Yeshiva University News » 2014 » May

CJF-RIETS, in Conjunction With Cardozo, Present Conflict Resolution Workshop For Rabbis

A group of 15 rabbis convened in New York City for a three-day seminar, May 19-21, on mediation training, organized by Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) – Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), in conjunction with the Kukin Program for Conflict Resolution at YU’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

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Adam Berner, seated, and Sequoia Stalder presented a workshop for rabbis on conflict resolution

The training was presented by attorneys Adam Berner and Sequoia Stalder, both expert trainers in the field of mediation and conflict resolution.

“By definition, rabbis here and in all places are serving so many different roles—in the pulpit, as teachers and as educators, working with many people, and people have differences,” said Berner, an alumnus of RIETS and Cardozo and an assistant professor at Cardozo. “This workshop is a frame of how best to help these leaders deal with differences, how to manages the realities of being in a community and how to take conflict and see it is an opportunity for growth, learning and change, for themselves and for others.” Read the rest of this entry…

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From Tape Cassettes to Mobile Apps: How YUTorah Grew Into The Leading Site For Online Torah Study

It started with one semicha [rabbinic] student.

yutorah-screenshot3While studying at Yeshiva University-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, Rabbi Marc Spivak was training for a career as a pulpit rabbi outside the tri-state area—but he didn’t want to miss out on the advanced learning and shiurim [Torah lectures] he loved at YU. He began taping shiur after shiur at the University, building a collection of Torah lectures he’d be able to listen to anywhere, any time. When his apartment could no longer hold the sheer volume of tapes he’d created, he tried digital storage, learning how to encode the shiurim and burn them to CDs. Eventually, with help from YU student Chaim Jaskoll and other Jews still exploring the internet’s fledgling potential, Spivak turned to the emerging world of online media, uploading all the shiurim he had recorded to a single website where they would remain accessible, for free, to any Jew, anywhere in the world, who wanted to broaden their Torah horizons.

That turned out to be just the beginning. The site was an instant hit. Spivak joined what would eventually become known as YU’s Center for the Jewish Future to embark on an even more ambitious project: recording and uploading shiurim Yeshiva-wide. Excited donors contributed recording equipment and initial server space, while students and YU faculty added a growing number of shiurim to the site daily. Before long, the site had expanded beyond YU’s borders, receiving submissions and listenership from Torah figures and institutions around the world.

Today, that website is known as YUTorah, and with over 90,000 shiurim—and counting—it’s the leading site for online Torah study. Read the rest of this entry…

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Montefiore Health System and Yeshiva University Come to Historic Agreement for Future of Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Agreement Enhances and Strengthens Shared Missions in a More Sustainable Model

Montefiore Health System and Yeshiva University have come to an historic agreement to build upon a longstanding, 50-year relationship that has trained generations of physicians and medical researchers. A new entity will be jointly formed by Montefiore and Yeshiva, with Montefiore assuming greater responsibility for the day-to-day operations and financial management of Albert Einstein College of Medicine and with Yeshiva remaining the degree-granting institution with a key role in the educational aspects of the entity. Montefiore has agreed to assume significant governance and financial responsibility for the new Einstein entity.

“This agreement marks an important milestone for the future of each of our institutions as well as for healthcare as a whole,” said Steven M. Safyer, M.D., president and CEO, Montefiore. “We look forward to further strengthening Einstein as a major research institution that spans the scope from bench science to healthcare delivery transformation.”

The agreement enhances and strengthens the organizations’ shared missions of research, teaching, patient care and community service and will ensure Einstein remains a leading medical school.

“We are undertaking this historic process of transforming our relationship with Montefiore and Einstein to match the extraordinary opportunities and challenges in the healthcare environment of the 21st century,” said Richard M. Joel, president, Yeshiva University. Read the rest of this entry…

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Michal Leibowitz Captures Top Prize for Project on Bedbugs

Michal Leibowiz

Michal Leibowitz

Michal Leibowitz of White Plains, a senior at Samuel H. Wang Yeshiva University High School for Girls (YUHSG) won first place at the New York State Science and Engineering Fair for her project, “Engineering A Novel Cimex Lectularius (bedbug!) Trapping Mechanism Utilizing Electrospun Recycled Polymers,” which was chosen out of 200 other submissions. The project, which she worked on with Jacob Plaut from Rambam Mesivta and Daniel Rudin from Half Hollow Hills High School West, also won “Second Award” in Environmental Management at the International Science and Engineering Fair and earned a $1,500 prize. In addition, she and her fellow students will have an asteroid named after them.

