Yeshiva University News » Center for the Jewish Future

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.

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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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Six-Week Program to Explore Jewish Ethics and Israel’s Foreign Policy

Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) will present the spring installment of its Community Beit Midrash program beginning February 3 with a six-week series of talks by two distinguished members of YU’s faculty, Ambassador Danny Ayalon, Rennert Visiting Professor of Foreign Policy Studies, and Dr. David Shatz, University Professor of Philosophy, Ethics and Jewish Thought. The program is open to the community and runs for six consecutive Tuesdays at 215 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10016, on YU’s Israel Henry Beren Campus.

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Left, Professor Danny Ayalon; right, Professor David Shatz

The first lecture of each day, titled “Israel’s Foreign Policy: Diplomacy in Practice,” will be delivered at 10:30 a.m. by Ayalon. The second lecture, at 11:45 a.m., will be presented by Shatz on “Pursuing the Right and the Good: Themes in Jewish Ethics.”

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From Tape Cassettes to Mobile Apps: How YUTorah Grew Into The Leading Site For Online Torah Study

It started with one semicha [rabbinic] student.

yutorah-screenshot3While studying at Yeshiva University-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, Rabbi Marc Spivak was training for a career as a pulpit rabbi outside the tri-state area—but he didn’t want to miss out on the advanced learning and shiurim [Torah lectures] he loved at YU. He began taping shiur after shiur at the University, building a collection of Torah lectures he’d be able to listen to anywhere, any time. When his apartment could no longer hold the sheer volume of tapes he’d created, he tried digital storage, learning how to encode the shiurim and burn them to CDs. Eventually, with help from YU student Chaim Jaskoll and other Jews still exploring the internet’s fledgling potential, Spivak turned to the emerging world of online media, uploading all the shiurim he had recorded to a single website where they would remain accessible, for free, to any Jew, anywhere in the world, who wanted to broaden their Torah horizons.

That turned out to be just the beginning. The site was an instant hit. Spivak joined what would eventually become known as YU’s Center for the Jewish Future to embark on an even more ambitious project: recording and uploading shiurim Yeshiva-wide. Excited donors contributed recording equipment and initial server space, while students and YU faculty added a growing number of shiurim to the site daily. Before long, the site had expanded beyond YU’s borders, receiving submissions and listenership from Torah figures and institutions around the world.

Today, that website is known as YUTorah, and with over 90,000 shiurim—and counting—it’s the leading site for online Torah study. Read the rest of this entry…

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Center for the Jewish Future’s #EmpoweredLearning Program Aims to Engage and Inspire Torah Learners

What gets people excited about learning Torah? How can we harness technology to engage a worldwide audience of learners and inspire them to want to learn more?

Those are some of the questions Rabbi Ari Sytner, director of Community Initiatives at Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF), set out to answer when he created a new online program that aims to bring an interactive Torah-learning experience to a wide group of users within the YU community and beyond.

“We wanted to come up with a revolutionary idea to engage people in learning,” said Rabbi Sytner. “We found that the most exciting part of learning is the question.” Read the rest of this entry…

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From World-Class Faculty to Unique Opportunities, Seniors Reflect on Yeshiva University Experience

On May 22, some 600 new graduates will march across the stage at the Izod Center to receive their diplomas during Yeshiva University’s 83rd Commencement Exercises, completing a foundational chapter in their educational journeys and moving on to exciting new opportunities. Before they toss their caps in the air, members of the Class of 2014 shared some of their favorite moments and the profound experiences that shaped their undergraduate careers, as well as dreams that started here but which they will carry with them all their lives.

“Yeshiva University created opportunities that I never dreamed of,” said Yosefa Schoor, of Monsey, New York, who hopes to attend medical school. Read the rest of this entry…

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Rabbi David Baruch Lau Meets with Roshei Yeshiva, Center for the Jewish Future Staff

20140508_chief_rabbi_53On May 8, Rabbi David Baruch Lau, the Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel, visited Yeshiva University. The chief rabbi met with Roshei Yeshiva at YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and YU President Richard M. Joel. He also spoke with YU’s Center for the Jewish Future senior staff about their work around the world with rabbis, communities and students, and toured the Wilf Campus and the Jacob and Dreizel Glueck Center for Jewish Studies with students.

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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.

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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.

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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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