Yeshiva University News » YU Spotlight

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and Senator Joseph Lieberman Discuss the Haggada’s Politics at Center for the Jewish Future Event

Hundreds of people gathered at Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus on Sunday, March 22, to hear a pre-Passover conversation with former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and former U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman on “The Haggada’s Politics: From 2,000 Years Ago to Today.” Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik, director of YU’s Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought, moderated the discussion.

In his introductory remarks, Rabbi Soloveichik highlighted the nature of the Haggada as a work of political Jewish thought. He also pointed out the Haggada’s deep attraction for America’s Founding Fathers. Read the rest of this entry…

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Dean Karen Bacon to Lead Combined YC and Stern Faculty While Schools Remain Separate

Yeshiva University recently announced that it will unify the undergraduate faculties at Yeshiva College and Stern College for Women as part of its effort to improve student education and create efficiencies. The campuses and classes remain separate, while the faculty combines its resources. Dr. Karen Bacon will serve as the inaugural Dr. Monique C. Katz Dean of the Undergraduate Faculty of Arts and Science at YU.

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Dr. Karen Bacon will lead a unified Yeshiva College and Stern College for Women faculty.

“The faculty, individually and collectively, are the lifeblood of this critical institution and we will now advance to right-size the administrative parts of the university,” said YU President Richard M. Joel. “For several years, we have been discussing the need for a more unified undergraduate faculty of arts and science. Dean Bacon is a valued educator of integrity and has served with distinction in the highest levels of academic leadership—I look to her and all our faculty to continue to exercise their prerogative in shaping what is a fine curriculum still further.”

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In New Book, YU Historian Imagines American Judaism If the Holocaust Never Happened

On March 30, Dr. Jeffrey Gurock, the Libby M. Klaperman Professor of Jewish History at Yeshiva University, will launch his new book, The Holocaust Averted: An Alternate History of American Jewry 1938-1967 (Rutgers University Press) at the Yeshiva University Museum in a nationally-televised event sponsored by the Museum, the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies and the American Jewish Historical Society.

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In his new book, YU historian Dr. Jeffrey Gurock imagines American Jewish history if the Holocaust had never happened.

In the book, Gurock imagines what might have happened to the Jewish community in the United States if the Holocaust had not occurred and forces readers to contemplate how the road to acceptance and empowerment for today’s American Jews could have been harder than it actually was. YU News sat down with Gurock to discuss some of the most intriguing moments in that period of history, both real and imagined, and their impact on the American Judaism of today.

What inspired you to write this book and how does it fit into the emerging academic field of counterfactual history? Read the rest of this entry…

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Emphasis on Ethical Leadership and Innovative Course Structure Give Sy Syms’ Accounting Masters Global Appeal

At Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School of Business, a thriving master’s in accounting program is helping new graduates enter the workforce with state-of-the-art technical skills and management insight from top industry leaders.

Professor Leonard Fuld teaches the Federal Income Taxation I course in the master's program.

Professor Leonard Fuld teaches the Federal Income Taxation I course in the master’s program.

Now in its fifth year, the master’s program has more than doubled its enrollment since its inception. However, the program’s intimate atmosphere ensures each student receives plenty of mentorship and creates opportunities for interaction with faculty—one of many elements that have made the master’s in accounting program so appealing to students all over the world.

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Stern College Student Awarded Ackerman Family Dig Fellowship in Archaeology

Stern College for Women student Sima Fried, of Woodmere, New York, has been awarded a research fellowship in archaeology for the upcoming summer. The award, the Ackerman Family Dig Fellowship, covers the cost of room and board for the entire field season at Tell es-Safi/Gath in Israel.

Sima Fried, an anthropology student at Stern College for Women, labels a box at the dig.

Sima Fried, an anthropology student at Stern College for Women, labels a box at the dig.

Fried began her research last summer at the site of Tell es-Safi/Gath, also known as the biblical Goliath’s hometown, under the supervision of Dr. Jill Katz, clinical assistant professor of archaeology at Stern College, who is one of the area supervisors at the site. Along with other Yeshiva University students, Fried focused her research on the city’s fortification wall, analyzing its initial construction 5,000 years ago and its subsequent re-use by the Philistines during the time of the First Temple.

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Neal’s Fund Helps Student Entrepreneurs Create Startups That Give Back

While all entrepreneurs and startups begin with a good idea, most are also driven by the bottom line. But at Yeshiva University, a new fund is enabling students to apply that hybrid of inspired innovation and business acumen to endeavors that seek to make a difference, not a profit.

Gabriel Simkin, left, and Daniel Benchimol, right, are student entrepreneurs whose startups received grants from Neal's Fund.

