Yeshiva University News » 2013 » January

Ferkauf’s Sarah Kate Bearman Bridges the Chasm Between Psychological Research and Practice

As a camp counselor, Sarah Kate Bearman was always intrigued by the “problem” kids—the high-energy, high-maintenance kids who had trouble following the rules and tried everyone else’s patience. Unlike many of her peers, Bearman saw children who didn’t really differ from better-adjusted, happier campers beneath the moodiness and attitude.

“I saw so much typical child behavior in these kids,” she said. “When children first start to develop problems with anxiety or depression, they don’t look that different than other kids—because they’re not. The older they get, though, the wider that gap grows.”

Bearman hopes to offer children effective mental health treatment in the early stages.

Bearman, now an assistant professor at Yeshiva University’s Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, kept thinking about that gap. It provided so much time for intervention: in theory, the earlier she could catch a child starting to slip, the more successful she could be in steering his or her developmental path back to a normal trajectory. After college, Bearman decided to become a child psychologist, completing a two-year research assistantship in pediatric pharmacology at Massachusetts General Hospital and pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin and a postdoctoral fellowship at Judge Baker Children’s Center of Harvard Medical School.

Bearman initially planned to research how disorders such as depression developed. But when she began her externship in clinical settings, she noticed a troubling phenomenon. Read the rest of this entry…

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Professor Mordecai Paldiel Delivers Keynote Address at UN Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony

Dr. Mordecai Paldiel, adjunct instructor of Jewish history at Yeshiva University and former head of the Righteous Among the Nations Department at Yad Vashem, delivered a moving keynote address to the United Nations General Assembly at a ceremony to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 25.

Hundreds of Jewish community representatives, international envoys and survivors attended the event, which began with a moment of silence for Shoah victims. Read the rest of this entry…

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More than 1,000 Day School Leaders to Convene for 2013 North American Jewish Day School Conference

Jewish lay and professional day school leaders from across the globe will gather in Washington, D.C. on February 3 – 5, for the fourth annual North American Jewish Day School Conference. The theme for the 2013 conference, “Learning to Lead–Leading to Learn,” highlights the importance of visionary leadership and network weaving for ensuring the vibrancy and value of Jewish day school education, now and into the future. Since its inception the conference has challenged influencers from across the Jewish spectrum to work together on ideas, initiatives and educational solutions that serve to positively transform the day school landscape into a field-wide network of stakeholders. Read the rest of this entry…

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YU Students Engage in Volunteer and Service Learning Missions Around the World

This winter break, 90 Yeshiva University students took part in an array of hands-on community building projects in Israel, the United States, Nicaragua and Mexico.

Counterpoint Israel participants conducted English language and art camps for Israeli teens.

Organized by YU’s Center for the Jewish Future, the missions differed widely in focus, ranging from service-learning and experiential education to humanitarian aid. Building on the success of the Counterpoint Israel summer program, 39 YU students ran a series of winter camps for 500 Israeli teens in Jerusalem, Kiryat Malachi and Dimona that sought to strengthen their English language skills and facilitate self-exploration through art.

In Mexico, 16 students assisted with farming and harvesting in local private and public gardens, building pools for aquaculture development and contributing to the community’s ecotourism project, in collaboration with a local non-profit organization that works within the Mayan community to promote environmental sustainability, advance the integration of women in the economy and strengthen the capacity of grassroots groups.

A group of 16 students also volunteered in Nicaragua with Servicios Medicos Comunales, an NGO that promotes community-based sustainable development in the southwestern district of San Juan del Sur, by assisting with the construction of a public library—a project started by previous CJF winter mission participants. And 19 students traveled across Texas—from Houston to San Antonio to Dallas—on the CJF’s “Jewish Life Coast to Coast” program, meeting with local rabbis, educators and communal leaders to gain a better understanding of the unique challenges faced by these diverse Jewish communities. Read the rest of this entry…

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Yair Lorberbaum to Discuss the Concept of the Decree of Scripture in the Thought of Maimonides on February 6

The Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization (CJL) at Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law will present their Seventh Annual Ivan Meyer Lecture in Jewish Law on Wednesday, February 6 at 6 p.m. in the Jacob Burns Moot Court Room, 55 Fifth Avenue at 12th Street, New York City. Dr. Yair Lorberbaum, the Ivan Meyer Visiting Scholar in Comparative Jewish Law will discuss “The Concept of the ‘Decree of Scripture’ (Gezerat Ha-Katuv) in the Thought of Maimonides.”

