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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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Article Photo President Richard M. Joel (left) and Rabbi Naftali Weisz (right).

Oct 19, 2007 — As part of Rabbi Naftali Weisz’s formal installation, President Richard Joel traveled to Columbus, Ohio on October 14, 2007, to deliver the keynote address at the 2007 Beth Jacob Testimonial, an annual event for the 108 year old Modern Orthodox congregation. Although Rabbi Weisz, an alumnus of Yeshiva College and Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, has been leading Beth Jacob since August 2006, the event officially honored him as spiritual leader of the congregation, which serves approximately 200 families on Columbus’ East Side.

“Often, when we have rabbis occupying new pulpits, someone from the yeshiva will come and serve as an installing officer,” President Joel remarked of his trip to Ohio. “But, I also have a special relationship with Rabbi Weisz. I knew him as a student. He came into his own during my presidency.”

Having been placed by the Jewish Career Development and Placement division of Yeshiva University Center for Jewish Future, Rabbi Weisz has a unique relationship with Beth Jacob. His grandfather, Rabbi David Stavsky, had served as Rabbi at Beth Jacob for forty-seven years, until his death in 2004.

Since Weisz’s tenure began, membership has increased. In his new position, Rabbi Weisz has impressed congregants by increasing programming for youth and arranging for visits from musicians and scholars. According to Weisz, “I try to connect our synagogue and especially our youth group with their peers in the larger Jewish community.”

As a true embodiment of YU’s motto–Torah U’madda—there is no doubt that Weisz will continue to serve Beth Jacob congregants well. Weisz and his wife, Abby, reside in Columbus with their two children, Bella and Shaindee.


Left to right: President Richard M. Joel, Chancellor Norman Lamm, and Jeanie and Jay Schottenstein.

Jan 8, 2004 — Yeshiva University honored Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein of Columbus, OH, at a dedication last month for an undergraduate honors program bearing their names. The Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program of Yeshiva College was established five years ago through a gift of $8 million from Mr. and Mrs. Schottenstein.

At a luncheon, YU President Richard M. Joel, Chancellor Norman Lamm, Yeshiva College Dean Norman Adler, and Honors Program director Prof. Will Lee discussed how the program enriched the curriculum, furthered research, and improved learning. President Joel and Chancellor Lamm presented the Schottensteins with a scroll commemorating the program’s dedication, during at which a bronze wall plaque recognizing their gift was unveiled.

“The Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program has provided most of the drive toward our educational progress,” Professor Lee said. “Faculty development has traveled hand in hand with curricular development. The program has encouraged dozens of faculty members, newer and older, to invent new, often experimental, courses and substantially modify older ones. And the program is helping us attract the best and brightest as we hire new faculty members.”

Other speakers included Joshua Sturm, the 2003 Yeshiva College valedictorian who attends Harvard Law School, and Anthony Wexler, a senior and honors program participant.

In thanking administrators and faculty, Mr. Schottenstein, a YU trustee and former chairman of Yeshiva College’s board of directors, said, “Jeanie and I are proud that we were given an opportunity to participate in creating a program that has, and will continue to have, a profound impact on the quality of the university and the Jewish community for decades to come.”