Yeshiva University News » High Schools

Yeshiva University Hosts 2011 Wittenberg Wrestling Tournament

More than 180 wrestlers from across the country filled the Max Stern Athletic Center on Yeshiva University’s Washington Heights’ Wilf Campus on February 21 for the championship finals of the 2011 Henry Wittenberg Wrestling Tournament. The tournament, now in its 16th year, is the highlight of the yeshiva high school wrestling year.

The weekend included a YU-sponsored Shabbaton, featuring words of inspiration from Alan Veingrad, a former NFL offensive lineman turned observant Jew.

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“Wittenberg gives Yeshiva high school students an opportunity to experience competition with likeminded students who not only share an interest in wrestling but also share the same Jewish values as well,” said Dr. Hillel Davis, vice president for university life at Yeshiva University.

When the dust settled, the Ida Crown Jewish Academy (Chicago, IL) wrestling team took first place at the tournament, with Torah Academy of Bergen County (Teaneck NJ) and The Frisch School (Paramus, NJ) placing second and third, respectively. Other participating schools included Yeshiva Atlanta (Atlanta, GA), North Shore Hebrew Academy (Great Neck, NY), DRS High School (Woodmere, NY), Rav Teitz Mesivta Academy (Elizabeth, NJ), Fuchs Mizrachi (Beachwood, OH), Kushner Academy (Livingston, NJ) and Yeshiva University High School for Boys / MTA (New York, NY).

The tournament is named for YU’s former wrestling coach and legendary Olympic medalist, Henry Wittenberg. Wittenberg founded the school’s wrestling program in 1955 and was the team’s first coach. He passed away last year at the age of 91.

For a list of team scores and results visit the Yeshiva Wrestling Web site.

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Hundreds of High School Students from Around the World Gathered at Yeshiva University’s Annual Model UN Conference

Hundreds of high school students from around the world debated important issues as part of Yeshiva University’s 21st National Model U.N. (YUNMUN) from February 6-8. The students, from nearly 50 different high schools from four continents, represented nearly all of the United Nations’ member countries in 15 different committees, and debated topics ranging from the peaceful uses of outer space to the elimination of discrimination against women.

YUNMUNThe annual event took place at the Stamford Plaza Hotel in Stamford, Conn. According to Michael Kranzler, director of undergraduate admissions at YU, the conference is the largest Jewish high school event of its kind.

The students, who were assigned their representative member countries months before the conference, spent all year preparing their position papers so they could debate about the issues and work together to draft resolutions. They also studied the procedures of the United Nations, as they were required to follow its methods of discussion and deliberation. The students had the opportunity to not only work on their public speaking and knowledge of politics and negotiating but also to meet and work with peers from Jewish high schools around the world.

On Sunday night, the students enjoyed Super Bowl XLV before UN Secretary General Steven Paletz officially opened the conference. “The conference will illustrate the inherent difficulties but uplifting possibilities of effecting true change,” said Paletz. The knowledge gained at YUNMUN can help the students increase their enthusiasm and “apply their passions, not just in their individual high schools and communities but across the globe.”



Eliora Katz, one of the participating students, said that she “realized that compromise is not just an exercise during a committee session…we must live and breathe to allow the wide spectrum of people’s opinions and lives to merge and succeed.” Her school, the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy from Rockville, Md. took home the Best Delegation Award, placing first of the 48 schools at the conference.

Michi Hayman, a Yeshiva College senior and chair of the International Law Commission, said, “The atmosphere of all these Jewish high schools coming together is amazing.”

Yeshiva University President Richard M. Joel, who delivered the keynote address, spoke of the challenges that the students’ generation will face and the lessons they can learn from YUNMUN: “Maps are not eternal. Boundaries shift, sympathies change—it’s all up for grabs. Some of it is healthy but most of it is scary. …The UN is a metaphor. It’s a metaphor of whether or not we believe in civilization, in civility. Do we believe as a people we can build something together?  If we don’t, it’s back to rules of force. We need to know how to disagree agreeably.”

View slideshows from the conference here.

