Yeshiva University Student Leadership Hosts Israel Solidarity Rally in Times Square

In response to the tragic terror attacks that have occurred in Israel in recent weeks, Yeshiva University student leaders organized a rally in solidarity with Israel in New York City’s Times Square on November 23.

The rally, which was open to all denominations and faith groups, created a peaceful space for communal prayer, song and unity in support of Israel.

“Recognizing that terrorism in Israel affects all of us as Jews and Americans, Yeshiva University students came together in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Israel,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander

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Straus Center Presents December 17 Conversation with Columnist George Will and NYU President John Sexton

Yeshiva University’s Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought presents a conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George Will and New York University President John Sexton on “Baseball, Tradition and God” on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at Shenk Community Shul, 560 West 185th Street, New York City. The discussion, moderated by Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik, director of the Straus Center, will begin at 7 p.m.

George WIll

George Will

Will is one of the country’s most widely-read political columnists, as well as its foremost conservative voice. His popular twice-weekly column for The Washington Post syndicate reaches nearly 475 newspapers throughout the United States and Europe.

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Former NBA Commissioner David Stern Shares Career and Business Strategies with YU Students

More than 200 students welcomed former National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern to Yeshiva University’s Max Stern Athletic Center on November 18.

davidsternAt an event organized by YU’s Sports Management student club, Stern reflected on his three-decade tenure as commissioner, which ended this past February, and how he transformed the NBA from a sports league to a global icon. Stern is credited for advancing the NBA’s operations, public service, global marketing and digital technology.

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Journalist and Author Claire Shipman Discusses Women in the Workplace and Self-Image at Annual Robbins-Wilf Lecture

Why do men apply to jobs when they meet only 60 percent of the qualifications, while women only apply when they meet all of them, according to a recent study cited in Harvard Business Review?

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Claire Shipman, author and senior contributor for ABC News

That question and others about female confidence in the workplace were explored in a lecture by journalist and best-selling author Claire Shipman as part of the Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Scholar-in-Residence Program at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women on November 17. The conversation, moderated by Professor Bryan Daves, was inspired by Shipman’s latest book, The Confidence Code: The Art and Science of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know, co-authored by Katty Kay, which deconstructs the elusive and essential qualities of confidence often lacking or misunderstood by women.

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Fine and Holz Appointed Endowed Chairs; Shatz Named University Professor

In recognition of their outstanding achievements, Yeshiva University recently honored two faculty members at Stern College for Women and one at Yeshiva College.

At Stern College, Dr. Marina Holz has been named the Doris and Ira Kukin Chair in Biology and Dr. David Shatz has been appointed University Professor of Philosophy, Ethics and Religious Thought. Dr. Steven Fine has been named the Dean Pinkhos Churgin Chair in Jewish History at Yeshiva College.

“Each of these individuals is a leader and an innovator whose work advances education and research at Yeshiva University,” said Dr. Selma Botman, vice president for academic affairs and provost at YU. “We recognize their accomplishments with the highest honors the University bestows: named chairs and a University professorship. David, Marina, and Steve represent for students and their colleagues what is worthy and noble about the life of the mind. The advances they have made in science and the humanities come through dedicated and tireless work, relentless focus and the joy that new knowledge brings.”

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Dr. Marina Holz

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In Sy Syms Social Media Marketing Course, Students Become the Experts

They’re brainstorming viral campaigns, submitting budget proposals, developing websites, pitching to media and conferencing with clients—and that’s just during this week’s class sessions.

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Sy Syms students in the Social Media Marketing course taught by Professor Steven Chan (center) offer personal finance help in Washington Square Park as part of their campaign.

They’re students in the new Social Media Marketing course at Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School of Business, and if their workload sounds more like a typical day at a marketing agency than a college lecture, it’s no accident. There are no textbooks and few required readings for this course. Instead, the class operates on one simple principle: learn by doing.

“Social media has become a phenomenon in our culture, something that can’t be ignored by any kind of business or anyone who’s trying to communicate anything online,” said Assistant Professor of Marketing Steven Chan, who designed and is leading the course. “There’s no foundation to teaching this kind of thing because it’s a new medium that’s just come about in the last few years. To me it would be boring and beside the point to teach it in a textbook way.”

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First Ever National Finals Outside of Israel Scheduled for November 30

Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future and the Orthodox Union will be co-sponsoring the U.S. National Bible Contest for Adults, an event that will determine which outstanding Bible scholars will represent the United States at the International Chidon HaTanach [Bible Contest] for Adults in Jerusalem in December.

