Yeshiva University News » Faculty

Ambassador Danny Ayalon Reflects on His Experience Teaching at Yeshiva University

In 2003, while still serving as the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, I was privileged to attend the investiture ceremony of Richard Joel as president of Yeshiva University. Since then, I have served as co-chairman of Nefesh B’Nefesh, Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel, and a member of the Israeli Knesset. Ten years ago, I would never have imagined that I would one day return to YU to join President Joel and the university’s illustrious faculty as the Rennert Visiting Professor of Foreign Policy Studies, a title of which I am most proud.

Ayalon

Ambassador Danny Ayalon is the Rennert Visiting Professor of Foreign Policy Studies at Yeshiva University

The decision to make the transition from practitioner to educator was a difficult one. As a student, my education had been largely one-dimensional and left me with a negative impression of the system as a whole. As I remember it, the students listened and the teachers taught, nothing more. In stark contrast, my time at Yeshiva University has proven to be exhilarating and more rewarding than I could have ever imagined.

Yeshiva University has a strong reputation as a center of academic excellence, so the scholastic commitment of both the students and staff came as no surprise. Still, the level of intellectual and emotional dedication shown by my students has inspired me profoundly and allowed me to see “old issues” from fresh perspectives. Read the rest of this entry…

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#EmpoweredLearning Participants Tackle Passover Question Presented by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

This week, in preparation for the holiday of Passover, an online program organized by Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future is bringing an interactive Torah-learning experience to thousands of users within the YU community and beyond.

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Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and Senator Joseph Lieberman Discuss the Haggada’s Politics at Center for the Jewish Future Event

Hundreds of people gathered at Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus on Sunday, March 22, to hear a pre-Passover conversation with former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and former U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman on “The Haggada’s Politics: From 2,000 Years Ago to Today.” Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik, director of YU’s Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought, moderated the discussion.

In his introductory remarks, Rabbi Soloveichik highlighted the nature of the Haggada as a work of political Jewish thought. He also pointed out the Haggada’s deep attraction for America’s Founding Fathers. Read the rest of this entry…

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Dean Karen Bacon to Lead Combined YC and Stern Faculty While Schools Remain Separate

Yeshiva University recently announced that it will unify the undergraduate faculties at Yeshiva College and Stern College for Women as part of its effort to improve student education and create efficiencies. The campuses and classes remain separate, while the faculty combines its resources. Dr. Karen Bacon will serve as the inaugural Dr. Monique C. Katz Dean of the Undergraduate Faculty of Arts and Science at YU.

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Dr. Karen Bacon will lead a unified Yeshiva College and Stern College for Women faculty.

“The faculty, individually and collectively, are the lifeblood of this critical institution and we will now advance to right-size the administrative parts of the university,” said YU President Richard M. Joel. “For several years, we have been discussing the need for a more unified undergraduate faculty of arts and science. Dean Bacon is a valued educator of integrity and has served with distinction in the highest levels of academic leadership—I look to her and all our faculty to continue to exercise their prerogative in shaping what is a fine curriculum still further.”

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In New Book, YU Historian Imagines American Judaism If the Holocaust Never Happened

On March 30, Dr. Jeffrey Gurock, the Libby M. Klaperman Professor of Jewish History at Yeshiva University, will launch his new book, The Holocaust Averted: An Alternate History of American Jewry 1938-1967 (Rutgers University Press) at the Yeshiva University Museum in a nationally-televised event sponsored by the Museum, the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies and the American Jewish Historical Society.

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In his new book, YU historian Dr. Jeffrey Gurock imagines American Jewish history if the Holocaust had never happened.

In the book, Gurock imagines what might have happened to the Jewish community in the United States if the Holocaust had not occurred and forces readers to contemplate how the road to acceptance and empowerment for today’s American Jews could have been harder than it actually was. YU News sat down with Gurock to discuss some of the most intriguing moments in that period of history, both real and imagined, and their impact on the American Judaism of today.

What inspired you to write this book and how does it fit into the emerging academic field of counterfactual history? Read the rest of this entry…

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Emphasis on Ethical Leadership and Innovative Course Structure Give Sy Syms’ Accounting Masters Global Appeal

At Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School of Business, a thriving master’s in accounting program is helping new graduates enter the workforce with state-of-the-art technical skills and management insight from top industry leaders.

Professor Leonard Fuld teaches the Federal Income Taxation I course in the master's program.

Professor Leonard Fuld teaches the Federal Income Taxation I course in the master’s program.

