Yeshiva University News » Center for the Jewish Future

Center for the Jewish Future Hosts Conference for Rabbis on Addressing and Preventing Child Sexual Abuse in Jewish Communities

On February 25, Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future hosted an educational and training session for rabbinic leadership focusing on the unique challenges of addressing and preventing child sexual abuse in religious communities.

Victor Vieth, executive director emeritus

Victor Vieth, director emeritus of the Gundersen Health System’s National Child Protection Training Center

The conference was one of several programs and efforts by YU to promote child sexual abuse prevention and awareness and provided an overview of the latest research about abuse in faith-based communities as well as guidelines to help synagogues institute policies and procedure aimed at preventing and addressing allegations of child sexual abuse. The program included addresses from Andrew (Avi) Lauer, Esq., vice president for legal affairs and secretary and general counsel at YU; Dr. Shira Berkovits, a postdoctoral psychology fellow at YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine‘s Early Childhood Center, part of the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center /Rose F. Kennedy Center, and a student at YU’s Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School; and national child sexual abuse expert Victor Vieth, director emeritus of the Gundersen Health System’s National Child Protection Training Center.

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Yeshiva University Announces Micro-Grants for Student Social Entrepreneurs

Yeshiva University recently announced a new fund that will provide micro-grants to student social entrepreneurs founding startups that will benefit the broader Jewish and global communities.

Called “Neal’s Fund,” the initiative was created by the family of Neal Dublinsky. Dublinsky grew up in Queens, NY, and graduated as valedictorian with top honors from Yeshiva College before attending the New York University School of Law. He was diagnosed with the most advanced stage of lymphoma in 1987 at the age of 24, just as he was beginning his career as a corporate attorney in Los Angeles, CA. Despite medical setbacks, he fought his illness and went on to live a full life for another 23 years. Neal’s Fund was established by family, friends and colleagues of Dublinsky and commemorates his entrepreneurial spirit and sense of social responsibility.

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Yeshiva University Hosts February 27 Job Fair for Communal and Educational Careers

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 27, 2014 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.

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On Four CJF Winter Missions Around the World, YU Students Get Closer Look at Jewish Leadership

More than 90 Yeshiva University students spent this winter break engaged in the hands-on study of—and contribution to—vastly different Jewish communities around the world.


A student on the CJF’s “Counterpoint Israel: Winter Camp” mission teaches English at an educational camp in Kiryat Gat.

As participants on winter missions organized by YU’s Center for the Jewish Future, students traveled to Kharkov and Sumy in the Ukraine; Kiryat Malachi, Kiryat Gat and Dimona in Negev region of Israel; areas of New York that were heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy; and cities across the Midwestern United States to make an impact and hone their leadership skills.

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Presidential Fellowship in University and Community Leadership Celebrates Tenth Anniversary

With more than 150 alumni in an array of professional and communal careers and 15 stellar new graduates taking the reins this fall, Yeshiva University’s Presidential Fellowship in University and Community Leadership is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Presidential Fellows 2013 Group

The highly competitive program was established by President Richard M. Joel in 2004, shortly after his arrival at YU, with the goal of transforming the University into a leadership incubator for the Jewish people. Under the supervision of YU Senior Vice President Rabbi Josh Joseph, the Fellowship places accomplished top-level YU graduates in key departments and schools throughout the institution, where they develop and oversee thoughtful and innovative projects to improve the University. They also receive close mentorship from senior University staff and cultivate a broad knowledge base and skill set to engage with the larger Jewish community.

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Aug 2, 2010 — Hundreds of leaders representing more than 80 Jewish communities descended upon Disney World’s Magic Kingdom by the busload. However, they weren’t at the legendary theme park to meet its famous characters or experience the rides, but for a rare opportunity to take a peek “behind the curtain” and learn from one of the most successful global business operations. The group—in Orlando for the Fifth Annual ChampionsGate National Leadership Conference presented by Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF)—explored best practices and methods utilized by Disney on a private tour provided by the Disney Institute, an authority in leadership training.

The theme of the conference, which ran from July 29 – Aug. 1, was “Tomorrow Begins Today: From ‘Best Practices’ to ‘Next Practices.’” It aimed to inspire participants to collectively adapt innovative and creative approaches to how they address challenges and growth opportunities in their respective communities and organizations.

