Yeshiva University News » 2004

Deborah Y. Cohn, PhD, during a recent class at Sy Syms School of Business.

Dec 28, 2004 — The Direct Marketing Day Foundation, Inc. honored Deborah Y. Cohn, PhD, assistant professor of marketing at Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School of Business, with its DMDF Professor Award for 2004.

The award is presented annually to “an outstanding educator and school in recognition of their dedication and leadership in furthering knowledge of direct marketing within the academic community.”

Dean of Sy Syms School of Business, Charles Snow, PhD, said the award is a source of pride.

“Deborah is an excellent teacher who has previously been voted by students as Teacher of the Year,” Dr. Snow said. “It is gratifying to see an outside organization also recognize her talents and to acknowledge the superior education provided by the Syms faculty.”

The Direct Marketing Day Foundation (DMDF), based in New York City, is an independent nonprofit corporation serving the direct and interactive marketing community. Its mission is to provide funding to educators for resources and scholarships to introduce students to careers in direct marketing. DMDF supports direct and interactive marketing programs at the college and university level.


L-R: Students Elie Bachner, Avishai Chelst, and David Meyer-Deutsch.

Dec 27, 2004 — Avishai Chelst is spreading the virtues of good health to his peers at The Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy/Yeshiva University High School for Boys.

Concerned about his own fitness, Mr. Chelst, a senior, initiated Aliyat Regel in October – an exercise program with a Torah twist.

“Students’ schedules leave little time for physical activity. We sit in class all day and then have homework,” he said. “I wanted to help my classmates make exercise a priority.”

So through Aliyat Regel, Mr. Chelst and 50 other students are walking 5,700 miles—the distance between New York and Jerusalem – around the Wilf Campus during their breaks and when they return to their hometowns.

The project’s name, Aliyat Regel, alludes to the Biblical commandment for Jews to travel to Jerusalem on the holidays of Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkoth.

Mr. Chelst modeled Aliyat Regel after a successful program in his native Detroit, MI, where a group of students walked to raise money for charity and used pedometers to clock their distance. He ordered pedometers for the participants and sweatshirts emblazoned with the project’s logo.

He also asked a travel agency to donate a voucher to be used toward an airplane trip to Jerusalem, which will be awarded to the student who walks the most miles.

On the project’s Web site,, Mr. Chelst keeps a record of each participant’s mileage. He also posts divrei Torah from MSTA rebbeim that offer the Torah’s perspective on good health.

“We motivate our students to act as role models in school and in the greater community,” said Ya’akov Sklar, MSTA principal. “Avishai really took the reigns on this project.”

Aliyat Regel will conclude when students have completed 5,700 miles.


Dec 24, 2004 — Please be advised that the date of Orientation for new undergraduate students who will be starting in the Spring Semester has been changed. The orientation will be from Sunday, January 23 through Tuesday, January 25, 2005. All students will still begin classes on Wednesday, January 26.

The expanded orientation will include more opportunities for new students to get to know each other, receive individualized academic advisement, and acquaint themselves with their campus and New York City.

Spring Orientation Booklet for Beren Campus (PDF)

Spring Orientation Booklet for Wilf Campus (PDF)


Dec 21, 2004 — Entering college brings with it a host of changes in students’ lives: greater responsibilities, a rigorous course load, a new community, social pressures, and for some, a foreign language. In fact, entering college ranks as one of the top 25 stressful life-changing events on most scales of psychological measure. Beginning this winter, a new confidential counseling center will help to ease the transition for students on all of YU’s Manhattan campuses.

The Confidential Counseling Center, which opens in January under the directorship of former NYU psychiatrist Victor Schwartz, MD, will provide services to students at the Wilf, Beren, and Brookdale campuses.

A frequent consultant on psychological issues to many rabbis, Jewish day schools, and Jewish communal organizations in New York City, Dr. Schwartz is no stranger to YU. He is a 1977 alumnus of Yeshiva College, and since 1996 has consulted with the Department of Student Affairs on issues of psychiatric treatment for students. He also helped train YU’s student affairs, counseling, and housing staff. Dr. Schwartz has served the NYU community in varying capacities, most notably as chief psychiatrist and medical director of the NYU University Counseling Service.

Efrem Nulman, DSW, senior university dean of students, eagerly anticipates the expansion of Dr. Schwartz’s role at YU, and applauds the support the center has received from YU leadership. “From the first day, President Richard Joel and Vice President Hillel Davis recognized that a confidential counseling service is the best way to offer our students the help they need.” The creation of the center is yet another step toward the fulfillment of the new administration’s vision of creating a supportive, student-centered environment at YU.

Dr. Nulman also expects the center to provide appropriate opportunities for student interns from YU’s graduate schools. Dr. Nulman and Dr. Schwartz will meet with leadership at each school on the Manhattan campuses to determine their needs and how best to provide services for them.