Scheduled for Sunday, November 30, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. at the West Side Institutional Synagogue, 120 West 76th Street in Manhattan, the event will mark the first time in the contest’s history that national finals are taking place outside of Israel. In addition to the Bible competition, the event will include a musical performance and remarks by Israeli Consul-General Ido Aharoni and YU President Richard M. Joel.

“The International Bible Contest for Adults was developed to encourage the study of the Bible, strengthen ties with the Land of Israel, and deepen connections with Jewish heritage. As such, it is a natural partnership for Yeshiva University,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, YU’s vice president for university and community life. “We are thrilled to co-sponsor the event, and proud that so many of the participants have ties to the University.”

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Rabbi Yigal Sklarin ’02YC, ’07R, ’11BR Wins Prestigious Prize for Leading Jewish Educators

Yeshiva University alumnus Rabbi Yigal Sklarin ’02YC, ’07R, ’11BR was recently awarded the prestigious Pomegranate Prize from the Covenant Foundation, which recognizes five passionate and talented emerging leaders in Jewish education who have been working in the field for 10 years or less.

Rabbi Yigal Sklarin (right), recipient of the Pomegranate Prize, with Eli Evans, chairman of the Covenant Foundation

Rabbi Yigal Sklarin (right), recipient of the Pomegranate Prize, with Eli Evans, chairman of the Covenant Foundation

Sklarin earned his BA in history from Yeshiva College, where he received the Max and Sophie Manicoff Award for Excellence in Talmud. He received semicha [rabbinic ordination] from YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and was a member of the Wexner Kollel Elyon. He also completed an MA from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, where he is now pursuing a PhD in Modern Jewish History.

“It is very humbling to be in the company of educators who have accomplished so much,” said Sklarin. “I look forward to being part of the cohort at the Covenant Foundation, including the past Covenant awardees and Pomegranate Prize recipients, and learning from the talented field of educators.”

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Straus Center Programs, Seminars and Lectures Promote Interdisciplinary Study of Jewish and Western Thought

What happens at the intersection of faith and reason?

It’s a complicated question whose depths have fascinated Jewish and gentile thinkers alike for thousands of years. Is it possible to be a religious intellectual? How does faith inform the scientific and philosophic discoveries of our time, and how do those discoveries in turn affect religious beliefs and lifestyles? Yeshiva University’s Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought is committed to providing forums for Jews in the modern era to continue that conversation and arrive at their own understanding of the concept of “Torah Umadda”: the balance of Judaic and worldly values.

Naom Safier

Noam Safier, a Straus Center Fellow

“In undergraduate courses, seminars for semicha [rabbinic ordination] students, adult education and public events, the Straus Center has brought about the bridging of Torah with the world in every part of Yeshiva,” said Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik, director of the Straus Center. “In just the past year, students in our classes have approached, though a Torah lens, the fields of political thought, American history, law, Zionism, philosophy, art and medicine. We are so proud of having made the vision of Moshael Straus a reality: for Torah Umadda to never be merely a motto, but rather something that can be experienced throughout Yeshiva and the larger Yeshiva University community.”

This fall, that includes a new undergraduate fellowship directed by Dr. Aaron Segal, assistant professor of philosophy at Yeshiva College; a semicha seminar for select YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary students taught by Rabbi Dr. David Shabtai, a fellow of RIETS’ Wexner Kollel Elyon; and multiple courses at Yeshiva College and Stern College for Women exploring the Center’s themes.

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Dr. Jamie Aroosi: Looking Beyond the Scorecard Approach to Politics

In this midterm election season, media coverage is dominated by numbers. As the science behind public opinion research advances, this only makes sense, as statisticians are increasingly able to predict electoral outcomes. Moreover, a focus on the numbers is an easy way to add drama to an election, as the complex debates that might ideally characterize our political life, but which are less telegenic, are transformed into events with all the drama of the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, while this focus on the numbers might build interest in the election, it can also work against a deeper understanding of its meaning.

Jamie Aroosi

Dr. Jamie Aroosi, visiting assistant professor of political science

If politics were little more than a scorecard, we might expect that a win for one team rather than the other might really have significance for our political future. After all, a tremendous amount of time and money is spent on winning, not to mention that citizens themselves often become deeply invested in one party or the other, so that a particular outcome really seems to matter a great deal. And yet, in the case of the 2014 midterm elections, it’s quite possible that not much would have changed regardless of who won, at least in terms of national politics.

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