Yeshiva University News » 2014 » April

Israeli Ambassador Ido Aharoni, Survivor Pola Jasphy and Students Reflect at Yom HaShoah Ceremony

In a darkened Lamport Auditorium at Yeshiva University’s annual Yom HaShoah ceremony, Stern College for Women student Michal Kupchik began an evening of Holocaust remembrance and reflection with a plea to the next generation.

“Each and every Jew was a world, and we lost 6 million worlds,” she said, standing before six figures on the stage, each wearing a sign that simply read ‘Jew.’ “There are no words to describe how I feel that my children will never know a survivor, but this reality is impending, so we must use our words and use them strongly—for the word ‘history’ is made up of the words ‘his story’ and ‘her story,’ and we are destined to repeat it if we forget.”

The theme of the ceremony, organized by YU’s Student Holocaust Education Movement, was “Continuing the Conversation,” emphasizing the need to keep the memory and dialogue about the Holocaust alive for future generations even after the original survivors are gone. Throughout the evening, speakers referred to the members of the audience as the “bridge” generation whose responsibility it would be to internalize and convey the experience of survivors to their own children or grandchildren. Read the rest of this entry…

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Former Maccabee Selected to Join Flourishing Yeshiva Athletics Program

Elliot Steinmetz, new men's basketball head coachYeshiva University has announced Elliot Steinmetz as its head men’s basketball coach.  Steinmetz, a 2002 graduate of YU’s Sy Syms School of Business who lettered on YU’s basketball team for three seasons from 1999-02, will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the men’s basketball program while ensuring the academic success of its student-athletes.  He has served with distinction as head coach of the varsity basketball team at North Shore Hebrew Academy High School and of the gold medal-winning United States 18 and Under Boys Basketball Team for the Maccabiah Games in Israel.

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Men’s Tennis Wins Skyline Conference Championship, Becomes First Yeshiva Team to Earn Berth into NCAA Championship

men's tennisApril 27, 2014 is now a date marked in history for Yeshiva University’s athletics department. Yesterday the men’s tennis team became the first program in the history of the College to earn the right to represent the school in a National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament. The team earned the berth after the Maccabees beat Mount Saint Mary’s College (MSMC) 5-1 in the championship round of the 2014 Skyline Conference postseason tournament to earn the conference’s automatic berth into the NCAA Division III playoffs.

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Rakeffet’s Bernard Revel Biography Republished; Yeshiva University Presents May 4 Book Launch and Lecture

Yeshiva University Press, in conjunction with OU Press, announces the republication of two landmark books by Rabbi Dr. Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff, professor of rabbinic literature at YU’s Caroline and Joseph S. Gruss Institute, Bernard Revel: Builder of American Orthodoxy and The Silver Era: Rabbi Eliezer Silver and His Generation.

Out of print but in demand for many years, these biographies tell the stories of two of the most important leaders of American Orthodox Judaism in the 20th century. Rabbi Dr. Bernard Revel, the founder of Yeshiva University and its first president, and Rabbi Eliezer Silver, the president and moving force behind Agudath HaRabanim and Vaad Hatzalah, stand as representatives of different communities within Orthodoxy, but they transcended partisan labels. They were each recognized as leaders beyond their own communities because of their passionate dedication to the Jewish people as a whole. Through the lives of Revel and Silver, Rakeffet brings to life the fascinating history of Orthodox Judaism in America, in all its diversity. Read the rest of this entry…

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YU High School Students Document Holocaust Survivors’ Testimonies Through Oral History Project

Students at YU High School for Girls connect with Holocaust survivors

YU High School for Girls students documented the testimony of Holocaust survivor Joe Rosenfeld (seated with his wife).

For many seniors at Yeshiva University High Schools (YUHS), one of the most memorable parts of their educational experience takes place outside the classroom—not with their teachers or classmates, but behind a video camera, recording the first-person narrative of Holocaust survivors.

As participants in “Names, Not Numbers,” students have the unique opportunity to delve into the history of the Holocaust, hone their interviewing skills and filming techniques and have a one-on-one encounter with a Holocaust survivor—taping and editing his or her testimony into a short clip which later becomes part of a longer film that includes the firsthand accounts of other survivors.