“This will enhance student life at YU significantly,” confirms Dr. Nulman. “Adjustment to college is a difficult process and we, as an institution, want to address the psychological challenges students encounter as they develop here.”


Dr. Thea Volpe

Dec 17, 2004 — Under the direction of Thea Volpe, PhD, the academic Advising Center on the Wilf Campus will offer Yeshiva College and Sy Syms School of Business students a number of supportive services to help them realize academic goals.

In keeping with President Richard M. Joel’s vision of strengthening the campus community of faculty, staff, and students, the center will use a model of mentorship to guide undergraduates.

Center staff will pair students with faculty mentors who represent the students’ interests and who will remain a constant in their college lives – from before they set foot on campus until graduation.

“We play an important role in shaping students’ futures,” said Dr. Volpe. “It’s incumbent upon us to give them excellent advice, listen to them, and help them understand the big picture.”

A seasoned educational advisor who prides herself on being an enthusiastic student advocate, Dr. Volpe envisions the center as “a one-stop shop for all student advising concerns.”

The center will provide each student with services during three critical phases: upon arrival and throughout freshman year, during selection of a major, and in weighing post-college options.

Dr. Volpe earned her doctorate in medieval history from New York University and taught the history of Classical, medieval, and Western civilization at the College of Arts and Science and the School of Continuing Education, both at NYU and Lehman College. She directed the post-baccalaureate pre-medical program at Columbia University, served as associate dean at the Scripps Research Institute in California and at NYU’s College of Arts and Science, and held other positions in advising and administration at NYU.

“We want to provide the best education for all undergraduate students, so they can make intelligent choices about their futures, said Morton H. Lowengrub, PhD, vice president for academic affairs. “I would like to see a situation where every first-year student will have a mentor to follow his progress and foster a relationship that gives the student a sense of belonging to the YU community.”

Another focus of the center will be a holistic approach to secular academic life and religious education. Dr. Volpe and her staff will work with roshei yeshiva and faculty so that advisors are knowledgeable about students’ complete portfolios.

“All advisors will be expected to take into account both secular and Jewish studies in guiding students, and they will interact with roshei yeshiva to make them more cognizant of the secular curriculum,” Dr. Lowengrub said.

Plans are under way to create a physical space for the Academic Advsing Center, and several vacant spaces on campus requiring little renovation are being considered.


From left to right: Robert Eli Rubinstein, national president of CFYU, President Joel, and Dr. Herbert C. Dobrinsky, vice president of university affairs.

Dec 17, 2003 — Yeshiva University (YU) President Richard M. Joel traveled to Toronto, Canada, on Dec. 2 for a two-day trip, his first official visit to Canada as president of YU.

Accompanied by Dr. Herbert C. Dobrinsky, vice president of university affairs and liaison to the Canadian Jewish community, President Joel was the guest at various receptions.

On Wednesday, Dec. 2, President Joel attended a dinner reception at the home of Robert Eli Rubinstein, national president of Canadian Friends of Yeshiva University (CFYU), and his wife, Renee. At the reception, about 30 lay leaders contributed more than $1 million to launch the Jewish Education Scholarship Program to support students attending YU’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration. Under the Three-Way Campaign, which involves students, donors, and Yeshiva University, Canadian cities with day schools are urged to provide scholarship funds for men and women pursuing careers in Jewish education, or educators seeking higher degrees for career advancement.

On Thursday, Dec. 3, President Joel attended morning services at Congregation Shaarei Shomayim and attended a breakfast at the home of Brenda and Brian Medjuck. Mr. Medjuk is a member of the Yeshiva College board of directors. Later that evening, President Joel attended an alumni gathering at the Sephardic Kehillah Centre, where he discussed his vision for the university and the need to expand YU’s role in the professional training of Jewish educators. Recent studies have indicated a shortage of experienced teachers and administrators at Jewish elementary and secondary schools throughout North America, and YU is attempting to address the need through targeted graduate studies and scholarship assistance.

President Joel’s visit to Toronto was the first of several planned trips to Canada. He will visit Montreal next spring, where Samuel Z. Eltes, national chairman of the national board of CFYU, and his wife Lynn, and Abraham Gurman, Montreal’s president of CFYU, and his wife Maria, will host receptions to launch the Jewish Education Scholarship Program in Montreal.


Dec 16, 2004 — On the third day of Hanukkah, a team of YU students brightened the day of children ages 2-10 in New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s children’s ward.

Students from the Wilf and Beren campuses joined YU band Midnite Remedy in a Hanukkah celebration, one of many such programs run at the hospital during the holiday season. Patients, Jewish and non-Jewish, enjoyed latkes (potato pancakes), jelly donuts, and Hanukkah gelt (chocolate money) provided by the students as they listened to the rocking performance. The YU students engaged the children to help make the season shine brighter.

