Yeshiva University News » 2007 » January

Jan 29, 2007 — Diplomats and guests gathered at the Park East Synagogue in Manhattan on Jan. 24 to hear Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke discuss “Discipline Versus Dissent: A Dilemma in Times of Moral Crisis.” But the real honorees of the event were absent: a group of righteous individuals who defied their governments’ orders to help Jewish refugees escape the Holocaust. The 29 diplomats were stripped of their titles; some fell into obscurity, others were put to death.

These righteous individuals are the subjects of Diplomat Heroes of the Holocaust by Mordechai Paldiel, director of the Department of the Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem. The first book published by the Rabbi Arthur Schneier Center for International Affairs of Yeshiva University (in cooperation with Ktav Press), it was launched at the event in recognition of UN Resolution 60/7 (2005), which established International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27. The date marks the day that Auschwitz was liberated in 1945.

“Tonight we honor diplomats who risked their lives and careers to save thousands of [other] human lives,” said Rabbi Arthur Schneier, spiritual leader of the Park East Synagogue. He pointed to his own example as a survivor of the Holocaust who fled Budapest on a visa issued by one such righteous individual. “Judaism teaches that in every generation there are 36 righteous individuals who uphold the world—and they could be diplomats, taxi drivers, or construction workers,” Rabbi Schneier said.

In his address, Ambassador Holbrooke said that among the thousands of consuls in Europe at the time, only a small group had the courage to stand up for their convictions. Not all of them were well known, however. “There were other Raoul Wallenbergs,” Ambassador Holbrooke said. He recalled the story of Aristides de Sousa Mendes, a Portuguese aristocrat with 12 children, who issued visas to Jews seeking passage out of Bordeaux through Spain and Portugal. “He was fired within weeks and died in poverty. It was only in 1987 that President Mario Soares restored his name.”

The former ambassador to the UN related the diplomats’ ordeal to contemporary moral and political dilemmas. “There are genocides going on all the time in the world today and government policies that we don’t agree with—and there are consequences to standing up and speaking out,” he said. “When does an issue rise to a great moral level? We all have to ask ourselves, ‘What would I do?’”

After the lecture, Rabbi Schneier presented certificates to the diplomats representing the countries of origin of the righteous protectors in the book.

Comments

Jan 27, 2007 — On the evening of January 20, more than 2,000 students, friends, and family participated in the 2007 Women’s Choir Competition, “Kol Chatan V’kol Kallah,” co-sponsored by Yeshiva University and Kedma, an international student organization funded by United Jewish Appeal’s Partnership 2000 program.

Michlelet Mevaseret Yerushalayim came in first, followed by Midreshet Harovah, and Tomer Devorah in third place.

Yeshiva University President Richard M. Joel welcomed the students to the event, which was held at the Renaissance Hotel in Jerusalem.

The proceeds from ticket sales go to Rabbanit Kapach, an Israel Prize winner recognized for her work for underprivileged women. Since the Women’s Choir Competition began, more than $60,000 has been distributed to needy Jerusalem brides, most of whom are orphans.

In addition to the choir competition, volunteer students modeled Rabbanit Kapach’s ethnic wedding dresses from countries such as Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia.

The evening was filled with songs of hope for peace in Israel, as well as prayers for unity. The groups are judged on a variety of criteria including song originality, costumes and performance.

The Women’s Choir Competition is a highlight for the young women in the S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program. Students attend to see their friends, cheer on their midrashot, and learn about Yeshiva University, said Nava Hyman, admissions coordinator for women’s programs at YU in Israel.

“The place was just filled with electricity,” Mrs. Hyman said. “The audience participation was phenomenal.”

The Women’s Choir Competition began almost 10 years ago, and has grown exponentially in popularity since then.

Sixteen choirs participated this year, representing Midreshet Yeud, Darchei Binah, Midreshet Moriah, Midreshet Lindenbaum, Baer Miriam, Michlalah, Michlelet Mevaseret Yerushalayim, Tomer Devorah, Machon Gold, Michlelet Esther, Orot, Midreshet Harova, Tiferet, Shaalvim for Women, Emunah V’omanut, and Bnot Torah Institute.

Comments

Jan 25, 2007 — More than 150 Yeshiva University alumni and friends joined together at the Hazvi Yisrael (Hovevei Tzion) synagogue in Jerusalem for a Kollel Yom Rishon and Midreshet Yom Rishon night of learning in January.

