Yeshiva University News » 2004 » July

Dean Ethel Orlian and Daniel Morris being interviewed at Radio Shalom in Paris.

Jul 29, 2004 — Enrollment of French Jewish students at Yeshiva University (YU) for the fall semester will more than double, said John Fisher, PhD, director of enrollment management, to nearly 40 French men and women when classes resume in August.

“YU offers something that colleges in France cannot provide to Jewish students,” said Hillel Davis, PhD, vice president for university affairs. “They want a top-notch education in addition to an array of Jewish learning unequalled anywhere in the world. Only Yeshiva University can fill that need.”

Senior university officials recently visited several Jewish communities in Paris, Marseilles, and Strasbourg on an exploratory visit to France in response to a communal invitation.

“Parents and students traveled from all regions of the country to hear presentations and complete applications,” said Ethel Orlian, PhD, assistant dean of Stern College for Women. “The outpouring was quite overwhelming and several hundred families expressed a desire to send their children to YU.”

Recent acts of anti-Semitism have created a hostile environment for French Jews, as reported by international press. Some school policies, Jewish leaders say, have made it difficult for Jewish students to adhere to their traditions while attending university. Observance of the Sabbath and kashrut laws is difficult and accommodations are not always made when exams are scheduled on Jewish holidays.

“We are in the business of educating future Jewish leaders. We are hopeful YU can play this role for the French Jewish community well by educating these young people and grooming them for leadership roles in their respective communities when they return to France,” Dr. Davis said.”

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Dean Ethel Orlian and Daniel Morris being interviewed at Radio Shalom in Paris.

Jul 29, 2004 — ENROLLMENT OF FRENCH STUDENTS DOUBLES

Yeshiva University made headlines in Paris when Ethel Orlian, associate dean of Stern College for Women, and Daniel Morris, associate director of admissions at Yeshiva University, traveled to France on a fact-finding visit. They met with principals and directors of schools, parents, students, community leaders and journalists in three major centers – Paris, Marseilles and Strasbourg. The turnout in all the cities was far greater than expected and interest in Yeshiva University was overwhelming.

The YU team was interviewed on two radio stations, and made front page news in Jewish newspapers. In Marseille, when they were interviewed on Radio JM, the program host cried from a mix of emotions — excitement that Yeshiva University came to France and apprehension about young Jews studying abroad due to the difficulties the Jewish community is facing.

Parents and students traveled great distances to hear presentations about YU programs and requirements, and many completed applications for the fall semester. “We were treated like royalty and felt embraced by the Jewish communities we visited,” said Mrs. Orlian. The meetings were often emotional and, on some evenings students waited until 2 am to be interviewed. French students currently enrolled at YU took part in some meetings and spoke about their positive academic and social experiences on campus.

One of those students, Isaac Barchichat, was instrumental in arranging these meetings. He organized an open-house session in Paris last January to raise awareness of YU’s programs and to serve as liaison between YU and the Jewish community in France.

As a result of these efforts, undergraduate enrollment of French Jewish students for the fall semester will more than double to nearly 40 men and women.

“YU offers something that colleges in France cannot provide to Jewish students,” said Hillel Davis, PhD, vice president for university affairs. “They want a top-notch education in addition to any array of Jewish learning unequalled anywhere in the world. Only Yeshiva University can fill that need.”

Recent acts of anti-Semitism have created a hostile environment for French Jews. Some school policies, Jewish leaders say, have made it difficult for Jewish students to adhere to their traditions while attending university. Observance of Shabbat and kashrut laws is difficult and accommodations are not always made when exams are scheduled on Jewish holidays.

“We are in the business of educating Jewish leaders. We are hopeful YU can play this role for the French Jewish community by educating these young people and grooming them for leadership roles in their respective communities when they return to France,” Dr. Davis said.

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Jul 29, 2004 — A softball dynasty has taken root in Queens. And that dynasty belongs to YU’s Samuel H. Wang high school softball team.

