Students Explore Literary and Scientific St. Petersburg on Summer Honors Courses
It’s the birthplace of some of the world’s most celebrated works of literature and significant scientific discoveries—but has also witnessed the rise and fall of one of its most powerful empires in recent history. Understanding the nuanced history of Russia’s second-largest city, Saint Petersburg, is critical to understanding the remarkable impact its natives have made in fields ranging from art to physics. This summer, two courses in the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program at Yeshiva University decided to ground students in the city’s rich, complicated context by making all of Saint Petersburg their classroom.
Members of the course with Dr. Gabriel Cwilich (fourth from right) at the Memorial to Victims of Political Repression along the Neva River
“Saint Petersburg is such a unique city, and not only for its extraordinary collection of some of the top art museums, art theaters and great palaces of the world,” said Dr. Gabriel Cwilich, director of the Honors program. “It was conceived by its founder Peter the Great as a window to the west but at the same time it is so rooted in the history of Russia, an example of the rationalist mind that created it in the eve of the 18th century, but also steeped in tradition. Where else can you find a city in which every single square or corner remembers and celebrates their prodigal sons or daughters, almost all musicians, painters, writers, scientists or engineers?” Read the rest of this entry…
With Latest Publication, Dr. Stuart Halpern Edits 10th Book for YU Press
A third book in the Mitokh Ha-Ohel series featuring collections of essays by Yeshiva University faculty is being released this week. The first of a three-volume series on prayer, From Within the Tent: Essays on the Weekday Prayers from the Rabbis and Professors of Yeshiva University (The Michael Scharf Publication Trust of RIETS/Yeshiva University Press and Koren Publishers, 2014) is a compilation of writings from over three dozen YU faculty members — including Roshei Yeshiva, deans and professors — who draw upon a range of diverse sources to help readers gain a better understanding of the weekday prayers.
The book was edited by YU Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman, who is also a professor at Sy Syms School of Business and executive editor of YU Press, and Dr. Stuart W. Halpern, who serves as an academic advisor on YU’s Wilf campus, assistant director of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought and assistant director of Student Programming and Community Outreach at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies.
For Halpern, the release marks a personal milestone, as this is the 10th book he has edited for YU Press over the last five years. Read the rest of this entry…
Incorporating a Modern Business Education Philosophy, New Curriculum Will Offer Students More Flexibility and Options
Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School of Business will launch a new curriculum and a new major in Business Intelligence and Marketing Analytics this fall.
Sy Syms Associate Dean Avi Giloni
Incorporating state-of-the-art technique in modern business education philosophy, the new curriculum is designed to grant students the flexibility and options to create a customized, unique educational experience perfectly tailored to suit their career interests. “There’s a recognition now that we are all entrepreneurs of our own careers,” said Dr. Moses Pava, dean of Sy Syms. “We believe that this new and exciting curriculum, with its continued emphasis on communications skills, critical thinking, functional skills, entrepreneurial leadership, professionalism, social responsibility, and ethics will be attractive to both current and prospective students and will provide them with the education necessary to succeed both professionally and personally in today’s fast-changing, interconnected global economy.”
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Wurzweiler School of Social Work Celebrates Dr. Joyce Brenner’s 27 Years of Service to its Block Program
Upon her retirement, Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work celebrated Dr. Joyce Brenner’s more than 27 years of service to its Block Program in Israel by naming her the first recipient of its Distinguished Alumni Award at the Block Program Commencement on July 23.
Dr. Joyce Brenner delivered the keynote address at this year’s Block Program Commencement
“Dr. Brenner has literally been a part of Wurzweiler from its beginnings in 1957, entering our Masters of Social Work program in 1962,” said Dr. Carmen Ortiz Hendricks, Dorothy and David Schachne Dean of Wurzweiler. “She has single-handedly developed and strengthened the relationship between Wurzweiler and the Block Israeli Field Work Program for 27 years. She is the face of Wurzweiler in Israel and a respected leader of the social work profession as well. Dr. Brenner has earned the Distinguished Alumni Award, as she leaves a legacy of hundreds of professional social workers serving the people of Israel and the U.S.”
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With Rockets Soaring Overhead, YU Students Take Part in Successful Archaeological Excavation in Biblical City of Gath
Most college students haven’t had the opportunity to immerse themselves in centuries-old history through a hands-on archaeological dig in Israel, and even fewer have done so amid blaring sirens warning of impending rocket attacks.
Yael Eisenberg, Shani Guterman, Dr. Jill Katz, Sarale Pool, Sima Fried and Asher Perez dig for artifacts in Tell es-Safi, Israel.