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Feb 11, 2010 — Eager for an opportunity to sample the Yeshiva University experience firsthand and spend an evening engaged in high-level learning, as well as reunite with friends and counselors from camp and enjoy delicious food, 225 high school students gathered at Stern College for Women’s Beren Campus on Thursday, February 4. The night of learning—part of the Torah Leadership Network (TLN), a program coordinated by the YU Center for the Jewish Future (CJF)—focused on women in Tanach.

The students came from 11 participating tri-state area high schools, including Bruriah, HANC, Kushner, Ma’ayanot, Shalhevet, Shulamith, SKA and Yeshiva University High School for Girls.

The girls broke up into small chaburot [groups], each being led by one of 60 Stern College student madrichot [advisors], and had a choice of attending two shiurim [lectures] given by Rebbetzin Smadar Rosensweig and Mrs. Yael Leibowitz, both renowned Judaic studies faculty at Stern.

“One of the goals of this program was to provide Stern College students with the invaluable experience of both producing the program behind the scenes and acting as actual teachers and mentors to the girls,” said Sarah Emerson Helfand, director of women’s programming for the CJF. “In turn, the high school students are exposed to college-level Judaic studies.”

Leah Moskovich, head madricha for TLN for Women, found it to be an inspiring overall experience. “It was wonderful seeing so many girls sitting together and studying Torah,” she said. “These high school students got a great taste of what Stern has to offer.”

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Rabbi Hyman and Ann Arbesfeld, longtime supporters of YU, were honored by President Richard M. Joel.

Mar 26, 2009 — The Yeshiva University High Schools Annual Dinner of Tribute at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on March 22 honored Rabbi Hyman and Ann Arbesfeld, YU Benefactors with deep roots in the YU community.

Rabbi and Mrs. Arbesfeld endowed the Abraham Arbesfeld Kollel Yom Rishon and the Millie Arbesfeld Midreshet Yom Rishon in memory of Rabbi Arbesfeld’s parents. They also established a Kollel Fellowship at YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) in memory of Ann’s parents, Benjamin and Rose Berger.

Rabbi Arbesfeld graduated from Yeshiva University High School for Boys (YUHSB) and Yeshiva College, and received semikhah [ordination] from RIETS. Mrs. Arbesfeld served as the president of YU Women’s Organization for 10 years and continues her involvement as a member of its executive council. The Arbesfeld children are alumni of YUHS and the Arbesfeld grandchildren currently attend the high schools.

“We could not be more satisfied with what the schools have done for our children’s education, ego and esteem,” Saul Stromer YH’78, who has two children at the high schools, said in his welcoming remarks. “A Yeshiva University High School education is like vitamins—it fortifies you for the rest of your life.”

The program also singled out the hard work of two faculty members: Rabbi Baruch Pesach Mendelson, in his bar-mitzvah year at YUHSB, and Deena Rabinovich at YUHSG.

Rabbi Mendelson serves as the rebbe of the Advanced Honors Masmidim track in 11th grade at YUHSB. He was awarded the Joseph S. and Caroline Gruss Excellent Teachers Fund Award and the Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education from the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York.

Mrs. Rabinovich serves as the YUHSG Israel guidance coordinator and teaches Chumash to the 11th grade. A graduate of Stern College for Women, she is an EdD candidate at YU’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration. Mrs. Rabinovich is a 2007 recipient of the Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education and the 1996 Joseph S. and Caroline Gruss Excellent Teachers Fund Award.

In his address, President Richard M. Joel told the enthusiastic crowd that everyone in the room was partners in the continuum of building the next generation of the Jewish people. “There’s nothing more important for us, for Klal Yisroel [the people of Israel], or for the world,” President Joel said. “It’s a lot of work, a lot of money, and a lot of staying on the course, but we’re going to do it together.”



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Honorees Rabbi Hyman and Ann Arbesfeld

Mar 11, 2009 — Yeshiva University High Schools (YUHS) will hold their Annual Dinner of Tribute on Sunday, March 22 at New York City’s Grand Hyatt. YUHS will honor Rabbi Hyman and Ann Arbesfeld (Kew Gardens, NY). Rabbi Baruch Pesach Mendelson (Brooklyn, NY) and Mrs. Deena Rabinovich (Kew Gardens Hills, NY) will be honored as Faculty Members of the Year.

