Yeshiva University News » Revel

Meet the Musmakh: Rabbi Yosef Bronstein Continues His Father’s Devotion to Torah Scholarship at RIETS

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

Yosef BronsteinAs a young boy growing up in Bayswater, NY, the prominent Torah scholars at Yeshiva University-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary were household names in the home of Rabbi Yosef Bronstein. His father, Rabbi Chaim Bronstein, was a musmakh of the yeshiva and had worked as an administrator there since before Yosef was born. “The study and teaching of Torah were heavily-emphasized values in our home,” recalled Bronstein. “We regarded the faculty at RIETS as respected Torah leaders and role models.”

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YU Faculty Offer Insight into Historical, Political and Religious World of Esther

It’s the only book in the Bible to omit all mention of God, the Torah and the land of Israel. Aside from Genesis, it’s also the most written-about biblical work in the Talmud. Throughout the ages, the unique tension in the Book of Esther has made it one of the most fascinating books in Jewish tradition, and also one of the most deeply complex. On March 10, in honor of the upcoming festival of Purim, scholars from schools across Yeshiva University came together to discuss those complexities and their implications for Jewish thought and experience.

"Exploring Esther: The Origins, Values and Power of Purim” at the YU Museum

Dr. Aaron Koller and Yael Leibowitz

Co-hosted by the Yeshiva University Museum, Yeshiva College, Stern College for Women, the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, and the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought, the evening, titled “Exploring Esther: The Origins, Values and Power of Purim,” focused on the historical and political context, religious significance and gender roles in Esther. Panelists included Dr. Aaron Koller, assistant dean and associate professor of Near Eastern and Jewish Studies at Yeshiva College; Yael Leibowitz, instructor in Bible at Stern College; Rabbi Dr. Meir Y. Soloveichik, director of the Straus Center; and Dr. Daniel Tsadik, assistant professor of Sephardic and Iranian studies at Revel.

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Revel Lecture Offers Personal Recollections, Academic Analysis of Noted Bible Scholar

The Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies held its inaugural event of the fall semester’s special lecture series, “Nehama Leibowitz and Tanakh Study: Yesterday and Today,” at Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus on October 22. The event, which was attended by more than 200 people, included personal recollections of Leibowitz by one of her earliest pupils, Esther Manischewitz, as well as an academic lecture about Leibowitz’s Bible scholarship by Revel Associate Dean and Professor of Bible, Dr. Mordechai Z. Cohen.

“Nehama Leibowitz, the master teacher, has become a larger than life figure, a sort of celebrity,” said Cohen. “Yet Nehama regarded herself as a simple teacher, who sought to guide others in their study of Tanakh [Bible].” Read the rest of this entry…

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Lecture Presented by Yeshiva College and Revel Offers Insight into the Linguistic and Cultural Process of Becoming Frum

Dr. Sarah Benor, an expert on the social science of American Jews, discussed several key concepts from her book, Becoming Frum: How Newcomers Learn the Language and Culture of Orthodox Judaism (Rutgers University Press, 2012), at an October 15 lecture on YU’s Wilf Campus. The talk was presented by Yeshiva College’s Department of Jewish Studies and the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies.

Dr. Sarah Benor, addresses Yeshiva College and Revel students.

Dr. Sarah Benor, addresses Yeshiva College and Revel students.

Based on her research studying the members of a Jewish community in Philadelphia for a year, Benor explored their distinctive culture and language and explained how ba’alei teshuva [newly religious] acquire those speech patterns as part of the process of joining the Orthodox community. Read the rest of this entry…

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Faculty from Across Yeshiva University Granted Tenure

A stellar faculty is the backbone of a great university. This year, Yeshiva University appointed 20 of its most distinguished faculty members in the fields of the arts, sciences and Judaic studies to tenured positions in both its undergraduate and graduate schools. The faculty members include five from Yeshiva College, five from Stern College for Women, four from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, two from the Benjamin N. Cardozo school of Law, and one each at the Sy Syms School of Business, the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies and the Wurzweiler School of Social Work.

