Yeshiva University News » Carmen Hendricks

Wurzweiler’s Susan Bendor to Retire in January After Five Decades Dedicated to Social Work 

Over half a century after she began her career as a social worker, Dr. Susan Bendor will retire in January, capping off 26 years at Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work and a remarkable 52 years in the field.

Dr. Susan Bendor

Wurzweiler’s Dr. Susan Bendor has dedicated her career to helping others.

Born in Budapest, Hungary, Bendor survived the Holocaust as a young child by hiding in a cellar for nine months. By the time she was 21, she had lived in six countries—Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, Canada, Israel and Germany—and by 25, she had earned her master’s degree. Her interest in social work can be traced back to her family’s early years in Canada.

“Thanks to a wonderful hospital social worker who helped our immigrant family through a very rough crisis and lightened the burden on our young shoulders, giving all of us a sense of hope, I realized how important and satisfying it must be to make such a difference in the lives of families coping with a variety of challenges beyond their control,” said Bendor. “I decided to follow in his footsteps. It was a privilege to enter a profession that is committed to social justice and to treating everyone with dignity, as were the individuals who saved our lives during World War II and continue to inspire me even today.” Read the rest of this entry…

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Wurzweiler Gains Exclusive Screening Rights to ‘Bullycam'; Will Incorporate Film Into Curriculum

In an effort to better educate its students about the dangers of bullying, and how to fight them, Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work has gained the exclusive screening rights to “Bullycam: The Video Diary of Kelly Wilson, a film depicting the relentless bullying of a high school teen from the perspective of the victim.

Wurzweiler initially held an advance screening of the film, which won Best Narrative Feature at the Metropolitan Film Festival, NYC Independent Film Festival, and the Buffalo/Niagara Film Festival, as well as the Thin Line Award at the Thin Line Film Festival, before its premiere in 2011. It elicited such a strong reaction then and in the months that followed that Wurzweiler decided to revisit it as a potentially critical component of the social work curriculum, focusing on its unique ability to help students better understand the many forms bullying often takes among children and teens today and empathize with the emotions and motivations of victims after witnessing a firsthand account. Read the rest of this entry…

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Wurzweiler Students Turn Focus Inward at Self-Care Day

On December 12, students at Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work learned a few techniques to treat some of their most important clients: themselves.

20131212_ wurzweiler_self_care_037“Because of the kind of work social workers do every day, it is very important that they put aside time to take care of themselves,” said Dr. Carmen Ortiz Hendricks, the Dorothy and David I. Schachne Dean of Wurzweiler. “Vicarious traumatization can occur when a social worker takes in the clients’ experiences and it begins to affect their lives. Finding ways to relax, socialize, exercise, and have fun is essential to a healthy mind, body and spirit. Today was Wurzweiler’s way of helping students and faculty take care of themselves.”

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Wurzweiler’s New Certificate Program Provides Professional Training in Jewish Philanthropy

Change. Meaning. Opportunity. Mitzvah.

In a classroom at Yeshiva University’s Beren Campus on  a recent Wednesday night, these were a few of the words 20 professionals used to describe the passion that drove them to pursue Jewish communal work and ultimately, to enroll in a new Certificate Program in Jewish Philanthropy at YU’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work.


Andrea Wasserman shares a presentation on “The Culture of Philanthropy” with Certificate Program students.

“Remember that passion and those values and bring them to work with you,” guest lecturer Andrea Wasserman, a philanthropic and organizational development strategist, told students. “What we’re doing boils down to so much more than a financial transaction. We’re fostering partnerships that make the world a better place by helping your missions thrive.”

As Jewish causes face more fundraising challenges than ever before—including increased competition both within the Jewish world and with other nonprofits and donors hit hard by the economic recession—Wurzweiler launched the new Certificate Program to provide talented Jewish communal professionals with the tools they need to succeed in the modern philanthropic arena. Read the rest of this entry…

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School of Social Work Pays Tribute to Faculty Member’s 47-Year Career

In 1958, newly-ordained Rabbi Norman Linzer decided to do something different with the semicha he had just received from Yeshiva University-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS).

Rather than lead a congregation, Linzer wanted to pursue a career in Jewish communal work. So he turned to YU’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work, which had opened its doors the year before, to pursue a degree that would equip him with all the right tools to accomplish his dream.

Linzer has been there ever since.

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Wurzweiler Certificate Program to Help Treat Returning Veterans and their Families

This fall, Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work is offering a new Certificate in Social Work Practice with the Military.

Dr. Joan Beder will oversee the new certificate program.

American military engagement in Afghanistan and Iraq has lasted more than a decade, and advances in medical technology and Kevlar armor have led to unprecedented numbers of soldiers surviving battle wounds to return to civilian life in the United States. Many must learn to adapt to a life with physical injuries or disabilities, while an estimated 20 percent of returning service members are diagnosed with major mental health problems. This has created an overwhelming strain on Department of Defense hospitals and Veterans Affairs facilities, which soldiers typically turn to for care.