Rabbi and Mrs. Arbesfeld have deep roots in the YU community. As Benefactors, they endowed the Abraham Arbesfeld Kollel Yom Rishon and the Millie Arbesfeld Midreshet Yom Rishon in memory of Rabbi Arbesfeld’s parents. Rabbi and Mrs. Arbesfeld established a Kollel Fellowship at YU’s RIETS (Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary) in memory of Ann’s parents, Benjamin and Rose Berger. Rabbi Arbesfeld graduated from Yeshiva University High School for Boys (YUHSB), Yeshiva College, and received semikhah from RIETS. He is the president of the Bedford and San Carlos Hotels in Manhattan.

Ann Arbesfeld served as the president of YU Women’s Organization for 10 years and continues her involvement as a member of its executive council. The Arbesfeld children are alumni of YUHS and the Arbesfeld grandchildren currently attend the High Schools.

Rabbi Baruch Pesach Mendelson serves as the Rebbe of the Advanced Honors Masmidim track in 11th grade at YUHSB. He was awarded the Joseph S. and Caroline Gruss Excellent Teachers Fund Award and the Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education from the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York.

Mrs. Deena Rabinovich serves as Yeshiva University High School for Girls’ Israel guidance coordinator and teaches Chumash to the 11th grade. A graduate of Stern College for Women, where she was a Max Stern Scholar, Mrs. Rabinovich received her Master’s degree in English Literature from NYU and is currently an EdD candidate at YU’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration. Mrs. Rabinovich is a 2007 recipient of the Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education and the 1996 Joseph S. and Caroline Gruss Excellent Teachers Fund Award.

For information and reservations contact yuhsdinner2009@yu.edu or 212-960-5279 or visit www.yu.edu/yuhsdinner.

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Jun 27, 2008 — Students, parents, alumni, faculty and administration celebrated nearly 100 years of commitment to Jewish values and education at the Yeshiva University High Schools (YUHS) annual dinner of tribute at the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square on Monday, June 23. Dr. Edward Berliner of West Orange, NJ was honored as Faculty Member of the Year by YUHS, which is comprised of Yeshiva University High School for Boys / The Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy (YUHSB) and the Samuel H. Wang Yeshiva University High School for Girls (YUHSG).

Dr. Berliner teaches calculus and AP physics at YUHSB and serves as the executive director of science management and clinical professor of physics at YU.

“It is only appropriate that as we honor our beloved friend and colleague, Dr. Ed Berliner, we highlight our beautiful new state-of-the-art science laboratories,” Rabbi Mark Gottlieb ’87YUHSB, head of the boys school, said about the recently constructed labs in both high schools. “Ed was the inspiration and project manager in seeing this project through from vision to reality.”

The gala dinner drew over 400 attendants from around the tri-state area, who were on hand to show their support for the high schools, their faculty and administration.

“Tonight we celebrate our schools, our accomplishments, and most importantly, our students,” said Rochelle Brand, YUHSG head of school. “Our young men and women are the standard bearers for excellence in all their undertakings – in the realm of Torah Umadda education, in community services, and in love and devotion to the State of Israel.”

Rabbi Gottlieb and Mrs. Brand went on to note several of the achievements and events that occurred throughout the year, including outstanding SAT scores, student science awards, the successful Julius Wrubel z”l International Service Mission – a YUHSB educational expedition to various countries around the world and Project Ra’yut, which sends YUHSG juniors to Israel to perform community service.

Miriam Goldberg, YUHS Board chairman, praised the longstanding affiliation between the high schools and YU. “Our relationship with Yeshiva University is what makes our schools truly unique. YU and the high schools work hand-in-hand, cultivating the next generation of Modern Orthodox Jewish leaders. We could not be prouder of our university or its dynamic leadership.”