“The quality of the faculty at Yeshiva meets its academic and civilizational aspirations,” said YU President Richard M. Joel. “The scholars who now comprise the faculty of this University bring the elegance of thought, the rigor of research and the commitment of service that can serve as a model to all of our students.” Read the rest of this entry…

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Kanarfogel Named E. Billi Ivry University Professor of Jewish History, Literature and Law; Wins Goldstein-Goren Book Award

Dr. Ephraim Kanarfogel, of Teaneck, NJ, has been appointed a University Professor at Yeshiva University, the sixth faculty member in the entire University to be granted this prestigious distinction. His new title, bestowed upon him by YU President Richard M. Joel, designates him as the E. Billi Ivry University Professor of Jewish History, Literature and Law.

Dr. Ephraim Kanarfogel

Dr. Ephraim Kanarfogel

The title of university professor is reserved for those who have achieved outstanding goals in teaching, publications and research.

“It is a great honor, well deserved,” said Dr. Lawrence H. Schiffman, vice provost for undergraduate education. “Dr. Kanarfogel’s overall contribution to Yeshiva University and his prodigious scholarship and publications make him a fitting holder of a university professorship. His extensive use of unpublished manuscripts and his methodological sophistication have made possible pioneering, original scholarship.” Read the rest of this entry…

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Rabbi Josh Joseph Appointed Senior Vice President of Yeshiva University

President Richard M. Joel has appointed Rabbi Josh Joseph as senior vice president of Yeshiva University.

Rabbi Josh Joseph

Rabbi Josh Joseph

In addition to his current responsibilities as chief of staff, Joseph will launch the next phase in the University’s strategic planning process and guide its university-wide implementation. He will also work to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of various departments around the University, developing collaboration opportunities and proper partnerships between and among faculty, administration, staff, students and trustees. Read the rest of this entry…

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Graduate Profile: Willie Roth, Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary

A common spirit runs throughout Yeshiva University: the mandate to matter.

Students of all ages and backgrounds come here to pursue a range of professional and personal dreams, from scientific research and medicine to law, Jewish education or public policy. Our students seek to harness their unique talents and YU education to make a lasting impact on the world around them. This spring, when they graduate from YU, these new alumni will hit the ground running.

In the weeks leading up to CommencementYU News will feature one remarkable graduate from each school, reflecting, in their own words, on their time here, their passions and their dreams for the future.

Meet the Class of 2013.

Willie Roth

Following his semikha studies at RIETS, Willie Roth will attend Harvard Law School in the fall.

Name: Willie Roth

School: Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS)

Hometown: Teaneck, NJ

Passion: Halakha and law

What is unique about semikha studies at RIETS?

RIETS is the only place where a rabbinical student can learn from first-rate talmidei chachamim [Torah scholars], poskim [deciders of Jewish law], rabbanim and mental health professionals all under one roof. Whether you’re in rabbanus [rabbinate] or Jewish education, a rabbi’s job entails many different responsibilities. You need training indifferent areas and exposure to many kinds of experts. RIETS offers a comprehensive and holistic approach to a rabbinical career. Read the rest of this entry…

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Graduate Profile: Shira Weiss, Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies

A common spirit runs throughout Yeshiva University: the mandate to matter.

Students of all ages and backgrounds come here to pursue a range of professional and personal dreams, from scientific research and medicine to law, Jewish education or public policy. Our students seek to harness their unique talents and YU education to make a lasting impact on the world around them. This spring, when they graduate from YU, these new alumni will hit the ground running.

In the weeks leading up to CommencementYU News will feature one remarkable graduate from each school, reflecting, in their own words, on their time here, their passions and their dreams for the future.

Meet the Class of 2013.

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Revel’s Shira Weiss left a career in finance to pursue Jewish studies.

Name: Shira Weiss

School: Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies

Hometown: Southfield, Michigan

Passion: Jewish philosophy

At Revel, you earned both a master’s and doctoral degree. What fascinates you about Judaic studies?

An Orthodox upbringing and education had given me a firm religious foundation, but I sought to explore and substantiate my convictions and observance through the study of philosophy. 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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