Wurzweiler hopes to relieve some of that burden by equipping its graduates to treat veterans in their agencies as well as in outpatient mental health settings and private practices. Read the rest of this entry…


Dr. Carmen Ortiz Hendricks (L), associate dean and professor, and Dr. Sheldon R. Gelman (R), the Dorothy and David I. Schachne Dean of Wurzweiler.

Jul 29, 2009 — Wurzweiler School of Social Work’s Dr. Sheldon R. Gelman, the Dorothy and David I. Schachne Dean, and Dr. Carmen Ortiz Hendricks, associate dean and professor, have been named “Social Work Pioneers” by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). The award recognizes social work professionals for their exemplary leadership, outstanding contributions to the field and recognition by their peers. Both have held leadership positions within the NASW.

Gelman, who also has a master of studies degree in law from Yale University Law School, has published numerous articles dealing with the impact of legislation and policies on the delivery of social services. He has contributed sections to important resources such as The Encyclopedia of Social Work, The Social Workers’ Desk Reference and The Handbook of Human Services Management.

Gelman has held office and served on national commissions of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), including its board and its Commission on Accreditation, and the American Association on Mental Retardation.

Hendricks has made significant contributions to the profession in the area of culturally competent social work education and practice. As a member of NASW’s National Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity, she was a major contributor to the development of its Standards for Cultural Competence in the Social Work Practice. She is a founding member of the chapter’s Latino Social Work Task Force.

Hendricks has co-written or co-edited a number of seminal books published by CSWE Press, including Learning to Teach—Teaching to Learn: A Guide to Social Work Field Education, Intersecting Child Welfare, Substance Abuse and Family Violence: Culturally Competent Approaches and Women of Color as Social Work Educators: Strengths and Survival.


Dr. Carmen Ortiz Hendricks

Dec 18, 2007

Wurzweiler’s First Fulbright Senior Specialist

In February, Carmen Ortiz Hendricks, DSW, associate dean and professor at Wurzweiler School of Social Work, will travel to Beersheba, Israel, as a Fulbright Senior Specialist. Hendricks is the first faculty member from Wurzweiler to be invited to participate in the program.

The Fulbright Senior Specialists Program provides short-term academic opportunities for US faculty and professionals to encourage new activities that go beyond traditional Fulbright research. Applicants to the program are recommended by specialist peer review committees and approved by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Hendricks will spend three weeks in Israel giving special lectures to undergraduate and postgraduate students and staff on current trends in US social work practice and theory with an emphasis on multicultural issues. She plans to give these lectures at Bar-Ilan University and Tel-Hai Academic College, in addition to her host institution Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

“This will be my first time visiting Israel,” Hendricks, an alumna of Wurzweiler, said. “I am proud to represent Wurzweiler and excited to participate in such a unique learning experience.”

She will introduce Israeli students to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and will focus on cultural competence, the idea that social workers should understand and have a firm knowledge base of their clients’ diverse cultures.

“I want to learn what culturally competent social work means in Israel and what social workers might be able to do differently here in the US,” Hendricks said.

Louis Feldman Publishes Seventeenth Book

Louis H. Feldman, PhD, the Abraham Wouk Family Professor of Classics and Literature, recently published a book, Philo’s Portrayal of Moses in the Context of Ancient Judaism. According to its publisher, the University of Notre Dame Press, the book presents “the most comprehensive study of Philo’s De Vita Mosis that exists in any language.” Philo was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher whose work, De vita Mosis, refuted the Hellenistic attacks on Moses’ life and character and was a vital part of his attempt to reconcile Judaism and Hellenism.

Feldman’s book uses rabbinic material to illuminate important parallels and differences between Philo’s writing on Moses and rabbinic literature. “Through Feldman’s careful analysis, Moses emerges as unique among ancient lawgivers,” said the publisher.

Feldman is the author and editor of over sixteen books, including Josephus’s Interpretation of the Bible and most recently Judaism and Hellenism Reconsidered. Professor Feldman has been a full-time member of the Yeshiva College faculty since 1955, teaching courses in Greek and Latin at elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels, as well as courses in Greek and Roman history, classical mythology, masterpieces in Greek and Latin literature in English translation, and Hellenistic Jewish intellectuals.

Two Profs Appointed Journal Editors

Two Yeshiva College professors were recently named editors of two distinct journals. Steven Fine, PhD, professor of Jewish history and director of the Center for Israel Studies, is one of four editors of Images: A Journal of Jewish Art and Visual Culture, while Lauren Fitzgerald, PhD, associate professor of English and director of the Yeshiva College Writing Center, was appointed co-editor of The Writing Center Journal.

