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Political Experts to Discuss the Role of Religion and its Impact on the Upcoming Presidential Election at April 30 Robbins-Wilf Program

With the presidential election campaign in full swing, Yeshiva University will host a discussion on “Religion and the 2012 Election” featuring PBS political analyst Jeff Greenfield, pollster Anna Greenberg and university professor and religion columnist Peter Steinfels. The lecture, part of the Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Scholar-in-Residence program at YU’s Stern College for Women, will be held on Monday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Schottenstein Cultural Center, 239 East 34th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues.

Jeff Greenfield

“Religion has played a prominent role in the 2012 Republican primaries so far and looks poised to do so for the general election,” said Bryan Daves, clinical assistant professor of political science at Yeshiva University and moderator of the event. “In what many observers expect to be a very close race, issues related to religion could tip the balance. We are fortunate to have three of the keenest observers of American elections and the role of religion and public life to give us insights into how, why, and to what extent, religion will have an impact on how Americans will vote this year.”

One of America’s most respected political analysts, Jeff Greenfield has spent more than 30 years on network television and currently serves as an anchor on PBS’ Need to Know. A four-time Emmy Award-winner and columnist for Yahoo! News, he is known for his quick wit and savvy insight into politics, history, the media and current events. Greenfield has served as anchor booth analyst or floor reporter for every national political convention since 1988 and reported on virtually every important domestic political story in recent decades. Greenfield has authored or co-authored 12 books, including national bestselling novels Then Everything Changed: Stunning Alternate Histories of American Politics—JFK, RFK, Carter, Ford, Reagan, The People’s Choice, The Real Campaign and Oh, Waiter! One Order of Crow!, an insider account of the contested 2000 presidential election.

Anna Greenberg

Anna Greenberg is a leading pollster and an expert in survey research methodology with nearly 15 years of experience. Since joining Greenberg Quinlan Rosner in 2001, Greenberg has worked with many elected officials and a wide range of NGOs and advocacy groups. Her areas of expertise include women and politics, LGBT rights, religion and politics, healthcare policy and drug policy reform. Greenberg is an active participant in the advanced analytics community; she leads the company’s advances in micro-targeting and understanding the impact of social media on public opinion.

Peter Steinfels

Peter Steinfels is a professor and co-director at the Fordham University Center on Religion and Culture, former religion columnist for The New York Times, and a former editor of Commonweal, an independent biweekly journal of political, religious and literary opinion. A two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, he created and penned his biweekly column “Beliefs,” dealing with religion and ethics from 1990 to 2010. He is also the author of A People Adrift: The Crisis of the Roman Catholic Church in America, The Neoconservatives, and co-edited Death Inside Out with Robert M.Veatch. Steinfels has contributed chapters to 17 other books and written articles and reviews for The New Republic, Esquire, Harper’s, Dissent, Le Nouvel Observateur, The Nation, Partisan Review and many other distinguished journals.

Dr. Robbins-Wilf, a founding member of the Stern College Board of Directors, established and funds the Scholar-in-Residence program, which brings top scholars, authors, artists and opinion makers to Stern College—offering students unique perspectives on the world. Admission is free and open to the public with valid photo ID and ticket, which can be reserved at


From “Jews and American National Holidays” to the “History of Jews in New York,” Stern College Presents Exciting New Lecture Series

Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women will host a series of cutting-edge lectures in Jewish studies on the Beren Campus, delivered by leading academics.

Dr. Beth Wenger, professor of history and director of the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania, will deliver the inaugural lecture on May 1 at 7 p.m. in Room 1015, 245 Lexington Ave, New York City. Titled “Civics Lessons: Jews and the American Holidays,” the talk will highlight the opportunities celebrations such as Thanksgiving and Independence Day afforded early American Jews to declare their allegiance to the United States and write themselves into the narratives of American history, thereby making themselves and their culture pivotal actors in the creation of the nation.

Wenger is the author of History Lessons: The Creation of American Jewish Heritage (Princeton University Press, 2010), The Jewish Americans: Three Centuries of Jewish Voices in America (Doubleday, 2007) and New York Jews and the Great Depression: Uncertain Promise, (Yale University Press, 1996), among others.

The series is sponsored by a generous grant from the Robert and Susan Weiss Family Foundation. In Fall 2012, Dr. Sid Z. Leiman, professor of Jewish history and literature at Brooklyn College, will teach a course on 18th-century Jewish European intellectual history at Stern College.

Stern College will also host an evening symposium on the history of the Jews in New York City during the 19th and 20th centuries, led by a group of distinguished scholars who are completing a three-volume work on the subject, as part of the series.

More lectures, symposia and course offerings for coming semesters are in the works, according to Dr. Ephraim Kanarfogel, chair of Stern’s Rebecca Ivry Department of Jewish Studies and E. Billi Ivry Chair and Professor of Jewish History.

“Professor Wenger and Professor Leiman are distinguished and outstanding scholars in their fields and are both well-known for their stimulating and challenging lectures and analyses,” said Kanarfogel. “We are deeply grateful to the Weiss Family Foundation for funding and supporting these exciting initiatives which will undoubtedly contribute a great deal to the intellectual richness throughout the field of Jewish Studies that our students can experience on campus.”

To learn more, email Estee Brick