For the third consecutive year, the team captured the championship of the Yeshiva High School Girls Softball League, which is made up of 15 yeshivas in the metro area.

YU’s team dominated the championship game 9-0 on a two-hitter thrown by Tanya Rosenblatt, who was named MVP pitcher of the championship series.

Head coach of the Samuel H. Wang Yeshiva University High School for Girls softball team for the past nine years is Glenn Cohn. Coach Cohn volunteers his time to instruct the girls.

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Jul 28, 2004 — For most students, summer internships mean long hours pecking away at a computer. For Yonatan Goetz, however, it’s a chance to hone his nautical know-how.

A Baltimore native and senior at Sy Syms School of Business, Mr. Goetz is no stranger to the city’s Inner Harbor. This is his fourth summer working for the Water Taxi – but his first as captain.

Mr. Goetz started working on boats as a deck hand at 14. He landed his first job with the Water Taxi in 2001 as a mate – collecting fares, providing tourist information, and docking the boat. This spring, he received his captain’s license from the U.S. Coast Guard.

As captain, he runs the entire operation of the boat – from supervising the mate and ensuring passenger safety, to navigating the boat to its various landings within the harbor.

“Working on the water taxi is definitely a unique and fun summer job and it’s a relaxed environment,” Mr. Goetz said. “But there is a management aspect to this.”

At Sy Syms, Mr. Goetz is a management major and a member of the Max Investment Club. To receive internship credit, he keeps a journal and will write a paper at the end of the summer. His supervisor will also submit an evaluation.

Ira Jaskoll, associate dean of Sy Syms, said Mr. Goetz will gain practical work and management experience at the Baltimore Water Taxi.

“Because he’s supervising another employee and managing an operation, the Baltimore Water Taxi is a great venue for Yonatan to apply what he is learning as a business management major,” he said.

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Jul 27, 2004 — In his year-end address to the YU community July 30, President Richard M. Joel outlined the extraordinary advances of this past year and the opportunities for growth and excellence ahead.

“A university-wide strategic planning process is well underway. With our boards, who are overseeing the strategic planning process, my cabinet, the deans, faculty and senior staff, we’ve been working to build a plan that puts into action programs and initiatives that enhance themes first broached at my investiture last September — academic excellence, nobility of purpose in education, community building, and the centrality of Israel.

While we reflect on each school’s illustrious past, we should also focus on their growth, physically and academically. Our actions this year, and in the coming academic year, underscore my pledge to make undergraduate colleges schools of choice, and establish synergy with our graduate schools so students at all levels feel connected.

In this light, I have come to appreciate even more the quality of our faculty and their extraordinary commitment. Our commitment to them will be the linchpin of Yeshiva’s next chapter. Excellence translates into having faculty dedicated to helping students fulfill their potential and expand their horizons. To strengthen the superb ranks of our existent faculty, major steps have been taken in the past three and a half years, by Mort Lowengrub, vice president for academic affairs, and the deans of our colleges and schools.

This coming year alone, 15 full-time undergraduate faculty members have joined the university, while four professors have been recruited at Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, and Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. The full list of this year’s new faculty follows. Moreover, a listing of dozens of new faculty recruited during the past few years can be found on our Web site at http://www.yu.edu/Faculty1.pdf

Among the many accomplished new professors is David Pelcovitz, PhD, a national academic and clinical authority on child and adolescent development, post-traumatic stress disorder, and children at risk. He joins the faculty of Azrieli as professor and as special assistant to the president.

Our commitment to academic excellence for, and from our students, is matched by our quest to enhance the quality of campus life and create a 21st century learning environment, embodied in a variety of impressive physical improvements in and around our campuses.”