Yair Lorberbaum is the Ivan Meyer Visiting Scholar in Comparative Jewish Law

Lorberbaum is a professor of law at the Bar-Ilan University, specializing in Jewish law, Jewish thought, jurisprudence and philosophy. He has also been a member of the Shalom Hartman Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem since 1991. Lorberbaum has previously served as a visiting professor at University of Pennsylvania, Yale, Princeton, and Cardozo, and was a research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

He is the author of Subordinated King: Kingship in Classical Jewish Literature and the forthcoming Apples of Gold in Silver Settings: Maimonides on Parables, Philosophy, and Law. In 2007, his book, Image of God: Halakhah and Aggadah, was awarded the prestigious Goldstein-Goren Award for best recent book in the field of Jewish thought. Read the rest of this entry…

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Susan Crawford: How to Get High-Speed Internet to All Americans

On Monday, President Obama said that during his second term, Americans would act together to “build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores” and that “we cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries—we must claim its promise.”

Susan Crawford is professor of law at Cardozo and author of Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age.

The president is right that digital communication networks — especially high-capacity fiber networks reaching American homes and businesses — can be a powerful economic engine. But we are far away from being able to realize that vision, even as we cede the advantage such technology offers to other countries.

Although Julius Genachowski, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has challenged the country to build additional gigabit fiber networks — about 100 times faster than most residential connections today — his words won’t advance our digital future unless they are backed up with the leadership necessary to enact pro-growth, pro-innovation and competition-enabling rules.

At the heart of the problem lie a few powerful companies with enormous influence over policy making. Read the rest of this entry…

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As We Celebrate Tu B’Shevat, A Call for Rabbis and Educators to Stay Informed About Jewish Genetic Diseases

“Thus was he [the cedar tree] beautiful in his greatness, in the length of his branches; for his roots were upon abundant waters.”– Ezekiel 31:7

Tu B’Shevat, the New Year of the Trees, is quickly approaching. Now is when the earliest-blooming trees in the Land of Israel wake up from their winter slumber and begin a new cycle of bearing fruit. The roots are prepared to do their job, to anchor the tree in place and to extract nutrients from the soil so that the tree can be strong and healthy.

Estie Rose is a genetic counselor with YU’s Program for Jewish Genetic Health.

As a genetic counselor who advocates for pre-conception genetic testing, I take the roots-to-tree metaphor very seriously. I believe that in order to sustain a healthy community, the roots of the community have the responsibility of relaying just how important genetic testing is.

Carrier screening for autosomal recessive diseases that are common in the Ashkenazi Jewish population is widely available and has been recommended by professional organizations to be completed prior to conception or in early pregnancy. While the tests for these diseases are generally accessible, the uptake has been found to be disproportionately low in comparison to the number of Ashkenazi Jews who are of childbearing age.

One suggestion for increasing awareness of the availability and importance of pre-conception genetic screening has been to train rabbis. Read the rest of this entry…

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For Mordechai Kornbluth, Advanced Rabbinic and Physics Studies are Part of the Same Equation

At Yeshiva University, students pursue a wide array of interests. Some conduct cutting-edge research with the guidance and support of faculty mentors. Others, fascinated by foreign cultures or historical texts, sharpen their analytic skills and broaden their worldviews with Semitic language courses. And still others deepen their connection to Torah and Judaism by immersing themselves in top-level shiurim [lectures] at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS).

A former Kressel Scholar, Kornbluth’s research on quantum physics has been published in several scientific journals.

In his four years on campus, Mordechai Kornbluth accomplished all three.

Kornbluth, a Teaneck, NJ native who graduated Yeshiva College in May, majored in physics, minored in mathematics and Semitic languages, and enrolled in rabbinic studies at RIETS in his senior year. Now a graduate student in a joint MS/PhD program in applied physics at Columbia University, he is also continuing his semikha studies at RIETS. It may seem like an unlikely combination, but according to Kornbluth, it’s all part of the same equation.

“To become the person I want to be, I have to be well-versed in every aspect of my life, from science to Torah and halakha,” said Kornbluth, a 2005 graduate of YU High School for Boys. Read the rest of this entry…

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Yeshiva University Faculty Present Alternative Super Bowl Halftime Show

With the Super Bowl right around the corner, why not inject some spirituality into this year’s big game?

Yeshiva University presents its second annual YU Torah Halftime Show featuring exciting and inspiring presentations on “Torah and Sports” topics from Rabbi Kenneth Brander, David Mitzner Dean of the Center for the Jewish Future; Charlie Harary, clinical professor of management and entrepreneurship at Sy Syms School of Business; and C.B. Neugroschl, head of school at Yeshiva University High School for Girls. The show will be available for viewing on Sunday, February 3 by visiting www.yu.edu/half-time.

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Weekly Course Open to all Women will Feature Rabbis Jacob J. Schacter and Hayyim Angel

Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) will launch a new Women’s Beit Midrash Program on February 5 at Stern College for Women’s Israel Henry Beren campus in Manhattan for participants of all ages.

The six-week program, developed in conjunction with the University’s Office of Alumni Affairs and New Jersey and Long Island Regional offices, will feature Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter, University Professor of Jewish History and Jewish Thought and senior scholar of the CJF, and Yeshiva College Jewish Studies faculty member Rabbi Hayyim Angel. Read the rest of this entry…

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