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Alan Dershowitz to be Honored at Yeshiva University High Schools Dinner on May 3

Yeshiva University High Schools (YUHS) will hold their Annual Dinner of Tribute on Tuesday, May 3, 2011, at New York City’s Sheraton Hotel and Towers. Professor Alan M. Dershowitz will be the guest of honor. Rabbi Mark Gottlieb will be honored as Kesser Shem Tov and special tribute will be paid to Mr. and Mrs. Ya’acov and Harriet Sklar. Mr. and Mrs. Gary and Meryl Hoffman will be recognized as parents of the year.

Alan Dershowitz

Alan Dershowitz

Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, is a graduate of Yeshiva University High Schools and has published hundreds of articles in numerous publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The New Republic and Commentary. He is the author of 27 fiction and non-fiction works with a worldwide audience. Dershowitz’s most recent titles include Rights From Wrong, The Case For Israel, The Case For Peace and The Case For Moral Clarity: Israel, Hamas and Gaza.

Rabbi Gottlieb has served as head of school and menahel at Yeshiva University High School for Boys (YUHSB) since 2005. He also serves as the dean of the Tikvah High School Scholars program, an interdisciplinary leadership institute promoting Jewish Thought and the enduring human questions. Previously, Rabbi Gottlieb was principal of the Middle & Upper School at the Maimonides School in Brookline, MA, and has taught at The Frisch School, Ida Crown Jewish Academy, Loyola University in Chicago, Hebrew Theological College (Skokie, IL) and the University of Chicago. After graduating YUHSB, Rabbi Gottlieb received his B.A. at Yeshiva College, his rabbinical ordination at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) of Yeshiva University and his M.A. in philosophy at the University of Chicago. He is currently completing his dissertation in philosophy at the University of Chicago on the problem of translation and the tasks of education in a cosmopolitan culture.

Rabbi Mark Gottlieb

Rabbi Mark Gottlieb

Ya’acov Sklar has served as principal of YUHSB for the past 12 years. A graduate of YUHSB and Yeshiva College, he earned an M.S. in science and an M.A. in school administration and supervision from City University. Harriet Sklar, associate principal at Yeshiva University High School for Girls (YUHSG), received a B.A. from the College of New Rochelle and her M.A. in education from Lehman College. She has been part of the high school for the past 13 years after an impressive 15 year career in the New York City public school system.

Gary Hoffman, a graduate of the YU High Schools and Yeshiva College, is the president of YUHSB’s Parents’ Council.

For reservations, to place an ad in the journal or for more information about the dinner, please contact 212-960-5366 or email yuhsdinner@yu.edu by April 18.

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Student Talent and Creativity on Display at Yeshiva University Arts Festival

Intrigued by Talmudic archaeology? Curious about Sephardic pizmonim [traditional tunes]? Want to catch a whimsical Steve Martin play or tour a gallery that includes photography, sculpture, line drawings and more?



These were just a few options to explore at the 15th annual Yeshiva University Arts Festival, which kicked off with an art gallery opening on March 20 and will conclude with a jazz ensemble performance on April 12. In between, events that run the gamut from film nights to open mikes have offered students and members of the YU community a chance to showcase their talents, experiment with new forms of expression and learn about the arts—and each other—from unique perspectives.

“The Arts Festival brought me to medieval Spain and the shores of Greece,” said Jonathan Scheiner, a junior at Sy Syms School of Business who attended the Sephardic pizmonim concert. Led by Rabbi Moshe Tessone, director of YU’s Sephardic Community Program and a faculty member at the Belz School of Jewish Music, student and professional musicians performed beloved Sephardic songs from a broad range of countries, including Spain, Greece, Yemen and Egypt, some dating to the Middle Ages and the Maimonidian era. “I love how you can hear the unique sounds of different cultures in places where Jews lived in their music,” said Scheiner. He especially enjoyed an Arabic solo on the udd, a unique Mideastern stringed instrument that adds to the distinctive flavor of Sephardic music: “As an Ashkenazi, it’s fun and refreshing to hear something the ear isn’t used to.”

At the art gallery, there were also plenty of new and unusual things for the eye to take in. Hanging on one wall was a composite work that joined smaller depictions of war to create a complex portrait of a soldier’s face. The piece was created by students in artist Sebastian Mendes’ Materializing History and Personal Experience course at Stern College for Women, which focuses on personal responses to powerful life events. On another wall, a photograph—taken by student photographer Shimon Fried—showed a bride in white lace, cradling a book of psalms in her hands, capturing the sacred power of marriage and ritual.

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According to Ayala Raice, co-president of this year’s festival with Yeshiva College senior Sammy Steiner, an emphasis on a wide range of artistic style and pieces was important to the staff. “We wanted to have really unique and different pieces, from line drawings to graphic art, and I think we achieved that,” said Raice, a senior majoring in art history at Stern. One of her favorite pieces was a painting that featured a rack of bowling shoes. “They’re a part of everyday life that is disordered and not even necessarily beautiful, but there is beauty in capturing that aspect of life and focusing on it,” she said.

For Jordana Chernofsky, a studio art major at Stern whose work was displayed in the gallery, the festival provided a forum to appreciate the talents of fellow students and share her own creations. Her piece, “Time,” which employed deep, arresting blues-and-gold leaf, was inspired by her first experience with the egg tempura medium.

“Originally I thought about creating a biological clock and having a heart overlap it, because our professor highlighted the transparency of this medium and I wanted to work with that,” said Chernofsky. “But I like it like this.” Time, or lack thereof, is a theme in her work, especially the struggle to find time for creative endeavors. At Stern, however, she feels she is part of a supportive arts community. “It’s warm and intimate and you have a lot of one-on-one relationships with faculty,” she said. “I found my place.”

That spirit of collaboration and dedication also infused the two dramatic productions, Hamlet at Stern and Picasso at the Lapin Agile at Yeshiva College, featured during the festival. “It’s like a triple curriculum,” said senior Aryeh Forhman, who plays George in Picasso, of the time and effort invested in the play. However, he felt the investment added dimension to his college experience. “The play is an artistic staple at YU, and the people who do art and drama here still have that focus on Jewish learning,” he said. “We’re a small but very dedicated group,” said Rafi Skier, a sophomore in computer science at Yeshiva College and a crew member on Picasso. “You get to spend lots of time with all sorts of amazing and creative people, and together you create something extraordinary.”

For Norman Adler, university professor of psychology and special assistant for curriculum development and research initiatives to the provost, the festival’s flourishing and diverse avenues for student expression—which also included a reading hosted by the undergraduate literary journal Something Rich and Strange, a faculty recital, classical concert and publishing panel—only underscore the creative opportunities at YU. Dr. Adler established the first Arts Festival in 1996. “It’s a co-curricular matrix out of which courses, student activity and even careers can be affected,” he said. “University life is the life of the mind and the spirit, and the Arts Festival brings both together within a Torah context.”

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