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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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Six-Week Program to Explore Jewish Ethics and Israel’s Foreign Policy

Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) will present the spring installment of its Community Beit Midrash program beginning February 3 with a six-week series of talks by two distinguished members of YU’s faculty, Ambassador Danny Ayalon, Rennert Visiting Professor of Foreign Policy Studies, and Dr. David Shatz, University Professor of Philosophy, Ethics and Jewish Thought. The program is open to the community and runs for six consecutive Tuesdays at 215 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10016, on YU’s Israel Henry Beren Campus.

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Left, Professor Danny Ayalon; right, Professor David Shatz

The first lecture of each day, titled “Israel’s Foreign Policy: Diplomacy in Practice,” will be delivered at 10:30 a.m. by Ayalon. The second lecture, at 11:45 a.m., will be presented by Shatz on “Pursuing the Right and the Good: Themes in Jewish Ethics.”

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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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Study Co-Authored by Abraham Ravid Highlights Impact of Directors on Movies’ Financial and Critical Success

Film studios looking to strike gold with their next release should worry less about signing A-list actors and more about landing a proven director, according to new research conducted by Dr. S. Abraham Ravid, professor of finance at Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School of Business.

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Sy Syms Professor of Finance S. Abraham Ravid coauthored the study

“Experienced directors, who have survived Hollywood because of their skills and success, have a large, measureable effect on the financial and critical success of every film they make,” said Ravid. “It’s much more important to choose the director than the star.”

Ravid’s study, conducted in collaboration with Kose John of New York University and Jayanthi Sunder of the University of Arizona, shows that directors are drivers of both financial value and esthetic success of movies. Using a unique hand-collected data set that covers the entire career path of all film directors who directed their first film in 1985-86, Ravid’s work follows the directors for 25 years. In addition to finding that experienced directors can have a crucial, positive impact on the financial and critical success of their film project (as opposed to stars, who had no demonstrated impact in a previous study conducted by Ravid), his findings disprove the popular Hollywood adage that directors are only as good as their last movie.

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Students Present North America’s Largest Jewish Book Sale February 1 – March 1

The students of Yeshiva University  will hold their annual Seforim Sale, North America’s largest Jewish book sale, from February 1 to March 1, 2015, in Belfer Hall, 2495 Amsterdam Ave on YU’s Wilf Campus in Manhattan. The sale is operated entirely by YU students—from ordering to setting up the premises, marketing and all the technology the project entails.

yu seforim sale spotLast year the acclaimed Judaica book sale drew more than 12,000 people from the tri-state area and grossed more than $850,000 in sales. The annual event provides discounted prices on the latest of more than 10,000 titles in rabbinic and academic literature, cookbooks and children’s books. The 2015 Seforim Sale will also offer a wide range of music and Judaica options from around the world.

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Winter Break Torah Study Program Draws 72 Students

It may be cold outside but inside Yeshiva University’s Glueck Beit Midrash the warmth of Torah learning continues during winter break. Rather than traveling to warmer climes, 72 undergraduate students have opted to stay in yeshiva for the popular Bein HaSemesterim [Between the Semesters] program that runs from January 6 – 19.

Yeshiva University“That so many talmidim [students] stay is a real testament to the strength and vibrancy of the Torah environment and energy the Yeshiva has to offer and a real testament to the talmidim,” said Rabbi Elisha Bacon, assistant dean of undergraduate Torah studies.

Now a program of YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), Bein HaSemesterim originally began seven years ago after two students presented the need for such an effort to President Richard M. Joel, said Rabbi Bacon. Read the rest of this entry…

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$1.4 Million Grant Will Train Students to Work With Vulnerable Youth  

Drug abuse, multiple trauma experiences, underachievement and a 10 percent high school dropout rate are just some of the problems faced by adolescents growing up in high-risk environments, often leading to mental health disorders that need to be addressed. A new grant awarded to the Wurzweiler School of Social Work aims to boost the number of social workers trained to work with these vulnerable adolescents.

Dr. Ronnie Glassman

Wurzweiler’s Dr. Ronnie Glassman is the principal investigator for a $1.4 million grant that will train students to work with high-risk youth

Wurzweiler recently received a $1.4 million training grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Services to fund over 100 social work students in clinical field placements with at-risk youth in New York City over a three-year period.

“The primary purpose of the project is to increase the number of social workers with strong clinical competencies who will work with adolescents and transitional-age youth at risk for developing or who have developed a recognized behavioral health disorder,” said Dr. Ronnie Glassman, Wurzweiler’s director of field instruction and the principal investigator for the grant. “This will be accomplished by the creation of increased social work clinical internships.”

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Leading Online Torah Study Resource Surpasses Major Milestone 

Begun as an ad-hoc gathering of shiur [lecture] recordings, YUTorah has become a formidable force in the spread of Torah learning worldwide, reaching a major milestone upon passing the 100,000 shiur mark this January.

yutorah“The growth of YUTorah has been exponential,” said Rabbi Robert Shur, director of YUTorah since 2007. “What started in 2004 with a little over 1,000 shiurim grew to 10,000 about two and a half years later. It took another five years to get to 50,000, with the second 50,000 taking less than three years.”

The list of contributors and lecturers is extensive, from across Yeshiva University and around the world. While some contributors have just a handful of recordings, there are 20 rabbis or lecturers with more than 1,000 uploaded to the site. Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Nathan and Vivian Fink Distinguished Professorial Chair in Talmud, and Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz, a daf yomi [daily Talmud study] contributor and host of the “Ten Minute Halacha” series on the site, each have more than 4,000. The recent addition of some 3,500 shiurim of Rabbi Moshe Weinberger, mashpiah at YU, now available free to the public for the first time, helped YUTorah break the 100,000 mark. Read the rest of this entry…

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