Jan 5, 2007 — Undergraduate students from Yeshiva University (YU), under the direction of The Center for the Jewish Future (CJF), will bring their Jewish knowledge and enthusiasm for learning to different Jewish communities as part of the new Jewish Life Coast-to-Coast program.
“Through this trip, our students get a closer look at Jewish communal life and leadership,” said Rabbi Ari Rockoff, director of the CJF’s Department of Community Initiatives. “Many of them have already expressed interest in the communities they’ve visited, and we hope that interest will inspire them to pursue future roles as leaders in Jewish life.”
The 18 students left New York on January 2, traveling by bus to Baltimore, MD, where they visited the JCC of Park Heights. From there they traveled to Richmond, VA, where they visited with community members at Knesseth Beit Israel and stayed overnight in members’ homes.
From Richmond, the group took the bus to Charleston, SC, where they facilitated family learning programs at Brith Sholom Beth Israel. On the morning of January 4, the YU group conducted programs for third through eighth graders at Addlestone Hebrew Academy and met with the school’s principal.
They then headed to Atlanta, where the YU students visited Young Israel of Toco Hills. Jewish Life Coast-to-Coast participant Adina Borg gave a class for adults. Ms. Borg, a student at YU’s Stern College for Women, participated in the CJF Atlanta Summer Kollel in 2006 where she gave several classes, and the community requested that she facilitate a program during Coast to Coast. Rabbi Michael J. Broyde, YU alumnus, spoke to students about what it is like to be a rabbi outside of the New York City area.
On January 5, the YU students flew to New Orleans, where their first order of business was be to see the areas of the city hardest-hit by Hurricane Katrina. They spent Shabbat with Congregation Beth Israel, giving shiurim (classes) and adding to the Shabbat experience. On January 7, the group will volunteer with NECHAMA, a group that facilitates disaster response volunteer projects. The YU students will do some restoration and cleanup work around New Orleans.
The group will fly to Miami for the last leg of their coast-to-coast tour. On January 9, they will spend the day at Maimonides Day School and Hillel Academy, running programs for the students.
The YU students will facilitate an adult learning program at Highland Lakes Beit David Synagogue on January 10. The following day the students will again visit Maimonides Day School and Hillel Academy. From there they will travel to Boca Raton, where they will offer an adult education program at Boca Raton Synagogue and the Boca Kollel.
The students’ final Shabbat will be in Boynton Beach and Highland Lakes with host families, where they will meet with high school students and share meals with the communities. The YU students will return to New York on January 14.
The Center for the Jewish Future works with YU’s colleges, schools, and affiliates to shape programs that will train Jewish lay and professional leadership, develop initiatives and strengthen existing ones, as well as deliver services to its students and the Jewish community at large.
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.