Yeshiva University News » 2007 » June » 11

Aryeh Rosenbaum will play for the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox.

Jun 11, 2007 — When the Israel Baseball League plays its first-ever game on June 24, YU alumnus Dovid Green wil be there, playing the infield for the Petach Tikva Pioneers. Yeshiva College junior Aryeh Rosenbaum will take his place on the field the following day with the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox.

At the inaugural player draft that took place on April 26, Green was the 59th player drafted out of the 60 named that day. (In a symbolic gesture, number 60 was baseball legend Sandy Koufax.)

Mr. Green, a graduate student in psychology at Columbia University, practiced with the YU team—which, he said proudly, is now an NCAA team—where coaches Norman Ringel and Howie Blitz treated him “like family.”

Mr. Green, who hails from Newton, MA, and who helped form the YU baseball team in his junior year, said he dreamed of playing professional baseball “since I was a little kid, but I couldn’t figure out how I could both play for the Boston Red Sox and remain an observant Jew.”

So when the opportunity came along “to play professional ball and be the same person I am, I realized I could fulfill my dream,” he said.

While the 42-game, three-month IBL season will no doubt be taxing, “it will be the best summer job I have ever had,” Green joked before his departure, noting that games aired on Israeli television will be simulcast on the Internet so Americans will be able to share the excitement.

Mr. Rosenbaum—a member of the YU baseball team this past year—attended IBL tryouts in Hinsdale, MA. He had to wait until the college baseball season was over before if he accepted the invitation to join. “If I had joined the league, it would have made me ineligible to play on YU’s team because the NCAA doesn’t allow professional athletes to compete in the college division,” Mr. Rosenbaum said.

He chose the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox, he said, “because there are lots of Americans in [the town of] Bet Shemesh who will identify with me and support our team.” The fact that their colors are white and blue, like the YU Maccabees, was another draw, he admitted.

The pre-med student remembers citing “professional baseball player” as his dream job in his tenth-grade economics class, only to be told by one of his friends, “Orthodox Jews can’t play professional baseball.”

“Well now they can,” Rosenbaum says. “And in Israel, no less.”

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Michael Goon and Chaya Citrin are coordinating students' efforts to get the bill passed.

Jun 11, 2007 — When Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), speaking at Stern College last spring noted that she had submitted legislation on funding for Holocaust education, Joseph Luders, PhD, assistant professor of political science, saw a role for his students to play.

“I suggested that they pry it from the subcommittee, where it had died in previous Congresses,” Dr. Luders said. “Their job is to help the bill through the legislative obstacle course. I’m confident that they can make this happen.”

If passed, the Simon Wiesenthal Holocaust Education Assistance Act (HR 1092) will provide $2 million a year for five years to non-profit educational organizations to fund classes, conferences, educational materials, and teacher training to educate about the Holocaust.

Incoming sophomore Chaya Citrin, the project’s coordinator at Stern, said her 23-member group lobbied the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education. When the bill was introduced to Congress in February, it had nine cosponsors, a number that had risen to 41 by the time of its referral to the subcommittee on June 5.

“The bill is not controversial and we don’t believe anyone will vote against it,” Citrin said. “But there are so many bills submitted to Congress, it will take a lot of pushing and drumming up of public support.”

The Yeshiva College contingent, headed by incoming senior Michael Goon, took on the Senate subcommittee. He reported that while the bill is still in committee, two sponsors—Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (NJ) and Senator Arlen Specter (PA)—have joined its original sponsor, Senator Robert Menendez (NJ).

In addition, students have solicited the support of religious, education, and human rights groups in each representative’s district and urged them to call for passage of the bill.

“It cultivates their leadership skills and teaches them that they are capable of bringing about positive political change,” Dr. Luders said, pointing out that students “button-holed” people on campus and set up tables with petitions and sample letters addressed to members of Congress.

“I’ve learned that getting involved in politics is time-consuming and requires a lot of effort,” says Citrin.

Yu.edu readers can check out www.house.gov and write to subcommittee members in their state if they would like to support this initiative.