Now in its 10th year, “Names, Not Numbers” is an oral history documentary project founded in 2003 by Tova Rosenberg, director of Hebrew language studies and Israel Exchange Programs at YUHS, who has organized and overseen the project since its inception. To date, she has helped more than 450 Holocaust survivors and World War II veterans share their stories.

“It’s an experiential, collaborative project that allows for each student’s creativity to shine,” said Rosenberg. “Nobody really understands what the number six million means, but everyone can understand what one story means. It makes the Holocaust relevant to the students and I have seen over and over how the project really touches their souls.” Read the rest of this entry…

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Yeshiva University Mourns Passing of Professor of Jewish Philosophy Dr. Charles Raffel

Dr. Charles Raffel

Dr. Charles Raffel

Yeshiva University is saddened by the loss of Dr. Charles Raffel, longtime professor of Jewish philosophy at Stern College for Women, who passed away suddenly on the evening of April 19.

Born August 28, 1950, Raffel was a graduate of Wesleyan and Brandeis Universities. Rabbi Dr. Ephraim Kanarfogel, chair of Stern’s Rebecca Ivry Department of Jewish Studies, described Raffel as “the anchor” of the school’s Jewish philosophy program, “a consummate mensch and colleague, and a beloved teacher.”

Dr. Raffel is survived by his beloved wife Rivka, and children Aliza and Josh, as well as by two brothers. 

Students and colleagues are asked to share their condolences in the comments section below.

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Dr. John Ruskay to Keynote May 22 Commencement; Joshua Gortler, Dorothy Schachne and Dr. Morton Lowengrub to be Honored

Dr. John S. Ruskay, executive vice president and CEO of the UJA-Federation of New York, will deliver the keynote address and receive an honorary doctorate at Yeshiva University’s 83rd Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 11 a.m. at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, NJ. YU President Richard M. Joel will also confer honorary doctorates upon Joshua Gortler, president of The Kline Galland Center Foundation and alumnus of YU’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work, and YU Benefactor Dorothy Schachne. Dr. Morton Lowengrub, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, will receive the Presidential Medallion. Read the rest of this entry…

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Dr. Michael Kremer to Deliver April 29 Economics  Lecture at Yeshiva University 

Dr. Michael Robert Kremer, Harvard University’s Gates Professor of Developing Societies in the Department of Economics, will deliver the annual Alexander Brody Distinguished Lecture in Economics at Yeshiva University on Tuesday, April 29 at 7:30 pm. The lecture, titled “Improving Health in the Developing World,” will take place at Weissberg Commons on YU’s Wilf Campus, 2495 Amsterdam Avenue, and is open to the public.

Kremer is an American developmental economist whose work focuses on the use of incentives, particularly the design of incentive mechanisms to encourage the development of vaccines in developing countries and the use of randomized trials to evaluate interventions in the social sciences. He is the creator of “Kremer’s O-Ring Theory of Economic Development,” a well-known economic theory regarding skill complementarities. Kremer is also founder and president of WorldTeach, a Harvard-based organization which places college students and recent graduates as volunteer teachers on summer and yearlong programs in developing countries around the world.

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Project TEACH Volunteers Create Interactive Science Modules for Children in Hospitals

Explosive milk fireworks, bridges built from gumdrops and suspenseful egg drop competitions: they may sound like wacky science experiments gone awry, but these are all fun and educational activities for children that may soon be coming to a hospital near you.

2712 Yeshiva U-7600

Yosefa Schoor, left, and Laura Taieb, right, work with children in Columbia University’s Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital to create a volcano.

Welcome to Project TEACH – Together Educating All Children in Hospitals, a joint initiative from Yeshiva University undergraduates and students at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in which volunteers design, develop and implement a series of science and humanities modules for pediatric patients. The program currently operates in eight hospitals in New York, with over 270 volunteers running informational and recreational activities for children and their families. Its largest event took place this spring, when more than 30 YU students constructed volcanoes with patients at Columbia University’s Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.

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Abraham Foxman Discusses Modern Anti-Semitism at Hillel Rogoff Memorial Lecture

How do you fight virulent anti-Semitism?

abraham foxman spotlight

Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League

It’s a question Jews have grappled with for eons, but, according to Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League since 1987, it’s taken on new significance in the Internet era. At Yeshiva University’s Hillel Rogoff Annual Memorial Lecture on April 2, Foxman outlined the many ways modern technology and politics are reshaping the age-old battle against hate speech and discrimination in America and around the world.

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