Yeshiva University News » Azrieli

Dr. Rona Novick: How Educators Can Arm Students With Hope in an Increasingly Dangerous World

On my first day as Dean of the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education, three innocent Israeli victims of terrorism – teenagers – were laid to rest. The unity of the past weeks and the pain and sheer terror of the past few days beg consideration: are there any lessons here regarding what educators should be teaching their students?

Dr. Rona Novick

Dr. Rona Novick, dean of YU’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education

We are not the first generation, and I fear we will not be the last, that needs to teach children about danger and safety. Difficult lessons about a world where even children who do no wrong become ill, and where there are cruel adults and children who can and will hurt other children have been and will continue to be taught. Such lessons require delicate balance. If we err on the side of lollipops and sunshine, we lose credibility as trustworthy and knowledgeable adults when terror or trauma strikes. If we open children’s eyes wide to the doom, gloom and ever-present dangers, we risk raising a generation of anxious, terrified citizens.

Whether it is the discomfort of modulating between opposite poles of all is good, and the world is evil, or the fact that when we cannot promise safety, it seems providing any guidance or support is futile, adults may avoid these tough lessons. Read the rest of this entry…

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Jewish Educational Leadership and Innovation Progam Will Use Blended Learning Techniques to Reach More Educators

Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration will soon be offering a new doctoral degree in Jewish Educational Leadership and Innovation. Slated to begin in the fall, the program will combine virtual learning opportunities with live sessions periodically throughout the year and will replace Azrieli’s existing doctoral degree in Jewish Education and Administration.

Dr. Rona Novick

Dr. Rona Novick, incoming dean at Azrieli

While Azrieli’s current program featured a more traditional model of 14-week semesters and three-credit courses and was accessible only for those living locally, the new program aims to reach a broader group of educators beyond the New York area, through blended learning techniques and a more hands-on approach to learning.

“Azrieli’s and YU’s mission is not limited to the New York geographic region, and we aim to serve Jewish day schools in New York and beyond,” said Dr. Rona Novick, director of the Fanya Gottesfeld Heller Doctoral Program and incoming dean of Azrieli, effective July 1. “The idea of a day school leader having to leave their community to access our resources is not ideal. In the past, we’ve had inquiries from people all over the globe and had to turn them away. We want this program to be available to a wider range of educators and communities.” Read the rest of this entry…

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After 13 Years at the Helm, Outgoing Azrieli Dean Sheds Light on Advances in the Field

YU-121412-Dr-Schnall (1)On June 30, Dr. David Schnall will step down after 13 years as dean of Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration. An author and Fulbright Scholar, he expects to resume teaching and publishing at YU after a brief sabbatical. Schnall, who was recently named University Professor of Jewish Culture and Society, sat down with YU News to share his unique perspective and insight into the communal changes that are redefining the field of Jewish education and to discuss new frontiers for both the field and Azrieli.

Q: How have you seen the field of Jewish education change during your tenure as dean of Azrieli?

DS: To my mind, the focus of Jewish community life, particularly Orthodox Jewish life, has moved from social services and the synagogue to the school. The famous Mishna in Avot tells us that the world rests on three props: the study of Torah, prayer, and acts of mercy and compassion. It’s been suggested that Jews in the United States have accomplished all that, but in reverse order.

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Dr. David Schnall Announces Retirement as Azrieli Dean; Dr. Rona Novick Appointed Successor

Dr. David Schnall, dean of Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, has announced that he will step down from his position following the 2013-14 academic year to spend more time with his family and pursue his writing and research interests. After a brief sabbatical, Schnall will resume teaching and publishing at YU.

Dr. David Schnall

Dr. David Schnall

“In recognition of his extraordinary achievements and contributions to Yeshiva University, I have decided to name Dr. Schnall University Professor of Jewish Culture and Society,” said President Richard M. Joel.

Schnall, who has served as dean of the school for the past 13 years, will be replaced by Dr. Rona Novick, effective July 1, 2014. Read the rest of this entry…

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Student Research Arms Educators in the Field with Empirical Evidence    

The Azrieli Papers Volume II: Commonplaces Uncommon Research, a collection of student research from Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School for Jewish Education and Administration, has recently been released by Michael Scharf Publication Trust of the Yeshiva University Press.

