Yeshiva University News » Faculty

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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At Straus Center Event, Author Daniel Gordis Discusses The Life and Legacy of Menachem Begin

A fiery revolutionary and a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, a beloved founder of the State of Israel reviled by its first prime minister, a proud Jew but not a conventionally religious one: Menachem Begin, Israel’s sixth prime minister, was all of this and more. On April 1, Yeshiva University’s Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought hosted an intimate evening of conversation at the Yeshiva University Museum with Straus Center Director Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik and Dr. Daniel Gordis, author of the recent book Menachem Begin: The Battle for Israel’s Soul (Nextbook, April 2014), to discuss the complexities and contradictions of Begin’s life and legacy.

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Left to right: YU President Richard M. Joel welcomes guests to an evening of conversation with Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik and Dr. Daniel Gordis

“The two words that probably meant most to Menachem Begin were ‘Israel’ and ‘Jewish,’ and in his mind they were inextricably linked,” said YU President Richard M. Joel as he introduced the evening’s speakers. “At Yeshiva University, we reinforce the notion that Israel and Jewish identity have to be absolute, indivisible twins. We begin tonight by celebrating this year as the hundredth anniversary of Menachem Begin’s birth.”

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Student Organization of Yeshiva – Jewish Studies Council Publishes Haggadah with Divrei Torah by YU Roshei Yeshiva, Faculty and Students

Just in time for Passover, Yeshiva University’s Student Organization of Yeshiva – Jewish Studies Council (SOY-JSC) has published And You Shall Transmit to Your Children, a collection of divrei Torah on the Haggadah from renowned Torah scholars at YU. The book features contributions from Roshei Yeshiva, including Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Nathan and Vivian Fink Distinguished Professorial Chair in Talmud; Rabbi Mordechai Willig, Rabbi Dr. Sol Roth Chair in Talmud and Contemporary Halacha; Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter, University Professor of Jewish History and Jewish Thought; Rabbi Shalom Carmy, assistant professor of Jewish philosophy and Bible; and Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Jeremy Wieder, among others.

haggadahTopics include the halachic aspects of the seder, the rituals of mechirat chametz [selling leavened food] and korban pesach [the Passover sacrifice], and the history of the seder in Jewish experience.

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Kayla Applebaum, Molecular Biology Major, Receives Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

Kayla Applebaum, a junior at Stern College for Women, has been awarded the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, a highly competitive grant that supports undergraduates who intend to pursue careers in science, math or engineering.

Kayla Applebaum, Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Award WinnerOnly 271 college sophomores and juniors across the country are selected for the scholarship, which covers the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. Applebaum, a molecular biology major, will use her scholarship to continue her study of the targeting molecular pathways of breast cancer in hands-on research with Dr. Marina Holz, associate professor of biology at Stern College, who she has worked with for the last three years.

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In Yeshiva College Course, Students Examine Trends in School Violence From Multiple Perspectives

Schools are supposed to be safe places, where children learn, grow and acquire the skills and knowledge they need to build successful lives. But what happens when they aren’t? In the last decade, news stories about violent outbreaks and bullying in school settings have brought this question and others to the forefront of American awareness. How are our children and institutions impacted when violence—whether in harder-to-spot forms like bullying or more alarming behaviors like muggings or assaults—becomes pervasive in our school systems? And, more importantly, how do we prevent it from happening?

Violence and Education class

Students gave a group presentation on the impact of school violence on teacher turnover.

At Yeshiva College, students in Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology Daniel Kimmel’s “Violence, Schools and Education” course are seeking answers.

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Yeshiva University Celebrates Largest Class of Rabbis at Chag HaSemikhah Convocation

On March 23, no early spring chill could deny the warmth and excitement on Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus as hundreds of voices lifted in joyful song and cheering soared high above Amsterdam Avenue. The street flooded with celebration as more than 230 new musmakhim [ordained rabbis] linked arms and hands and danced together in front of Zysman Hall, pausing only to receive hugs or words of congratulations from their esteemed Roshei Yeshiva, mentors, family and friends.

