Interdisciplinary Seminar on Art History and Jewish Thought to be Offered at YU Museum in October 

Yeshiva University will present a Community Beit Midrash program at the Yeshiva University Museum in the fall. The Image and the Idea is a six-week interdisciplinary seminar on art history and Jewish thought taught collaboratively by Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik, director of the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought, and Dr. Jacob Wisse, director of the Yeshiva University Museum and associate professor of art history at Stern College for Women.

Model of the Beth Alpha Synagogue (early sixth century C.E.) Displaycraft, 1972, Collection of Yeshiva University Museum Endowed by Erica and Ludwig Jesselson

Model of the Beth Alpha Synagogue (early sixth century C.E.) Displaycraft, 1972, Collection of Yeshiva University Museum Endowed by Erica and Ludwig Jesselson

The course will explore the process through which art and artists use physical means to achieve spiritual or intangible ends and the ways that Judaism and Jewish sources deal with the tension between the physical and the spiritual and between the visual and the intellectual.

“The course offers a unique opportunity to explore the compatibility of and tension between traditional Jewish thought and traditional art and art history,” said Wisse. “We will address the ways that Judaism is sensitive and responsive to the power and character of art, and also the ways the greatest artists channel ideas that we associate with Jewish ways of thinking.

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Dr: Jess Olson: The Yazidis and The Armenians of Musa Dagh

The crisis faced by the little-known religious minority, the Yazidis of northern Iraq, captured the attention of western humanitarians. Their capitulation to their pursuers, the forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), whose strict interpretation of Islam regards the Yazidis as polytheists, would mean physical destruction. To escape, thousands of these practitioners of an obscure faith, who have dwelt in the Ninveh region for centuries, encamped on the desolate summit of Mount Sinjar, desperate for rescue by a foreign power.

Dr. Jess Olson

Dr. Jess Olson, associate professor of Jewish history

A remarkably similar story was told a little over eighty years ago by German-speaking Jewish novelist Franz Werfel, in his blockbuster novel The Forty Days of Musa Dagh. Virtually unknown today, the 900-page novel was widely read when it appeared. Just in time to serve as a prescient critique of Nazism, it was optioned by studio giant MGM in 1934 to produce an epic film starring a young Clark Gable, then on his way to winning an Academy Award for It Happened One Night.

Werfel’s inspiration was a footnote to the Turkish anti-Armenian atrocities of World War I. In June 1915, receiving news of mass expulsions and murder, the inhabitants of six Armenian Christian villages on the Mediterranean coast collected their few possessions and weapons, and fled to the summit of Musa Dagh, highlands on the coast of the Mediterranean, to escape the approaching Turks. The leader of the revolt, Moses Der Kalousdian, a European-educated Armenian gentleman, rallied the spirits of the villagers, held off assaults on their stronghold until, on the verge of capitulation, they were rescued by a passing French warship.

Although the revolt of 4,200 Armenians at Musa Dagh received scattered attention in the press, it was a small event in a much larger conflict.

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Yeshiva University Museum Hosts First Large-Scale Exhibition of Haunting Catskills Photos by Marisa Scheinfeld

Turquoise barstools punctuate trash-strewn ruins of Grossinger’s coffee shop. A jumble of weeds clogs the outdoor pool of the Pines Hotel. Colorful furniture rots inside the Nevele’s ski chalet.

Coffee Shop - Grossinger's Catskill Resort and Hotel Liberty NY

Coffee Shop – Grossinger’s Catskill Resort and Hotel (Marisa Scheinfeld)

In the museum debut of a major photographic talent, Yeshiva University Museum will present Marisa Scheinfeld’s haunting photos of abandoned sites where Borscht Belt resorts once boomed in the Catskill Mountain region of upstate New York.

Echoes of the Borscht Belt assembles images Scheinfeld has shot inside and outside structures that once buzzed with life as summer havens for generations of New York Jews.

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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.