Azrieli Papers Volume 2Edited by Azrieli Dean Dr. David J. Schnall and Associate Dean Dr. Moshe Sokolow, the volume builds on the previous work’s careful analysis and cutting-edge research in areas of Jewish education that include teaching, administration and methodology. Unlike the first volume, however, the new edition consists entirely of student work adapted from doctoral dissertations. “This book showcases the work of our students, who are concurrently professionals and school leaders,” said Schnall. “It serves as a model for others committed to furthering the direction and the quality of this vital area of Jewish life, yet staying within the parameters of Orthodox traditions and values.”

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In New Role, Dr. Scott Goldberg to Advance Teaching and Learning Throughout University

Dr. Morton Lowengrub, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Yeshiva University, has appointed Dr. Scott J. Goldberg as vice provost for teaching and learning at YU.

Dr. Scott Goldberg

Dr. Scott Goldberg has been appointed vice provost for teaching and learning.

“Dr. Goldberg’s commitment to academic rigor and research blended with a passion for entrepreneurship and creativity make him the ideal person to help guide YU’s education for the next generation,” said Lowengrub.

Goldberg’s new role is to advance the teaching and learning at YU’s undergraduate and graduate schools through 21st century methods and media, including online and blended learning. He will also work to develop new educational programs locally and globally. Read the rest of this entry…

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Dr. Rona Novick Offers Four Steps Towards Positive Social Leadership

As September approaches, our thoughts begin to turn towards academic pursuits: Which teacher will be best? How much homework will there be?

Rona

Dr. Rona Novick

But perhaps students returning to school are most plagued by issues relating to social skills and challenges: Will I make friends? Who will be nice to me? Will I fit in?

Schools are social places. Students spend a considerable amount of time in groups, both as part of their learning and in unstructured activities. Collaboration is a critical life skill, and learning to be a responsible and caring social leader is a wonderful goal. Although developing social skills, empathy and social leadership is a complex, ongoing process, parents can set the stage for success, and help children obtain healthy social attitudes with some fairly straightforward September adjustments. Read the rest of this entry…

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Azrieli’s Shmuel Legesse Envisions a Brighter Future for Israel’s Ethiopian Jewish Immigrants

For doctoral candidate Shmuel Legesse, the journey to Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration has not been easy.

Fulfilling his father’s wish, Legesse served as an Israeli police officer.

Fulfilling his father’s wish, Legesse served as an Israeli police officer.

As a child growing up in the poverty-stricken town of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, life was full of hardship and danger for Legesse. But it was also full of dreams—specifically his father’s dream, as magistrate, to help his family and all the Ethiopian Jews in their town make aliyah [immigration to Israel]. “My father was a very strong Zionist,” Legesse said. “But he also cared deeply about his people and had the ideology of a leader, almost like Moses. He would say, ‘I can’t go to Israel myself until all of my people have made it there.’ ”

Sadly, Legesse’s father never achieved that dream. On his deathbed, however, he made Legesse promise to keep fighting for it. “He told me that we all needed to make aliyah and that if we wore Israeli uniforms and protected Jerusalem, it would bring happiness to him in heaven,” Legesse said. Read the rest of this entry…

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Faculty from Across Yeshiva University Granted Tenure

A stellar faculty is the backbone of a great university. This year, Yeshiva University appointed 20 of its most distinguished faculty members in the fields of the arts, sciences and Judaic studies to tenured positions in both its undergraduate and graduate schools. The faculty members include five from Yeshiva College, five from Stern College for Women, four from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, two from the Benjamin N. Cardozo school of Law, and one each at the Sy Syms School of Business, the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies and the Wurzweiler School of Social Work.

“The quality of the faculty at Yeshiva meets its academic and civilizational aspirations,” said YU President Richard M. Joel. “The scholars who now comprise the faculty of this University bring the elegance of thought, the rigor of research and the commitment of service that can serve as a model to all of our students.” Read the rest of this entry…

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Azrieli Professor Recognized for Contributions to Jewish Education at Torah Umesorah Annual Convention

Feuerman_58267a-44Rabbi Dr. Chaim Feuerman, Golda Koschitzky Chair in Jewish Education at Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, recently received the Dr. Joseph Kaminetsky Leadership Award at Torah Umesorah’s 57th Annual Convention in Lake Harmony, PA.

Established in memory of Dr. Joseph Kaminetsky, who served as the first director of Torah Umesorah – The National Society for Hebrew Day Schools since its founding in 1947, the award recognizes Jewish educators who have made a formidable impact on the Jewish community and exemplify the same ideals that Kaminetsky displayed in his own career, which was devoted to the establishment and support of Jewish day schools across North America. Read the rest of this entry…

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