The educational mission of the Yeshiva University High Schools is to teach and perpetuate the values of Torah Umadda, the synthesis of Jewish law and life and Western civilization. The YU High Schools provide a platform for Jewish leadership through a challenging academic program in an atmosphere that encourages adherence to the traditional beliefs and practices of Modern Orthodoxy.
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Visit the YUHS websites at www.yuhsb.org or www.yuhsg.org.

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Dr. Edward Berliner will receive the Faculty Member of the Year award

Jun 11, 2008 — Yeshiva University High Schools (YUHS), comprised of The Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy / Yeshiva University High School for Boys (YUHSB) and the Samuel H. Wang Yeshiva University High School for Girls (YUHSG), will bestow Dr. Edward Berliner with the Faculty Member of the Year award. Dr. Berliner will be honored at the YUHS Annual Dinner of Tribute on Monday, June 23 at 6 pm at The New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square. Prominent members of the West Orange, NJ community, Dr. Berliner and his wife, Debbie, are proud parents of three YUHSB alumni: Avi ’99, Josh ’01, and Jon ’04.

Since joining the YUHS faculty in 2002, Dr. Berliner has enriched the lives of his students and colleagues, both academically and personally. In addition to teaching AP calculus and AP physics at YUHSB, Dr. Berliner serves as the Executive Director of Science Management and Clinical Professor of Physics at Yeshiva University and played an integral role in the construction of YUHSG’s science lab. Dr. Berliner is also director of the newly formed YUHSB Honors College — a program that offers select students an enriching cultural, educational, and religious experience.

“It is a privilege to be honoring Dr. Edward Berliner,” said Miriam Goldberg, chairman of the YUHS Board of Trustees. “He is a wonderful example of a committed faculty member who perpetuates our high standards and encourages our students to reach their greatest potential.”

Both students and Dr. Berliner are appreciative of their time in the classroom together. “I learn so much from all of the students and am constantly amazed at their insights and ingenuity,” says Dr. Berliner. “Because of them, I come into school each day looking forward to learning something new.”

For further information about the YUHS Annual Dinner of Tribute please contact Mindy Schachtman at yuhsdinner2008@yu.edu or 212-960-5279.

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Apr 23, 2007 — Joyce Tessel worried about the relevance of her class project. The 18-year-old senior at Samuel H. Wang Yeshiva University High School for Girls (YUHSG) “didn’t understand why talking to Holocaust survivors” and others who were connected to World War II, could be important to her young life. “But I was so wrong,” she said.

The result is Names, Not Numbers©, an interactive, multimedia intergenerational Holocaust oral history project produced by the seniors at YUHSG and The Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy – Yeshiva University High School for Boys (YUHSB) to pass on the memories, stories, and lessons of that unprecedented tragic time in world history.

Names, Not Numbers was created by educator Tova Fish-Rosenberg. The project combines research through Web Quests, video interviewing techniques, documentary film tools, writing and editing. Web Quest is a customized Web site that helped direct students to information about the Holocaust and its aftermath.

Students interviewed survivors as well as American war veterans who were involved in the liberation of concentration camps. They were given videography instruction by Eric Spaar, director of the film, as well as guidance on conducting interviews from a journalist and an oral historian. Students gained first-hand knowledge of World War II and the Holocaust by being paired with survivors and veterans who reside in their respective communities and filming their interviews.

The students presented the video, a documentary film, and a lecture by Dr. Moshe Avital, a Holocaust survivor and educator, at YUHSG on Sunday, April 15 – Yom Hashoah-Holocaust Remembrance Day. It will be presented again by YUHSB at 6:30 pm on Sunday, April 29 at 2540 Amsterdam Avenue on the Wilf Campus of Yeshiva University in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. The keynote speaker, Sol Goldstein, is one of the last surviving members of his Army company which liberated Buchenwald.

“For many young people, the events of World War II and the Holocaust are remote and don’t resonate on a human or existential level,” said Rabbi Mark Gottlieb, head of school of YUHSB. “This experience transformed lessons in history into a lively program that personalizes the events through the individuals who lived through them.”

Mrs. Rochelle Brand, YUHSG head of school, stressed that Names, Not Numbers brought history to life for her students. “This project has deepened their understanding of the Holocaust. Having the opportunity to interview survivors helps ensure that our students will continue to teach the lessons of the Holocaust to future generations.”

