Yeshiva University News » 2004 » October

Oct 28, 2004 — Fred Sugarman, PhD, of Riverdale was appointed assistant dean of Yeshiva University’s Yeshiva College (YC) at the beginning of the fall 2004 semester.

“I am delighted to have Dr. Sugarman as a colleague, where he will work closely with faculty, students, and administration in supporting the mission of Yeshiva University,” said YC Dean Norman Adler.

As assistant dean, Dr. Sugarman is responsible for establishing dialogue between the Dean’s Office and YC faculty and students.

Dr. Sugarman holds a PhD in 19th-century American literature from Columbia University and has taught at Bar-Ilan University, Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, and Lehman College.

He has worked in health management for 15 years as a senior administrator, supervising ambulatory care. Most recently, he was practice executive at Mercy OB/GYN PC in the Bronx, where he managed a 12-physician practice.

Dr. Sugarman is active in Jewish communal life as a vice president of the
Riverdale Jewish Center and president of the Hebrew Free Burial Society.

He and his wife, Dr. Betty Sugarman, a 1970 alumna of Yeshiva University High School for Girls, have three children: Avigail, David, and Eliana.


Iain Levine, program director for Human Rights Watch, speaking to Cardozo students. In background from left to right: Gregory D’Elia, senior political advisor for the United States Mission to the United Nations and Gerald Martone, director of emergency response for the International Rescue Committee.

Oct 28, 2004 — The crisis in Darfur, Sudan, was the focus of a panel discussion at Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law on Oct. 26, 2004. Panelists at “Death and Destruction in Darfur, Sudan: The Human Dimension and the Moral Imperative,” addressed the humanitarian and political complexities and the international response to the situation in Darfur. The program was sponsored by Cardozo’s Program in Holocaust and Human Rights Studies

More than 1.5 million people have left their homes in Darfur, fleeing to refugee camps to escape the violence that erupted in February 2003 when two rebel groups launched a revolt against the Arab-dominated government. “It’s convenient to reduce this to a racial problem,” said Gerald Martone, director of emergency response for the International Rescue Committee. “It’s not the case. There’s another distinction that drives this animosity,” Martone said, describing the intense competition between two lifestyles – the African farmers and Arab nomads – for what little usable land there is.

Martone discussed the effects on the displaced population, especially on the children who make up the majority of the camps. He described life in the camps as bleak and a “toxic environment for a child,” and said that providing children with structure for their days is a new challenge for aid organizations to tackle.

Ruth Messinger, president and executive director of American Jewish World Service, recently returned from visiting the refugee camps and stressed the need for aid and political action. “You need to figure out what you as a person can do to help,” Messinger told the audience.

In her remarks, Messinger described the violence against women and explained how they are being raped and abused. The simple task of collecting scarce firewood puts them at risk since they have to venture outside the camps to collect it for cooking. “I believe the situation is more likely to get worse than not,” Messinger said. “There’s not really enough being done.”

Other panelists included Gregory D’Elia, senior political advisor for the United States Mission to the United Nations, and Iain Levine, program director for Human Rights Watch. The event was co-sponsored by the Cardozo Black Law Students Association, the Cardozo Jewish Law Students Association, and the Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Scholar in Residence Program of Stern College.


Prof. Neer Asherie explaining the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics, which was awarded to Professors David Gross, H. David Politzer and Frank Wilczek.

Oct 28, 2004 — Yeshiva College students had the chance Thursday afternoon to hear their professors discuss the 2004 Nobel Prize laureates at the first annual Nobel Prize Nanosecond Party, sponsored by the YC Office of the Dean.

Professors had six minutes to discuss prize winners in their respective fields, as well as their research and contributions.

The following professors presented the various Nobel Prize winners for each category:

Prof. Shopon Mollah: Nobel Prize in Medicine
Prof. Neer Asherie: Nobel Prize in Physics
Prof. Bruce Hrnjez: Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Prof. Elizabeth Stewart: Nobel Prize in Literature
Prof. Evan Resnick: Nobel Prize for Peace
Prof. Elias Grivoyannis: Nobel Prize in Economics


Oct 27, 2004 — The Leonard and Bea Diener Institute of Jewish Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and the Rebecca Ivry Department of Jewish Studies at Stern College for Women will host an international conference, “Between Rashi and Maimonides: Themes in Medieval Jewish Law, Thought, and Culture,” November 21-23.

The conference will feature speakers from Cardozo, Stern College, and Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, as well as an array of scholars from institutions in New York, Israel, and Canada. It will be held at Cardozo’s Brookdale Center (55 Fifth Avenue at 12th Street) and in two venues at the Beren Campus (215 Lexington Avenue and 119-121 E. 29th Street).

Five sessions comprise the conference: “Methodologies of Legal Interpretation,” “Mysticism and Exegesis,” Comparative Perspectives,” Dimensions of Maimonidean Thought,” and “Multidisciplinary Approaches.” All sessions free and open to the public. For information, please call the Rebecca Ivry Department of Jewish Studies at Stern, 212-340-7730.