“At ChampionsGate, we convene as a community of community leaders,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, The David Mitzner Dean of the CJF. “It is a celebration of the synergy between the Yeshiva and Jewish communities around the world. Together we have come to the recognition that it is time to no longer focus on the best practices, but rather on the next practices in dealing with these challenges.”

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The conference—made possible with the support of Mindy and Ira Mitzner ’81Y, University Trustee and chair of the CJF advisory council who provided his ChampionsGate resort as the conference venue—has grown from a gathering of 40 in 2006 into a highly anticipated annual event drawing 360 rabbis, lay leaders and Jewish community professionals this year.

“At ChampionsGate, we gather the leaders of our community to take our communal pulse, celebrate our accomplishments, confront our challenges, advance our values, nourish our spirits and rededicate ourselves to the sacred task of building community,” said Yeshiva University President Richard M. Joel. “This was Mindy and Ira’s vision, and they have willed it into reality with their leadership and generosity.”

The program addressed key issues facing the Jewish community and featured University deans, faculty and administrators including Rabbi David Hirsch, rosh yeshiva at RIETS; Suzanne Last Stone, professor of law at the Cardozo School of Law and director of Cardozo’s Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization; Rabbi Edward Reichman, MD, associate professor at the Einstein; and Dr. Efrat Sobolofsky, director of YUConnects.

“Yeshiva University’s desire to be marbitz [spread] Torah U’Madda is not merely theoretical,” said Dr. Rachel Rabinovich, president of Denver Academy of Torah. “Under the leadership of President Joel, YU and the CJF continue to provide their deep resources to further the mission and strengthen the infrastructure of innumerable communities like ours.”

Building on the conference theme of next practices, four leadership forums—Funds, Family, Faith and Future—were designed utilizing new and innovative methodologies to engage and encourage interaction among participants. Each track employed a unique facilitation technique known as “scenario planning”—a process introduced by Royal Dutch Shell and a best practice currently used by multiple Fortune 500 companies.

Dr. Scott Goldberg, director of University-School Partnership at YU’s Azrieli Graduate School, facilitated a forum on “Faith: Infusing Jewish Life and Rituals with Greater Passion and Spirituality” and encouraged participants to interact through Twitter during his forum, demonstrating how technology can be used as an inspirational tool.

Josh Joseph, YU vice president and chief of staff, led a track on “Future: Training and Inspiring the Next Generation of Jewish Community Leaders,” and asked participants for their suggestions on what issues the Orthodox community will face in 2020. The lively forum also featured a video presentation, filmed and edited during the session by Uri Westrich, a former YU presidential fellow.

“Throughout the year, we are involved in ongoing conversations with community leaders,” explained Rabbi Ari Rockoff, director of community partnership at the CJF and conference organizer. “These programs were designed using their feedback.”

Josh Kahane ’01Y, an attorney from Memphis, was excited to have the opportunity “to discuss challenges and strengths” with both professional and lay leadership from across the country. “Living and working in a community on the cusp of real Jewish growth, it is important to strengthen my understanding of the YU philosophical model as we continue to create an identity for our young Modern Orthodox community,” said Kahane.

A highlight for many participants was a thought-provoking and open panel discussion on Shabbat entitled, “Orthodoxy’s Big Tent: Where Do We Put the Stakes?” The diverse panel—moderated by Ira Mitzner—featured President Joel; Rabbi Yona Reiss, The Max and Marion Grill Dean of RIETS; Dr. Karen Bacon, The Dr. Monique C. Katz Dean of Stern College for Women; Rabbi David Stav, chair of the Tzohar organization in Israel; Gary Rosenblatt; editor and publisher of The Jewish Week of New York; Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, founder of Project Y.E.S.; C.B. Neugroschl, newly appointed head of school at Yeshiva University High School for Girls; and Barry Shrage, president of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston.

“Rabbi Brander and President Joel eloquently articulated the challenges facing our generation and the inspired leadership it will take to squarely address them,” said Rabbi Horowitz. “As a member of the Charedi community, I feel that we all face similar challenges and we need to work together to find solutions. I was very proud to be part of this uplifting weekend.”