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Top row, L-R: Honorees Rabbi Meir Goldwicht, Rabbi Shlomo Hochberg, and Rabbi Mordechai Besser. Bottom row, L-R: Rabbi Zevulun Charlop, the Max and Marion Grill Dean of RIETS; YU President Richard M. Joel; Rabbi Norman Lamm, YU Chancellor and Rosh HaYeshiva of RIETS; and Julius Berman, chairman of the RIETS Board of Trustees.

Jun 11, 2007 — Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), an affiliate of Yeshiva University, honored distinguished RIETS rosh yeshiva (professor of Talmud) Rabbi Meir Goldwicht, along with Rabbi Shlomo Hochberg and Rabbi Mordechai Besser, at a dinner celebrating Torah excellence at YU on Sunday, June 10, in New York City. More than 500 rabbis, lay leaders, congregants, family members, and friends from the tri-state area attended the event.

President Richard M. Joel called the three honorees “pillars of the rabbinical community.” The dinner program featured rousing tributes to the rabbis. “The phrase ‘Torah excellence’ needs no full explanation,” said Julius Berman, chairman of the RIETS Board of Trustees, to the attentive crowd. “It is the desire and all-encompassing drive to share their Torah knowledge with others.”

Rabbi Goldwicht, who is the Joel and Maria Finkle Visiting Israeli Rosh Yeshiva and a rosh yeshiva at Yeshiva University’s undergraduate Yeshiva Program/Mazer School of Talmudic Studies, is a prominent Israeli scholar and educator. He is head rosh yeshiva at Yeshiva University’s Irving I. Stone Beit Midrash Program. A popular lecturer who delivers over 1,000 inspiring shiurim (lectures) every year, Rabbi Goldwicht was described as “an absolute phenomenon” by Rabbi Zevulun Charlop for his colorful style that captivates the Yeshiva student body, communities around the United States and in Israel. “He’s a shiur machine with a heart,” said President Joel.

Rabbi Hochberg, who leads the Young Israel of Jamaica Estates and is mashgiach ruchani (spiritual advisor) of Stern College for Women, received the RIETS Distinguished Rabbinic Leadership award. He was recently elected president of the Rabbinical Council of America, an organization of Orthodox rabbis established in 1935. “Rabbi Hochberg is filled with an overwhelming sense of mission and devoted to the service of his people,” said Julius Berman.

Rabbi Besser, principal of Manhattan Day School, received the RIETS Educator of the Year award for his exemplary leadership and guidance to hundreds of students every year. He resides in Kew Gardens Hills, NY. President Joel called Rabbi Besser “an educator par excellence” and a model for generations of educators.

“The most important thing is to love the child,” said Rabbi Besser. “It’s more important than mathematics, than anything else. That will motivate him or her to do so much more.”

Rabbi Hochberg and Rabbi Besser are musmakhim (rabbinical graduates) of RIETS. The tribute dinner also recognized the 25th and 50th anniversary classes of RIETS.

Yeshiva College Board member A. Richard Parkoff introduced Rabbi Dr. Gilbert Klaperman, who presented the first annual Rabbi Dr. Gilbert Klaperman Prize in Talmud and Comparative Law to Shmuel Segal, a student attending both RIETS and Harvard Law School. Mr. Segal is the grandson of the renowned Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik and the grandnephew of Rabbi Dr. Joseph Soloveitchik, “The Rav” — the Talmud scholar, philosopher, author, and teacher, who ordained some 2,000 rabbis in his 45 year affiliation with RIETS.

RIETS Board member Rabbi Joel Schrieber spoke of RIETS’ new outreach program, which is part of YU’s Center for the Jewish Future. “CJF is the brainchild of Richard Joel,” he said. “It’s a leadership incubator that is creating a global movement.”

General chairman of the dinner was Steven Adelsberg, secretary of Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration. Honorary chairman was Maria Finkle, who established, with her late husband Joel, the RIETS Joel and Maria Finkle Visiting Israeli Rosh Yeshiva Program.

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