Mark Green shares his views with students during Tuesday's event.

Oct 27, 2004 — Students packed the Commons at 215 Lexington Ave. on the Beren Campus Tuesday evening to hear campaign representatives for President George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry discuss the candidates’ foreign policy views.

The debate, hosted by the Israel Club and the Political Science Club, featured Mark Green, co-chair of Kerry’s New York State campaign, and Beth Spanier, a Republican activist and speaker.

While some students were still undecided, others attended out of curiosity.

Bella Belsky, a Stern junior who interned at the Republican National Convention, said she needed clarification about Kerry’s stance on Israel.

“I have heard that he is pro-Israel, but I have also heard him make conflicting statements so I want to hear what they have to say,” she said.

Stern junior Shani Fruchter said the speakers could still change her vote.

“Im pretty decided, but I could still change my mind,” she said.

But Yeshiva College freshman Michael Rand, a native of Hollywood, FL, said while he has already voted through an absentee ballot, he had concerns regarding Kerry’s foreign policy plan.

“I want to find out if the Democrats have a legitimate plan for Iraq and if it actually differs from Bush’s,” he said.

Bryan Daves, assistant professor of Political Science at Stern College, moderated and formulated questions posed to each representative. Questions focused on policies concerning Israel, Iraq, Sudan, and the role of the United States within the United Nations.

“Eight years of a Clinton administration has led to the worst possibilities for peace in the Middle East,” Spanier said in her closing statement. “Bush will not allow the United States to be coerced into not defending Israel.”

Green, who urged students to consider a multitude of issues when casting their votes, said: “John Kerry has a better domestic agenda. While both candidates are ardent supporters of Israel, only one (Kerry) is a friend of the domestic social agenda of the Jewish community.”

More photos


Students and parents meet with faculty at last year's Open House.

Oct 26, 2004 — Yeshiva University will welcome hundreds of high school students from across North America at its annual Open House program on the Israel Henry Beren Campus, Sunday, October 31.

Young women and their parents will spend the day exploring the midtown buildings of Stern College for Women and Sy Syms School of Business. YU faculty and administration will be on hand to greet visitors and offer information on the many liberal arts, science, and business programs, and the rich variety of Jewish studies options offered by the undergraduate colleges. Students will also learn about YU’s successful career, corporate, and graduate/medical/law school placement programs.

This year’s Open House will feature an Israel Fair, where representatives from many of YU’s S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program schools will present information on opportunities to study in Israel.

In addition, Open House is an occasion for students to meet their peers from other high schools.

The program will be held in the Geraldine Schottenstein Cultural Center, 239 East 34th Street (between Second and Third Avenues), from 9:30 am to 3 pm.

The Wilf Campus Open House will take place on November 14. For more information, please contact the Office of Admissions at 212-960-5277 or


Rabbi Michael Rosensweig

Oct 25, 2004 — An unprecedented initiative by Yeshiva University offers men of all ages, Jewish backgrounds, and educational levels the opportunity to participate in traditional yeshiva learning with YU’s most celebrated roshei yeshiva on Sunday mornings.

“Yeshiva University is striving to serve our communities with initiatives aimed at strengthening Jewish life and learning—through Torah seminars, kollelim (advanced Torah study), and opening our doors to all those who wish to learn with our rabbinical students, rebbeim, and Torah scholars,” said Yeshiva University President Richard M. Joel.

The Kollel Yom Rishon, designed to accommodate working people, is located at Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus in Washington Heights, home of the university’s affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS). The new initiative utilizes the beit midrash (study hall), where participants receive and review material to prepare for a shiur (lecture) that follows. Each week the shiur is given by one of RIETS’ roshei yeshiva (professors of Talmud) including Rabbi Meir Goldwicht, Rabbi Yaakov Neuburger, Rabbi Michael Rosensweig, Rabbi Yonason Sacks, Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Rabbi Mayer Twersky, and Rabbi Mordechai I. Willig.

The Kollel Yom Rishon takes place at Zysman Hall’s Main Beit Midrash, 2540 Amsterdam Avenue (between 186th and 187th streets). Shacharit (morning prayer service) begins at 7:45 and 8:10 am in Morgenstern Hall (2525 Amsterdam Avenue). A light breakfast follows Shacharit outside the Main Beit Midrash. Learning commences at 9 am, the shiur at 9:40 am, concluding at 11 am.

No registration is required and there is no fee for participating. Free parking is provided in Parking Lot E, at Amsterdam Avenue opposite 183rd Street. For more information, contact or call 212-960-5265 . For program updates, future schedules, and audio recording of each shiur, please visit


Terri Ash, right, one of the participants at the economics debate. At left is Shoshana Herman, who introduced the debate.

