Yeshiva University News » YU Spotlight

Lieberman Appointed Joseph Lieberman Chair in Public Policy and Public Service at Yeshiva University

Picture 038Former 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.

Anatoly FrenkelFrenkel 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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Tenure Awarded to Faculty From Schools Across University

Continuing to build an intellectually diverse and rich scholarly community on campus and bolstering its top-level academic offerings, Yeshiva University has granted tenure to eight faculty members from across its undergraduate and graduate schools, in fields ranging from art history to mathematics and Judaic studies.

“After an arduous review, these newly tenured professors join an outstanding faculty who testify to the quality of Yeshiva University,” said Dr. Selma Botman, provost and vice president for academic affairs at YU. “Along with our recent reaccreditation and commendation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, faculty such as these exceptional educators, who bring distinction to our institution while dedicating themselves to student success and research excellence, are the hallmarks of a great university.” Read the rest of this entry…

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YU Undergraduates Participate in Cutting-Edge Summer Scientific Research Program at Einstein

After a challenging year of academic study as a biology major concentrating in molecular and cellular biology at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, Liat Weinstock, of Cedarhurst, New York, isn’t spending her well-deserved summer break at camp or on a beach. Instead, she’s working with Dr. Rebecca Madan’s pediatric infectious diseases team on a research study examining the effects of certain drug-resistant bacteria on transplant patients after their operations.

2014 Roth Scholars

From left: Natan Tracer, Liat Weinstock, Shira Kaye, Hadassa Holzapfel, Adi Cohen, Esther Kazlow, Jacqueline Benayoun, Bracha Robinson and Tamar Ariella Lunzer

“If we’re able to uncover some new information about how our immune system works and recovers, we can then change how we practice medicine to better treat patients with diseases,” said Weinstock. “My responsibilities here have been especially interesting to me because they almost feel like detective work—I find clues in patients’ charts that lead me to the correct labs and test results to determine whether a patient will fit our study or not. Putting together all the clues and coming up with an answer is an exciting ‘Eureka!’ moment.”

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Dr. Rona Novick: How Educators Can Arm Students With Hope in an Increasingly Dangerous World

On my first day as Dean of the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education, three innocent Israeli victims of terrorism – teenagers – were laid to rest. The unity of the past weeks and the pain and sheer terror of the past few days beg consideration: are there any lessons here regarding what educators should be teaching their students?

Dr. Rona Novick

Dr. Rona Novick, dean of YU’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education

We are not the first generation, and I fear we will not be the last, that needs to teach children about danger and safety. Difficult lessons about a world where even children who do no wrong become ill, and where there are cruel adults and children who can and will hurt other children have been and will continue to be taught. Such lessons require delicate balance. If we err on the side of lollipops and sunshine, we lose credibility as trustworthy and knowledgeable adults when terror or trauma strikes. If we open children’s eyes wide to the doom, gloom and ever-present dangers, we risk raising a generation of anxious, terrified citizens.

Whether it is the discomfort of modulating between opposite poles of all is good, and the world is evil, or the fact that when we cannot promise safety, it seems providing any guidance or support is futile, adults may avoid these tough lessons. Read the rest of this entry…

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New Course Prepares Psychology Students to Evaluate and Work With Asylum Seekers

The threat of persecution due to one’s religious or political beliefs may be unimaginable to most United States citizens, but for many people abroad, that threat is real and frightening, causing them to flee and seek refuge elsewhere.

Dr. Bill Sultan

Dr. Bill Salton

Last year, two professors at the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Dr. Bill Salton and Dr. Carl Auerbach, began researching the topic of asylum after a colleague, Dr. Barbara Eisold, suggested that asylum seekers be evaluated at the school’s Max and Celia Parnes Family Psychological and Psychoeducational Services Clinic. They brought this suggestion to Dr. Lawrence Siegel, dean of Ferkauf, and to Dr. Lata McGinn, associate professor of psychology and director of the clinical psychology program, who offered their support for the project.

Salton, associate clinical professor of psychology and clinical director of the Parnes Clinic, and Auerbach, professor of psychology, soon enrolled in intensive training sessions designed to qualify them as evaluators. They also enlisted the participation of their students, leading to the creation of a class devoted solely to training students in this specialized field.

