Yeshiva University News » 2013 » February

Eliyahu Stern Examines Zionism’s Roots at Rogoff Memorial Lecture

While Zionism has been interpreted in many different ways, it is generally understood as a form of Jewish nationalism promoting the formation of a Jewish nation in the land of Israel. However, in a February 25 talk titled “Zionism and the Battle over Judaism” delivered at Yeshiva University’s annual Hillel Rogoff Memorial Lecture, Dr. Eliyahu Stern questioned a view of the movement he felt was becoming all too common—that an ideology formulated by Jews must be Jewish.

Dr. Eliyahu Stern

Dr. Eliyahu Stern offered an in-depth look at Zionism’s roots at the annual Hillel Rogoff Memorial Lecture.

“In recent years it has become fashionable in both academic and political circles to attribute religious, messianic origins to the modern Jewish nationalist movement called Zionism,” said Stern, a graduate of both Yeshiva College and YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and an assistant professor of modern Jewish intellectual and cultural history at Yale University. Citing scholars such as Columbia University’s Gil Anidjar, who see racial overtones in a movement founded on religious principles, Stern said, “The assumption behind Anidjar’s claims is a kind of guilt by association—since Zionism draws on religious motifs, either Jewish or Christian, its goals must be inherently messianic, and thus exclusionary, anti-ethical and racist.” Read the rest of this entry…


Einstein Fellowship Integrates Legal, Clinical Expertise

Some of the most innovative clinical training at Einstein–and in the country–doesn’t involve white coats.

The Leadership in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program, administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (HRSA) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, funds  fellowship positions in an array of allied health professions at YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC). For more than 40 years, LEND has provided graduate-level, interdisciplinary leadership training to improve the health of children with or at risk of neurodevelopmental and related disabilities at 43 sites in the 37 states. This hands-on training is typically undertaken by psychologists, physical therapists, social workers and other clinicians who work with children and adults with disabilities.

With the help of the LEND fellowship at the Rose F. Kennedy University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, that multidisciplinary mix also includes law students.

Einstein’s LEND legal fellowship is believed to be the first ongoing fellowship for law students in the country and permits those from Einstein’s sister school, the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University, to learn from the LEND program’s diverse range of clinicians, and vice versa. Read the rest of this entry…


Yeshiva University Students Combine Technological Innovation and Torah Study

In the 21st century, web technology is a given. Want to know when the next train’s arriving? Look it up on your smart phone. Curious about a science term in a news article? Google it. But what if these same innovations could help you search the text of the Mishnah or pull up a range of opinions on any subject in Jewish law?

Atara Siegel

Stern College junior Atara Siegel is serving as a research assistant for the Digital Mishnah Project.

At Yeshiva University, two students are fusing that forward-thinking and technological fluency with their passion for Judaic studies.

Atara Siegel, a junior at Stern College for Women, is compiling different manuscripts of the Mishnah—found everywhere from the Cairo Genizah to the Vatican—as a research assistant for the Digital Mishnah Project, which seeks to create an online resource for study and comparison of Mishnaic manuscripts throughout history. “Sometimes the variations in the text don’t mean anything. Sometimes they can change the meaning of the Mishnah drastically—like a comment might be attributed to a totally different person,” said Siegel. “Having the different manuscripts side by side is a way of trying to figure out what the most accurate text is.” Read the rest of this entry…


Mordechai Cohen and Ephraim Kanarfogel Participate in Advanced Judaic Studies Research Group

Dr. Mordechai Cohen, associate dean and professor of bible at Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies and at Stern College for Women, and Dr. Ephraim Kanarfogel, E. Billi Ivry Professor of Jewish History at Revel and Stern College, are participating, as adjunct fellows, in a research group at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania that spans the 2012-13 academic year.

Cohen and Kanarfogel join a group of approximately two dozen leading scholars of Jewish, Christian and Islamic social and intellectual history from universities around the world to conduct research on this year’s theme, “Institutionalization, Innovation and Conflict in 13th Century Judaism,” and develop a more fully-integrated account of Europe and the Mediterranean basin in the 13th century. Read the rest of this entry…


Women’s Basketball Standout Rebecca Yoshor Named to Capital One Academic All-America Team

Yeshiva University junior forward Rebecca Yoshor has been named to Capital One’s NCAA Division III Academic All-America women’s basketball second team for the 2012-13 academic year. The teams were selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

Mac-YoshorYoshor is the first female student-athlete in YU history to garner Capital One Academic All-America honors, and just the second student-athlete overall. Former Maccabees men’s basketball player, Eric Davis was cited on the third team in 1991.

“This is an amazing honor,” said Yoshor upon hearing the news. “My parents and coaches, both in high school and college, have been very encouraging and supportive, to say the least.”

“Seeing Rebecca recognized by Capital One is wonderful,” said YU first-year head coach, Nesta Felix. “She is consistently one of the last players to leave practice and is very tough on herself. Knowing that, it is fantastic to see that her labors have not been in vain.” Read the rest of this entry…


Justin Lundin, Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

A dragon, a hypnotist and a historian—Justin Lundin has represented them all.