New Faculty 2004-2005

Stern College

Odelia Cohen, instructor of Hebrew
Bryan Daves, assistant professor of political science
Hilla Goldwicht, instructor of Hebrew language
Ronit Levy, visiting assistant professor
Nachama Price, instructor of Jewish studies
Esther Scheiner, instructor of education
Binyamin Tabory, instructor of Jewish studies

Yeshiva College

Neer Asherie, assistant professor of physics and biology
Sergey Buldyrev, professor of physics
Sarah Kasher, lecturer of Hebrew
David Moore, professor of psychology
Stephen Pimpare, assistant professor of political science
Evan Resnick, lecturer of political science
Allison Smith, lecturer in English and assistant director of the Writing Center
Richard White, lecturer in Jewish studies

Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Adminstration

David Pelcovitz, professor of education and psychology

Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology

Jonathan Feldman, assistant professor of psychology
Roee Holtzer, assistant professor psychology

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

Alex Stein, professor of law

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L-R: Joshua Ross, Elysia Rothenberg, Anat Barber, Shira Rosenfeld and Lisa Grundman are five of the eleven new graduate fellows.

Jul 26, 2004 — Eleven students who graduated from Yeshiva University (YU) in May 2004 are returning to their alma mater this month to work as graduate fellows in a program created under a presidential initiative.

The inaugural awardees of the Graduate Fellowship in University and Community Leadership are part of a broader effort to train top graduates at the university and expand YU’s service to the Jewish community.

“My intention is to inspire these young people not only to pursue their professional dreams, but to remain committed to the university and the Jewish community by utilizing the very skills they will gain,” President Richard M. Joel said. “They will play a meaningful role in the academic enterprise and hopefully apply their community service orientation to their professional lives.”

The fellows were chosen after an intense screening process based on their academic performance, campus leadership, and concern for the Jewish community. They will be assigned to senior administrators, who will be actively engaged in grooming them and will, in turn, be receptive to their ideas and observations.

The 2004-05 fellows are Jacob Agatstein, Anat Barber, Rachel Horn Cyrulnik, Debra Feinberg, Lisa Grundman, Ouriel Hassan, Shoshana Butler, Marisa Parker, Shira Rosenfeld, Joshua Ross, and Elysia Rothenberg.

Under the program, the fellows take on a specific project and are mentored by a university administrator. Each fellow will receive $18,000 plus benefits, including a year of housing and health insurance. The program underscores a concerted effort to listen to YU’s chief constituencies. Their insight will enrich university and academic life, the president said.

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Jul 21, 2004 — Sy Syms School of Business senior Reuben Kerben received an honorable mention and $100 for his business plan at the Palo Alto Software 2004 Business Plan Competition.

Mr. Kerben, a finance major from Great Neck, NY, presented his plan for his venture company Bionex Corp., which seeks to provide fingerprint recognition technology for credit card purchases. He is currently working with several banks and credit card issuers across the United States to introduce the biometric credit card.

“The fact that I received an honorable mention from Palo Alto is a personal milestone,” he said. “It sends a clear message to me and to my classmates at Sy Syms that the institution and professors really prepare students for writing an exceptional and award-winning business plan.”

Mr. Kerben’s business plan also received third place and $2,000 in Sy Syms’ Dr. William Schwartz Business Plan Competition held last March.

“Reuben has all the instincts of a dedicated entrepreneur whose keen sense of market need will play a major role in his future success,” said Lawrence Bellman, assistant professor of management and marketing at Sy Syms. “In an undergraduate entrepreneurial program, students who are tasked to conceive a business idea and write a business plan usually do so without the business experience that enables the venture to succeed. Reuben’s efforts reflect a business person’s view of a market need and the tools needed to successfully launch a new venture.”

Palo Alto Software develops and markets business planning software. Contestants in its business plan competition are judged by business planning experts on various criteria, including management strengths, nature of the business case, business strategy, and competitive analysis.

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Jul 21, 2004 — The leadership of the Yeshiva University Women’s Organization (YUWO) is sponsoring singles buffet suppers to assist alumni and their friends to get to know each other and perhaps for some to meet the man or woman of their dreams.

“We were looking for a special project to celebrate our 80th year and the 19th year of the Future Builders young leadership group,” said Dinah Pinczower, YUWO’s national chairman of the board. “The idea of an evening of good food and conversation in congenial home settings was suggested as a way of assisting men and women to meet in a safe and constructive way. There was immediate interest and before the meeting was over five of our members volunteered their homes for the event.”

