Honors Program Presents International Conference on Messianism on April 3
Throughout the ages, Jews have dreamt of the coming of the Messiah. This yearning for the arrival of a redemptive age, included by some Jewish thinkers as a tenet of faith, served as a beacon of hope in times of crisis and led to many remarkable episodes in Jewish history, from the times of the Second Temple up to the present day.
This year’s Yeshiva College Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Programstudent-run conference brings together leading scholars in the field of Jewish studies to explore the history of Jewish messianism, as well as its evolving theological meaning. The April 3 conference begins at 1:30 PM at YU’s Washington Heights Wilf Campus, Furst Hall, Room 501, 500 West 185th Street.
Speakers include David Berger, dean and Ruth and I. Lewis Gordon Professor of Jewish History at YU’s Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies; Benjamin Ish-Shalom, Beit Morasha, Jerusalem; Reuven Kimelman, Brandeis University; Daniel Lasker, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; Ronnie Perelis, assistant professor and the Chief Rabbi Dr. Isaac Abraham and Jelena (Rachel) Alcalay Chair in Sephardic Studies at Revel; Lawrence Schiffman, YU vice provost; and Elliot Wolfson, New York University.
Rabbi Moshe Goldsmith Discusses Fogel Family Massacre, Devotion to Land at Yeshiva University Event
Speaking to a crowd of hundreds in Yeshiva University’s Lamport Auditorium, the mayor of Itamar, Rabbi Moshe Goldsmith, described the impact of five brutal murders on his small, close-knit community.
Rabbi Moshe Goldsmith, mayor of Itamar, shared his personal account of the Fogel family tragedy.
“For a community to lose a special family like the Fogels, there are no words to describe the pain,” Goldsmith said of the parents and three children murdered in Itamar on March 11. “This family has caused the entire Jewish world to wake up and realize that we can’t live our lives the same way anymore.”
During a presentation on Wednesday night, March 30, that featured photographs of the Fogel home and Itamar’s breached security fence, Goldsmith delivered a firsthand account of the night of the attack. “Families like ours were all in our houses, singing zemirot [songs] and celebrating Shabbat,” he said. “We had no idea what the terrorists were planning.”
Goldsmith explained how the attackers tested blind spots along the town’s fence and security camera for months in advance, then waited in an empty house next door for Tamar Fogel, 12, to escort school friends home before entering the Fogel home. A hand-written note of congratulations on the recent birth of Hadas, 3 months, was still hanging on the door.
“We’re on the front lines and so we’re targeted,” said Goldsmith, noting the town’s location in the heart of Judeo-Samaria. “This has been the hardest period in our lives. However, our response to these tragedies is not to give up—it is to build.” The Fogel home stands in a section of town that was constructed several years ago after members of another family were murdered by terrorists and their home set on fire.
To highlight the community’s heartfelt devotion to the land, Goldsmith showed a video of daily life in Itamar: children eating ice cream on benches, cucumbers growing in hothouses and chickens roaming backyards. “We are a people who just want to live a life of peace in Israel, yet every day we have to know things most people don’t know in a lifetime,” he said.
In a question-and-answer session, Goldsmith spoke about further security measures Itamar hopes to take, such as the purchase of another security camera and fence expansions that he expects will cost $80,000. But he added that vocal support for Israel from abroad, especially in the face of media bias and political opposition, was also critical. “I am amazed by the response of the American community, who has opened its arms to us to hear our story,” he said. “All we want is peace, yet we are the ones going around in bulletproof cars and buses and suffering terrible, terrible tragedies. The media has not written much about us, but everyone in this room can speak out, be brave and spread the truth.”
IDF veteran Adam Kugelman, president of YU’s Soldiers in Exile Club and a board member of the Israel Club, which sponsored Goldsmith’s talk together with the Yeshiva Student Union and Torah Activities Council, felt that the event provided an important personal connection for American Jews to the Itamar tragedy. “People read about it in the news and move on,” he said. “There’s so much in the news today. But to see pictures and hear a firsthand account, that’s critical. That creates a feeling.”
“We have to connect to Israel in any way we can,” said Rabbi Herschel Schachter, rosh yeshiva at YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), after the event, which also drew students from Rutgers University, Columbia University, New York University and Queens College. “We have to have more of an awareness that we are one nation.”
Tune into YU’s Weekly Internet Radio Show, Thursdays at 2PM
And the walls come tumblin’ down…
This week on “Who’s on Furst?” (Thursdays at 2 PM EST on www.nachumsegal.com and www.yu.edu/radio): Is it really ‘Springtime in the Middle East’ or are we having higher hopes than should be expected? And is this all ‘good’? Live in the studio, meet Bryan Daves, Middle East expert and assistant professor in political science at Stern College for Women. He will share his thoughts and insights into the ever-evolving and unfolding of events in that area.
It was almost two years ago when Dr. Jennifer Mazotta-Peretti’s story first starting making headlines. At the beginning, she was just a teacher with a crazy story about a crazy promise she had made to a former student. Now, she is still in education – but with one less kidney, as she kept her word and donated a major organ to save the life of an eighteen year old boy who was fighting for his life. Did we mention that she’s a devout Christian and he’s a Jewish boy from Long Island? Hear their story, life after the transplant, where they both are now and how her kidney is thriving inside someone else’s body.