YU President Richard M. Joel, who was visiting Israel, provided introductory remarks. President Joel explained that the Kollel/Midreshet Yom Rishon model has proven to be so popular that communities outside of New York are inquiring about starting similar programs.

The Jerusalem evening was initiated by the Center for the Jewish Future in order to attract visitors to Israel during January’s Yeshiva Break, with the hope that Israeli alumni and friends would be able to participate.

Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Mayer Twersky discussed “Insights into Tefilah: Defining our Relationship with Hashem.” RIETS Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh spoke about “Kedushat Eretz Yisrael.” Rebbetzin Smadar Rosensweig who, beginning in September 2007, will be a full time faculty member of Stern College for Women, spoke about “From the Depths of Shechem to the Glory of Geula: The Remarkable Ascension of Shevit Levi.” These shiurim are now available to all on the YUTorah.org web site.

Comments

Jan 24, 2007 — Rochel Berman, author of Dignity Beyond Death: The Jewish Preparation for Burial, was at Stern College for Women on Wednesday, Jan. 24, speaking to students about the process and beauty of Tahara, or ritual cleansing of the dead.

The program, “When Ordinary People Do Extraordinary Things: How We Ensure Dignity Beyond Death,” was sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs, Office of the Academic Dean, the Stern College for Women Student Council, the Torah Activities Council and the Sy Syms School of Business Student Council.

Mrs. Berman spoke about the power, spirituality and importance of Tahara.

The shiur was given in memory of Elizabeth Isaacs Gilbert, the first dean of Stern College for Women, who passed away in December at the age of 104. Mrs. Berman and Dean Gilbert both served on The Rosh Pinah Chevra Kadisha of Westchester County.

Nancy Klein, Dean Isaacs’ daughter, was also at the program, and participated in The Rosh Pinah Chevra Kadisha of Westchester County as well. In honor of the value Dean Gilbert placed on Tahara, Mrs. Berman’s book was presented to all of the students in attendance at the program.

Mrs. Klein’s daughter Abby also spoke at the program, citing the importance of Tahara to her grandmother and her personal recollections about her grandmother.

Comments

Jan 24, 2007 — Yeshiva University (YU) will present a Community Day of Learning on the topic of “Raising Positive Children: The Respective Roles of Parents and Educators,” hosted by the Denver Academy of Torah, on Sunday, February 4, from 9 am to 12:30 pm, at 6825 East Alameda Ave., in Denver.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, will feature Dr. Rona Novick, associate professor at YU’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration and associate professor of child and adolescent psychology at YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine; and Rabbi Dr. Michael D. Shmidman, dean of undergraduate Jewish studies at Yeshiva University, and rabbi of Congregation Orach Chaim in New York City.

Free babysitting is available during the entire conference. To RSVP or for more information call 720-859-6806. More information is available at www.datcampus.org.

Community Day of Learning is a program of the Legacy Heritage Fund Rabbinic Enrichment Initiative at Yeshiva University.

Founded in 1886, Yeshiva University brings together the heritage of Western civilization and the ancient traditions of Jewish law and life. More than 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students study at YU’s four New York City campuses: the Wilf Campus, Israel Henry Beren Campus, Brookdale Center, and Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus. YU’s three undergraduate schools –– Yeshiva College, Stern College for Women, and Sy Syms School of Business ––– offer a unique dual program comprised of Jewish studies and liberal arts courses. Its graduate and affiliate schools include Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, and Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. YU is ranked among the nation’s leading academic research institutions.

Comments

Caption: Eitan Magendzo and Dovid Waintraub clean stairwells in a women’s and children's shelter in Queens.

Jan 24, 2007 — Yeshiva University undergraduate students, under the guidance of the university’s Center for the Jewish Future, participated in a Five Borough Chesed Tour on Sunday, January 28, at five different locations in New York City.

In the Bronx, students painted kitchens and studio apartments at Metro House, a low-income housing development, in cooperation with the Met Council on Jewish Poverty.

In Queens, students steam cleaned walls and hallways at Hillside House, a women’s and children’s shelter, also in cooperation with the Met Council on Jewish Poverty. A photograph from the event is attached.

In Manhattan, students visited seniors in a home-hospital center on the Upper West Side and ran a Tu B’Shvat art project in conjunction with UJA. A photograph from the event is attached.