Several “mix and match” buffet suppers are planned throughout the metropolitan area on the evening of Thursday, Aug. 26. Invitations are being mailed to YU alumni and alumnae, and to others of similar ages and Jewish backgrounds. There is no cost to attend. Response cards ask those who wish to participate to indicate the school or schools from which they graduated, their occupation, and their interests.

To the extent possible, we will balance the men and women in each group according to their backgrounds and interests,” Mrs. Pinczower said.

Mrs. Pinczower added that spouses of 44 rabbis were invited to submit names of single people.

Those interested can call the YUWO office at (212) 960-0855 for more information.

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Jul 13, 2004 — On June 16, 1904, Dublin’s most famous fictional Jew wandered the city streets for some 30 hours before returning home. A century later, hundreds of thousands have retraced Leopold Bloom’s steps in tribute to his creator, author James Joyce, who immortalized Bloom in his seminal work, Ulysses.

During this centenary year of Bloom’s odyssey, Ireland’s capital city is feting its most important writer and the father of literary modernism. This is the impetus behind “Understanding the City,” a summer course under the aegis of the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program at Yeshiva College. It brought YC students to London and Dublin to study how great artists weave urban locales into their work.

“Students in the course spent the first three weeks at Yeshiva College studying literature and creative writing. Then they explored London and Dublin for two weeks through literature, art, music, film, politics, geography, and history,” said Dr. Gillian Steinberg, lecturer and summer course coordinator. The trip, June 22 – July 5, included visits to museums, theaters, and universities.

But because Joyce made Bloom Jewish, students will also explore the author’s affinity for Jews.

“Joyce felt that Jews have a special gift for finding transcendent truth in the world and for sharing that truth,” said Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt, the trip chaperone who is a Joycean scholar and senior rabbi at Riverdale Jewish Center.

Students in the S. Daniel Abraham Honors Program at Stern College for Women also ventured off-campus to study their subjects up close. Students in the marine biology course, May 31-June 13, spent the first week learning about the field on the Israel Henry Beren Campus and the second conducting research at the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center.

They collected specimens from various locales, such as mudflats and rocky coastline, and returned to the lab to examine their findings. “We learned so much in the week we spent there because the work was so hands-on,” said Meredith Weiss, a biochemistry major who begins an MD at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the fall.

A dredge of the Damariscotta River, which feeds into the ocean off Maine, yielded sponges, se stars, mussels, and shrimp, while the mudflat digs produced worms and clams.

The trip also introduced Ms. Weiss to the marine center’s research into the medicinal benefits of aquatic sponges and corals, an area the Florida native hopes to study later in her career.

Finally, students in the archaeology and ecology field course—open to both SCW and YC students—traveled to Israel July 6 – August 6 to work at Tell es-Safi/Gath, an archaeological site in the Biblical city of Gath.

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Jul 8, 2004 — Volume 26 of the Journal of Jewish Music and Liturgy has been published and is available for purchase, announced Cantor Bernard Beer, director of the Philip and Sarah Belz School of Jewish Music. Both religious and secular scholars and musicologists worldwide consider the publication, edited by Macy Nulman, former Belz School director, as one of the few qualitative works on Jewish music and liturgy.

The current issue includes the following articles: “Psalm Nineteen: Its Coherence and Message” and “The Interrelation of Nature and Torah in Jewish Liturgy and Thought,” by Rabbi Dr. Zvi A. Yehuda; “The Potentially Transformational and Special Role of the Music Teacher as Life Coach,” by Shoshana Auerbach; “Commentary Yakhin Halashon on Siddur Avodat Yisrael- Part 2,” by Rabbi Dr. Menachem Raab; and “The Voice of Jerusalem and Zion in Our Daily Prayer Service,” by Macy Nulman.

The journal can be purchased from the Belz School, part of Yeshiva University’s affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, for $10. Please call 212-960-5353 or email belzschool@aol.com for more information.

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