Now in its fifth year, the master’s program has more than doubled its enrollment since its inception. However, the program’s intimate atmosphere ensures each student receives plenty of mentorship and creates opportunities for interaction with faculty—one of many elements that have made the master’s in accounting program so appealing to students all over the world.

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Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks to Take Part in Great Neck and Five Towns YU Weekends 

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Yeshiva University’s Kressel and Ephrat Family University Professor of Jewish Thought, will be speaking as part of two Yeshiva University Community Weekends in March on Long Island, one in Great Neck and the other in the Five Towns.

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Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks will take part in two Yeshiva University Long Island community weekends.

On Shabbat Parah, Parshat Vayakhel-Pekudei, March 13-14, Rabbi Sacks will present a Friday night lecture at 9 p.m. at the Great Neck Synagogue on “The Three Greatest Challenges Facing the Orthodox Community Today and their Solutions.” He will deliver the Shabbat morning drasha at the Young Israel of Great Neck at 11 a.m. on “From Exodus to the Modern Age: Living A Passionate Judaism.”

On Shabbat HaChodesh, Parshat Vayikra, March 21, Rabbi Sacks will deliver the Shabbat morning drasha on “The Book of Vayikra and Modern Day Sacrifice” following the 9 a.m. Shacharit minyan at the Young Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhurst. At 9 p.m. there will be a community Melave Malka at Congregation Beth Sholom with an introduction by YU President Richard M. Joel on “The Ethics of Responsibility: Building Our Jewish Future” and an armchair conversation with Rabbi Sacks, moderated by attorney Ben Brafman. Read the rest of this entry…

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Yeshiva University Presents March 22 Conversation with Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and Senator Joseph Lieberman

On Sunday, March 22, 2015, Yeshiva University will present a conversation with former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and former Senator Joseph Lieberman on “The Haggada’s Politics: From 2,000 Years Ago to Today.” The conversation, hosted by Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future and the Abraham Arbesfeld Kollel Yom Rishon and Mille Arbesfeld Midreshet Yom Rishon, will be held at YU’s Wilf Campus, 500 West 185th Street, New York City and begin at 10 a.m. Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik, director of YU’s Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought, will moderate the discussion. Read the rest of this entry…

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Yeshiva University Faculty Receive Grants from U.S. Department of Defense Agency 

Two Yeshiva University faculty members have been awarded grants by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the United States Department of Defense’s official Combat Support Agency for countering weapons of mass destruction.

Sergey Buldyrev

Dr. Sergey Buldyrev’s grant analyzes the catastrophic cascade of failures in interdependent networks.

Dr. Sergey Buldyrev, professor of physics at Yeshiva College, is a principal investigator on a multi-year $450,000 grant analyzing the catastrophic cascade of failures in interdependent networks. Picture the connections between power grids, waterworks, Internet cables and other systems—if one part of one system goes down, it initiates a domino effect on each network it’s connected to, taking others down with it. “Supposing a terrorist attacks a certain power station—they’re smart enough to find the one most likely to cause a computer shutdown, which could shut off control of gas or water,” said Buldyrev. “Everything could shut down. This catastrophic collapse of infrastructure—the ‘cascade of failures’—is what people imagine when they think about what might happen at the end of the world.”

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In Professor Roee Holtzer’s Lab, Mentorship and Innovative Research Foster Impressive Student Publications

Jennifer Yuan, a doctoral candidate in Yeshiva University’s Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, recently published an article about her pre-doctoral research as a first author in Human Brain Mapping, a high-impact peer-reviewed scientific journal. It’s a rare and significant achievement for a student in a PhD program—but in Yuan’s case, as a researcher in Dr. Roee Holtzer’s Neuropsychology and Cognition Lab, she’s actually in good company.

Ferkauf students

From left: Melissa Shuman-Paretsky, Janna Belser-Ehrlich, Jennifer Yuan, Elyssa Scharaga and Sarah England

Over the course of the last academic year, four of Holtzer’s doctoral students—Yuan, Sarah England, Janna Belser-Ehrlich and Elyssa Scharaga—and one recent alumna—Melissa Shuman-Paretsky—were listed as first-authors on articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

“Our students consistently achieve high clinical competence levels, as evidenced by our higher than 90 percent match rate for competitive yearlong clinical internships around the country,” said Holtzer, professor of psychology and neurology at Ferkauf and director of its PhD program in clinical psychology with a health emphasis. “But to have this number of students publishing first-authored empirical studies in peer-reviewed journals constitutes a major accomplishment for our doctoral students.”

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