Oct 25, 2004 — Students from Stern College for Women and Sy Syms School of Business on the Beren Campus recently presented persuasive arguments focusing on economic issues at the heart of this year’s presidential election.

The presentations were part of an interactive debate, featuring commentary from about 20 audience members made up of Beren Campus students. The combination made for lively discussion and tested the preparation of those presenting the arguments.

Organized and sponsored by SCW’s Economics Club, the event focused on issues including: the privatization of social security, welfare reform, stem-cell research, abortion, private vs. public education, and one-issue voters. Those students who presented arguments included: Terri Ash, Eliana Bauer, Adina Borg, Jennifer Feldman, Rachel Levenson, Gali Portnoy, and Stephanie Schneebaly.

Sarah Topr Agadjani, president of the Economics Club, said she planned the interactive debate as an opportunity for students to explore and discuss serious issues. Though the Economics Club sponsored the debate, Ms. Agadjani said the issues were broadened to include some less economic in nature, such as abortion and one-issue voting, although economics were tangentially related to all arguments presented.

Professer Dennis Hoover, lecturer in Economics on the Beren Campus, said all seven arguements were well articulated and persuasive. But, according to rules of the debate, he chose three he thought were best.

Professor Hoover singled out the presentations by the following three students: Terri Ash (private vs. public education); Gali Portnoy (stem-cell research); and Adina Borg (one-issue voters). All three students were awarded $50.

Ms. Agadjani summed up the evening when she said it was “an honor to go to school with such smart and well-spoken women.” She said she felt everyone who attended the debate “will be more well-informed as a result.”


Zev Rosenwaks, MD, presents an overview of scientific advances in the areas of assisted reproduction, cloning, and stem cell research.

Oct 25, 2004 — An analysis of how Jewish law and ethics affect scientific advances and research formed the backdrop of an October 24 panel discussion “When Man Creates Man: Assisted Reproduction, Cloning, and Stem Cell Research through the Prism of Halacha and Ethics.”

The fifth in a seven-part lecture series celebrating Stern College for Women’s 50th anniversary, the program took place at the Yeshiva University Museum, where “Five Decades. One Dream.” an exhibit that highlights the growth and achievement of Stern on its 50th anniversary, opened on October 21.

Panelists were: Rabbi J. David Bleich, PhD, Herbert and Florence Tenzer Professor of Jewish Law and Ethics at YU’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and rosh yeshiva at YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary; Nancy N. Dubler, LLB, director of bioethics at Montefiore Medical Center and co-director of the Program in Bioethics and Medical Humanities at YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine; and Zev Rosenwaks, MD, director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University.

The discussion was moderated by Rabbi Edward I. Reichman, MD, assistant professor in the department of emergency medicine at Montefiore Medical Center and assistant professor in the department of epidemiology and population health at Einstein.

Dr. Rosenwaks led the presentations with an overview of the past, present, and future of assisted reproduction, cloning, and stem cell research; Ms. Dubler pointed out some of the ethical issues that have arisen since the advent of these technologies, and shared her views on the role of government in regulating them; and Rabbi Bleich discussed each procedure from the perspectives of Jewish law and philosophy. The presentations were followed by a lively panel discussion driven by audience questions.

For more information on this and other Stern-at-50 events, contact 212-340-7862 or e-mail


(L to R) Richard M. Joel, Yeshiva University President; Doris Travis, Stern College board member and dinner chair; Karen Bacon, dean of Stern College; and Billy Ivry, Stern College board member.

Oct 22, 2004 — Yeshiva University President Richard M. Joel and Chancellor Norman Lamm joined leaders of the university’s Board of Trustees and Stern College for Women’s Board of Directors at an October 21 gala dinner at the Yeshiva University Museum to celebrate the opening of “Five Decades. One Dream,” a museum exhibit that traces Stern College’s history through photos and artifacts.

The exhibit groups items around the ideas of study, spirituality, social responsibility, and campus life. A timeline explores the essence of a Stern education featuring events during its history and pairing them with milestones in Jewish life, the nation’s history, and international events. In addition, a video, “Portraits of Promise,” helps bring the Stern experience to life through testimonials by current students, accomplished alumnae, faculty, and college supporters.

SCW Musem Opening photo gallery

President Joel and Chancellor Lamm presented awards to dinner honorees Karen Bacon, PhD, The Dr. Monique C. Katz Dean of Stern College, and E. Billi Ivry, a Stern College board member and one of the school’s most devoted patrons. President Joel expressed gratitude to all of the philanthropists who have nurtured the growth of Stern College and to the faculty and administration, led by Dean Bacon, for making Stern “a leadership cauldron for the Jewish community.”

The dinner was chaired by Stern College board member Doris Travis. “Five Decades. One Dream” runs through January 9, 2005 at Yeshiva University Museum, 15 W. 16th Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, in The Center for Jewish History.