Dr. Lawrence Schiffman on the Growing Popularity of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Why are literally hundreds of thousands of people streaming to exhibits of the Dead Sea Scrolls all over the United States and the rest of the world? Why should anyone even care about these remnants of close to 900 scrolls from the second and first centuries BCE and the first century CE? What possesses some of us in academia to devote our professional careers to teaching and research about the Scrolls?
Yeshiva University presents its first annual Dead Sea Scrolls conference on May 19.
The discovery of the first scrolls by Bedouin in 1947 in Cave 1 at Qumran, on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, set off a wave of excitement. But this initial interest was misused by scholars who were intent on understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Second Temple period Jewish sect that gathered them as a precursor of Christianity. To make matters even worse, the long delays in publication that ensued understandably fostered conspiracy theories worthy of Dan Brown and the Da Vinci Code, and served as a great distraction from the Scrolls’ real significance and message. After all, they are Second Temple period texts authored, copied and left for us by Jews who lived and breathed devotion to God’s Torah and its commandments, even if they represented an approach that, from the point of view of the sweep of Jewish history, was sectarian. Read the rest of this entry…
Four-Year $720,000 Grant will Enable Stern College’s Marina Holz to Investigate Breast Cancer Cell Growth
The American Cancer Society, the largest non-government, not-for-profit funding source of cancer research in the United States, has awarded Dr. Marina Holz, assistant professor of biology at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, a $720,000 Research Scholar Grant. The four-year grant will be used to continue her work researching how the mTOR pathway affects the growth of estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer.
Chani Wiesman Berliant on the Need for Genetic Education and Testing
In my role as genetic counselor, I meet with men, women and families who have personal or family histories of cancer. I take a detailed medical and family history, assess the chance for an hereditary risk for cancer, and recommend appropriate genetic testing. Genetic testing can help identify what that “hereditary factor” is. When the results come back, I interpret them in the context of the family history and help make screening and management recommendations.
Chani Wiesman Berliant is a genetic counselor at YU’s Program for Jewish Genetic Health
Inevitably, the following statement would come up in discussion:
“…and if you carry one of these BRCA mutations, it means that there’s a 50/50 chance that you could have passed it on to your kids…”Read the rest of this entry…
Seeking Green Energy Solutions, Students and Faculty from Stern College and UNH Join Forces
As part of a new educational experience designed to restructure the way undergraduates are trained in science and engineering, students at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women participated in hands-on advanced nanoscience and nanotechnology research at Brookhaven National Laboratory on April 11.
Students toured the Brookhaven lab and used its National Synchrotron Light Source, a ring in which electrons are accelerated and also a source of powerful x-ray radiation, to study why platinum and other expensive noble metals are efficient as catalysts in chemical reactions and how new and better catalysts could be designed. The research has implications for the development of important alternate fuel sources.
Yeshiva University High Schools to Honor Community Leaders and Beloved Faculty Members at May 22 Dinner
Yeshiva University High Schools (YUHS) will present their Annual Dinner of Tribute on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at Terrace on the Park, 52-11 111th Street, Flushing Meadows Park, NY. This year’s honorees include Guests of Honor Louis and Naomi Tuchman and faculty honorees, Lynda Smith and Dr. Seth Taylor.
Guests of Honor Louis and Naomi Tuchman
“The Board of Trustees joins the Yeshiva University High School community in paying tribute to two inspiring, beloved and dedicated faculty members,” said Miriam Goldberg, chair of YUHS. “Our guests of honor, Naomi and Louis, are a rare blend of community leaders who graciously give their time from their professional and person lives.” Read the rest of this entry…
Eric Goldman’s Newest Book Charts the American Jewish Story through the History of Cinema
From Al Jolson to Woody Allen, Jews have played a significant role in the American film industry even as their role in larger American society has constantly shifted and evolved. But how much of their changing experience made it to the big screen? In his new book, The American Jewish Story through Cinema (University of Texas Press, April 2013), Dr. Eric Goldman, adjunct associate professor of cinema at Yeshiva University, explores the surprising visual history of American Jewry revealed in some of America’s most classic films.
YU News: How did you become interested in the idea of American cinema as lens to study the Jewish American experience?
Goldman: I was classically trained in cinema studies, but I always had an interest in combining the Jewish with the American. My first book was a history of Yiddish cinema. As I came in contact with different people from different fields—sociology, history, semiotics—I realized that in terms of trying to understand the changing American Jew and the evolving situation of Jews in America, cinema could be used as an incredible text to see those changes right on the screen.
How is the early Jewish immigrant story reflected in early 20th century cinema, with movies like “The Jazz Singer?”
