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Yeshiva University, Baylor University and Catholic University of America Presidents Reflect on Unique Role and Mission of Religious Universities

Before an overflow crowd gathered at the National Press Club’s Edward R. Murrow Room, Yeshiva University President Richard M. Joel, Catholic University of America President John Garvey and Baylor University President Ken Starr discussed a number of issues facing higher education and specifically faith-based universities, including government ratings systems, academic freedom and the value of a faith-based education.

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YU President Richard M. Joel (Robert Rogers/Baylor Marketing and Communications)

President Starr began the conversation, titled, “The State of Higher Education and the Calling of Faith-Based Universities,” by noting that one of America’s oldest laws, the Northwest Ordinance, had already deemed “religion, morality and knowledge” a necessary combination for “good government and the happiness of mankind,” suggesting that education grounded in religious and ethical principles was considered essential to the cultivation of the mind as well as spirit. Speaking of the shared values-driven missions of institutions such as YU, Baylor and CUA, President Starr said, “I think we all agree that education is more than a transmission belt, it’s more than attending classes and doing lab work. But what is it?” Read the rest of this entry…

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The Birthplace of Standup Comedy and One of its Offspring Come Together at Yeshiva University Museum Borscht Belt Event

More than 100 fans of the Catskills braved severe winter weather to warm themselves with a nostalgic evening of Borscht Belt comedy at the Yeshiva University Museum on Monday, February 2, at a program that dovetailed exhibition Echoes of the Borscht Belt: Contemporary Photographs by Marisa Scheinfeld with the viewing of the film “When Comedy Went to School.”  The event, presented by the YU Museum and the Center for Jewish History, was followed by a discussion with Robert Klein, noted comedian, singer, actor and the narrator of the film.

February 2, 2015 Q&A with Robert Klein (Actor, left), Lawrence Richards who conceived and wrote this film as well as a produced it and Mevlut Akkaya (Director, Producer of the film) following screening of the movie When Comedy Went to School at Yeshiva University Museum at 15 West 16th street.

Comedian Robert Klein

The film lightly sketches the development of standup comedy, and the preponderance of Jewish practitioners, in the Catskill hotels during the early and mid 1900s. As cited in the film, 600, hotels, bungalow colonies, and summer camps made their home in the Catskills then, in Sullivan and Ulster Counties, known as the Borscht Belt. These hotels also became, according to comedian Jerry Lewis a “laboratory” for stand-up comedy.

The event, said Dr. Jacob Wisse, director of the Yeshiva University Museum, was inspired by Scheinfeld’s contemporary photographs of Catskill hotels, many of which have been abandoned and fallen into disrepair. In their heyday, the Catskills teemed with Jewish patrons seeking a respite from the heat and congestion of city life and a vacation that included good food and entertainment, including the noted Borscht Belt comedy. Read the rest of this entry…

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Yeshiva University and Montefiore Health System Reach Agreement to Establish Joint Venture for Einstein

Dear Members of the YU Community,

I am pleased to report that our ongoing work has resulted in a dynamic plan to create a joint venture for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The Montefiore Health System and Yeshiva University made an announcement confirming that the key terms of an agreement have been reached, with the unanimous endorsement of their respective Boards. The parties are committed to finalizing this as soon as possible.

The announcement read as follows:

“Building on the agreement originally announced in May, the Boards of Trustees of Montefiore Health System and Yeshiva University announced today that they have agreed on the principal terms of an agreement with respect to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. While subject to final documentation and regulatory approval, the parties are proud to continue their longstanding relationship as part of Einstein’s future as a top-tier medical school and research institution.

The agreement deepens the bonds between Montefiore and Einstein, further integrates the institutions’ faculty, students, and staff, and aligns operations to best advance science and medicine. Montefiore and Yeshiva look forward to sharing further details about this historic agreement in the months ahead.” Read the rest of this entry…

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Yeshiva High School Wrestlers From Across the Country to Take Part in Annual Competition

Yeshiva University will host the 20th annual Henry Wittenberg Wrestling Tournament from February 13 – 16, at the Max Stern Athletic Center on YU’s Wilf Campus. Sponsored entirely by Yeshiva University, the program will bring together 250 wrestlers from 15 yeshiva high schools across the country.

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The Wittenberg Wrestling Tournament runs February 13-16

In addition to the exciting competition, the long weekend will also include a Shabbaton complete with communal meals, spirited games, a tribute to YU Wrestling Coach Neil Ellman and tournament coordinator Brian Ostrow, and an inspirational lecture by two-time Paralympic Games gold medalist Marlon Shirley, the “World’s Fastest Amputee.”

“This weekend is the highlight of the yeshiva high school wrestling calendar,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander Read the rest of this entry…

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February 26 Job Fair Offers Opportunities and Connections in Jewish Communal and Educational Fields

Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) and Institute for University-School Partnership (YU School Partnership) will host their annual Jewish Job Fair on Thursday, February 26, 2015 in Furst Hall on YU’s Wilf Campus, 500 West 185th Street in New York City. The event is free and open to the public from 7-9 p.m., with priority admission for YU students and alumni beginning at 6 p.m.

In addition to showcasing a variety of professional opportunities at well-respected Jewish schools, organizations and non-profits, the event provides a robust networking forum for job-hunters seeking information on everything from scholarships and internships to career development programming.

