Unlike traditional conferences, the event was structured to create a more interactive and in-depth learning and networking experience by modeling “flipped learning,” a cutting-edge educational technique in which students review lectures and materials at home and use class time for peer discussion and problem-solving with teachers. Conference organizers, including the Schechter Day School Network, Curriculum 21, Maytiv/IDV Herziliya School of Psychology, Koren Publishers Jerusalem, Gateways Access to Jewish Education and PEJE, shared learning materials with participants weeks in advance and invited them to engage in online discussion communities in preparation for iJED.
Center for the Jewish Future Hosts Conference for Rabbis on Addressing and Preventing Child Sexual Abuse in Jewish Communities
On February 25, Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future hosted an educational and training session for rabbinic leadership focusing on the unique challenges of addressing and preventing child sexual abuse in religious communities.
Victor Vieth, director emeritus of the Gundersen Health System’s National Child Protection Training Center
The conference was one of several programs and efforts by YU to promote child sexual abuse prevention and awareness and provided an overview of the latest research about abuse in faith-based communities as well as guidelines to help synagogues institute policies and procedure aimed at preventing and addressing allegations of child sexual abuse. The program included addresses from Andrew (Avi) Lauer, Esq., vice president for legal affairs and secretary and general counsel at YU; Dr. Shira Berkovits, a postdoctoral psychology fellow at YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine‘s Early Childhood Center, part of the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center /Rose F. Kennedy Center, and a student at YU’s Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School; and national child sexual abuse expert Victor Vieth, director emeritus of the Gundersen Health System’s National Child Protection Training Center.
Educating in the Divine Image: Gender Issues in Orthodox Jewish Day Schools Wins Education Category
A book coauthored by Dr. Chaya Rosenfeld Gorsetman, associate professor of education at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, has received the 2013 Education and Jewish Identity – In Memory of Dorothy Kripke National Jewish Book Award, an honor bestowed by the Jewish Book Council.
On Four CJF Winter Missions Around the World, YU Students Get Closer Look at Jewish Leadership
More than 90 Yeshiva University students spent this winter break engaged in the hands-on study of—and contribution to—vastly different Jewish communities around the world.
A student on the CJF’s “Counterpoint Israel: Winter Camp” mission teaches English at an educational camp in Kiryat Gat.
As participants on winter missions organized by YU’s Center for the Jewish Future, students traveled to Kharkov and Sumy in the Ukraine; Kiryat Malachi, Kiryat Gat and Dimona in Negev region of Israel; areas of New York that were heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy; and cities across the Midwestern United States to make an impact and hone their leadership skills.
RIETS Musmakh Rabbi Ephraim Meth Celebrates Second Completion of Shas at YU
The new semester is underway at Yeshiva University—and it began with the celebration of a milestone in Torah learning.
Rabbi Ephraim Meth
Rabbi Ephraim Meth, a 2012 graduate of YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, who continues his studies in the beit midrash as a RIETS Kollel Fellow, shared his most recent completion of shas with the entire YU community at a siyum [celebration]in the beit midrash of the Jacob and Dreizel Glueck Center for Jewish Studies on January 22.
MK Tzipi Hotovely Emphasizes the Need for Unified Vision at Israel Club Event
On December 19, Deputy Minister of Transportation and Road Safety Knesset Member Tzipi Hotovely joined Yeshiva University students on the Wilf Campus for a frank discussion about one of the most challenging issues facing Israel today: Israel’s identity as a Jewish state.
“People are saying, ‘We want to have a Jewish state,’ but they can’t tell you what that means,” Hotovely said. “What we need today more than ever is to have our own vision as a Jewish state, with a clear message.”
Wurzweiler Students Turn Focus Inward at Self-Care Day
On December 12, students at Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work learned a few techniques to treat some of their most important clients: themselves.
“Because of the kind of work social workers do every day, it is very important that they put aside time to take care of themselves,” said Dr. Carmen Ortiz Hendricks, the Dorothy and David I. Schachne Dean of Wurzweiler. “Vicarious traumatization can occur when a social worker takes in the clients’ experiences and it begins to affect their lives. Finding ways to relax, socialize, exercise, and have fun is essential to a healthy mind, body and spirit. Today was Wurzweiler’s way of helping students and faculty take care of themselves.”
Rabbi Benjamin Blech on the Similarities, and Essential Differences, between Thanksgiving and Hanukkah
It will never again happen in our lifetimes – unless you are somehow still alive 70,000 years from now.
Rabbi Benjamin Blech
This year the first night of Hanukkah will coincide with the American holiday of Thanksgiving. The latkes will share their prominent place at the festive meal with the turkey. Small wonder that some have already humorously decided that this year we ought to call the day by a new name – Thanksgivukkah.