In Brooklyn, students organized a rally for women who are being denied a Get (religious divorce) by their husbands.

On Staten Island, students ran a Tu B’Shvat art project for a group of developmentally disabled and autistic children and adults, in conjunction with Chaverim at the Staten Island JCC, and also Tu B’Shvat seder for the elderly.

Founded in 1886, Yeshiva University brings together the heritage of Western civilization and the ancient traditions of Jewish law and life. More than 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students study at YU’s four New York City campuses: theWilf Campus, Israel Henry Beren Campus, Brookdale Center, and Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus. YU’s three undergraduate schools –– Yeshiva College, Stern College for Women, and Sy Syms School of Business ––– offer a unique dual program comprised of Jewish studies and liberal arts courses. Its graduate and affiliate schools include Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, and Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. YU is ranked among the nation’s leading academic research institutions.

Comments

Jan 24, 2007 — Yeshiva University (YU) President Richard M. Joel will celebrate the university’s partnership with Los Angeles alumni, donors, parents, and friends at a gala reception and dinner organized by Yeshiva University’s Los Angeles Community Council and the YU Office of Alumni Affairs on Sunday, February 11. The gathering will be hosted by Yeshiva College alumnus Avi Steinlauf (1993) of Edmunds.com and his family, and will take place at their company’s new corporate headquarters in Santa Monica. The reception will begin at 5:30 pm, and the dinner will begin at 6:30 pm.

This event will offer attendees an opportunity to meet President Joel, who will speak about the latest developments at the university. “Our charge at Yeshiva University is to ‘bring wisdom to life’ in all the places and avenues of life that YU graduates and families of our students call home,” said President Joel. “We may be situated on different coasts, but we share a common yearning for Torah values, Jewish education, and meaningful engagement with the world.”

Guests will also hear from Dr. David Srolovitz, the new dean of Yeshiva College, and Dr. Karen Bacon, The Dr. Monique C. Katz Dean of Stern College for Women.

The event is open to past and prospective YU students as well as alumni, parents, and friends. Students and their families who want to get a taste of YU are encouraged to attend. Funds raised will support the Fund for Yeshiva University and scholarships for students from the West Coast to attend the schools of Yeshiva University.

This event will offer an inside look at the newly designed space of Edmunds.com, which was featured in the January issue of Interior Design magazine. The office’s bold use of color, airy industrial spaces, and sleek retro styling convey a feeling of velocity and technology befitting its identity as an online source of information about the auto market.

For more information, please contact Paula Simmonds at 212-960-5373 or e-mail alumni@yu.edu. Please RSVP by February 5.

Founded in 1886, Yeshiva University brings together the heritage of Western civilization and the ancient traditions of Jewish law and life. More than 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students study at YU’s four New York City campuses: the Wilf Campus, Israel Henry Beren Campus, Brookdale Center, and Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus. YU’s three undergraduate schools –– Yeshiva College, Stern College for Women, and Sy Syms School of Business ––– offer a unique dual program comprised of Jewish studies and liberal arts courses. Its graduate and affiliate schools include Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, and Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. YU is ranked among the nation’s leading academic research institutions.

Comments

Jan 24, 2007 — Yeshiva University undergraduate students, under the guidance of the university’s Center for the Jewish Future, will be participating in a Five Borough Chesed Tour on Sunday, January 28, at five different locations in New York City.

In the Bronx, students will be painting kitchens and studio apartments in a low-income housing development, in cooperation with the Met Council on Jewish Poverty. Sarah Felsenthal and Aaron Steinberg are the contact people on site. The address is Metro House, 2287 University Ave., Bronx. Students will arrive at 2:30 pm.

In Queens, students will steam clean walls and hallways at a women’s and children’s shelter, also in cooperation with the Met Council on Jewish Poverty. The address is Hillside House, 163-03 89th Ave., Jamaica, and the contact people on site are Stefanie Greenberg and Beth Katz. Students will arrive at 2:30 pm. Photographs of this event will be available early next week.

In Manhattan, students will visit seniors in a home-hospital center and run a Tu B’Shvat art project in conjunction with UJA beginning at 2:15 pm. The address is 120 West 106th St., New York. Contact people on site are Espie, Judy and Moshe Bellows. Photographs of this event will be available early next week.

In Brooklyn, students will organize a rally for women who are being denied a Get (religious divorce) by their husbands. For the location of the rally, please contact Yeshiva University’s Office of Media Relations at 212-960-5488.