Representing the largest cohort in history, the musmakhim were celebrating their ordination from YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) at its Chag HaSemikhah. In a day filled with festive song and dance and brimming with pride, the graduates of the 2011-2014 classes joined more than 3,000 rabbinic alumni who have gone on to become distinguished Orthodox rabbis, scholars, educators and leaders around the world.

“At a very crucial time in Jewish history, you are uniquely trained and qualified to reach out to Jews of all backgrounds with an authentic Torah message,” Rabbi Menachem Penner, the Max and Marion Grill Dean of RIETS and Undergraduate Torah Studies at YU, told the musmakhim. “In you, we see the bright future of our community.” Read the rest of this entry…

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Naomi Schwartz Selected as American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Undergraduate Honor Society Member

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Naomi Schwartz

Naomi Schwartz, a senior studying molecular biology at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women and president of the Stern College Biology Club, has been named as one of only 37 American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Undergraduate Honor Society members nationwide.

The Honor Society recognizes exceptional undergraduate juniors and seniors pursuing a degree in the molecular life sciences at a college or university that is a member of the ASBMB Undergraduate Affiliate Network (UAN). Stern College’s Biology Club started a UAN chapter this fall.

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Meet the Musmakh: Rabbi Noah Cheses Builds a Spiritual Home for Yale University Students

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 Noah Cheses“Compassion” and “trust” were the two words that led Rabbi Noah Cheses to a career in the rabbinate. As a curious high school junior in Newton, MA, he’d approached local congregation leader Rabbi Benjamin Samuels ’94YC, ’94BR, ’96R, about his calling. “He told me that becoming a great pulpit rabbi requires opening your heart, sharing your mind and forming relationships of trust with your congregants,” said Cheses.

It was a deeply intriguing message, and Cheses took it to heart. After graduating from the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program at Yeshiva College, he decided to enroll in the semikha program at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. Simultaneously, he pursued a master’s degree in Jewish philosophy at YU’s Bernard Revel School of Jewish Studies. He also studied in YU’s Caroline and Joseph S. Gruss Institute in Israel for two years while completing coursework for his master’s degree in Family Counseling and Therapy at the Family Institute in Jerusalem. Read the rest of this entry…

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YU Faculty Offer Insight into Historical, Political and Religious World of Esther

It’s the only book in the Bible to omit all mention of God, the Torah and the land of Israel. Aside from Genesis, it’s also the most written-about biblical work in the Talmud. Throughout the ages, the unique tension in the Book of Esther has made it one of the most fascinating books in Jewish tradition, and also one of the most deeply complex. On March 10, in honor of the upcoming festival of Purim, scholars from schools across Yeshiva University came together to discuss those complexities and their implications for Jewish thought and experience.

"Exploring Esther: The Origins, Values and Power of Purim” at the YU Museum

Dr. Aaron Koller and Yael Leibowitz

Co-hosted by the Yeshiva University Museum, Yeshiva College, Stern College for Women, the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, and the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought, the evening, titled “Exploring Esther: The Origins, Values and Power of Purim,” focused on the historical and political context, religious significance and gender roles in Esther. Panelists included Dr. Aaron Koller, assistant dean and associate professor of Near Eastern and Jewish Studies at Yeshiva College; Yael Leibowitz, instructor in Bible at Stern College; Rabbi Dr. Meir Y. Soloveichik, director of the Straus Center; and Dr. Daniel Tsadik, assistant professor of Sephardic and Iranian studies at Revel.

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Rabbi Hershel Schachter and Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks to Be Recognized for Contributions to Jewish Law in Modern Life

Yeshiva University Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Nathan and Vivian Fink Distinguished Professorial Chair in Talmud at YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Rabbinical Theological Seminary (RIETS), and Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Kressel and Ephrat Family University Professor of Jewish Thought, will be presented with the 2014 Katz Award for their contributions to the practical analysis and application of halakha [Jewish law] in modern life.

Rabbi Hershel Schachter

Rabbi Hershel Schachter

The award is to be bestowed by Katz Family Foundation committee members, including former Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Hebrew University President Professor Menachem Ben-Sasson, and noted Talmudic scholar Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, at a ceremony at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on Thursday, May 27 at 6:00 p.m.

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