All that, plus a round up of the local Jewish newspapers and world reports: live from Furst Hall, it’s “Who’s on Furst?” every Thursdays at 2PM, on www.nachumsegal.com or www.yu.edu/radio. It’s the 60 most enjoyable minutes you’ll have at work this week.
Students Face Off on April 7 to Determine Best Cholent Dish at Annual Cook-Off
Yeshiva University students will hold a “Cholent Cook-off” to determine who makes the tastiest and most original of the quintessential Shabbat dish on YU’s Wilf Campus in Weissberg Commons, 2495 Amsterdam Ave. (at 184th St.) on Thursday, April 7 at 2:45 PM. The event is sponsored by YU’s Office of University Housing.
In keeping with the tradition of slow-cooking the stew dish, 16 teams of four students will prepare their dishes the night before. The next afternoon, a panel of discriminating palates will crown the winner.
Cholent, for hundreds of years the traditional Shabbat-day meal for observant Jews in many countries, is a food for which there is no standard recipe; its ingredients are as diverse as the places where Jews have lived. A slow-cooked stew containing meat, vegetables,potatoes, beans and spices, it is one of the classic Jewish comfort foods and a dish that many look forward to from Shabbat to Shabbat.
Cholent in its various forms evolved from a combination of Jewish law and economic circumstances. Jewish law prohibits cooking on the Shabbat, from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday. In order to have a hot lunch on the Shabbat, Jews prepare the Cholent – a one pot dish – before the start of Shabbat and let it cook overnight. Today, a slow cooker or crock pot is often used. Historically, in the Jewish towns of Europe, a community oven or the oven of the local baker was used.
Economic circumstances dictated ingredients – when meat was scarce or too expensive the Cholent would contain more starch, usually beans and potatoes. When times were good, more meat would be added to the dish. In some countries, beef is favored; in others chicken. In Sephardic communities, whole vegetables such as eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes and peppers are used, as well as rice and lamb or mutton. Where Ashkenazi Jews use salt, garlic, pepper, and paprika, Sephardic Jews use cumin, hot peppers and pistachio nuts.
The word Cholent and its pronunciations also vary. Ashkenazi Jews from Central and Eastern Europe call it Cholent, Sholet or Shalet, but Sephardic Jews know it as Chamin, a word that is probably French in origin.
Fashion Icon Shares Trials and Triumphs of 25-Year Career with Students at Yeshiva University Event
On March 21, Yeshiva University students learned about the challenge and excitement of starting a business—from iconic American fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger.
President Richard Joel and Tommy Hilfiger at the March 21 event
At an event hosted by the Sy Syms School of Business Student Council (SSSBC) and the Fashion Marketing Club, students and alumni of all majors filled Yagoda Commons for a frank discussion with the designer about the history and evolution of the brand that bears his name. Hilfiger highlighted key learning experiences in his 25-year career and strategies that had helped him overcome difficulties.
“My story is about reaching obstacles and figuring out how to get to the other side, whether it’s over, under or even straight through,” Hilfiger said. “I think we all run up against these obstacles in our day-to-day lives.”
Among the challenges Hilfiger struggled with were an early bankruptcy and the decision to take his label public. However, he noted that his failures had taught him a critical lesson: to learn as much as he could about everything. “I think you have to gain as much knowledge as possible and put it into your bank because you’ll always use it, whether you’re going into fashion, finance or anything else,” Hilfiger said.
The designer faced a more personal challenge when an internet rumor asserting that Hilfiger had made racist and anti-Semitic comments on Oprah began circulating in 1996. At the YU event, Hilfiger addressed the rumor of the earlier episode—which both he and Oprah denied ever occurred when he went on her show for the first time in 2007.
“It’s devastating to me as a person because it’s so untrue and so ridiculous,” Hilfiger told students. “I wanted to tell you myself how I feel about this.”
During the lively question-and-answer session that followed, the designer encouraged students to ask him about anything from the rumor to international marketing strategies and personal stylistic favorites. He also offered advice to the many aspiring fashion designers and entrepreneurs in the room.
“Pack your mind with knowledge about people,” Hilfiger said. “Work in a retail store, learn how things fit, learn how people shop and what their needs and desires are. I think I learned a lot by having my own stores because I was actually working one-on-one with the customer.”
“He’s a business success who never forgot where he came from,” said YU President Richard M. Joel, who attended the lecture. “As a man of business he is both a thoughtful entrepreneur and a caring philanthropist. As a human being, he works to have his reputation appear as sterling as it truly is.”
For students, Hilfiger’s insight into forging a high-profile career in a tough industry was significant. “He started out just designing and selling jeans but he figured out how to turn his dream into an empire,” said Melanie Pudels, president of SSSBSC. “I think his story offers an important message to any major.”
In at least one important way, the event signaled a new chapter in the relationship between the designer and Orthodox Jews.
