Yeshiva University News » 2010 » June » 02

Jewish Communities Across North America Actively Increasing Opportunities for Singles to Meet and Become Involved
Jun 2, 2010 — The Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future’s inaugural Creating Connections weekend has successfully inspired dozens of North American Jewish communities to reach out and connect with local singles.

In the weeks since Creating Connections, communities across the country have begun revamping existing programming and creating additional social networking and matchmaking opportunities.

“The feedback we have received about the weekend from community organizers, Rabbis and participants – both single and married – leads us to believe that this was by no means a one-time thing. Rather, this is the beginning of a movement that will add a communal dimension to increase positive and proactive measures with singles,” said Dr. Efrat Sobolofsky, director of YUConnects, the CJF program that initiated and sponsored Creating Connections.

While several participating communities planned unique events for singles to meet and interact with other singles and married community members over the Creating Connections weekend, others devoted sermons and special lectures to the ways in which married couples can be most helpful to single friends and family members.

“Regardless of the format chosen by each community, the weekend was incredibly successful in encouraging lay leadership nationwide to do everything in their power to connect and increase opportunities with singles in their neighborhoods,” added Dr. Sobolofsky.

For the married participants, Creating Connections forced them to break from routine and interact with single community members outside of their age groups and networks of friends, a first for many. At the same time, many single participants also experienced networking events that were well run, enjoyable and had nearly perfect male to female ratios.

“After taking part in this exceptional weekend, Jewish communities are beginning to understand that everyone can help make a difference for the singles in their area. It is exciting to think that we may now be able to move from a longstanding state of good intentions and inactions when dealing with singles issues to a new paradigm of strong, appropriately-focused community efforts,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, the David Mitzner Dean of the CJF.

Several major Jewish organizations involved in singles programming, including the Orthodox Union, the National Council of Young Israel, SawYouAtSinai, Gateways, MakeAShidduch Foundation, FutureSimchas, Sasson V’Simcha and the Shalom Task Force, participated in the weekend and are strong supporters of the YUConnects program.

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Jun 2, 2010 — Yeshiva University announced today that the Center for the Jewish Future’s inaugural Creating Connections weekend (May 7-9, 2010) has successfully inspired dozens of North American Jewish communities to make significant strides toward being more mindful of and involved with their local singles.

In the three weeks since Creating Connections, communities across the country have begun revamping existing programming and creating additional social networking and matchmaking opportunities.

“The feedback we have received about the weekend from community organizers, Rabbis and participants – both single and married – leads us to believe that this was by no means a one-time thing. Rather, this is the beginning of a movement that will add a communal dimension to increasing positive and proactive measures with singles,” said Dr. Efrat Sobolofsky, Director of YUConnects, the CJF program that initiated and sponsored Creating Connections.

While several participating communities planned unique events for singles to meet and interact with other singles and married community members over the Creating Connections weekend, others devoted sermons and special lectures to the ways in which married couples can be most helpful to single friends and family members.

“Regardless of the format chosen by each community, the weekend was incredibly successful in encouraging lay leadership nationwide to do everything in their power to connect with and increase opportunities for the singles in their neighborhoods,” added Dr. Sobolofsky.

For the married participants, Creating Connections forced them to break from routine and interact with single community members outside of their age groups and networks of friends, a first for many. At the same time, many single participants also experienced a first: networking events that were well-run, enjoyable and had nearly perfect male to female ratios.

“After taking part in this exceptional weekend, our Jewish communities are beginning to understand that everyone can help make a difference for the singles in their area. It is exciting to think that we may now be able to move from a longstanding state of good intentions and inaction when dealing with singles issues to a new paradigm of strong, appropriately-focused community efforts,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, the David Mitzner Dean of the CJF.

“We are confident that this initiative will bring about the intended positive results because our single Creating Connections participants have expressed deep satisfaction with our efforts as well as a desire to become more involved in the planning and programming of future events. As we see it, we can only be successful if we reach out to singles and invite them to voice their preferences in order to create the best-suited resources.”

Several major Jewish organizations involved in singles programming, including the Orthodox Union, the National Council of Young Israel, SawYouAtSinai, Gateways, MakeAShidduch Foundation, FutureSimchas, Sasson V’Simcha and the Shalom Task Force, participated in the weekend and are strong supporters of the YUConnects program.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Elie Klein
Ruder Finn Israel for Yeshiva University
Cell: + 972-54-467-6967
Office: + 972-2-589-2013
Email: elie@ruderfinn.co.il

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Jun 2, 2010 — More than 600 students from Yeshiva University’s undergraduate schools were presented with their degrees at YU’s 79th commencement exercises at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, May 26.

Among the graduates, eight students were selected for special distinction as valedictorians for their exceptional academic achievements.

Fay Burekhovich, the valedictorian of both the Stern College for Women general studies program and the Rebecca Ivry Jewish Studies Program, capitalized on both intellectual and leadership opportunities as an honors student, double majoring in biology and Jewish studies and as the co-founder and president of the Autism Awareness Club.

“The courses I took at Stern allowed me to stretch my creative, intellectual and critical abilities in ways I never imagined,” said Burekhovich, who also delivered the commencement valedictory address. “Additionally, my involvement in the Autism Awareness Club and the Stern College chesed [kindness] club, iGive, granted me numerous opportunities to step up and contribute my unique talents in various ways to help people.”

The other valedictorians included Willie Roth, Yeshiva College; Gail Klinger and David Weiss of Sy Syms School of Business; Isaac Kuyunov, James Striar School of General Jewish Studies; Jonathen Solaimanzadeh, Isaac Breuer College of Hebraic Studies; Aryeh Green, Irving I. Stone Beit Midrash Program; and Avi Harari, Yeshiva Program/Mazer School of Talmudic Studies.

“During my time at Yeshiva University, I learned how to live as an Orthodox Jew in today’s world,” said Green, who majored in business and management. “Through the Torah I learned from my rabbis and under the tutelage of my Syms professors, like Drs. Lisa Rosh and Steven Nissenfeld, I was transformed from a student into a professional able to thrive in the business world as a G-d-fearing person.”

But students are moving on with more than just a quality education. For example, Klinger, an accounting major, landed a coveted position in a very competitive job market with the support of the University’s Career Development Center.

“I attended a career fair hosted by YU, which enabled me to secure an internship at KPMG,” said Klinger, who will be working full-time in the renowned accounting firm’s auditing department in October.

Reflecting on his time at YU, Roth, a Jewish studies major, highlighted the friendships he made as having the biggest impact on his YU experience. “My fellow students share a passion for Torah and academic excellence, but above all are always concerned with the well-being and success of their neighbors,” he said. “Living amongst such a community has been a truly formative experience.”

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