Yeshiva University News » YU Spotlight

Having Recently Completed Their Service, IDF Vets Begin College Careers at Yeshiva University

One night, as Ethan Gipsman, a light machine-gunner in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) from San Diego, California, stood guard over a group of suspected terrorists in the West Bank, one of them asked him a surprising question: What was Ethan, an American, doing there? “He said, ‘I thought America had everything,’ ” Gipsman recalled. “ ‘Why would you leave your country to come here?’ ”

Having recently completed their IDF service, Shmuel Goldis, Jonathan Sidlow, Daniel Gofine and Ethan Gipsman are beginning their college careers at Yeshiva University.

Gipsman thought about his answer for most of the night before replying, in a mixture of Arabic, English and Hebrew, “There is only one Jewish country in the world. I left America because, as a Jew, I have an obligation to protect it.”

His answer resonates strongly with several lone soldiers—enlistees from America and countries around the world who come to Israel to serve in the IDF—who, like Gipsman, recently began their studies at Yeshiva University. Read the rest of this entry…

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President Joel, Student Leaders, Vice Presidents and Deans Accept ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

With a bucket of ice cold water poured over his head, Yeshiva University President Richard M. Joel officially accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge, a worldwide phenomenon that has helped raise awareness and tens of millions of dollars to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a life-threatening neurodegenerative disorder.



President Joel took on the challenge, and made a donation to ALS research, after receiving several nominations from students, alumni and Rabbis Yair Hindin and Zalman Teitelbaum at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He also issued his own challenge Read the rest of this entry…

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Set to Begin Their Academic Journey, New Students Arrive on Campus for Undergraduate Orientation

This week, incoming students will converge on the Wilf and Israel Henry Beren campuses of Yeshiva University for an informative and spirited orientation that will kick off the 2014-15 academic year.

This diverse student body has dreams of pursuing an array of professional careers ranging from biologists to accountants, Jewish historians to lawyers, literary critics to physicians. Yet they all chose to attend Yeshiva University, the only institution that offers cutting-edge academics and high-level Judaic studies, in addition to endless extra-curricular opportunities.

The students arrived from all over the globe, wheeling yellow storage bins and luggage across campuses and into the dorms that will serve as their new homes for the next few years in Midtown Manhattan and Washington Heights. Students greeted old friends and quickly made new ones, while residence advisors welcomed students and their families to campus by handing out ID cards and orientation packets on the sidewalks of 34th Street and Amsterdam Avenue.  Read the rest of this entry…

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New Students Look Forward to Unique Opportunities—and Success—at Yeshiva University

This fall, hundreds of new students will begin their academic careers at Yeshiva University, where they will learn to balance a rich and vibrant range of academic, extracurricular and spiritual pursuits, dedicate themselves to rigorous Torah and secular study, discover their passions, champion their beliefs and form lasting friendships.

The incoming class is made up of men and women from across the United States, Europe, Canada, Israel and Latin America. Many are starting their first year on campus following a year of Torah study in Israel, but others are beginning their college careers right after graduating high school this spring, and still others are joining YU from other colleges or universities. Daniel Amar, of Dimona, Israel, is one of the latter. After two years on an athletic scholarship for soccer at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, he is excited to start his coursework in business and marketing at YU’s Sy Syms School of Business this fall—a place he describes as “the perfect fit.” Read the rest of this entry…

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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.

st petersburg students at political repression memorial

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…

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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.

Avi Giloni 1

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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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.

archaeology course

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…

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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

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…

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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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