For five Yeshiva University undergraduates, a summer course that focused on investigating the archaeology, ecology and history of Tell es-Safi, the biblical city of Gath, took an unexpected twist when they found themselves in rocket range during Israel’s current Operation Protective Edge military offensive against Hamas in Gaza. The YU group, led by Dr. Jill Katz, clinical assistant professor of archaeology, was at Kibbutz Revadim on the southern coast of Israel near the Ashdod and Ashkelon regions when the conflict began.
“We were located 40 kilometers from Gaza and thus had about 45 seconds to run into a bomb shelter once we heard the siren,” said Katz. “While the kibbutz where we were staying had many accessible shelters, the dig site did not, and our instructions were simply to lie down in our excavation trenches for several minutes when the siren went off at the nearby power plant.” Read the rest of this entry…
RIETS and Revel Student Daniel Goldberg Participates in Prestigious Fellowship at Auschwitz for Study of Professional Ethics
A newly ordained Catholic priest from Kenya, a Mennonite theological student at Princeton University, a Muslim student in a hijab from Harvard Divinity School, and Daniel Goldberg, a semicha [rabbinic ordination] student at Yeshiva University-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, walked into a Polish synagogue.
FASPE Seminary Fellows walk to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
It may sound like the setup to a great joke, but for Goldberg, it was one of many eye-opening experiences during his two-week Fellowship at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE), a highly selective program for future clergy that explores the history of the Holocaust through the lens of contemporary ethics and firsthand visits to Auschwitz and other sites throughout Germany and Poland.
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President Richard M. Joel Addresses Thousands at Community-Wide Rally in Support of Israel
More than 10,000 people gathered to show their support for Israel and its right to self-defense at a rally Monday afternoon, July 28, in Manhattan at Dag Hammerskjold Plaza outside the United Nations. The rally attracted throngs of passionate Israel supporters of all ages and backgrounds from across the region, including hundreds of children who traveled several hours by bus from their summer camps in Pennsylvania and upstate New York to be there.
Amid a sea of blue and white, participants waved Israeli and American flags and brandished signs proclaiming solidarity with Israel and condemning Hamas as a terrorist organization. Several dignitaries, politicians and religious leaders addressed the crowd, including Yeshiva University President Richard M. Joel. Read the rest of this entry…
Students in Yeshiva College Summer Course Discredit Claim That Vatican is Hiding Temple Relics
When Yeshiva University senior Ari Rosenberg signed up for a summer school course on the Arch of Titus, he was just trying to fulfill his last history requirement with what sounded like an interesting class taught by Dr. Steven Fine, a professor who was clearly excited about his work and sharing it with his students.
Students in Professor Fine’s Arch of Titus summer course
“What I did not know was how fantastic a professor he really is and how stimulating the course would be,” said Rosenberg, a history major at Yeshiva College who hopes to attend medical school.
Fine is a professor of Jewish history at Yeshiva College and Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies and director of the Center for Israel Studies and its Arch of Titus Project. In 2012 he led an international team in the discovery of the original yellow paint that was used to color the Arch of Titus menorah nearly 2,000 years ago.
The summer course focused on the Arch of Titus, one of the most significant Roman monuments to survive from antiquity, from the perspectives of Roman, Jewish and Christian history and art. Built in 81 CE, it commemorates the Roman victory over Judea a decade earlier, an event that Jews mourn each year with the Fast of the Ninth of Av—Tisha B’Av, which falls this year on August 4-5. The course examined the contexts for the construction of the monument and the continued reflection that it has evoked, especially since its menorah relief was chosen as the symbol of the State of Israel in 1949. Read the rest of this entry…
Lieberman Appointed Joseph Lieberman Chair in Public Policy and Public Service at Yeshiva University
Former United States Senator Joseph Lieberman has been appointed the Joseph Lieberman Chair in Public Policy and Public Service at Yeshiva University for the 2014-2015 academic year. During that time, he will teach one undergraduate course and give three public lectures, on topics ranging from Judaism and public service to the Middle East, at schools throughout the University.
“We are thrilled to welcome Senator Lieberman, whose public life and values serve as a model for our students, especially those who aspire to careers in public service while embracing Orthodox Judaism,” said Dr. Selma Botman, university provost and vice president of academic affairs. “Interaction between Senator Lieberman and the students will be a truly transformational experience.”
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Frenkel Receives $375,000 NSF Grant to Support Three Years of Joint Research with Hebrew University
Dr. Anatoly Frenkel, professor of physics at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, will serve as principal investigator on a three-year $675,000 grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for internationally collaborative study of colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals, tiny synthetic particles containing metal impurities whose properties have intriguing implications for the electronics, solar energy and biological fields.
Frenkel will work in tandem with Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Dr. Uri Banin, Alfred & Erica Larisch Memorial Chair at its Institute of Chemistry. The grant is administered by NSF, which awarded $375,000 to Frenkel’s group, and the Binational Science Foundation in Israel, which awarded $300,000 to Banin’s.
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