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May 18, 2006 — Many teachers in Jewish day schools across the United States juggle teaching duties in addition to administrative responsibilities. An innovative program for Jewish educators who aspire to securing administrative positions, the Support for Educational Leadership Advancement (SELA), has been developed by the Association of Modern Orthodox Day & High Schools (AMODS) to help prepare professional Jewish educators for the various roles they will play as administrators.

The SELA yarchei kallah (gathering for learning) will guide educators as transition from classroom professional to administrator. The SELA conference will take place at an inaugural Yarchei Kallah at Congregation Keter Torah in Teaneck, NJ, June 13-14.

AMODS, under the auspices of Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF), is the central address for the educational needs of 100 member schools around the country which brings the university and its resources to students of day schools and high schools.

The primary aim of this kallah is to create a small network of talented Jewish educators and administrators–the conference is limited to 20 invited individuals– to learn from each other and share experiences. Workshops topics range from time management skills to implementing educational changes, as well as emerging trends in the areas of administration, policy, research, and supervision and discussions about ethical leadership.

A panel discussion will feature individuals who recently made the transition into administration. Participating workshop leaders in the new initiative will feature prominent educators, scholars and psychologists including YU President Richard M. Joel; Rabbi Kenneth Brander, dean, CJF; Dr. David Schnall, dean, Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration (AGS); Rabbi David A. Israel, director, AMODS; Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter, Senior Scholar, CJF; Dr. David Pelcovitz, Gwendolyn & Joseph Straus Chair in Jewish Education, AGS, and Dr. Frank Pignatelli, professor, Educational Leadership Department, Bank Street College of Education.

The inspiration for SELA evolved over a period of time, according to AMODS staffer Toby Goldfisher Kaplowitz. “When CJF launched last year, we at AMODS knew we wanted to provide professional development for Jewish educators as well as foster leadership training.”

“We’re creating the first cohort of school administrators and plan to hold these conferences biannually,” said Ms. Goldfisher Kaplowitz. “Our goal is to create a core group in which participants share their knowledge, learn from one another, and build consensus among their faculty, engage parents and community members, and design a shared vision for their schools.”

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Members of the 2006 Sy Syms Stock Market Trivia Competition championship team, North Shore Hebrew Academy, with their faculty advisor.

Apr 5, 2006 — The questions flew fast and furious. Students were given just 10 seconds to prove they knew their stuff. In the end, North Shore Hebrew Academy of Great Neck, NY, knew their stuff better than the rest and captured first place in the second annual Sy Syms School of Business Stock Market Trivia Competition on April 5.

This year’s contest attracted 13 area high schools that competed in groups of two and during three separate sessions, which all took place in Belfer Hall on YU’s Wilf Campus. After the three sessions concluded, the two teams with the most number of points (one point for every correct answer) faced off for the championship. Each of the three sessions consisted of 50 questions, for a total of 150.

The questions drew upon the workings of, and the history of, the Stock Market.

Click here to view a gallery of photos from the event.

North Shore finished the three sessions with 110 points. Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School of Livingston, NJ, amassed the next-highest point total of 85. The two schools battled for the championship, and when all was said and done: North Shore 20, Kushner 6. Third place went to Hebrew Academy of Nassau County with 67 points.

During a lunch break in the Wilf Campus’s Weissberg Commons, students enjoyed catered meals while special guest speaker Dan Brody, a 1996 YC grad and recent participant on NBC’s ‘The Apprentice,’ offered advice for business (and for life).

“Always be open to other people’s ideas,” he said. “Always be aware that you don’t know everything, that there is always more to learn and more to benefit from.”

Brody credited his years at YU with teaching him this lesson.

“When you’re in a place like Sy Syms School of Business, you meet new people who are like-minded but also have certain experiences and knowledge that you do not have. That is something I certainly benefitted from at Syms and YU,” Brody said.

For the second year in row, Yeshiva University High School for Girls fielded the only all-female team. Most teams were all-male, though some were co-ed.

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