WATCH: President Richard M. Joel and Senior Administration Discuss Current Issues

On Tuesday, March 31, President Richard M. Joel moderated a live, web-streamed conversation with senior members of the Yeshiva University administration focused on the University’s financial, educational and operational issues.

“Over the past year and a half significant progress has been made to ensure both the sustainability and the excellence of Yeshiva University… There have been a number of important changes and there will be more to come,” said President Joel.

With more than 50 questions submitted by alumni and members of the YU community, the discussion ranged across a variety of topics, including changes to the faculty structure, scholarships and affordability, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, budget cuts and revenue-generating initiatives.

The president was joined by Rabbi Josh Joseph, senior vice president; Rabbi Kenneth Brander, vice president for university and community life; Dr. Selman Botman, provost and vice president for academic affairs; and Avi Lauer, vice president for legal affairs and general counsel.

Producer Nancy Spielberg to Screen Documentary About Makings of Israeli Air Force at Hillel Rogoff Lecture

Film producer Nancy Spielberg will introduce, screen and answer questions about her new documentary, “Above and Beyond,” at the Hillel Rogoff Annual Memorial Lecture at Yeshiva University. The event will be held on April 16 at 7 p.m. in the Israel Henry Beren Campus’ Koch Auditorium at 245 Lexington Avenue, New York City.

The documentary explores the story of a group of American World War II pilots who volunteered to fight for Israel in the 1948 War of Independence. As members of “Machal” – volunteers from abroad – this ragtag band of brothers not only prevented the possible annihilation of Israel at the very moment of its birth, but also laid the groundwork for the Israeli Air Force.

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YU Inaugural Hackathon Draws Diverse Crowd for 24-Hour Computer Programming Event

From 9 p.m. Saturday night to 9 p.m. Sunday night, the Heights Lounge on Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus became the base of operations for YU’s first-ever Hackathon, an event that brings computer programmers together for hours and sometimes days of non-stop collaboration on computer software and hardware.

Students from colleges and universities across the tri-state area—including Cooper Union, Columbia University, New York University, Manhattan Community College, University of Massachusetts and Carnegie Mellon University—joined forces to create a host of new programs that ranged from developing code to teach a robot to sing “Happy birthday” to an interactive Daf Yomi website.

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Ambassador Danny Ayalon Reflects on His Experience Teaching at Yeshiva University

In 2003, while still serving as the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, I was privileged to attend the investiture ceremony of Richard Joel as president of Yeshiva University. Since then, I have served as co-chairman of Nefesh B’Nefesh, Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel, and a member of the Israeli Knesset. Ten years ago, I would never have imagined that I would one day return to YU to join President Joel and the university’s illustrious faculty as the Rennert Visiting Professor of Foreign Policy Studies, a title of which I am most proud.

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Ambassador Danny Ayalon is the Rennert Visiting Professor of Foreign Policy Studies at Yeshiva University

The decision to make the transition from practitioner to educator was a difficult one. As a student, my education had been largely one-dimensional and left me with a negative impression of the system as a whole. As I remember it, the students listened and the teachers taught, nothing more. In stark contrast, my time at Yeshiva University has proven to be exhilarating and more rewarding than I could have ever imagined.

Yeshiva University has a strong reputation as a center of academic excellence, so the scholastic commitment of both the students and staff came as no surprise. Still, the level of intellectual and emotional dedication shown by my students has inspired me profoundly and allowed me to see “old issues” from fresh perspectives.

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Yeshiva University Partners with HASC for Environmentally and Socially Responsible Electronic Waste Recycling

In line with its goals of environmental and financial sustainability, Yeshiva University recently partnered with eWorks Electronic Services, a program established by the HASC Center and AHRC, that provides  recycling, refurbishment and resale services of office technologies and consumer electronics by employing individuals with physical or developmental disabilities.

“This program is a financially viable and sustainable partnership for disposing of our electronic waste which is also beneficial to the Jewish and disabled community,” said Andrea Moore, sustainability manager at YU. “When we were considering our recycling options, eWorks added an element of social activism that furthers Yeshiva’s goals of bettering the community while maintaining high standards of environmental and financial responsibility.”

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#EmpoweredLearning Participants Tackle Passover Question Presented by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

This week, in preparation for the holiday of Passover, an online program organized by Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future is bringing an interactive Torah-learning experience to thousands of users within the YU community and beyond.

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YU Basketball Tournament Culminates in Thrilling Triple Overtime Championship Game

Five days of exciting competition at Yeshiva University’s 24th Annual Red Sarachek Basketball Tournament culminated with a dramatic 75-73 triple overtime victory by the Frisch Cougars (Paramus, New Jersey) over the HAFTR Hawks (Lawrence, New York) in the Tier-1 Championship game. Before a crowd of more than 1,200 fans, Frisch center Benni Tuchman sealed the win for the Cougars after hitting a game-winning layup with just under three seconds left to play.

More than 20 yeshiva high school teams from across North America took part in the annual tournament—named for the legendary Bernard “Red” Sarachek, YU’s former longtime men’s basketball coach—from March 19-23.

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Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and Senator Joseph Lieberman Discuss the Haggada’s Politics at Center for the Jewish Future Event

Hundreds of people gathered at Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus on Sunday, March 22, to hear a pre-Passover conversation with former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and former U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman on “The Haggada’s Politics: From 2,000 Years Ago to Today.” Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik, director of YU’s Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought, moderated the discussion.

In his introductory remarks, Rabbi Soloveichik highlighted the nature of the Haggada as a work of political Jewish thought. He also pointed out the Haggada’s deep attraction for America’s Founding Fathers.

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Dean Karen Bacon to Lead Combined YC and Stern Faculty While Schools Remain Separate

Yeshiva University recently announced that it will unify the undergraduate faculties at Yeshiva College and Stern College for Women as part of its effort to improve student education and create efficiencies. The campuses and classes remain separate, while the faculty combines its resources. Dr. Karen Bacon will serve as the inaugural Dr. Monique C. Katz Dean of the Undergraduate Faculty of Arts and Science at YU.

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Dr. Karen Bacon will lead a unified Yeshiva College and Stern College for Women faculty.

“The faculty, individually and collectively, are the lifeblood of this critical institution and we will now advance to right-size the administrative parts of the university,” said YU President Richard M. Joel. “For several years, we have been discussing the need for a more unified undergraduate faculty of arts and science. Dean Bacon is a valued educator of integrity and has served with distinction in the highest levels of academic leadership—I look to her and all our faculty to continue to exercise their prerogative in shaping what is a fine curriculum still further.”

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In New Book, YU Historian Imagines American Judaism If the Holocaust Never Happened

On March 30, Dr. Jeffrey Gurock, the Libby M. Klaperman Professor of Jewish History at Yeshiva University, will launch his new book, The Holocaust Averted: An Alternate History of American Jewry 1938-1967 (Rutgers University Press) at the Yeshiva University Museum in a nationally-televised event sponsored by the Museum, the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies and the American Jewish Historical Society.

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In his new book, YU historian Dr. Jeffrey Gurock imagines American Jewish history if the Holocaust had never happened.

In the book, Gurock imagines what might have happened to the Jewish community in the United States if the Holocaust had not occurred and forces readers to contemplate how the road to acceptance and empowerment for today’s American Jews could have been harder than it actually was. YU News sat down with Gurock to discuss some of the most intriguing moments in that period of history, both real and imagined, and their impact on the American Judaism of today.

What inspired you to write this book and how does it fit into the emerging academic field of counterfactual history?

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