Fine and Holz Appointed Endowed Chairs; Shatz Named University Professor
In recognition of their outstanding achievements, Yeshiva University recently recognized two faculty members at Stern College for Women and one at Yeshiva College.
At Stern College, Dr. Marina Holz has been named the Doris and Ira Kukin Chair in Biology and Dr. David Shatz has been appointed University Professor of Philosophy, Ethics and Religious Thought. Dr. Steven Fine has been named the Dean Pinkhos Churgin Chair in Jewish History at Yeshiva College.
“Each of these individuals is a leader and an innovator whose work advances education and research at Yeshiva University,” said Dr. Selma Botman, vice president for academic affairs and provost at YU. “We recognize their accomplishments with the highest honors the University bestows: named chairs and a University professorship. David, Marina, and Steve represent for students and their colleagues what is worthy and noble about the life of the mind. The advances they have made in science and the humanities come through dedicated and tireless work, relentless focus and the joy that new knowledge brings.”
In Sy Syms Social Media Marketing Course, Students Become the Experts
They’re brainstorming viral campaigns, submitting budget proposals, developing websites, pitching to media and conferencing with clients—and that’s just during this week’s class sessions.
Sy Syms students in the Social Media Marketing course taught by Professor Steven Chan (center) offer personal finance help in Washington Square Park as part of their campaign.
They’re students in the new Social Media Marketing course at Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School of Business, and if their workload sounds more like a typical day at a marketing agency than a college lecture, it’s no accident. There are no textbooks and few required readings for this course. Instead, the class operates on one simple principle: learn by doing.
“Social media has become a phenomenon in our culture, something that can’t be ignored by any kind of business or anyone who’s trying to communicate anything online,” said Assistant Professor of Marketing Steven Chan, who designed and is leading the course. “There’s no foundation to teaching this kind of thing because it’s a new medium that’s just come about in the last few years. To me it would be boring and beside the point to teach it in a textbook way.” Read the rest of this entry…
First Ever National Finals Outside of Israel Scheduled for November 30
Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future and the Orthodox Union will be co-sponsoring the U.S. National Bible Contest for Adults, an event that will determine which outstanding Bible scholars will represent the United States at the International Chidon HaTanach [Bible Contest] for Adults in Jerusalem in December.
Scheduled for Sunday, November 30, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. at the West Side Institutional Synagogue, 120 West 76th Street in Manhattan, the event will mark the first time in the contest’s history that national finals are taking place outside of Israel. In addition to the Bible competition, the event will include a musical performance and remarks by Israeli Consul-General Ido Aharoni and YU President Richard M. Joel.
“The International Bible Contest for Adults was developed to encourage the study of the Bible, strengthen ties with the Land of Israel, and deepen connections with Jewish heritage. As such, it is a natural partnership for Yeshiva University,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, YU’s vice president for university and community life. “We are thrilled to co-sponsor the event, and proud that so many of the participants have ties to the University.” Read the rest of this entry…
Straus Center Programs, Seminars and Lectures Promote Interdisciplinary Study of Jewish and Western Thought
What happens at the intersection of faith and reason?
It’s a complicated question whose depths have fascinated Jewish and gentile thinkers alike for thousands of years. Is it possible to be a religious intellectual? How does faith inform the scientific and philosophic discoveries of our time, and how do those discoveries in turn affect religious beliefs and lifestyles? Yeshiva University’s Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought is committed to providing forums for Jews in the modern era to continue that conversation and arrive at their own understanding of the concept of “Torah Umadda”: the balance of Judaic and worldly values.
Noam Safier, a Straus Center Fellow
“In undergraduate courses, seminars for semicha [rabbinic ordination] students, adult education and public events, the Straus Center has brought about the bridging of Torah with the world in every part of Yeshiva,” said Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik, director of the Straus Center. “In just the past year, students in our classes have approached, though a Torah lens, the fields of political thought, American history, law, Zionism, philosophy, art and medicine. We are so proud of having made the vision of Moshael Straus a reality: for Torah Umadda to never be merely a motto, but rather something that can be experienced throughout Yeshiva and the larger Yeshiva University community.”
Dr. Jamie Aroosi: Looking Beyond the Scorecard Approach to Politics
In this midterm election season, media coverage is dominated by numbers. As the science behind public opinion research advances, this only makes sense, as statisticians are increasingly able to predict electoral outcomes. Moreover, a focus on the numbers is an easy way to add drama to an election, as the complex debates that might ideally characterize our political life, but which are less telegenic, are transformed into events with all the drama of the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, while this focus on the numbers might build interest in the election, it can also work against a deeper understanding of its meaning.
Dr. Jamie Aroosi, visiting assistant professor of political science
If politics were little more than a scorecard, we might expect that a win for one team rather than the other might really have significance for our political future. After all, a tremendous amount of time and money is spent on winning, not to mention that citizens themselves often become deeply invested in one party or the other, so that a particular outcome really seems to matter a great deal. And yet, in the case of the 2014 midterm elections, it’s quite possible that not much would have changed regardless of who won, at least in terms of national politics. Read the rest of this entry…
Dr. Anya Alayev, Dr. Marina Holz and Undergraduate Researchers Publish Papers in Leading Scientific Journals
Two research papers written by Stern College for Women students and a post-doctoral fellow have been published in leading scientific journals. Dr. Anya Alayev, a post-doc in Dr. Marina Holz’s lab, authored the papers together with Holz and a group of undergraduates and research assistants, who participated in the research projects described in the papers.