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Stern College Student Melissa Kramer Examines The Effects of Pharmaceutical Contamination in Summer Internship

Up to 90 percent of a pharmaceutical can leave the body in its active form, meaning that drugs we ingest every day enter the environment via waste water. What happens to those chemicals left behind after waste water processing, and can they have adverse effects on the people and animals that come in contact with that water? Melissa Kramer, a senior at Stern College for Women, spent 10 weeks this summer trying to find out.

melissa kramer

Melissa Kramer

As part of the Research Experience for Undergraduates program at the College of Charleston, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, Kramer studied pharmaceutical contamination in the Grice Marine Laboratory, joining a select group of nine other students from around the country who shared a similar passion for marine biology.

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Dr. Anya Alayev Recognized by the American Association of Cancer Research; Will Present Research at Upcoming Conference

Anya Alayev 2

Dr. Anya Alayev

The American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) has selected Dr. Anya Alayev to receive the AACR-Aflac Incorporated Scholar-in-Training Award. The award will support her attendance and presentation of a poster of her work at the “Targeting the PI3K-mTOR Network in Cancer” conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania this coming September.

Five presenters of meritorious abstracts were selected by the conference co-chairpersons to receive awards to attend the conference. All graduate and medical students, postdoctoral fellows and physicians-in-training who are AACR members were eligible for consideration.

“I’m working on understanding the contribution of the mTOR signaling pathway to breast cancer and other diseases with aberrations in mTOR signaling with the goal of developing new treatment strategies,” said Alayev, who has been a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Marina Holz’s lab at Stern College for Women since 2011.

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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

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President Joel and Rabbi Penner Address Undergraduate Torah Studies Students on Wilf Campus

Undergraduate Torah Studies on the Wilf Campus officially kicked off on Monday, August 25 with an opening kennus to mark the beginning of a new zman at the Yeshiva University.

The kennus, which took place in the Lamport Auditorium, featured remarks from President Richard M. Joel and Rabbi Menachem Penner, Max and Marion Grill Dean of YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS),  all connected to the themes of ahavat Yisrael and the upcoming month of Elul.  In attendance were students, Roshei Yeshiva, faculty, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Dr. Henry Kressel.

“On the one hand, the zman already started because this morning the beit midrash was louder than ever before,” said Rabbi Penner. “But to establish something kodesh, we must have this special kennus.”

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14980607302_1579bb2c3d_bDear Students,

Welcome to the start of a new academic year at Yeshiva University, when our campuses once again become vibrant with your energy and commitment to all aspects of learning and growing. For some of you, Yeshiva University is a new experience, and for others, a continuation of your special journey. Regardless of whether it is your first or fourth year on campus, as the school year and Jewish New Year commence, the freshness of a new start and boundless opportunity is exciting for all.

Here at Yeshiva University, it is particularly our students that advance the mission and vision of this extraordinary enterprise. You all contribute your own unique spirit and strength that make this diverse institution outstanding. I applaud you in advance of this school year for taking part in this community of value and values. We hope you can partner with us so we can not only provide you, our students, with the skills and knowledge to succeed in a competitive global market, but to do much more. We will provide you with the framework in which to live.

A special word of appreciation must be said to the Yeshiva University faculty who bring wisdom to our world. We are proud of your teaching and appreciate the contributions you make to advance knowledge and our institution.

I wish you all an invigorating and fulfilling year filled with the promise of academic achievement, personal development, and global impact.

As always, I welcome your feedback at president@yu.edu, and I look forward to seeing you on campus.

Sincerely,

Richard M. Joel

President and Bravmann Family University Professor

Yeshiva University

 

YU’s Eric Goldman to Co-Host Turner Classic Movies’ Month-Long  Showcase of Jewish Cinema

This September, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) proudly presents The Projected Image: The Jewish Experience on Film, a month-long showcase of movies focusing on Jewish history and heritage as portrayed on screen. Airing Tuesdays throughout the month, the showcase will feature introductions by TCM host Robert Osborne and Dr. Eric Goldman, adjunct professor of cinema at Yeshiva University and an expert on Yiddish, Israeli and Jewish film. Goldman is the founder and president of Ergo Media, a distributor of Jewish film, and is the author of two important books on the topic, The American Jewish Story Through Cinema (2013) and Visions, Images and Dreams: Yiddish Film Past and Present (2011).

Eric Goldman

Eric Goldman will co-host The Jewish Experience on Film in September.

“Movies can provide a terrific lens on Israel and the Jewish people,” said Goldman. “What a terrific opportunity to have this series on TCM.”

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