Yeshiva University News » Jeremy Wieder

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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Yishai Eisenberg is First Non-Israeli in 20 Years to Win International Bible Competition

On April 16, Yishai Eisenberg, a freshman at the Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy / Yeshiva University High School for Boys (YUHSB), became the first non-Israeli in 20 years to win the Chidon HaTanakh, Israel’s annual International Bible Competition for high school students. Eisenberg, of Passiac, NJ, dominated the competition from the outset, becoming the first champion in its 50-year run to share the winner’s circle when he finished the final round tied with Elior Babian of Beit Shemesh.

Rabbi Shai Peron, minister of education; YUHSB's Yishai Eisenberg; Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; and Elior Babian.

Rabbi Shai Peron, minister of education; Yishai Eisenberg; Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; and Elior Babian.

An illustration of the country’s desire to connect Jewish independence to Jewish values, the annual contest took place on Yom Ha’atzmaut at The Jerusalem Theater, under the auspices of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Rabbi Shai Piron. 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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Responding to Beit Shemesh Turmoil, Panel Discusses Role of Women in Israeli Society

In response to the recent turmoil in Beit Shemesh over issues of modesty and the role of women in Israeli society, Yeshiva University students flooded a lecture hall on January 30 to learn about the challenges and history of the conflict and to debate possible solutions.

The event, titled “Faceless: Confronting Hadarat Nashim in Israel Today,” was held in Belfer Hall and organized by Kol Hamevaser, the undergraduate student body’s Jewish thought magazine, and the YU Israel Club. Panelists included Rabbi Jeremy Wieder, rosh yeshiva at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and Gwendolyn and Joseph Straus Chair in Talmud; Dr. Michelle Greenberg-Kobrin, dean of students and lecturer-in-law at Columbia Law School, who has also spoken extensively on women’s issues; and Rav Yonatan Rosensweig, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivat Torat Yosef Hamivtar in Efrat and a Beit Shemesh resident.

“Faceless,” which was sponsored by the World Zionist Organization, focused on escalating media buzz over the story of Naama Margolese, an 8-year-old Israeli schoolgirl who was spit on by a group of charedi [ultra-Orthodox] men who called her dress “immodest.” Facilitated by Kol Hamevaser Editor-in-Chief Chesky Kopel, the panel addressed questions about media coverage of the issue, fault lines between charedi and modern Orthodox communities, and the changing dynamic of gender relations in communities across North America and Israel.

The three speakers also presented on individual facets of “Hadarat Nashim,” or the exclusion of women, and concepts of charedi extremism in general, including a discussion of sources in the Talmud relating to modesty, the history of women’s legal rights and gender roles in Israel, and personal experience with the conflict.

“It is in part an attempt to turn back the clock across the religious world,” said Wieder. “It’s a reaction against the excesses of secular society. It may not be acceptable to us, but we need to understand where it’s coming from.”

For Greenberg-Kobrin, the emotional confusion in the modern Orthodox sphere stemmed from a sense of alienation from a community it reveres. “When you see violence or bullying towards women and children, you question what shared values you have with a community where that exists,” she said. “I think that is frightening and difficult for us.”

She added: “The more we have this question about when and how to include women in our society—while the halachic [Jewish legal] lines are extremely important and are to be respected—where there is room to be inclusive of men and women and have them interact in a public sphere, we as a community need to speak up and make that happen.”

Gabrielle Hiller, a junior majoring in Jewish education at Stern College for Women, agreed. “This issue bothered me deeply because these are our people and it’s disturbing to talk about our own community in this way,” she said. “However, hearing these different perspectives gave me a deeper understanding of what’s going on. Dialogue about this is key.”

“It’s very important for students at YU to deal with what is current, what needs to be resolved now,” said Kopel. “When issues are being spoken about or argued about this much, you know they are important for our community.”

“The turnout alone speaks to the burning relevance of this problem,” said Avital Chizhik, president of the Israel club. “Hopefully it will lead to more events, more articles and more responses that can further this discussion.”

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YUHSB Senior Fellowship Offers Students College-Level Research Experience

The Senior Fellowship at Yeshiva University High School for Boys (YUHSB)/ Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy— recently began its fourth year of pairing motivated and inquisitive seniors with Yeshiva University faculty to conduct thorough research in a variety of fields.

Taking advantage of its physical and institutional proximity to the University, YUHSB offers students a unique opportunity to gain exposure to world-class professors and advanced ideas through its Senior Fellowship program.

“We wanted to make it a win-win for both the high school and YU,” 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 is a truly unique opportunity to be paired with the best and brightest professors in their fields.”

Berliner noted that many of the graduates of the program continue their studies at Yeshiva College.

Studying topics as diverse as global economics, literary theory, U.S. relations with China, literary modernism, peptide bonds and early biblical interpretation, students have been paired with YU faculty including Dr. James Kahn, Dr. Evan Resnick, Dr. Elizabeth Stewart, Dr. Raji Viswanathan and Rabbi Dr. Jeremy Wieder, among others.

“I have been very impressed with the sophistication and drive for intellectual advancement of the students I have mentored,” said Wieder, the Gwendolyn and Joseph Straus Professor of Talmud at YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. Wieder is currently working with his students on producing prototypes of commentaries on the Hebrew Bible—work that requires his students study in depth the intricacies of biblical Hebrew and literary Aramaic.

Yosef Kornbluth worked with Wieder in 2008 and 2009 on biblical targumim (Aramaic translations of the Bible) and is currently a sophomore in Yeshiva College. Kornbluth especially appreciated how, by the end of his year, he began noticing “the fine nuances in translation and their impact on the meaning of the text.”

Doni Schwartz, a current senior fellow, has thoroughly enjoyed the beginning of his fellowship year spent researching aspects of the Eherenfest Urn Model with Dr. Fredy Zypman, professor of physics at Yeshiva College. “Since my introduction to physics last year I have been enamored with the subject,” said Schwartz. “I am hoping to pursue this field well into my college years. This was a rare opportunity for a high school student and I am honored to have been chosen for it.”

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August 2014
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