Fellowship Pairs YU High School Students with University Faculty for College-Level Research

Five students from the Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy/Yeshiva University High School for Boys (YUHSB) have been named Senior Fellows for the 2012-13 academic year. Taking advantage of its physical and institutional proximity to Yeshiva University, the program—in existence since 2006—pairs competitively-selected high school seniors with University faculty to conduct thorough research in a variety of fields.

YUHSB seniors Yonatan Schwartz, Dovid Schwartz, Akiva Schiff, Yisrael Snow and Yosef Sklar will work closely with YU faculty.

“We wanted to make it a win-win for both the high school and the University,” said Dr. Ed Berliner, executive director of science management and clinical professor of physics at YU and director of the YUHSB Honors College. “For YU, it is an opportunity to expose our most impressive students to the high-caliber YU education, and in terms of the students, it truly is a unique opportunity to be paired with the best and brightest professors in their fields.”

Akiva Schiff, Dovid Schwartz, Yonatan Schwartz, Joseph Sklar and Yisrael Snow will spend the upcoming year studying topics as diverse as bible, chemistry and economics with YU faculty members including Dr. James Kahn, Henry and Bertha Kressel University Professor of Economics; Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter, University Professor of Jewish History and Jewish Thought; Dr. Raji Viswanathan, professor of chemistry; and Rabbi Jeremy Wieder, the Gwendolyn and Joseph Straus Professor of Talmud at YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS).

Rabbi Jeremy Wieder, left, will mentor Schiff.

Schiff, of West Hempstead, NY, is looking forward to analyzing the different styles of traditional commentary on the Torah with Wieder. “I think it will be interesting to learn something from a different perspective, and in so doing, learn to rectify certain common mistakes that are made when these texts are read and discussed,” said Schiff. “This seems like a wonderful and unique opportunity to study something on the college level with the guidance of an expert in the field, while still in high school.”

“I have been very impressed with the sophistication and drive for intellectual advancement of the students I have mentored,” said Wieder, who, along with Viswanathan, has served as a mentor to previous fellows.

“My past experience with the fellowship was very enjoyable,” said Viswanathan, who will mentor Yonatan Schwartz as he researches the role of proteins in the biomineralization process. “It gives the high school students an introduction to current research and makes them familiar with the opportunities available at Yeshiva University.”

Learn more about Yeshiva University High School for Boys at its October 28 Open House.