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Murray and Basheva Goldberg Dedicate Pastoral Psychology Program at RIETS

For Murray and Basheva Goldberg, of Teaneck, New Jersey, a gift to support Yeshiva University was an opportunity to make a lasting impact on as many people as possible. When the Goldbergs learned of the pastoral psychology program at YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), where students studying for the rabbinate learn how to best guide their congregants and community members through both celebratory and challenging times, they knew they’d found their philanthropic match.

Murray and Basheva Goldberg

Murray and Basheva Goldberg

“By supporting the pastoral psychology program, we’re not only affecting the men sitting in the classrooms at a specific time, but we’re also positively impacting everyone those students will go on to serve as rabbis,” said Basheva Goldberg ’65YUHS, ’69S, who remembers her time at YU fondly. “We also feel confident that these young men will take the message of YU—its hashkafah [outlook] of Torah Umadda—and successfully give that message over to so many.”

For many in the Jewish community, their rabbi is the first person they turn to when seeking guidance on meeting personal challenges or addressing questions concerning faith, family and friends. The pastoral psychology program at RIETS explores some of the basic concepts, principles and requisite skills for rabbis who seek to be effective counselors and educators. Topics include mental health issues, domestic violence and substance abuse. Training is also offered on how to develop listening and communication skills and how to apply the basic types of psychotherapeutic approaches in a pastoral setting. Even students who are obtaining semicha [rabbinical ordination] but are not planning to enter the rabbinate are required to take courses in pastoral psychology since the fundamentals from these classes are beneficial to myriad other professions. Read the rest of this entry…

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More Than 450 Students From Around the World to Tackle Global Issues February 8-10

Some 450 students from Jewish high schools around the world will gather at the Stamford Plaza Hotel and Conference Center in Stamford, Connecticut, February 8-10, to participate in the 25th annual Yeshiva University National Model United Nations conference (YUNMUN). Simulating the countries and committees from the real United Nations, student delegates from 44 yeshiva high schools and community day schools across 3 continents will discuss a wide range of issues, including gender roles, human rights and international law.

12491827615_b8e8a1fdf5_zMore than 60 YU undergraduate students and 65 faculty advisers will be on-hand at the event to ensure that the student-run simulation runs smoothly, allowing participants to learn about the complex landscape of international diplomacy.

“Yeshiva University hosts a Model United Nations because it is critical that we educate students about our mandate to matter. We must consistently reinforce a responsibility for helping shape the destiny of civilization,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, YU’s vice president for university and community life. Read the rest of this entry…

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Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology’s Older Adult Program Recognized by Council of Professional Geropsychology

Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology’s Older Adult Program has received the 2014 Innovative Training Award from the Council of Professional Geropsychology Training Programs. The national award, created in 2011, is given to one program each year that demonstrates excellence and creativity in geropsychology training and is meant to encourage innovative training in the field.

Dr. Richard Zweig

Dr. Richard Zweig

The Ferkauf Older Adult Program (FOAP) is directed by Dr. Richard Zweig, associate professor at Ferkauf and the Council’s past chair, and is a collaborative effort between the faculty of Ferkauf, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Jacobi Hospital Medical Center.

“The program’s goal is to bridge the growing gap between demand for geropsychology services and an under-supply of well-trained psychologist practitioners,” said Zweig. “It’s a real honor to receive this award from the national organization that sets the standards for training geropsychologists around the country.” Read the rest of this entry…

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On Center for the Jewish Future Missions, Students Help Haiti and Explore American Jewish Communities 

Over a whirlwind eight days, 36 Yeshiva University students took part in a humanitarian aid mission to Haiti and actively participated in the inner workings of small Jewish communities across the United States as part of two winter service learning programs organized by YU’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF). The undergraduates signed on to expand their educational horizons through the missions, from January 10-18, with one group of 15 students on the JDC (American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee) Insider’s Trip to Haiti and another group of 21 on Jewish Life Coast to Coast.

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Michal Segall, a participant on the mission to Haiti, teaches songs to students at the Prodev school in the town of Zoranje.

“For some, winter break is a chance to relax and reenergize before the beginning of a new semester,” said Rabbi Yaakov Glasser, David Mitzner Dean of CJF. “But for these students it was a life-transforming experience that instilled a deep commitment to the broader Jewish community and the world.” Read the rest of this entry…

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Program for Jewish Genetic Health Initiative Provides First Affordable Testing for Common Ashkenazi BRCA Mutations to Low Risk and Uninsured

An unprecedented initiative from the Program for Jewish Genetic Health, a nonprofit organization affiliated with Yeshiva University and Albert Einstein College for Medicine in conjunction with Montefiore Health System, will enable men and women of Ashkenazi heritage to undergo testing for the three most common Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA mutations at a fraction of the commercial price. The first of its kind in the United States, the initiative will provide testing to individuals regardless of their BRCA-related cancer histories or their insurance or financial situations, which have been barriers to date.

450853983“Most insurance companies currently require people to already have had family members with cancer if they want to be covered for  genetic testing,” said Dr. Susan Klugman, medical director for the Program for Jewish Genetic Health,  director of the division of reproductive genetics at Montefiore and professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology and women’s health at Einstein. “We aren’t willing to wait for that.”

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