraduates program at the College of Charleston, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, Kramer studied pharmaceutical contamination in the Grice Marine Laboratory, joining a select group of nine other students from around the country who shared a similar passion for marine biology.

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