Images is a scholarly journal that publishes articles on Jewish visual culture in all disciplines—including architecture, painting, sculpture, graphics, textiles, and photography—from Greco-Roman antiquity to the present. It also explores historiography and theory, and every edition contains reviews of books and exhibitions, and notices of scholarly conferences or symposia on Jewish art. Images is published by Brill, an international academic publisher.

The Writing Center Journal is an official peer-reviewed publication of the International Writing Centers Association. It is a bi-annual journal dedicated to publishing articles, reviews, and announcements that explore issues or theories related to writing center dynamics and administration. Fitzgerald was chosen by a selection committee for her broad understanding of writing center scholarship, her experience with writing center administration, and her publication and editorial experience.

A longtime writing professional, Fitzgerald was also recently elected to serve on the executive committee of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), a professional organization for researching and teaching composition, from writing to new media.

Large YC Presence at Biblical Meeting

Five members of the Jewish studies faculty at Yeshiva College recently attended the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature/American Academy of Religion in San Diego.
Shawn Zelig Aster, assistant professor of Bible, presented two papers “Jerusalem Replaces Babylon: The Neo-Babylonian Background to Isaiah 60” and “Isaiah 2:2-4 and Micah 4:1-5: The Vision of the End of Days as a Reaction to Assyrian Power.”
Moshe J. Bernstein, PhD, professor of Bible, presented “Three Ways of Interpreting the Bible at Qumran” at a session recognizing the 60th anniversary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and was a respondent in a session on Medieval Jewish Interpretation of Psalms.
Steven Fine, PhD, professor of Jewish history, presented “Between Rabbinic Text and Archaeology: Meyers’ Contribution to the Study of Greco-Roman Judaism” at a session in honor of Professor Eric Meyers, and a paper on “’Israelite’-Christian Relations in Late Antique Palestine: Samaritan, Jewish, and Christian Schools during the Forth Through Sixth Centuries CE”; he also was a respondent to a paper on “Visual Representations of Worship in Ancient Rome, Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Ostia: First and Second Centuries CE.”
Shalom E. Holtz, assistant professor of Bible, presented a paper on “Recovering Biblical Courtroom Vocabulary: Arguing the Case for Adversarial ‘Yahad.’”
Aaron Koller, instructor in Bible, presented papers on “Swords into Plowshares and Nations into States: Isaiah 2/Micah 4 in the Contexts of Assyrian Hegemony and Political Theory” and “Lexicography of Realia: Two Examples from the Semantic Field of Blades.”

Other Faculty News

Rabbi J. David Bleich, PhD, Herbert and Florence Tenzer Professor of Jewish Law and Ethics at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and rosh yeshiva [professor of Talmud] at Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, gave a number of presentations in Berlin, Germany in November: he spoke on “A Twenty-five Million Dollar Funeral,” at Bet Midrash de-Berlin, on “Life or Liberty: The Issue of Personal Autonomy” at Berliner Studien zum Judischen Recht and Humboldt University, and on “Sale of Organs” at Organisation der Judischen Artze und Psychologen.

Mordechai Cohen, PhD, associate professor of Bible at Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, published “A Review of Robert Eisen, The Book of Job in Medieval Jewish Philosophy,” in The Journal of Religion 87 (2007), 136-138, in which he discusses the literary, theological, and kabbalistic streams of Jewish interpretation of Job. He also published “Great Searchings of the Heart: Psychological Sensitivity in Nahmanides’ Commentaries on the Torah and Job” in Hebrew in Teshura Le-Amos: Collected Studies in Biblical Exegesis Presented to ‘Amos Hakham, ed. M. Bar-Asher, N. Hacham, Y. Ofer (Alon Shvut: Tevunot, 2007), 213-233. In this volume dedicated to one of the foremost modern Orthodox Bible scholars in Israel today, Cohen brings to light the human side of the interpretive work of Nahmanides.

Joanne Jacobson, PhD, professor of English at Yeshiva College, will be featured on Milt Rosenberg’s “Extension 720,” a leading author interview program on Chicago’s WGN Radio, on Friday December 21. Jacobson will be discussing her book, Hunger Artist, a memoir about growing up Jewish in postwar suburbia.

James Otteson, PhD, director of the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program at Yeshiva College, gave a quote about business ethics for a recent article on The article, “Workers should be wary of shady business deals” reports on a survey showing that ethical lapses in the business world are on the rise.

Shmuel Schneider, PhD, chair of the department of Hebrew language and literature at Yeshiva College, spoke on “The Relations Between the Secular (‘Hilonyim’) and Religious (‘Datyim’) Segments of Israeli Society” at Congregation Adereth El in New York City, in October.

Rabbi Moshe D. Tendler, PhD, professor of biology at YU and the Rabbi Isaac and Bella Tendler Professor of Jewish Medical Ethics at RIETS, spoke about “The Role of Science in the Torah Curriculum of Our Yeshivot,” at the Seventh Miami International Torah and Science Conference in Surfside, FL, in December.

For previous faculty achievements, click here.