On the final day of the conference, Rabbi Heshy Glass, head of school at Los Angeles’ YULA High School, reflected on his ChampionsGate experience. “It was great meeting and networking with my counterparts from around the country,” he said, motioning to his peers seated around the breakfast table. “We will definitely be following up with each other throughout the year.”

See Rabbi Brander’s op-ed in The Jewish Week on the future of Jewish leadership.

Read the CJF Dean’s Report.


Feb 2, 2010 — While the past year’s economic difficulties have led to a challenging employment market, there are a number of opportunities available in the Jewish communal and educational fields. For all those aspiring to such careers, the Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future and the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration’s Institute for University-School Partnership are holding their annual Jewish Job Fair on Thursday, February 18 at 6 p.m. at YU’s Wilf Campus at 500 West 185th Street, New York City. Last year’s event drew over 300 people, including YU students and alumni, as well as members of the broader Jewish community.

Dozens of Jewish day schools and community organizations from across the country will be in attendance to accept and review resumes and conduct interviews. Participating organizations include Manhattan Jewish Experience, the Orthodox Union, the Institute for Public Affairs, Areyvut, Anti-Defamation League, Project Extreme and SawYouAtSinai. Day schools include Manhattan Day School, SAR Academy, Stern Hebrew High School of Philadelphia, Yeshivat Noam, Westchester Day School, Yeshiva Toras Emes, Ramaz School, Magen David Yeshiva, Akiba Academy of Dallas, Greenfield Hebrew Academy of Atlanta, Chicagoland Jewish High School, Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School and Yeshiva of Central Queens.

In addition to teaching positions and other career prospects, the fair offers a wide array of opportunities ranging from fellowships and scholarships for master’s programs and internships. The fair is being hosted in conjunction with Yeshiva University’s Career Development Center.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, to register your organization or school, or to submit a resume visit


Jan 28, 2010 — On Thursday, February 11 at 6 PM, Yeshiva University (YU) Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) and San Francisco’s Congregation Adath Israel will bring together renowned thinkers in their respective fields to discuss “Jewish Ethics and the Internet” at Twitter Headquarters, suite 600, 795 Folsom Street, San Francisco.

The conference will attempt to answer questions such as how is the internet changing the employer-employee relationship; are status updates and tweets making us more narcissistic; and will it be harder to repent for past transgressions when a record in print, picture and video is permanently imprinted for all to see?

“As a great research university with a seminary at its heart we are gratified to participate in such an endeavor,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, The David Mitzner Dean of the CJF. “It celebrates our responsibility as a society and as Jews to look at modern technology through the prism of values and the norms and mores of our Jewish tradition.”

Speakers will include Deborah Shultz, Procter & Gamble’s advisor on social media & emerging technologies; Auren Hoffman, CEO of Rapleaf and Business Week columnist; Marcia Hofmann, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation; Dr. David Pelcovitz, Straus Professor of Psychology and Education at YU’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration; and Del Harvey, director of Trust and Safety at Twitter.

“The internet and social networking sites are growing so fast that it’s hard for people to think through all of its ramifications,” explained Adath Israel’s Rabbi Joshua Strulowitz, a YU graduate and conference moderator. “The goal of this conference is to bring a Jewish perspective to the flurry of new ethical issues that are raised.”

To register for the conference ($50 online, $65 at the door) visit or contact for more information.


Jul 1, 2009 — Yeshiva University, through its Center for the Jewish Future (CJF), will introduce a Torah learning program at Lincoln Square Synagogue this summer for women of all ages who want to pursue advanced Talmud and Judaic study. The Women’s Beit Midrash Fellows Program, which takes place July 6-29, affirms the University’s status as a pioneer in developing Orthodox Jewish women as scholars, teachers and community leaders.

The program, focusing on “Crisis, Hope and Leadership in Jewish Tradition,” will provide women of all ages and Jewish educational backgrounds with the knowledge and tools to become Judaic scholars, community leaders and role models for the Orthodox community.

