Yeshiva University News » YU Spotlight

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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Men’s Basketball’s Benjy Ritholtz Becomes Second YU Athlete to Earn Consecutive Academic All-American Honors

For the second time in as many years, Yeshiva University men’s basketball player Benjy Ritholtz has earned one of the highest academic honors a college student-athlete can earn as the senior has been named a College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) / Capital One Academic All-American for the 2014-15 men’s basketball season.

Men's basketball team game against Old WestburyRitholtz, who earned a spot on the CoSIDA / Capital One Academic All-American third team last year, earned a spot on the first team this year, and he became just the second student-athlete in Yeshiva University athletics history to earn the honor in back-to-back years (women’s basketball player Rebecca Yoshor earned the award during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons). He is also the third student-athlete in Yeshiva University annals to ever earn the award (men’s basketball player Eric Davis was the first to receive it during the 1990-91 season).

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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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YU National Model UN Conference Showcases a Quarter Century of Honing Leadership and Collaboration Skills

After months of preparation and anticipation, 450 professionally attired young men and women from 44 Jewish high schools worldwide converged on the Stamford Plaza Hotel and Conference Center in Stamford, Connecticut, to collaborate and enact the roles of delegates at the 25th Annual Yeshiva University National Model United Nations conference (YUNMUN).



The event, held February 8-10, had students represent the various member countries of the UN and appointed to one of 15 model UN committees dealing with international issues including Ebola, ISIS, cyberterrorism, nuclear proliferation and North Korean food aid.

More than 60 YU undergraduate students and 65 faculty advisers facilitated the event, allowing the students to experience the intricacies of international diplomacy. Read the rest of this entry…

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Wurzweiler’s Block Program Offers Israelis Cutting-Edge Social Work Education

As a high school English teacher in Jerusalem, Rivkah Weiss found students frequently turned to her for advice and guidance. But although she loved helping them navigate the personal challenges they faced, Weiss was frustrated by the sense that she could only do so much for them. “I felt like I was limited in my capacity to help them and had this strong desire to further develop my skillset so I could expand my work in this area,” she said.

2014 graduates of the Israel Block Program, left to right: Amikam Schweber, Zvia Altar and Yehuda Ish Shalom

2014 graduates of the Israel Block Program, left to right: Amikam Schweber, Zvia Altar and Yehuda Ish Shalom

Weiss decided to begin her master’s degree in social work at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work’s Block Program in Israel. Consisting of three summers of formal classroom social work education at Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus in New York City and two years of supervised field experience in Israel, the program is designed to enable aspiring Israeli social workers to gain cutting-edge training without having to relocate.

“The Block Program allowed me to remain in Israel where I live throughout the year and at the same time complete my studies in three summers,” said Weiss. “Wurzweiler and the Block Program particularly are known for their high academic standards and success rate in terms of job placements, and my fellow students and I also became a very close-knit group of religious and secular Israeli, American and Canadian men and women.”

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Yeshiva University, Baylor University and Catholic University of America Presidents Reflect on Unique Role and Mission of Religious Universities

Before an overflow crowd gathered at the National Press Club’s Edward R. Murrow Room, Yeshiva University President Richard M. Joel, Catholic University of America President John Garvey and Baylor University President Ken Starr discussed a number of issues facing higher education and specifically faith-based universities, including government ratings systems, academic freedom and the value of a faith-based education.

prjatbaylor

YU President Richard M. Joel (Robert Rogers/Baylor Marketing and Communications)

President Starr began the conversation, titled, “The State of Higher Education and the Calling of Faith-Based Universities,” by noting that one of America’s oldest laws, the Northwest Ordinance, had already deemed “religion, morality and knowledge” a necessary combination for “good government and the happiness of mankind,” suggesting that education grounded in religious and ethical principles was considered essential to the cultivation of the mind as well as spirit. Speaking of the shared values-driven missions of institutions such as YU, Baylor and CUA, President Starr said, “I think we all agree that education is more than a transmission belt, it’s more than attending classes and doing lab work. But what is it?” Read the rest of this entry…

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Yeshiva University and Montefiore Health System Reach Agreement to Establish Joint Venture for Einstein

Dear Members of the YU Community,

I am pleased to report that our ongoing work has resulted in a dynamic plan to create a joint venture for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The Montefiore Health System and Yeshiva University made an announcement confirming that the key terms of an agreement have been reached, with the unanimous endorsement of their respective Boards. The parties are committed to finalizing this as soon as possible.

The announcement read as follows:

“Building on the agreement originally announced in May, the Boards of Trustees of Montefiore Health System and Yeshiva University announced today that they have agreed on the principal terms of an agreement with respect to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. While subject to final documentation and regulatory approval, the parties are proud to continue their longstanding relationship as part of Einstein’s future as a top-tier medical school and research institution.

The agreement deepens the bonds between Montefiore and Einstein, further integrates the institutions’ faculty, students, and staff, and aligns operations to best advance science and medicine. Montefiore and Yeshiva look forward to sharing further details about this historic agreement in the months ahead.” Read the rest of this entry…

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February 26 Job Fair Offers Opportunities and Connections in Jewish Communal and Educational Fields

Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) and Institute for University-School Partnership (YU School Partnership) will host their annual Jewish Job Fair on Thursday, February 26, 2015 in Furst Hall on YU’s Wilf Campus, 500 West 185th Street in New York City. The event is free and open to the public from 7-9 p.m., with priority admission for YU students and alumni beginning at 6 p.m.

In addition to showcasing a variety of professional opportunities at well-respected Jewish schools, organizations and non-profits, the event provides a robust networking forum for job-hunters seeking information on everything from scholarships and internships to career development programming.

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On Center for the Jewish Future Missions, Students Help Haiti and Explore American Jewish Communities 

Over a whirlwind eight days, 36 Yeshiva University students took part in a humanitarian aid mission to Haiti and actively participated in the inner workings of small Jewish communities across the United States as part of two winter service learning programs organized by YU’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF). The undergraduates signed on to expand their educational horizons through the missions, from January 10-18, with one group of 15 students on the JDC (American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee) Insider’s Trip to Haiti and another group of 21 on Jewish Life Coast to Coast.

photo jan 15, 11 54 02 am (1).jpg

Michal Segall, a participant on the mission to Haiti, teaches songs to students at the Prodev school in the town of Zoranje.

“For some, winter break is a chance to relax and reenergize before the beginning of a new semester,” said Rabbi Yaakov Glasser, David Mitzner Dean of CJF. “But for these students it was a life-transforming experience that instilled a deep commitment to the broader Jewish community and the world.” Read the rest of this entry…

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