In all seriousness, a “coincidence” of this magnitude requires some reflection. This is a perfect time to give some thought to the essential difference between the motivation for the American day of expressing gratitude to God and the Jewish rationale for our Festival of Lights. Read the rest of this entry…
At Robbins-Wilf Lecture, Bob Woodward Offers Behind-the-Scenes Perspective on Obama-era Washington
As public approval ratings for Congress and the Obama administration plummeted to record lows in the wake of the recent government shutdown, veteran investigative reporter Bob Woodward shared his theory about where it all went wrong at a lecture under the auspices of Yeshiva University’s Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Scholar-in-Residence Program, held at the Center for Jewish History on November 13.
Bob Woodward, left, and Professor Bryan Daves discuss the political climate in Washington.
Titled “Washington’s Broken Politics,” the program focused on the origins and impacts of Washington’s dysfunctional politics, using Woodward’s unique experience covering numerous presidential administrations, including Obama’s, as a lens to reflect on the current political climate.
Counterpoint a “Winning Formula” for Identity Building and Communal Development; Initiative to Serve 300 Israeli Campers
Sixty undergraduate students from the United States, United Kingdom and Panama will serve as counselors in Israel on the eighth annual Counterpoint Israel Program of Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF).
The month-long immersive service-learning initiative aims to empower the next generation of Israeli youth via an exciting, Jewish values-driven summer camp experience while simultaneously instilling a sense of civic responsibility within its YU student volunteers. With the program returning to the communities of Arad, Dimona, Beer Sheva, Kiryat Gat and Kiryat Malachi, Counterpoint Israel will serve 300 Israeli campers from varied socio-economic backgrounds in five student-run camps from July 2-23.
A recent study conducted by the CJF indicates that Counterpoint, which includes classes given in English and workshops in arts, fashion, music, dance and sports, is not only an unforgettable summer experience but a winning formula for identity-building, communal development and personal enrichment.
“Following last summer’s successful program, we employed surveys, interviews and focus groups with Counterpoint campers and counselors, as well as municipal and regional professionals, in order to collect data that would conclusively prove that which we always thought to be the true, namely that Counterpoint changes lives,” said Kiva Rabinsky, co-director of Counterpoint Israel.
Research Success Technologies, the company that conducted the research, has the facts and figures to corroborate this experiential knowledge.
“Our findings show that Counterpoint is a transformative experience for campers, with the camps providing a learning environment that is different, and in certain ways even more effective, than the school environment,” said Dr. Ezra Kopelowitz, CEO of Research Success Technologies.
“Speaking English and expanding vocabulary is first and foremost a fun and engaging experience. But, as seen in Counterpoint camps, the process also enables campers to find new levels of confidence—acquiring knowledge and skills leaves the campers with a heightened sense of accomplishment. Additionally, the campers report that dialoguing with their American counselors, who are religious Jews, results in the exploration of their personal and Jewish identity—growth of a different kind.”
The study also shows that the municipalities of cities where Counterpoint operates see it as indispensable to their educational systems and are committed to contributing their own resources to ensure the program’s success. Some municipalities have even been inspired to invest in enrichment programming beyond Counterpoint.
Along these lines, the city of Dimona has developed special programming of its own to help the Yeshiva University student volunteers understand the politics and realities of communal living in development towns as well as how to best work with the leaders of such locales. Set to be implemented for the first time this summer, the program will include meetings with young leaders and local student activists and will provide the counselors with an intimate look at life beyond the school walls.
“Counterpoint has made a profound impact on the city of Dimona over the last six years and the municipality wanted to do something to give back to the program,” said Moshe Nachum, director of the Department of Education and Welfare in the municipality of Dimona. “Yeshiva University gives the children of Dimona an educational experience that the city cannot afford them, and the city is now providing the YU students with real world experience that their institution cannot recreate. It is a perfect partnership, a result I hope will be duplicated with the other four cities in the years to come. ”
The final findings of the study focus on the experiences of the student volunteers. As hoped, Counterpoint counselors report positive service experiences in which they develop meaningful relationships with campers and work successfully as experiential educators.
“Counterpoint counselors gain skills and confidence as educators, broaden their Jewish horizons and come to view their service work through a Jewish lens. But most importantly, they are motivated to find professions that will allow them to contribute to the global Jewish community as well as strengthen the connection between Israeli and American Jews,” adds Rabinsky.
Counterpoint Israel is run with support from Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, Ron Fischer and Lisa Rosenbaum and the Fischer Family Foundation and Repair the World.
The Counterpoint Kiryat Malachi Program is dedicated in the memory of Dr. Bernard W. Gamson. The Dimona program is run with support from Sharon and Avram Blumenthal. The program in Arad is run with support from the Jewish Federations of Central New Jersey and Delaware and Congregation Beth El – Atereth Israel of Newton, MA. The Be’er Sheva program is run with support from Doreen and Beryl Eckstein and Jennifer and Saul Burian.