In my “Sociology of Mass Media” class at Stern College for Women, I screen “The Jazz Singer” and a silent film called “His People”together. They were made in the 1920s, within a year and a half of each other. “His People” is about the generational gap between the immigrants who came here with deep Jewish learning and found they couldn’t turn it into a living. In this movie, the father, a man of great learning, has to become a peddler on the street. And the question clearly is what will happen to the next generation? You feel the pull of assimilation. Read the rest of this entry…
Yeshiva University Commemorates the Life and Legacy of Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik
On April 14, Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) commemorated the 20th yahrtzeit [anniversary of death] of “the Rav,” Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik zt”l, Torah luminary and YU Rosh Yeshiva, with a full-day learning program that took place in the Lamport Auditorium on YU’s Wilf Campus. Thousands attended in-person or followed the event online to gain insight into the Rav’s life and legacy through lectures, discussions and presentations given by his family and closest students.
“I experience a sense of déjà vu standing in this room today, for in this very room we waited with baited breath for the Rav to enter and deliver his famous shiurim on his father’s yahrtzeit each year,” said Rabbi Joel Schreiber, Chairman of the RIETS Board of Trustees, in his opening remarks to the participants. “In this room thousands of men and women had their hearts, minds and souls lifted to unimaginable heights by the Rav.”
The program kicked off with “Multiple Faces of the Rav,” a panel that brought together Rabbi Soloveitchik’s daughter, Dr. Atarah Twersky, and several students of the Rav, including Rabbi Herschel Schachter, RIETS Rosh Yeshiva; Dr. David Shatz, YU professor of philosophy; and Rabbi Kenneth Brander, David Mitzner Dean of the CJF, to examine the many and varied roles played by the Rav during his lifetime. Read the rest of this entry…
Dr. Lawrence Schiffman Leads Delegation to Vatican City
Dr. Lawrence Schiffman, Yeshiva University’s vice provost for undergraduate education, recently led a delegation from the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC), as part of a wider Jewish delegation, to meet with newly-elected Pope Francis in Vatican City.
IJCIC is a coalition of Jewish organizations including the American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League, B’nai B’rith International, Central Conference of American Rabbis, Israel Jewish Council of Interreligious Relations, Rabbinical Assembly, Rabbinical Council of America, Union for Reform Judaism, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, and the World Jewish Congress. It was created to represent world Jewry in its relations with other world religions.
“We have seen important and positive developments in the Church’s attitude to the Jewish people and the State of Israel,” said Schiffman, who serves as chair of IJCIC. ”We need to continue to build on this important relationship. Read the rest of this entry…
PRISM Editors Karen Shawn and Jeffrey Glanz on Holocaust Education in the 21st Century
On Monday, Jews across the world will commemorate and mourn the tragic and unspeakable events of the Holocaust as they mark the 60th Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. Many will gather to pray, share stories and hear the testimony of survivors, including students at Yeshiva University. But as time passes and fewer survivors remain to bear witness, how can we as a community ensure that the lessons of the Holocaust are never forgotten?
PRISM: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Holocaust Educators, published by YU’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, seeks to keep the memories and conversations of the Holocaust alive by examining specific issues through multidimensional lenses of history, poetry, psychology, education and art, among others. YU Newssat down with editors Dr. Karen Shawn, visiting associate professor of Jewish education at Azrieli, and Dr. Jeffrey Glanz, Raine and Stanley Silverstein Chair in Professional Ethics and Values at Azrieli, to discuss the changing face of Holocaust education in the 21st century. Read the rest of this entry…
Rabbi Hyman and Ann Arbesfeld, Rabbi Hershel Schachter, and Rabbi Eliezer Zwickler to be Honored at May 1 Gala
Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), an affiliate of Yeshiva University, will honor dedicated leaders and educators of the Jewish community at its Annual Gala Evening of Tribute on Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at The Grand Hyatt in New York City. Honorees include Rabbi Hyman (Hy) and Ann Arbesfeld, Etz Chaim Award; Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Guest of Honor; and Rabbi Eliezer Zwickler, Distinguished Rabbinic Leadership Award.
“I have always believed that RIETS is the heart and soul of Yeshiva University,” said Joel Schreiber, chairman of the RIETS Board of Trustees. “It is blessed with the finest Roshei Yeshiva that have produced outstanding scholars of Torah and Jewish thought. For over 100 years it has embodied the philosophy of Torah Umadda and has been at the forefront of Modern Orthodoxy in America and beyond. This year, we are privileged to honor leaders in Torah, chesed and service to community.” Read the rest of this entry…