Dr. Anya Alayev
“Phosphoproteomics Reveals Resveratrol-Dependent Inhibition of Akt/mTORC1/S6K1 Signaling,” was published in the Journal of Proteome Research.
“In this article we wanted to find a direct downstream target of resveratrol, a naturally-derived compound that has been found to have anti-aging and disease-protecting properties,” said Alayev, who also recently received the Scholar-in-Training Award from the American Association of Cancer Research.
By identifying proteins that are affected by resveratrol, the study paves the way for further research into the compound and its actions. The paper was a product of two years of research in collaboration with a group from the University of Vermont, in addition to extensive laboratory experiments and computational biology analyses—including several months of writing and revisions—before the manuscript was accepted for publication. It was co-authored by Sara Malka Berger ’13S, who worked in the Holz lab as a research assistant last year and is now pursuing master’s degree in Genetic Counseling at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
Alayev also wrote “The combination of rapamycin and resveratrol blocks autophagy and induces apoptosis in breast cancer cells” which was co-authored by Berger, Melissa Kramer ’15S and Naomi Schwartz ’14S, and was published in the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry. Read the rest of this entry…
In Inaugural Lecture, Joe Lieberman Reflects on His Past Work and The Future of Jewish Politics
Former U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman may have retired from politics, but his eye hasn’t strayed far from the political scene. On October 28, 2014, at Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus, Lieberman addressed hundreds of YU students, faculty and staff in a lecture titled “Judaism and Public Service.” The lecture, the first of a three-part series, inaugurated Lieberman’s role as the Joseph Lieberman Chair in Public Policy and Public Service at YU, a position made possible through a gift from University Benefactors Ira and Ingeborg Rennert.
President Richard M. Joel delivered introductory remarks.
In his introductory remarks, YU President Richard M. Joel called Lieberman’s appointment, along with the recent addition of other prominent visiting professors such as Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and Ambassador Danny Ayalon, “the icing on the cake of a fabulous faculty.”
Lieberman sees the new chair in public policy and public service as a significant part of YU’s mandate to provide a comprehensive education, secular and religious, to its students. “I believe that this chair has a unique and important mission in the years ahead, which is to help YU educate coming generations of Orthodox Jewish women and men in public policy and inspire and prepare them for public service.” Read the rest of this entry…
November 14 Conference Will Explore Psychosocial Care for Elders, Caregivers and Serious Illness
Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social of Work will host the Joanna Mellor Annual Gerontology Conference on November 14. This is the fourth palliative care conference that Wurzweiler has organized in recent years and the first one that will address issues relating to elder care and palliative care concurrently.
“Elder care and palliative care are not separate issues; they’re complementary,” said Dr. Rozetta Wilmore-Schaeffer, associate professor and co-chair of the Gerontology Sequence at Wurzweiler, and one of the conference organizers. “It’s important to recognize that all people dealing with palliative care are not elders, but all elder care includes palliative care.”
Dr. Steven Fine Presents Online Lesson on Relief From The Arch of Titus
Dr. Steven Fine, the Dr. Pinkhos Churgin Professor of Jewish History, recently collaborated with Khan Academy to produce a video about the relief from the Arch of Titus for the “Judaism and Art” division. Khan Academy is a not-for-profit with a goal of changing education by providing free online content in the areas of math, science, economics, art and computing, available to students across the world.
Fine’s video, recorded alongside Dr. Beth Harris, dean of Art and History at Khan Academy, builds on the existing Arch of Titus restoration project and features pictures from Fine’s recent trips to Rome. The Arch of Titus Digital Restoration Project began with a pilot study of the Arch’s menorah and now plans to reconstruct the original colors and explore other elements of the arch. Read the rest of this entry…
Wurzweiler’s Susan Bendor to Retire in January After Five Decades Dedicated to Social Work
Over half a century after she began her career as a social worker, Dr. Susan Bendor will retire in January, capping off 26 years at Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work and a remarkable 52 years in the field.
Wurzweiler’s Dr. Susan Bendor has dedicated her career to helping others.
Born in Budapest, Hungary, Bendor survived the Holocaust as a young child by hiding in a cellar for nine months. By the time she was 21, she had lived in six countries—Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, Canada, Israel and Germany—and by 25, she had earned her master’s degree. Her interest in social work can be traced back to her family’s early years in Canada.
“Thanks to a wonderful hospital social worker who helped our immigrant family through a very rough crisis and lightened the burden on our young shoulders, giving all of us a sense of hope, I realized how important and satisfying it must be to make such a difference in the lives of families coping with a variety of challenges beyond their control,” said Bendor. “I decided to follow in his footsteps. It was a privilege to enter a profession that is committed to social justice and to treating everyone with dignity, as were the individuals who saved our lives during World War II and continue to inspire me even today.” Read the rest of this entry…