Yeshiva University News » 2014 » February

Yeshiva University and its affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) today issued the following statement in response to media reports that one of our rabbinical students may be denied ordination due to his participation in a “partnership minyan”:  Read the rest of this entry…

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Center for the Jewish Future Hosts Conference for Rabbis on Addressing and Preventing Child Sexual Abuse in Jewish Communities

On February 25, Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future hosted an educational and training session for rabbinic leadership focusing on the unique challenges of addressing and preventing child sexual abuse in religious communities.

Victor Vieth, executive director emeritus

Victor Vieth, director emeritus of the Gundersen Health System’s National Child Protection Training Center

The conference was one of several programs and efforts by YU to promote child sexual abuse prevention and awareness and provided an overview of the latest research about abuse in faith-based communities as well as guidelines to help synagogues institute policies and procedure aimed at preventing and addressing allegations of child sexual abuse. The program included addresses from Andrew (Avi) Lauer, Esq., vice president for legal affairs and secretary and general counsel at YU; Dr. Shira Berkovits, a postdoctoral psychology fellow at YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine‘s Early Childhood Center, part of the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center /Rose F. Kennedy Center, and a student at YU’s Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School; and national child sexual abuse expert Victor Vieth, director emeritus of the Gundersen Health System’s National Child Protection Training Center.

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Yeshiva University Announces Micro-Grants for Student Social Entrepreneurs

Yeshiva University recently announced a new fund that will provide micro-grants to student social entrepreneurs founding startups that will benefit the broader Jewish and global communities.

Called “Neal’s Fund,” the initiative was created by the family of Neal Dublinsky. Dublinsky grew up in Queens, NY, and graduated as valedictorian with top honors from Yeshiva College before attending the New York University School of Law. He was diagnosed with the most advanced stage of lymphoma in 1987 at the age of 24, just as he was beginning his career as a corporate attorney in Los Angeles, CA. Despite medical setbacks, he fought his illness and went on to live a full life for another 23 years. Neal’s Fund was established by family, friends and colleagues of Dublinsky and commemorates his entrepreneurial spirit and sense of social responsibility.

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Alumnus and Former YU Rosh Yeshiva to Receive Israel’s Highest Honor

Rabbi Dr. Aharon Lichtenstein will be awarded the Israel Prize in Jewish religious literature this year on May 6, Israel’s Independence Day. The announcement was made Sunday, February 23, by Israel’s Education Minister Rabbi Shai Piron.

Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein

Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein

A renowned author and scholar, Rabbi Lichtenstein is a former Rosh Yeshiva at YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and Rosh Kollel and director of the RIETS Caroline and Joseph S. Gruss Institute in Jerusalem.

Born in France in 1933, he graduated Yeshiva College and earned his semikhah [rabbinic ordination] at RIETS, as well as a PhD in English literature from Harvard University. In l971, after serving as RIETS Rosh Yeshiva for several years, he immigrated to Israel, joining Rabbi Yehuda Amital as co-Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Etzion in Alon Shevut.

“Rav Lichtenstein—in his manner, bearing, teaching and philosophy—continues to illumine our world in ways unique and distinct.  How wonderful that the Medinah has chosen to recognize this, and how what Rav Lichtenstein is serves as a critical component of what Israel has to be,” said President Richard M. Joel. Read the rest of this entry…

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Ambassador John Bolton to Deliver Keynote Address; Joe and Wolf Lebovic, Joseph Kerzner to be Honored   

The National Board of Canadian Friends of Yeshiva University will host its Toronto Convocation and Dinner on Sunday, March 30, at the Liberty Grand in Toronto, Ontario.

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Joe and Wolf Lebovic

Communal leaders Joe Lebovic and Wolf Lebovic will receive honorary degrees, and Joseph Kerzner, a business leader and philanthropist, will receive the Pioneer Award.

“The highest award that a university can bestow is an honorary degree,” said YU President Richard M. Joel. “It is so fitting that both Joe and Wolf Lebovic, considering their remarkable journey and incredible generosity, should receive this award as role models to the precious students of Yeshiva University.” Read the rest of this entry…

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Dr. David Schnall Announces Retirement as Azrieli Dean; Dr. Rona Novick Appointed Successor

Dr. David Schnall, dean of Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, has announced that he will step down from his position following the 2013-14 academic year to spend more time with his family and pursue his writing and research interests. After a brief sabbatical, Schnall will resume teaching and publishing at YU.

Dr. David Schnall

Dr. David Schnall

“In recognition of his extraordinary achievements and contributions to Yeshiva University, I have decided to name Dr. Schnall University Professor of Jewish Culture and Society,” said President Richard M. Joel.