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Nine Yeshiva University Undergraduates Recognized for Exceptional Academic Achievements

More than 600 students from Yeshiva University’s undergraduate schools were awarded degrees at YU’s 83rd commencement exercises, held at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ on May 22. Nine received the distinction of valedictorian, an honor that reflects exceptional academic achievement. As these new graduates begin the next stage of life and apply their talents to pursue a range of careers, they remembered the vibrant Jewish life and rich academic and extracurricular experiences that shaped their undergraduate years.

Valedictorians

Valedictorians (L-R): Isaac Merkel, Malia Weiss, Avi Levinson, Devorah Levinson, Eli Shavalian, Eli Grunblatt, Benjy Lebowitz, Bella Wolf and Natan Koloski

“YU afforded me the unique opportunity to enhance my scientific pursuits with Torah knowledge,” said Bella Wolf, the valedictorian of Stern College for Women. “I feel that as a Jewish student majoring in the sciences, there is no other university that could better meld together my religious beliefs with my career goals.”

Wolf, an aspiring ophthalmologist, will attend YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the fall. “YU has an amazing science department which helped me in my pursuit to attend medical school,” she said. “I received incredibly valuable skills both in the research and medicinal field, as well as in life in general, from my four years at Stern.” Read the rest of this entry…

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Yeshiva University Celebrates at 83rd Commencement Ceremony

More than 600 students from Yeshiva University’s undergraduate schools were presented with their degrees at YU’s 83rd commencement exercises, held at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Thursday, May 22.

A celebratory spirit was in the air as graduates clad in black caps and gowns chatted excitedly, embracing one another and posing for pictures with friends and family. Blue and white balloons and YU insignia adorned the walls and guests stopped to admire the dozens of posters featuring pictures of students, which lined the entrances to the arena.

“I am so happy to be celebrating today with my family – my immediate family and my YU family,” said Seth Feuerstein-Rudin, who was graduating from Sy Syms School of Business with a degree in business marketing. “It’s bittersweet because I learned a lot here and really developed as a person and I’m sad that my experience is drawing to a close. But I’m also looking forward to being involved in the future and giving back to the school in any way I can.”

President Richard M. Joel challenged the new graduates to value their time and this “momentous moment,” as members of a generation that are “nostalgic for the past, savoring the present and anticipating the future.”

“How do we count time to make sure that time counts?” President Joel asked. Read the rest of this entry…

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Created by Yeshiva University Students, New Website Helps Torah Go Viral

Two months ago, a team of Yeshiva University students launched “BuzzTorah,” a BuzzFeed-inspired site designed to share Jewish values in a fun, easy way by providing quick and comprehensive Jewish content in the form of lists, pictures, GIFs and short articles. The site took off in the weeks that followed, spreading quickly via social media. But what’s it all about? In the spirit of BuzzTorah, here’s a listicle (an article in list format) with some fast—and sometimes surprising—facts.

1.       It was inspired by the 2013 Pew Report.

When Yeshiva College student Tzvi Levitin heard that more young Jews than ever were losing touch with Judaism, he started envisioning ways to make Torah and Jewish thought accessible, shareable and interesting—like BuzzFeed, a social news and entertainment website famous for its compulsively-readable lists.

2.       It’s more than just lists.

The site premiered quizzes like “How Fluent Are You in Jewish Terminology?” this month and is also hoping to debut a regular column titled “5 Things This Week in Jewish History.” Look for new content on Jewish art, literature and film and catchy long-form articles in the near future, too. Read the rest of this entry…

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2014 Varda Shoham Clinical Training Initiative Grant Will Help School Bridge Gap between Research and Clinical Practice

The clinical psychology program (PsyD) at Yeshiva University’s Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology has been awarded the 2014 Varda Shoham Clinical Scientist Training Initiative grant, a highly competitive award from the American Psychological Association (APA)’s Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology (SSCP). Meant to bridge the gap between research and clinical practice, these grants are awarded to training programs to launch new projects or support ongoing initiatives that effectively integrate science and practice in their programs.

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Jonah Wilkof Chosen for 2Seeds Training in Tanzania, Africa

Jonah Wilkof portraitGraduating Yeshiva University senior Jonah Wilkof, of Beachwood, Ohio, has been selected for a highly competitive nonprofit training position with The 2Seeds Network, a nonprofit organization that incubates small, efficient and effective agricultural development projects in Africa.

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Center for the Jewish Future’s #EmpoweredLearning Program Aims to Engage and Inspire Torah Learners

What gets people excited about learning Torah? How can we harness technology to engage a worldwide audience of learners and inspire them to want to learn more?

Those are some of the questions Rabbi Ari Sytner, director of Community Initiatives at Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF), set out to answer when he created a new online program that aims to bring an interactive Torah-learning experience to a wide group of users within the YU community and beyond.

“We wanted to come up with a revolutionary idea to engage people in learning,” said Rabbi Sytner. “We found that the most exciting part of learning is the question.” Read the rest of this entry…

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