Yeshiva University News » education

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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In Yeshiva College Course, Students Examine Trends in School Violence From Multiple Perspectives

Schools are supposed to be safe places, where children learn, grow and acquire the skills and knowledge they need to build successful lives. But what happens when they aren’t? In the last decade, news stories about violent outbreaks and bullying in school settings have brought this question and others to the forefront of American awareness. How are our children and institutions impacted when violence—whether in harder-to-spot forms like bullying or more alarming behaviors like muggings or assaults—becomes pervasive in our school systems? And, more importantly, how do we prevent it from happening?

Violence and Education class

Students gave a group presentation on the impact of school violence on teacher turnover.

At Yeshiva College, students in Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology Daniel Kimmel’s “Violence, Schools and Education” course are seeking answers.

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Educating in the Divine Image: Gender Issues in Orthodox Jewish Day Schools Wins Education Category

A book coauthored by Dr. Chaya Rosenfeld Gorsetman, associate professor of education at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, has received the 2013 Education and Jewish Identity – In Memory of Dorothy Kripke National Jewish Book Award, an honor bestowed by the Jewish Book Council.

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MK Rabbi Shai Piron Discusses Halachic, Political and Educational Challenges Facing Israel

“The greatness of Yaacov was his capacity to convene the sacred to empower everyday and to realize that without the everyday there is no need for the sacred,” said YU Vice President of University and Community Life Rabbi Kenneth Brander of the biblical forefather before introducing Rabbi Shai Piron, Israel’s current minister of education and former Rosh Yeshivat Hesder Petach-Tikva. “Rabbi Piron’s personal and professional life has always been about bridging holiness to the everyday.”

Shai Piron

Education Minister Rabbi Shai Piron addresses social and domestic issues facing Israel.

Rabbi Piron was greeted by a packed room of several hundred students and faculty members in Yeshiva University’s Furst Hall on Wednesday, November 13. His visit came only days after Danny Ayalon, the former Israeli diplomat and politician, was announced as the Rennert Visiting Professor of Foreign Policy Studies at YU for the spring 2014 semester. Read the rest of this entry…

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Hundreds Attend YU Jewish Job Fair Seeking Communal and Educational Careers 

Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) and Institute for University-School Partnership hosted their annual Jewish Job Fair on YU’s Wilf Campus on February 28. More than 50 Jewish day schools and 20 community organizations from across North America, including the Orthodox Union, Nefesh B’Nefesh, Repair the World and others, participated in the event, which was free and open to the public, with YU students and alumni given one hour of priority access.

“Our annual Jewish Job Fair is a natural outgrowth of our mission to support and strengthen Jewish communities and organizations around the world,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, David Mitzner Dean of the CJF. Read the rest of this entry…

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At YU School Partnership Conference, Educators Are the Experts

More than 70 Jewish day school leaders from 62 schools gathered on Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus this week to pool experiences, ideas, connections and resources in a uniquely structured conference that put participants, rather than experts or speakers, in the spotlight.

Organized by YU’s Institute for University-School Partnership (YU School Partnership), the two-day convention, “CFG 2012,” ran from November 11-12 and built on previous Critical Friends Groups (CFG) which have been meeting regularly under YU School Partnership guidance for three years. Each group is a professional learning community of educators, administrators or school staff who come together in person and online to improve their practice through collaborative learning. Read the rest of this entry…

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YU School Partnership Builds Infrastructure of Support and Mentoring for New Teachers in 15 Schools

With alarmingly low teacher retention rates in schools across North America, especially among new hires, more and more Jewish day schools and institutions are recognizing the need for increased support for new teachers. But the Yeshiva University Institute for University-School Partnership has found a new way to create strong, effective educators—and it starts from the top down.

From June 24 – 27, representatives from 15 Jewish day schools came together on YU’s Wilf Campus for a summer institute as part of the New Teacher Induction Program, an effort led by the YU School Partnership with a generous grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation.

Instead of focusing on new teachers individually, the program works with school leadership and faculty to build a comprehensive system of support and mentoring within each institution. Read the rest of this entry…

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Cynthia Wachtell on New York State’s Flawed Public School Standardized Testing

Here is a modest proposal. Let’s have private school students take the same standardized tests that public school students now take each year.

Cynthia Wachtell

Dr. Cynthia Wachtell is the director of the S. Daniel Abraham Honors Program at YU.

While we are at it, let’s require private school teachers to be absent from their students’ classrooms for the same number of days as public school teachers, who now must serve as conscripted graders for the standardized tests. Read the rest of this entry…

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Mayor Cory Booker: “Use Your Faith to Help and Inspire Others”

On the evening of May 8, students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the greater Yeshiva University community filled Lamport Auditorium to hear Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, New Jersey, discuss “The Role of Religion in Education and Public Life.” The event was the final installment of this year’s Great Conversation Series of the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought.

Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik and Mayor Cory Booker discuss “The Role of Religion in Education and Public Life” at the final Straus Center event of the academic year.

The conversation—led by Straus Center Director Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik—bounced around from discussing how Booker’s personal faith influences his daily life, issues regarding the importance of improving education, and the nature of faith in the public square in America. Throughout the conversation, the mayor sprinkled his words with pointed anecdotes, quotes of important figures like the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi, and—to the crowd’s delight—passages from biblical and rabbinic literature in English and in Hebrew. Read the rest of this entry…

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Straus Center Presents May 7 Discussion with Newark Mayor Cory Booker

Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik will discuss “The Role of Religion in Education and Public Life” on Monday, May 7, 2012. The event begins at 8 p.m. and will take place in YU’S Lamport Auditorium, Zysman Hall on 2540 Amsterdam Avenue in Washington Heights. It is free and open to the public.

Mayor Cory Booker

Mayor Cory Booker will discuss the role of religion in education and public life at the May 7 Straus Center event.

The discussion is part of YU’s “Great Conversations on Religion and Democracy” series, convened by the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought. Booker’s presentation will mark the fourth and final talk this academic year in the “Great Conversations” series. Previous guests were Senator Joseph Lieberman, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, chief rabbi of the British Commonwealth, and former Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey.

“Mayor Booker is one of the most inspiring and thoughtful stars on the political scene today,” said Soloveichik. “I am honored that he will be joining us for what is certain to be an exciting, thought-provoking and entertaining evening.”

Mayor Booker, in his second term, is a force for change and urban reform. Reflecting his commitment to education, his administration was recently awarded a challenge grant of $100 million from billionaire and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to improve Newark city schools. Among other recent notable achievements under his leadership, Newark has committed to a $40 million transformation of the City’s parks and playgrounds through a groundbreaking public/private partnership. The administration has also doubled affordable housing production and drastically reduced crime in the city.

The Straus Center is named in honor of Moshael J. Straus, an investment executive, alumnus and member of YU’s Board of Trustees, and his wife Zahava, a graduate of YU’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. The Center’s mission is to help develop Jewish thinkers and wisdom-seeking Jews by deepening their education in the best of the Jewish tradition, by exposing them to the richness of human knowledge and insight from across the ages, and by confronting them with the great moral, philosophical, and theological questions of our age.

Please RSVP to strauscenter@yu.edu. For more information, please visit www.yu.edu/straus.

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