Yeshiva University News » YU Spotlight

Straus Center Presents December 17 Conversation with Columnist George Will and NYU President John Sexton

Yeshiva University’s Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought presents a conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George Will and New York University President John Sexton on “Baseball, Tradition and God” on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at Shenk Community Shul, 560 West 185th Street, New York City. The discussion, moderated by Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik, director of the Straus Center, will begin at 7 p.m.

George WIll

George Will

Will is one of the country’s most widely-read political columnists, as well as its foremost conservative voice. His popular twice-weekly column for The Washington Post syndicate reaches nearly 475 newspapers throughout the United States and Europe. Read the rest of this entry…

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Former NBA Commissioner David Stern Shares Career and Business Strategies with YU Students

More than 200 students welcomed former National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern to Yeshiva University’s Max Stern Athletic Center on November 18.

davidsternAt an event organized by YU’s Sports Management student club, Stern reflected on his three-decade tenure as commissioner, which ended this past February, and how he transformed the NBA from a sports league to a global icon. Stern is credited for advancing the NBA’s operations, public service, global marketing and digital technology.

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Fine and Holz Appointed Endowed Chairs; Shatz Named University Professor

In recognition of their outstanding achievements, Yeshiva University recently honored two faculty members at Stern College for Women and one at Yeshiva College.

At Stern College, Dr. Marina Holz has been named the Doris and Ira Kukin Chair in Biology and Dr. David Shatz has been appointed University Professor of Philosophy, Ethics and Religious Thought. Dr. Steven Fine has been named the Dean Pinkhos Churgin Chair in Jewish History at Yeshiva College.

“Each of these individuals is a leader and an innovator whose work advances education and research at Yeshiva University,” said Dr. Selma Botman, vice president for academic affairs and provost at YU. “We recognize their accomplishments with the highest honors the University bestows: named chairs and a University professorship. David, Marina, and Steve represent for students and their colleagues what is worthy and noble about the life of the mind. The advances they have made in science and the humanities come through dedicated and tireless work, relentless focus and the joy that new knowledge brings.”

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Dr. Marina Holz

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In Sy Syms Social Media Marketing Course, Students Become the Experts

They’re brainstorming viral campaigns, submitting budget proposals, developing websites, pitching to media and conferencing with clients—and that’s just during this week’s class sessions.

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Sy Syms students in the Social Media Marketing course taught by Professor Steven Chan (center) offer personal finance help in Washington Square Park as part of their campaign.

They’re students in the new Social Media Marketing course at Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School of Business, and if their workload sounds more like a typical day at a marketing agency than a college lecture, it’s no accident. There are no textbooks and few required readings for this course. Instead, the class operates on one simple principle: learn by doing.

“Social media has become a phenomenon in our culture, something that can’t be ignored by any kind of business or anyone who’s trying to communicate anything online,” said Assistant Professor of Marketing Steven Chan, who designed and is leading the course. “There’s no foundation to teaching this kind of thing because it’s a new medium that’s just come about in the last few years. To me it would be boring and beside the point to teach it in a textbook way.” Read the rest of this entry…

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Straus Center Programs, Seminars and Lectures Promote Interdisciplinary Study of Jewish and Western Thought

What happens at the intersection of faith and reason?

It’s a complicated question whose depths have fascinated Jewish and gentile thinkers alike for thousands of years. Is it possible to be a religious intellectual? How does faith inform the scientific and philosophic discoveries of our time, and how do those discoveries in turn affect religious beliefs and lifestyles? Yeshiva University’s Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought is committed to providing forums for Jews in the modern era to continue that conversation and arrive at their own understanding of the concept of “Torah Umadda”: the balance of Judaic and worldly values.

Naom Safier

Noam Safier, a Straus Center Fellow

“In undergraduate courses, seminars for semicha [rabbinic ordination] students, adult education and public events, the Straus Center has brought about the bridging of Torah with the world in every part of Yeshiva,” said Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik, director of the Straus Center. “In just the past year, students in our classes have approached, though a Torah lens, the fields of political thought, American history, law, Zionism, philosophy, art and medicine. We are so proud of having made the vision of Moshael Straus a reality: for Torah Umadda to never be merely a motto, but rather something that can be experienced throughout Yeshiva and the larger Yeshiva University community.”

This fall, that includes a new undergraduate fellowship directed by Dr. Aaron Segal, assistant professor of philosophy at Yeshiva College; a semicha seminar for select YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary students taught by Rabbi Dr. David Shabtai, a fellow of RIETS’ Wexner Kollel Elyon; and multiple courses at Yeshiva College and Stern College for Women exploring the Center’s themes. Read the rest of this entry…

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Dr. Anya Alayev, Dr. Marina Holz and Undergraduate Researchers Publish Papers in Leading Scientific Journals

Two research papers written by Stern College for Women students and a post-doctoral fellow have been published in leading scientific journals. Dr. Anya Alayev, a post-doc in Dr. Marina Holz’s lab, authored the papers together with Holz and a group of undergraduates and research assistants, who participated in the research projects described in the papers.

Dr. Anya Alayev

Dr. Anya Alayev

“Phosphoproteomics Reveals Resveratrol-Dependent Inhibition of Akt/mTORC1/S6K1 Signaling,” was published in the Journal of Proteome Research.