Gabriel Simkin, left, and Daniel Benchimol, right, are student entrepreneurs whose startups received grants from Neal’s Fund.

Called Neal’s Fund and established in memory of Neal Dublinsky ’84YC, the fund provides micro-grants to student social entrepreneurs founding startups that will benefit the broader Jewish and global communities.

Dublinsky grew up in Queens, New York, and graduated with honors from Yeshiva College before attending the New York University School of Law. In 1987, at the age of 24, he was diagnosed with advanced stage of lymphoma, just as he was beginning his career as a corporate attorney in Los Angeles, California. Despite medical setbacks, Dublinsky fought his illness and succeeded in living a full life for another 23 years, often providing support based on his own experiences to others struggling with cancer.

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Twenty Yeshiva High School Teams Across North America to Compete in YU’s Annual Basketball Tournament

From March 19-23, 20 yeshiva high school basketball teams from across the United States and Canada will meet at the Max Stern Athletic Center on Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus in Washington Heights to battle it out for the top spot in YU’s 24th Annual Red Sarachek Basketball Tournament, North America’s most prestigious Jewish high school basketball competition.

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YULA took the Sarachek crown in 2014.

In addition to the spirited gameplay, the long weekend will include several off-court activities to help the young all-stars gain an early appreciation for YU’s unique educational environment and culture, including a lively Shabbaton, tours of the University, and a special Sunday Kollel and Midreshet Yom Rishon, featuring Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Kressel and Ephrat Family University Professor of Jewish Thought; Senator Joseph Lieberman, chair in public policy and public service; and Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, director of the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought. Read the rest of this entry…

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Yeshiva University Faculty Receive Grants from U.S. Department of Defense Agency 

Two Yeshiva University faculty members have been awarded grants by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the United States Department of Defense’s official Combat Support Agency for countering weapons of mass destruction.

Sergey Buldyrev

Dr. Sergey Buldyrev’s grant analyzes the catastrophic cascade of failures in interdependent networks.

Dr. Sergey Buldyrev, professor of physics at Yeshiva College, is a principal investigator on a multi-year $450,000 grant analyzing the catastrophic cascade of failures in interdependent networks. Picture the connections between power grids, waterworks, Internet cables and other systems—if one part of one system goes down, it initiates a domino effect on each network it’s connected to, taking others down with it. “Supposing a terrorist attacks a certain power station—they’re smart enough to find the one most likely to cause a computer shutdown, which could shut off control of gas or water,” said Buldyrev. “Everything could shut down. This catastrophic collapse of infrastructure—the ‘cascade of failures’—is what people imagine when they think about what might happen at the end of the world.”

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In Professor Roee Holtzer’s Lab, Mentorship and Innovative Research Foster Impressive Student Publications

Jennifer Yuan, a doctoral candidate in Yeshiva University’s Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, recently published an article about her pre-doctoral research as a first author in Human Brain Mapping, a high-impact peer-reviewed scientific journal. It’s a rare and significant achievement for a student in a PhD program—but in Yuan’s case, as a researcher in Dr. Roee Holtzer’s Neuropsychology and Cognition Lab, she’s actually in good company.

Ferkauf students

From left: Melissa Shuman-Paretsky, Janna Belser-Ehrlich, Jennifer Yuan, Elyssa Scharaga and Sarah England

Over the course of the last academic year, four of Holtzer’s doctoral students—Yuan, Sarah England, Janna Belser-Ehrlich and Elyssa Scharaga—and one recent alumna—Melissa Shuman-Paretsky—were listed as first-authors on articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

“Our students consistently achieve high clinical competence levels, as evidenced by our higher than 90 percent match rate for competitive yearlong clinical internships around the country,” said Holtzer, professor of psychology and neurology at Ferkauf and director of its PhD program in clinical psychology with a health emphasis. “But to have this number of students publishing first-authored empirical studies in peer-reviewed journals constitutes a major accomplishment for our doctoral students.”

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YU Global Online Courses to Focus on In-Demand Fields of Software Technology and Data Analytics

Yeshiva University announces the launch of four skills-based technology career certificate programs beginning May 11, 2015. The programs will provide remote, collaboration-driven courses, focused on software technology and data analytics—crucial areas of growing need in the marketplace. The certificates will be offered through YU Global, Yeshiva University’s online learning initiative, and can be completed over a six-month period.

“YU Global is an important evolutionary step for Yeshiva, offering a new, innovative approach to the delivery of advanced education and training,” said Dr. Selma Botman, YU vice president for academic affairs and provost. “These programs will help students meet the growing demand for high-tech careers and capitalize on the richness of resources that are available online.” Read the rest of this entry…

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