View photo gallery


Dec 15, 2004 — Through a partnership announced recently between Stern College for Women and New York University’s Sackler Institute, Stern students will receive opportunities to conduct research at NYU Medical Center.

The program will be available to third- and fourth-year students who submit resumes to Stern science professor Dr. Harvey Babich for review. Students will be interviewed by Dr.Babich and those chosen will be matched by Sackler Institute Office with appropriate research mentors at NYU Medical Center.

In addition to the research opportunities, the Sackler Institute will provide several career options seminars each year at Stern to inform students about what programs to apply for (e.g. PhD, MD, or MD/PhD) and about how the application process works.


Malka Krupka

Dec 15, 2004 — A group of Stern College for Women students has collaborated with their professors to publish their cutting-edge scientific research. The students, each of whom contributed significantly to research conducted during either the school year or the summer, are listed as coauthors with their professors on scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals.

“Very few undergraduates have their names attached to publications in peer-reviewed journals,” said Harvey Babich, PhD, professor of biology, who worked with six students on various projects investigating the anti-cancer properties of green tea.

Stern College encourages its women to conduct research and publish their findings because it prepares them for careers in science.

“Published research shows hands-on experience on students’ resumes, which is especially important if they continue on to medical or graduate school,” said Chaya Rapp, PhD, assistant professor of chemistry, who published an article with Toby Josovitz, a 2003 alumna, in the Journal of Physical Chemistry. Another article, co-authored with Rena Frankel, has been submitted to Proteins.

Under Dr. Babich and Harriet Zuckerbraun, PhD, instructor of biology, Malka Krupka and Helen Nissim studied epicatechin gallate (ECG), a chemical in green tea with selective toxicity towards cancer cells. Their paper will be published by Toxicology In Vitro in 2005.

“My research allowed me to apply what I learned in class in a practical manner,” said Ms. Krupka, a senior majoring in biochemistry. “I may apply to an MD/PhD program, and publishing a paper demonstrates my abilities. It’s a big step for an undergraduate.” Her research experience with Dr. Babich helped her qualify for a research internship at YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine last summer, and for a position at NYU Medical School this fall.

Ms. Nissim, a junior majoring in biology, said her research experience gave her a deeper understanding of lab techniques. “Publishing my work will help me in my future pursuits in the scientific community,” she added. She spent the summer conducting research at UCLA.

Other Stern students who published their research findings include Ilana Pister, twins Tamar and Ronit Gold, Tannaz Sedaghat, Danielle Weissman, Frida Friedman, Michelle Faber, Aliza Moskowitz, Talia Harris, and Louisette Soussan.

Senior Sarah Nemzer, a student in SCW’s S. Daniel Abraham Honors Program, studied nanoparticles of gold at Brookhaven National Laboratory with Anatoly Frenkel, PhD, associate professor of physics. Ms. Nemzer is a psychology major who pursued a research project with Dr. Frenkel after taking aphysics course with him. They plan to submit their paper for publication—co-written with Ms. Pister,Ms. Soussan, and Ms. Harris (a former SCW student who transferred to Bar Ilan University)—for publication in the Journal of Chemical Physics. “It was a rewarding experience to study at a national lab and see cutting-edge science in action,” Ms. Nemzer said. “Having my work published will be a terrific finish to all the work we have done.”


Dec 15, 2004 — Kollel Yom Rishon, YU’s weekly Sunday learning series for men wishing to continue their commitment to Torah study, held a “Hanukkah Extravaganza” Dec. 12. The program consisted of shiurim (lectures) on Hanukkah themes by roshei yeshiva (professors of Talmud) of YU’s affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. The event drew an overflow crowd of close to 200 men from the tri-state area.

YU launched Kollel Yom Rishon in October to provide men of all ages, backgrounds, and learning levels with an opportunity to learn each weekend with esteemed roshei yeshiva. The initiative is ideal for busy professionals who would like an opportunity to seriously engage in Torah over the weekend.

The Hanukkah line up included shiurim by Rabbi Hershel Reichman on “Publicizing the miracle of Hanukkah through candle lighting;” Rabbi Hershel Schachter on “Lighting Hanukkah candles on erev and motzei shabbos;” and Rabbi Meir Goldwicht on “Hanukkah: From our door to God’s door – perspectives from Chazal.”

“I can honestly say that I look forward to the learning every week,” said Teaneck resident Paul Lustiger, who attended the Hanukkah event and is a regular participant.

Each Sunday, the program commences at 7:45 and 8:10 am in the Morgenstern Hall beit midrash. Learning begins at 9 am in the beit midrash at Zysman Hall, following a light breakfast. The shiurim, followed by discussion, starts at 9:40 and ends at 11 am.

Past shiurim from Kollel Yom Rishon are accessible online at at

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