See The Jewish Channel’s coverage of the program here:

The program is a component of the CJF’s annual Manhattan Beit Midrash Community Program, which has offerings for men, women and youth at Lincoln Square Synagogue.

Highlighting this year’s Women’s Beit Midrash Fellows Program will be a mini-course on Mondays and Wednesdays led by Elana Stein Hain, who completed advanced studies in Talmud at YU’s Graduate Program in Advanced Talmudic Studies (GPATS) and is the community scholar at Lincoln Square Synagogue, the first woman to hold such a position at the prominent New York house of worship. The position is sponsored by the CJF.

Hain’s mini-course, “Chabura: Sugya Survey Workshop,” will focus on a sampling of sugyot [Mishnaic texts] which are ripe for both the yeshiva/Brisker (Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik) method as well as academic perspectives. The workshop will include 30 minutes of chavruta [group study] helping participants develop and sharpen their learning skills.

“Women are partners in the leadership of the Jewish community,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, the David Mitzner Dean of the CJF. “What this program does is provide the tools for them to grow intellectually and develop the knowledge necessary to take on this role. It’s an outgrowth of our commitment to women’s leadership and Jewish education that dates back 40 years to the founding of Stern College for Women, the Midreshet Yom Rishon held weekly on campus, the GPATS program and numerous leadership fellowships for women.”

In addition to Hain, the faculty for the Women’s Beit Midrash Fellows Program includes Rabbi Moshe Kahn, a faculty member of Stern College, the GPATS program, and the Drisha Institute, who will address “The Call of the Shofar: A Halakhic Analysis” on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays; and Dr. Shawn Zelig Aster, assistant professor of Bible at Yeshiva College, who will focus on “Sefer Yeshayahu: Text and History” on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. In addition, Rabbi Brander will give a special shiur [lecture] on “Justice, Human Rights and Morality: The Ethics of Warfare” on Tuesday, July 14 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

For adults of all ages, there is a rotating scholar series on Tuesday evenings, a three-week course on Wednesdays, July 8, 15 and 22, and a morning program. Among the faculty will be Rabbi Hayyim Angel of Congregation Shearith Israel of New York and instructor at Yeshiva College; Yael Leibowitz, an adjunct professor at Stern College; Rebbetzin Smadar Rosensweig, professor of Bible at Stern College; Dapha Fishman Secunda, director of women’s programming at the CJF; Dr. Shai Secunda, the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Postdoctoral Fellow in Judaic Studies at Yale University; Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter, University Professor of Jewish History and Jewish Thought and senior scholar at the CJF; and Rabbi Dr. Jeffrey Woolf, senior lecturer in Talmud at Bar-Ilan University.

Among the topics they will address are: “Jeremiah’s Confrontation with the Religious Establishment”; “Maimonides’ Analysis of Sefer Iyov”; “Yehudah and David”; “Theological Reflections of National Suffering”; “Interactions between Judaism, Islam, and Christianity”; “Reflections on Tisha B’Av”: “Our Patriarch Avraham”; and “Notes from the Destruction in Eichah Rabbah.”

For more information on YU summer programs or to register, please contact or call 212.340.7700 x 430.


Feb 23, 2009 — While the current harsh economic conditions have led to a bleak employment market, there are industries and professions that have job openings, including those in the Jewish communal and educational fields. For all those aspiring to such careers, the Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future is holding its inaugural Jewish Job Fair this Thursday, February 26 at 6 p.m. at YU’s Wilf Campus at 500 West 185th Street.

Hundreds of candidates, including students and alumni of YU, have already submitted resumes for consideration, and dozens of Jewish day and high schools and community organizations from across the country will be in attendance to accept and review resumes and conduct interviews.

Participating organizations include Isralight, Jewish Community Center Association of North America, National Council of Young Israel and University Jewish Chaplaincy in London. Day schools include Akiva Hebrew Day School in Southfield, MI, Columbus Torah Academy in Ohio, Yeshivat Rambam in Baltimore, and Torah Academy of Philadelphia. There are also numerous organizations and day schools in the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut region.

The fair is being held in conjunction with the Institute for University-School Partnership, Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, YSU, TAC, the Career Development Center and the Jewish Social Enterprise Training.

For information and registration, visit