Nov 3, 2008 — Yeshiva University celebrated its longstanding ties to Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun at a Shabbaton on Nov. 7 at the synagogue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The event came a month before the University’s 84th Annual Hanukkah Dinner and Convocation, which will honor communal leaders including Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, spiritual leader of Kehilath Jeshurun.
Rabbi Lookstein, the Joseph H. Lookstein Professor of Homiletics at Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and a past president of Yeshiva University Rabbinic Alumni, will receive an honorary degree from YU at the Hanukkah Convocation.
President Richard M. Joel spoke at an oneg for high school students on Friday night and delivered an address, ‘Thoughts on the Destination of Abraham,’ after the shacharit [morning] prayer service on Saturday.
Allen M. Spiegel, MD, The Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, talked about the impact of genetics on medicine in the future with a particular emphasis on Jewish genetic diseases at seudah shlishit [late afternoon meal] after the mincha [afternoon] service. This was followed by a question-and-answer session led by President Joel.
Both Rabbi Lookstein and his wife, Audrey, are YU alumni. Rabbi Lookstein received his semikhah [ordination] from RIETS in 1958 and his Ph.D. in modern Jewish history from Bernard Revel Graduate of Jewish Studies School in 1977. Mrs. Lookstein (née Katz) graduated from Yeshiva University High School for Girls in 1954 and is a member of the first graduating class of Stern College for Women (1958).
The Lookstein family has maintained a deep relationship with Yeshiva University for three-quarters of a century. Rabbi Joseph H. Lookstein (1902-1979), the founder of Ramaz and the first chancellor of Bar Ilan University, served as counsel to Dr. Samuel Belkin, YU’s second president, and taught homiletics to rabbinic students at RIETS. One of the leading modern orthodox luminaries of the last century, Joseph Lookstein was both an honorary YU Trustee and a board member of Yeshiva College and RIETS. His legacy is honored at YU by the Joseph H. Lookstein Chair in Homiletics at RIETS, occupied by his son, Haskel.
Rabbi Joshua I. Lookstein, the son of Rabbi Haskel and Audrey Lookstein, graduated from Yeshiva College and received his semikhah from RIETS in 1996. His sister, Shira Baruch, graduated from Stern College in 1987. All three of the Looksteins’ sons-in-law attended Yeshiva College and graduated from Albert Einstein College of Medicine.