Yeshiva University News » Jacob J. Schacter

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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Student Organization of Yeshiva – Jewish Studies Council Publishes Haggadah with Divrei Torah by YU Roshei Yeshiva, Faculty and Students

Just in time for Passover, Yeshiva University’s Student Organization of Yeshiva – Jewish Studies Council (SOY-JSC) has published And You Shall Transmit to Your Children, a collection of divrei Torah on the Haggadah from renowned Torah scholars at YU. The book features contributions from Roshei Yeshiva, including Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Nathan and Vivian Fink Distinguished Professorial Chair in Talmud; Rabbi Mordechai Willig, Rabbi Dr. Sol Roth Chair in Talmud and Contemporary Halacha; Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter, University Professor of Jewish History and Jewish Thought; Rabbi Shalom Carmy, assistant professor of Jewish philosophy and Bible; and Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Jeremy Wieder, among others.

haggadahTopics include the halachic aspects of the seder, the rituals of mechirat chametz [selling leavened food] and korban pesach [the Passover sacrifice], and the history of the seder in Jewish experience.

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Meet the Musmakh: Rabbi Noah Cheses Builds a Spiritual Home for Yale University Students

Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and the Yeshiva University community will celebrate the ordination of its largest class of musmakhim [ordained rabbis] at its Chag HaSemikhah Convocation on March 23, 2014. The record class of rabbis represents an internationally diverse group, hailing from five continents and more than 50 North American cities. While most will remain engaged in either full-time post-semikhah Torah study or religious work—Jewish education, the pulpit, outreach or non-profit work—many will pursue careers in other professions, including medicine and law.

In the weeks leading up to the celebration, YU News will introduce you to several of these remarkable musmakhim

Rabbi Noah Cheses“Compassion” and “trust” were the two words that led Rabbi Noah Cheses to a career in the rabbinate. As a curious high school junior in Newton, MA, he’d approached local congregation leader Rabbi Benjamin Samuels ’94YC, ’94BR, ’96R, about his calling. “He told me that becoming a great pulpit rabbi requires opening your heart, sharing your mind and forming relationships of trust with your congregants,” said Cheses.

It was a deeply intriguing message, and Cheses took it to heart. After graduating from the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program at Yeshiva College, he decided to enroll in the semikha program at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. Simultaneously, he pursued a master’s degree in Jewish philosophy at YU’s Bernard Revel School of Jewish Studies. He also studied in YU’s Caroline and Joseph S. Gruss Institute in Israel for two years while completing coursework for his master’s degree in Family Counseling and Therapy at the Family Institute in Jerusalem. Read the rest of this entry…

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Film Produced by Center for the Jewish Future and OU to be Screened at Synagogues Worldwide July 16

Once again this year, Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) and the Orthodox Union will combine efforts on programs for the Three Weeks and Nine Days leading to Tisha B’Av, to be followed by a variety of shiurim on Tisha B’Av itself.

YU

YUTorah offers various resources for the Three Weeks and Tisha B’Av.

In this year of extremely early Jewish observances, the Three Weeks begin on Tuesday, June 25 — the Fast of Shiva Asar B’Tammuz, the Fast of the 17 of Tammuz, with its restrictions on levity. The Nine Days , with its deeper restrictions, begin on Monday, July 8, Rosh Chodesh Av. Tisha B’Av itself, the Ninth of Av, extends from Monday evening July 15, until nightfall Tuesday, July 16. Read the rest of this entry…

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Yeshiva University Commemorates the Life and Legacy of Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik

On April 14, Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) commemorated the 20th yahrtzeit [anniversary of death] of “the Rav,” Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik zt”l, Torah luminary and YU Rosh Yeshiva, with a full-day learning program that took place in the Lamport Auditorium on YU’s Wilf Campus. Thousands attended in-person or followed the event online to gain insight into the Rav’s life and legacy through lectures, discussions and presentations given by his family and closest students.

“I experience a sense of déjà vu standing in this room today, for in this very room we waited with baited breath for the Rav to enter and deliver his famous shiurim on his father’s yahrtzeit each year,” said Rabbi Joel Schreiber, Chairman of the RIETS Board of Trustees, in his opening remarks to the participants. “In this room thousands of men and women had their hearts, minds and souls lifted to unimaginable heights by the Rav.”

The program kicked off with “Multiple Faces of the Rav,” a panel that brought together Rabbi Soloveitchik’s daughter, Dr. Atarah Twersky, and several students of the Rav, including Rabbi Herschel Schachter, RIETS Rosh Yeshiva; Dr. David Shatz, YU professor of philosophy; and Rabbi Kenneth Brander, David Mitzner Dean of the CJF, to examine the many and varied roles played by the Rav during his lifetime. Read the rest of this entry…

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Weekly Course Open to all Women will Feature Rabbis Jacob J. Schacter and Hayyim Angel

Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) will launch a new Women’s Beit Midrash Program on February 5 at Stern College for Women’s Israel Henry Beren campus in Manhattan for participants of all ages.

