Aug 23, 2005 — Fourteen of Yeshiva University’s 2005 graduates have decided to spend another year on campus participating in the Presidential Fellows program established by President Richard M. Joel.
Now in its second year, the Presidential Fellows program is part of a broader effort to train top graduates at the university and expand YU’s service to the Jewish community.
“The program takes our top graduates behind the scenes of the institution they have come to know so well as students,” said President Joel. “My intention is to inspire these young people to develop leadership skills while drawing on their valuable experience as students.”
The Fellows were chosen after an intense screening process based on their academic performance, campus leadership, and concern for the Jewish community. Each fellow will work hand in hand with a senior administrator, who will mentor them and elicit their feedback as former students, said Sheldon R. Gelman, PhD, Dorothy and David I. Schachne Dean of YU’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work, who oversees the program.
“I have already gained so much knowledge about YU and the outside world,” said Malca Fink, who was president of the Stern College Student Council last year and has been working in Dean Gelman’s office since July.
Ms. Fink has “gone everywhere with the dean,” making valuable contacts in New York state and city agencies as she considers future studies in psychology or law.
Many of the new Fellows are considering careers in Jewish communal service and see their participation as a good way to test the waters.
“I hope I will gain both administrative skills and a professional network that can help me in my future career in Jewish communal work,” said Monsey native Aliza Abrams, who is working in the Max Stern Division of Communal Services.
The Fellows will attend biweekly leadership seminars covering key topics in university administration and Jewish communal leadership, and taught by Dean Gelman.
Last year’s Fellows made a substantial contribution to the university. They organized student activities across the US and Israel, developed a set of recommendations on enhancing YU’s undergraduate education, and created the Incubator Project to support community-focused programs in need of startup help.
Some of last year’s Fellows have been hired by the university. Joshua Ross is working part-time in the dean’s office at Sy Syms School of Business, and Anat Barber is splitting her time between a double master’s at NYU (where she will be studying on a Wexner Fellowship) and the Center for the Jewish Future.