The winner of Yeshiva University’s 2011 Sarachek Tournament is SAR High School
Five days of basketball and friendly competition among Yeshiva high school teams from across the United States and Canada are over. The winner of Yeshiva University’s 2011 Sarachek Tournament is SAR High School, which defeated YULA 43-36 before a packed gym on Monday afternoon. The SAR-YULA game capped a long weekend that included a Shabbaton for the players and saw a steady stream of visitors to the Max Stern Athletic Center on YU’s Wilf Campus in Washington Heights.
The SAR team and some of the enthusiastic and well-mannered fans who cheered them on, celebrated together after the team's victory in Yeshiva University's 2011 Sarachek Tournament.
To see hundreds of photos from the five days of competition click here.
The tournament is named for the late Red Sarachek, a legendary YU basketball coach who earlier in his career helped to integrate professional basketball. To learn more about Red Sarachek click on yu.edu/radio for a podcast of a March 17 interview with Coach Johnny Halpert (begins at 33:35), who played for Sarachek and has himself coached YU’s basketball team for 39 years.
An SAR player sinks a basket during his team's 43-36 victory over YULA in the championship game of Yeshiva University's 2011 Sarachek Tournament.
Yeshiva University High School for Boys Hockey Team Wins Ninth Yeshiva League Championship
Teammates and fans appeared equally joyous at the MTA Lions varsity hockey squad's 2-0 win over DRS to bring a ninth varsity hockey championship home to Washington Heights. (Photos by Shlomo Friedman)
The Yeshiva University High School for Boys/MTA Lions varsity hockey squad has won its league championship for the ninth time in school history and 15 years to the day since the last time. MTA shut-out the Five Towns’ Davis-Renov-Stahler Yeshiva High School (DRS) 2-0 on Sunday to take the championship game of the Metropolitan Yeshiva High School Hockey League (MYHSHL).
Goalie Yoni Jaroslawicz, a junior from Manhattan, was named most valuable player in the game which was played at Lawrence Middle School in Lawrence, NY. Senior Eliezer Lisker of Kew Garden Hills, NY and Sophomore Eitan Rosenfeld of Teaneck, NJ, scored the only two goals.
The last time the Yeshiva University High School for Boys team made Yeshiva League hockey history, prior to Sunday, was March 27, 1996 — 15 years earlier, to the day — when the Lions defeated the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway (HAFTR). In 2005 MTA made it to the finals only to lose to Frisch.
MTA enjoyed a 10-4 record in the 2010-11 season, led by Captain Noah Isaacs, a senior from Teaneck, NJ, and co-Captains Eitan Stern and Gabe Rosenfeld, both juniors from Teaneck. The team beat Frisch 4-1 in the first round of the playoffs, shut-out HAFTR 1-0 in overtime in the quarterfinals and was victorious over SAR 5-4 in the semi-finals, before finally defeating DRS in the championship game.
Victorious! The MTA Lions varsity hockey squad after its 2-0 win over DRS to bring home the ninth league championship in team history.
April 8 College EDge Program to Assist Local Public High School Students with College Admissions Process
In an effort to assist local high school students with the college admissions process, Yeshiva University students will present their first annual College EDge Seminar and Fair Day on Friday, April 8 on YU’s Washington Heights Wilf Campus.
The focus of College EDge—created by Jonah Rubin, a pre-med junior at Yeshiva College—is to help educate and inform underrepresented public high school students on their college options and how to properly prepare for and gain admission into the schools of their choice.
The half-day program will include opportunities to meet with representatives from the community, as well as CUNY, SUNY, Ivy League schools and Yeshiva University—with seminars and panel discussions on the admissions and financial aid processes. The day will also feature student-led tours of YU’s campus—giving students a firsthand look at a college environment. Additionally, members of the Wilf Campus Writing Center will run a program on how to effectively write personal statements.
“Many of these students plan to attend college but lack crucial knowledge of its organizational structure and demands,” said Rubin. “We hope that College EDge will provide participants with a better handle on the steps they must take to achieve their ambition of going to college and help breach the intangible barrier between YU and its neighboring community.”
We regret to inform you that Mr. Jose F. Betances, the senior facilities manager of the Beren Campus since January 1994, passed away this morning of an apparent heart attack.
Jose was a dedicated and beloved member of the Yeshiva University community who devoted himself to providing service to our students, faculty and staff. He will be greatly missed by the members of his department as well as by the entire YU family.
We offer condolences to his wife, Emiliana, to his sons, Jose and Jose Alberto and to the entire family. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.
The Topsy Turvy Bus Makes a Stop at YU on April 11 at 8PM on the Wilf Campus
From early February through mid-April, the Teva Learning Center’s used-vegetable-oil-powered Topsy-Turvy Bus will be rambling through the United States, making stops at Jewish organizations and institutions in various communities. This year’s tour is titled “From Purim to Freedom” and will be using themes from the holidays of freedom, leadership, commitment to change, the power of the individual, and miracles to spread Jewish ideas as they relate to energy and the environment.
“The kids thought the bus and solar oven were ‘really cool.’ I loved how easily and casually Jewish content was inserted into the environmental message,” said a Jewish education director from a stop on the last tour. “The staff was able to adjust the information and activities to our youngest as well as our oldest kids. They were incredible!” said another.