Schnall, who has served as dean of the school for the past 13 years, will be replaced by Dr. Rona Novick, effective July 1, 2014. Read the rest of this entry…

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Meet the Musmakh: Rabbi and Physician Eytan Cowen Cares for Others’ Well-Being, Inside and Out

Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and the Yeshiva University community will celebrate the ordination of its largest class of musmakhim [ordained rabbis] at its Chag HaSemikhah Convocation on March 23, 2014. The record class of rabbis represents an internationally diverse group, hailing from five continents and more than 50 North American cities. While most will remain engaged in either full-time post-semikhah Torah study or religious work—Jewish education, the pulpit, outreach or non-profit work—many will pursue careers in other professions, including medicine and law.

In the weeks leading up to the celebration, YU News will introduce you to several of these remarkable musmakhim

Rabbi Eytan Cowen of Toronto, Ontario, did not set out to become a rabbi.

20140220_RIETS_Eytan_Cohen_028He always knew that he wanted to help others—but he interpreted that desire as an imperative to care for their physical well-being. So, inspired by his parents’ altruistic example, he attended the University of Toronto and went on to graduate from medical school with a specialty in naturopathic and integrative medicine. An active member of Hatzolah Toronto, Cowen maintained a solid learning schedule in the Kollel Dirshu as he devoted the next 10 years of his life to building up his practice in Toronto, together with his wife, Sy Syms School of Business graduate Caroline Sarah Bitton, and their children.

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Program for Jewish Genetic Health Educational Weekend in Pittsburgh Commemorates YU Alumnus

The Program for Jewish Genetic Health (PJGH), a joint initiative of Yeshiva University and its Albert Einstein College of Medicine, visited Pittsburgh earlier this month to deliver a weekend full of educational programming surrounding Jewish genetic health issues, in commemoration of the 10th yahrzeit [anniversary of death] of YU alumnus “Mikey” Butler ’02YC. Butler was afflicted with cystic fibrosis (CF), a Jewish genetic disease, and fought it valiantly and bravely until his untimely passing in 2004 at the age of 24.

Mikey

Mikey Butler z”l received his diploma from then-President Rabbi Norman Lamm during a surprise ceremony at Pittsburgh International Airport.

The Mikey Butler Yahrzeit Weekend was the brainchild of his mother, Nina (Novetsky) Butler’78S, who sought a way to honor Mikey’s memory while delivering community outreach to the Pittsburgh Jewish community. After learning about the PJGH bringing a weekend of educational programming on Jewish genetic issues to Memphis a year earlier, she worked with PJGH personnel to develop a series of talks for a host of different audiences, including students, parents, young professionals and medical professionals. The events drew approximately 700 Pittsburghers over the weekend. Read the rest of this entry…

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Benjy Ritholtz, Rebecca Yoshor Earn Academic All America Honors

Yeshiva University basketball players Benjy Ritholtz and Rebecca Yoshor just raised the stakes. The men’s basketball and women’s basketball stars, who last month were named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Capital One Academic All District teams, were both named Academic All Americans by CoSIDA. Ritholtz was named a men’s basketball’s third team All-American, while Yoshor was named to women’s basketball’s second team.

ritholz

Benjy Ritholtz was named a men’s basketball’s third team All-American.

Ritholtz, a history major, has a 3.98 grade point average (GPA), which was tied for the highest GPA among the men’s first, second and third team members. He is a West Hempstead, New York native and a 2010 graduate of the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County. Through 23 games this season, Ritholtz is averaging 14.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He has connected on 41.7 percent of his field goal attempts (128-for-307), including 37.7 percent (46-for-122) from behind the three point arc. To date, Ritholtz has netted 743 points, leaving him 257 points away from becoming the 27th player in Yeshiva men’s basketball history to reach 1,000.

“I am truly honored to have received this award,” said Ritholtz. “Credit goes to my amazing professors at Yeshiva University for helping me so much academically, to my teammates and coaches, and especially to my parents for their support and guidance in everything I do.”

Yoshor earned a spot on the second team after last season becoming the first women’s basketball player in Yeshiva history to make the team. Read the rest of this entry…

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Yeshiva University Hosts February 27 Job Fair for Communal and Educational Careers

Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) and Institute for University-School Partnership (YU School Partnership) will host their annual Jewish Job Fair on Thursday, February 27, 2014 in Furst Hall on YU’s Wilf Campus, 500 West 185th Street in New York City. The event is free and open to the public from 7-9 p.m., with priority admission for YU students and alumni beginning at 6 p.m.

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