The six-week program, developed in conjunction with the University’s Office of Alumni Affairs and New Jersey and Long Island Regional offices, will feature Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter, University Professor of Jewish History and Jewish Thought and senior scholar of the CJF, and Yeshiva College Jewish Studies faculty member Rabbi Hayyim Angel. Read the rest of this entry…

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Fellowship Pairs YU High School Students with University Faculty for College-Level Research

Five students from the Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy/Yeshiva University High School for Boys (YUHSB) have been named Senior Fellows for the 2012-13 academic year. Taking advantage of its physical and institutional proximity to Yeshiva University, the program—in existence since 2006—pairs competitively-selected high school seniors with University faculty to conduct thorough research in a variety of fields.

YUHSB seniors Yonatan Schwartz, Dovid Schwartz, Akiva Schiff, Yisrael Snow and Yosef Sklar will work closely with YU faculty.

“We wanted to make it a win-win for both the high school and the University,” said Dr. Ed Berliner, executive director of science management and clinical professor of physics at YU and director of the YUHSB Honors College. “For YU, it is an opportunity to expose our most impressive students to the high-caliber YU education, and in terms of the students, it truly is a unique opportunity to be paired with the best and brightest professors in their fields.”

Akiva Schiff, Dovid Schwartz, Yonatan Schwartz, Joseph Sklar and Yisrael Snow will spend the upcoming year studying topics as diverse as bible, chemistry and economics with YU faculty members Read the rest of this entry…

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Revel, Bar-Ilan Co-Host International Conference on Scholarship of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik

Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies and Bar-Ilan University hosted the second conference of a two-part international lecture series to mark the 20th anniversary of the passing of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, the leading rabbi, Talmudist and philosopher known as “the Rav.” Titled “Reflections on the Thought and Scholarship of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik,” the conference brought more than 70 people from around the world together to share new perspectives on Rabbi Soloveitchik’s writings, talk about possible influences in his work and discuss new directions for future scholarship on the Rav.

Dov Schwartz, Bar-Ilan's Natali and Isidor Friedman Chair on Teaching the Writings of Joseph Dov Soloveitchik.

Dov Schwartz, chair of the philosophy department and graduate program for the study of contemporary Judaism at Bar-Ilan and its Natali and Isidor Friedman Chair on Teaching the Writings of Joseph Dov Soloveitchik, envisioned the conference as a means to connect the two centers of the most relevance to the study of Rabbi Soloveitchik: YU, where much of his work was done, and Bar-Ilan, the center of scholarship about him in Israel. “I wanted us to share the innovative research that has been done over the past few years,” said Schwartz. Read the rest of this entry…

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Yeshiva University Scholars Reflect on the Daf Yomi Phenomenon

Last night some 90,000 people gathered at the MetLife stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey for a ceremony celebrating the 12th completion of the daily reading of the Talmud (Siyum ha-Shas). The event followed similar ceremonies, in Jerusalem,Tel Aviv, Bnei Brak, London, Melbourne, and other cities and communities around the world, in which thousands more participated in person or via closed-circuit TV.

Tens of thousands celebrated the conclusion of the a seven-and-a-half-year Daf Yomi cycle on August 1.

These events honor the conclusion and re-commencement of a seven-and-a-half-year cycle in which people—individually, with partners, or in groups—learn a folio page (two facing pages) of the Babylonian Talmud each day in a tradition known as daf yomi, “a page a day.”

The tradition was established by Rabbi Meir Shapiro, the Hasidic rebbe of Lublin. Rabbi Shapiro proposed the idea to the Agudath Israel convention in Vienna in August, 1923, and the enterprise was launched with much fanfare the following Rosh Hashanah. Over the course of the 12 cycles completed thus far, the number of learners has burgeoned to many tens of thousands around the world.

To mark the occasion, Jewish Ideas Daily invited several prominent thinkers, including Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter and Moshe Sokolow to reflect on the phenomenon of daf yomi and their own engagement with the practice. Read the rest of this entry…

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On Brink of Professional and Academic Careers, New Graduates Reflect on Undergraduate Experience

They are art historians, human capital consultants and biotechnologists. They come from Jerusalem, Montreal and Miami. They’ll be pursuing cutting-edge graduate work at first-class institutions like Harvard and New York University. They’ll build their own businesses from the ground up. And they’ll also be giving back by teaching at schools for children with special needs and developing innovative educational programs about world issues.

They’re the Yeshiva University Class of 2012.

On May 24, more than 750 students will march across the Izod Center stage at Yeshiva University’s 81st Commencement Exercises, as they celebrate the completion of their undergraduate careers. However, these new alumni know their education is far from over.

As they begin the next chapter of their lives, members of the graduating class reflected on the good times, the defining moments and the takeaways of their unique YU experiences. Read the rest of this entry…

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