On Staten Island, students will run a Tu B’Shvat art project for a group of developmentally disabled and autistic children and adults, in conjunction with Chaverim at the Staten Island JCC. The address is 1297 Arthur Kill Road, Staten Island, and the contact people on site are Glen Wechsler and Laya Pelzner. At the same address, a second group of students will run a Tu B’Shvat seder for the elderly. The contact people for this project are Jodie and Laya Pelzner. Both programs begin at 2:45 pm.

Founded in 1886, Yeshiva University brings together the heritage of Western civilization and the ancient traditions of Jewish law and life. More than 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students study at YU’s four New York City campuses: theWilf Campus, Israel Henry Beren Campus, Brookdale Center, and Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus. YU’s three undergraduate schools –– Yeshiva College, Stern College for Women, and Sy Syms School of Business ––– offer a unique dual program comprised of Jewish studies and liberal arts courses. Its graduate and affiliate schools include Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, and Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. YU is ranked among the nation’s leading academic research institutions.

Comments

Jan 24, 2007 — Former UN Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke will speak on the conflicts facing diplomats and people of conscience in times of moral crisis when he keynotes an event sponsored by the Rabbi Arthur Schneier Center for International Affairs at Yeshiva University on Wednesday, January 24. The program begins at 8 p.m. at the Park East Synagogue, 164 East 68th St.

The event coincides with the publication of Diplomat Heroes of the Holocaust by Mordechai Paldiel, director of The Righteous Among the Nations department at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Institute in Israel. The book is the first issued by the Schneier Center and is being published in conjunction with KTAV Press.

The book details how courageous diplomats in China, Spain, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland, Brazil, Holland, Turkey, Italy, Yugoslavia, Japan, Germany and the Vatican risked their lives and careers to save Jews during the Holocaust. Their diplomatic protection saved tens of thousands of Jews.

The occasion will also commemorate the historic and timely United Nations resolution 60/7 (2005), which established January 27 as the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. Auschwitz, the infamous concentration camp, was liberated on January 27, 1945. The resolution has particular resonance in light of the international conference on Holocaust denial recently held in Tehran, which attempted to revise history.

Admission to the lecture is free and open to the public. To RSVP, write to schneiercenter@yu.edu or call 212-737-6900.

The Rabbi Arthur Schneier Center for International Affairs of Yeshiva University, inaugurated in March 2004, seeks to promote international understanding and cooperation by providing an educational forum for the exchange of ideas related to diverse critical issues in our increasingly interdependent world. The Center draws upon the academic and intellectual resources of all schools and affiliates of Yeshiva University and promotes research and publication on the part of all its students and faculty. Concerned with a broad spectrum of global issues, ranging from political problems of war and peace, human rights and welfare, to world problems of public health, the environment, and international regulations and law, the Schneier Center sponsors public lectures by notable world personalities and leaders, as well as educational programs for college and university students. The Center is committed to enhancing citizen participation and civic culture. It works with public and private organizations dedicated to improving the individual’s ability to live and function in a globalizing world. Consonant with its vision of a world defined by tolerance for difference, the Rabbi Arthur Schneier Center for International Affairs of Yeshiva University sets the standard for open dialogue, peacefully conducted.

Comments

Jan 23, 2007 — In an effort to sensitize students to the signs of abusive relationships, Yeshiva University’s Counseling Center, the Wilf Campus Office of Student Affairs, and YU’s Center for the Jewish Future hosted “Flowers Aren’t Enough,” a one-woman show starring Naomi Ackerman.

More than 80 young men attended the play and the question and answer session that follwed at the Rubin Shul on the Wilf Campus. A similar program was held on the Beren Campus for female students last year.

“We wanted to get the message out there that domestic violence does occur in the Jewish community and that it should not be brushed under the carpet,” said Dr. Victor Schwartz, University Dean of Students.

In the show, Michal, a young woman from an upper-middle-class family, describes how her partner gradually narrows her world, isolating her from her friends and family. Members of the audience see her denial, guilt, and how social conditioning intensifies her shame and despair. They witness Michal sink into darkness and then watch her take charge of her life.

Ms. Ackerman created the monologue from true stories and actual incidents shared by women willing to talk about their all-too-common experiences. The show has been performed more than 800 times in Israel, Australia, and other venues around the world.

Comments