The inaugural course, “Working With Asylum Seekers,” was offered last spring and taught students how to psychologically evaluate asylum seekers and write reports that would be presented in court on their behalf. Read the rest of this entry…

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Yeshiva College Professor Wins $34,500 Grant for Project that Tackles the Inherent Value of Immortality—Or Lack Thereof

20140617_aaron_segal_19What’s so great about living forever?

It may seem like a no-brainer, but Dr. Aaron Segal, assistant professor of philosophy at Yeshiva University’s Yeshiva College, isn’t convinced. While the pros and cons of immortality have been heatedly debated in the philosophical community for thousands of years—If we could extend our lives indefinitely, should we? If living is good, is living longer better?—the qualities that make immortality desirable haven’t been clearly defined.

“The arguments that have been offered are usually arguments that attempt to show that there is something wrong or bad about us being immortal, like we would be terminally bored or not able to value what makes life meaningful,” said Segal. But he believes there is a more basic question philosophers have yet to answer: What would make immortal life so great in and of itself that couldn’t be achieved, at least in theory, during a more limited lifetime?

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Ninth Annual Service Learning Program to Empower 300 Israeli Youth, Receive Support From Local Municipalities

The Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future’s (CJF) Counterpoint Israel Program, an immersive service-learning initiative that aims to empower the next generation of Israeli youth via an exciting, Jewish values-driven summer camp experience, has been retooled to maximize manpower efficiency and its impact on the Israeli communities it serves.

COunterpoint

YU students will help empower some 300 underprivileged youth throughout Israel this summer as part of the Counterpoint program.

Over the last several years, undergraduate students from Yeshiva University ran four separate summer camps in the cities of Arad, Dimona, Kiryat Gat and Kiryat Malachi concurrently. Basing itself on the North American Jewish camping system, this year’s program will offer two separate camp sessions, making it possible for YU students to focus their undivided attention and complete creativity on two cities at a time.

The YU students, natives of North America, Colombia and Chile, will run camps in Kiryat Gat and Kiryat Malachi from June 29 – July 10 before relocating to Dimona and Arad for the second session, scheduled for July 13 – 24. Read the rest of this entry…

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Newly Graduated, Yeshiva University Alumni Find Career, Graduate School Success  

job fair 2As undergraduates, Yeshiva University students learn to balance a rich and vibrant range of academic, extracurricular and spiritual pursuits, dedicating themselves to rigorous Torah and secular study while discovering their passions, championing their beliefs and forming lasting friendships. So it’s no surprise that after commencement, they hit the ground running: more than 90 percent of YU graduates were employed, in graduate school, or both within 6 months of graduation, according to the most recent survey by YU’s Career Center.

“The fact that for the last six years, we’ve been at or above that 90 percent rate is impressive,” said Marc Goldman, executive director of the Career Center. “In particular, full time employment has risen even higher than in past years, with more than 85 percent of those employed working in full time positions—that number rises to more than 90 percent when you look at those who aren’t also in graduate school.”

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Students Gain Unique Perspective of Germany And Connect With Local Jewish Community on CJF Program

As the spring semester drew to a close, a select group of 16 students traveled to Germany May 25-June 2 as part of Germany Close Up, a week-long program organized by Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) for participants to learn about Germany’s contemporary Jewish community and the effects of the Holocaust on its growth.

Germany Close Up is a youth encounter program administered by the Action Reconciliation Service for Peace in cooperation with the New Synagogue Berlin – Centrum Judaicum Foundation and is funded by a grant from the German Government’s Transatlantic Program, which draws on funds from the European Recovery Program of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

Remains of the Berlin Wall

The group at the remains of the Berlin Wall

Accompanied by Rabbi Yaakov Glasser, associate dean of the CJF, and Aliza Abrams, director of the CJF’s Department of Jewish Service Learning, students enjoyed a unique multi-dimensional experience that allowed them to reflect on their own Jewish identity on an intellectual and emotional level, while connecting to the local Jewish community as well.

“Traveling to Germany is an emotionally charged experience,” said Abrams. “As a Jew you are confronted with many questions and think about every step you take in Germany and every person you interact with. Our group had very meaningful interactions with both the Jewish community and members of the non-Jewish community who are committed to sharing their country’s history in an effort to ensure that a Holocaust will never happen again.” Read the rest of this entry…

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