“In this article we wanted to find a direct downstream target of resveratrol, a naturally-derived compound that has been found to have anti-aging and disease-protecting properties,” said Alayev, who also recently received the Scholar-in-Training Award from the American Association of Cancer Research.

By identifying proteins that are affected by resveratrol, the study paves the way for further research into the compound and its actions. The paper was a product of two years of research in collaboration with a group from the University of Vermont, in addition to extensive laboratory experiments and computational biology analyses—including several months of writing and revisions—before the manuscript was accepted for publication. It was co-authored by Sara Malka Berger ’13S, who worked in the Holz lab as a research assistant last year and is now pursuing master’s degree in Genetic Counseling at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Alayev also wrote “The combination of rapamycin and resveratrol blocks autophagy and induces apoptosis in breast cancer cells” which was co-authored by Berger, Melissa Kramer ’15S and Naomi Schwartz ’14S, and was published in the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry. Read the rest of this entry…

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Michael Gamson, Judith Weiss and Anita G. Zucker to be Honored at December 14 Gala

Philanthropists and community leaders will gather at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City for Yeshiva University’s 90th Annual Hanukkah Dinner and Convocation on Sunday, December 14, 2014. The gala evening is a cherished University tradition that recognizes distinguished members of the YU community who have demonstrated committed leadership and dedication to the University’s unique mission.

YU President Richard M. Joel will confer honorary degrees upon Michael Gamson of Houston, Texas; Judith Weiss of Cleveland, Ohio; and Anita G. Zucker of Charleston, South Carolina.

Hanukkah Dinner

Michael Gamson, Judith Weiss, and Anita G. Zucker will receive honorary degrees at Yeshiva University’s Hanukkah Convocation.

“Yeshiva University shapes the community and is shaped by the community,” said President Joel. “In this year’s honorees, we are blessed with three people who care, who do, who serve as extraordinary role models, and who reflect the best and the ideals of Yeshiva University.” Read the rest of this entry…

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In Inaugural Lecture, Joe Lieberman Reflects on His Past Work and The Future of Jewish Politics

Former U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman may have retired from politics, but his eye hasn’t strayed far from the political scene. On October 28, 2014, at Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus, Lieberman addressed hundreds of YU students, faculty and staff in a lecture titled “Judaism and Public Service.” The lecture, the first of a three-part series, inaugurated Lieberman’s role as the Joseph Lieberman Chair in Public Policy and Public Service at YU, a position made possible through a gift from University Benefactors Ira and Ingeborg Rennert.

President Richard Joel introduced Senator Lieberman

President Richard M. Joel delivered introductory remarks.

In his introductory remarks, YU President Richard M. Joel called Lieberman’s appointment, along with the recent addition of other prominent visiting professors such as Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and Ambassador Danny Ayalon, “the icing on the cake of a fabulous faculty.”

Lieberman sees the new chair in public policy and public service as a significant part of YU’s mandate to provide a comprehensive education, secular and religious, to its students. “I believe that this chair has a unique and important mission in the years ahead, which is to help YU educate coming generations of Orthodox Jewish women and men in public policy and inspire and prepare them for public service.” Read the rest of this entry…

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Journalist and Author Claire Shipman to Discuss New Book at November 17 Robbins-Wilf Program

Despite having made extensive progress in achieving parity and outnumbering men in colleges and professional schools, and despite substantially increasing their numbers in middle management, women are scarcely found at the leadership of large corporations or major institutions. Why is that the case?

Claire Shipman

Claire Shipman

On Monday, November 17, Yeshiva University will host a lecture featuring Claire Shipman, journalist and best-selling author, where she will address this paradox. The lecture, part of the Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Scholar-in-Residence program at YU’s Stern College for Women, will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Moot Court Room of YU’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, on 55 Fifth Avenue at 12th Street, New York City.

Shipman will discuss her latest book, The Confidence Code: The Art and Science of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know, which she co-authored with Katty Kay of the BBC. The book investigates the sources of what the authors refer to as the confidence gap between men and women. Read the rest of this entry…

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Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg ’74YUHS, ’77YC,’81R Helps Kids Kick Fear Out of Cancer

Yeshiva University alumnus Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg has recently been named a 2014 Top 10 CNN Hero for his work advocating the use of martial arts as therapy for children struggling with cancer and other childhood illnesses. His non-profit, Kids Kicking Cancer, uses the mind-body techniques of martial arts instruction, breath work and meditation to empower children beyond their pain. Fondly known as “Rabbi G” by the thousands of children his organization has helped over the years, Rabbi Goldberg, of Detroit, Michigan, also serves as clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Wayne State University School of Medicine.



Voting for CNN Hero of the Year continues through Sunday, November 16, and all of this year’s Top 10 CNN Heroes will be honored during “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute” on Sunday, December 7 (8:00 p.m. ET) on the global CNN networks.

YUNews spoke to Rabbi Goldberg ’74YUHS, ’77YC,’81R about his time at Yeshiva and his work helping children battle the fear and pain of cancer.

Q.    Tell us about your experience as a student at Yeshiva University.  

I went to Yeshiva University High School for Boys directly from public school in September, 1970, and then did early admissions to attend Yeshiva College, where I graduated from summa cum laude with a degree in political science. Following that, I obtained semicha [ordination] from Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 1980. Read the rest of this entry…

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