Since he was a teenager, Lundin, an accounting major at Sy Syms School of Business, has dabbled as a freelance voiceover artist, carefully cultivating and transforming his voice to anchor hundreds of projects ranging from movie trailers and audio books to advertisements and even birthday messages.

Justin LundinLundin, a senior from Detroit, Michigan, sat down with YU News to talk about his passion for voiceovers, accounting and Judaism.

Q: How did you discover this talent?

A: When I was in high school, I’d hear movie trailers being narrated—some guy saying, “This summer…” or “…in one epic drama.” I thought those were such cool voices. I was especially intrigued by the trailer to “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” which played off the tremendous contrast between two styles of voiceover in the trailer itself. The first narrator had a very posh, British voice, and then all of a sudden it switched into the standard movie trailer voice—the voice that sounds like it’s coming from a seven-foot tall man who’s been smoking cigarettes since childhood. For some reason that gripped me and I started trying to get that voice.

I would actually practice and try to get my voice to that level. I was very much into filmmaking in high school, so I’d use my voice for films and documentaries that I made for school.

The first time I did professional voiceover work was during my two years studying in Israel. I was put in contact with two production companies and one of them in particular coached me a lot. They taught me how to work with different tones of voices and enunciation, how to get yourself into the character and mood of each particular project.

Q: What kind of projects have you taken on?

A: When I came to Yeshiva University, I started doing voiceover work online. A friend directed me to a website where people provide creative services for five dollars. I get clients from all over the place: introductions to audio books, movie trailers, low-budget films, video games. I did the intro video to an iPhone app video game where I had to do a voice similar to Gandalf the Grey’s: “Once upon a time, in a far away land…” I’ve also worked for hypnotists who wanted a low, soothing, organic voice. Read the rest of this entry…


High School Wrestlers Face Off at YU for Weekend of Competition and Camaraderie

Two hundred wrestlers from 14 yeshiva high schools across the country descended on YU’s Wilf Campus for the 18th Annual Henry Wittenberg Wrestling Invitational from February 15 – 18.

Read the rest of this entry…


Seforim Sale Organizers Help Rebuild Shul Libraries Damaged by Storm

The students of Yeshiva University are using their annual Seforim Sale as an opportunity to give back to the community—specifically to Jewish organizations devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

Seforim Sale staff with Young Israel of Oceanside's Rabbi Jonathan and Dr. Yael Muskat (center).

Seforim Sale staff with Young Israel of Oceanside’s Rabbi Jonathan and Dr. Yael Muskat (center).

This year, as part of their Seforim4Sandy campaign, sale organizers decided to use a portion of their proceeds to help replenish a library of a shul or school affected by the storm. After a Facebook contest yielded more than 3,000 votes in two weeks, Young Israel of Oceanside was selected to receive $10,000 worth of books and seforim.

“After Sandy struck, we decided nothing was more appropriate than giving back to the community and helping rebuild damaged libraries,” said Yehuda Kaminer, CEO of the Seforim Sale. “We are thrilled at the opportunity to help out in whatever way we can.”

Young Israel of Oceanside, which lost three Torah scrolls and thousands of seforim during the storm, received more than 1,400 online votes. Read the rest of this entry…


Utku Sezgin: Can President Obama’s Proposals Succeed in a Gridlocked Congress?

State of the Union addresses are the annual wish-list presentations of American presidents, mixed with appeals to rally behind the leader of the nation.

SOTUThe addresses stem from the once-obscure mandate the Constitution gives presidents to submit proposals, recommendations and their political views to Congress. Until the 20th century, presidents mostly sent Congress written messages without any of today’s media-savvy pomp. In recent decades the speeches have become widely-anticipated political theater to be parsed for a sense of where a president aims to take the country. However, despite the modern presidency’s inflated powers, proposing bills to Congress and getting to sign bills containing those proposals later on is not the same thing.

President Barack Obama delivered the first State of the Union address of his second term last night, doing his best to lay out his vision—emboldened by an electoral mandate—before a partisan, polarized, divided and oft-gridlocked Congress. But the future looks uncertain. Read the rest of this entry…


Hundreds of High School Students from Across the World Attend YU’s 23rd Annual Model UN Competition

For the 23rd straight year, the Yeshiva University National Model United Nations competition (YUNMUN) brought together hundreds of high school students from around the world for an interactive simulation of the inner workings of the real United Nations. From February 3 – 5, 460 student participants played the roles of delegates to actual UN member nations, championing positions on key issues and learning about the complexities of international diplomacy firsthand.

YUNMUN 2013 drew students from a record 48 high schools on three different continents, including delegations from Canada, Brazil and South Africa.

“It was thrilling to be able to represent our own country,” said Yaffa Abadi of Yeshiva College High School in Johannesburg. Read the rest of this entry…