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 Commencement, YU Newswill 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.
Revel’s Shira Weiss left a career in finance to pursue Jewish studies.
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…
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…
Cohen and Kanarfogel join a group of approximately two dozen leading scholars of Jewish, Christian and Islamic social and intellectual history from universities around the world to conduct research on this year’s theme, “Institutionalization, Innovation and Conflict in 13th Century Judaism,” and develop a more fully-integrated account of Europe and the Mediterranean basin in the 13th century. Read the rest of this entry…
Bequest by Herbert S. Denenberg Trust Establishes Two Yeshiva College Chairs
On February 5, Yeshiva University marked the investiture of two new chairs in Judaic studies at Yeshiva College, endowed through a generous bequest from the Herbert S. Denenberg Trust.
Dr. Yaakov Elman, professor of Judaic studies at Yeshiva College and YU’s Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, was appointed the Herbert S. and Naomi Denenberg Chair in Talmudic Studies, named for Denenberg and his wife. Dr. Moshe Bernstein, professor of Bible and Jewish history at Yeshiva College, was appointed David A. and Fannie M. Denenberg Chair in Biblical Studies, named for Denenberg’s parents.
“Today we establish two chairs in areas central to what YU is all about—the passionate intellectual study of both Bible and Talmud,” said President Richard M. Joel Read the rest of this entry…
The three-volume work—with contributions from Jeffrey S. Gurock, Libby M. Klaperman Professor of Jewish History at Yeshiva University, as well as Howard B. Rock, Annie Polland and Daniel Soyer—explores the relationship Jews have had with New York City and how they have been a visible and integral part of the city’s culture, economy and politics, beginning with the first Jews to arrive to New Amsterdam in 1654, and moving through history to present day.
Yeshiva Alumnus Rabbi Sidney Kleiman Reflects on 100 Years of Judaism in America
Rabbi Sidney Kleiman has seen a few things in his day.
Rabbi Sidney Kleiman, America’s longest-serving and oldest active congregational rabbi, turns 100 in January.
As he approaches his 100th birthday this January, Kleiman is the longest-serving and oldest active congregational rabbi in the United States. He graduated Yeshiva College in 1935, pursued post-graduate work at YU’s Bernard Revel Graduate School for Jewish Studies and received semikha [rabbinic ordination] from Rabbi Moshe Soloveichik, father of Rav Joseph B. Soloveichik, at YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, before becoming the rabbi of New York City’s Congregation Adereth El on East 29th Street in 1939.
Kleiman has served as rabbi of the historic synagogue for more than 60 years, through the Depression, World War II, and all of Israel’s wars. He has also welcomed many of YU’s Stern College for Women students into Adereth El to share in its Shabbat services as the college opened more and more dormitories in the Midtown area. Kleiman stepped into his current role of rabbi emeritus in 1999 and continues to advise current shul leader Rabbi Gideon Shloush, who is also an adjunct instructor of Jewish studies at Stern College.
Kleiman sat down with YU News just a few weeks before his milestone birthday—which he will celebrate with his beloved congregation at a dinner in his honor at the Museum of Jewish Heritage on January 6—to share his memories of Yeshiva and his thoughts on how American Jewry has weathered, and even flourished, over the past century. Read the rest of this entry…
In State of the University Address, President Joel Recounts Progress, Outlines Challenges and Articulates Renewed Vision for the Future
In his first State of the University address, Yeshiva University President Richard M. Joel announced on September 12 that he would accept the Board of Trustees’ offer to extend his term until June 2018 for a planned 15 years in office and outlined his vision for a united and prosperous University, both as an academic and as a communal institution.
“It is here, in this complex and special space, that we can see our future,” said the president before hundreds of alumni, students, faculty and staff in the Gottesman Library Heights Lounge on the Wilf Campus. Hundreds more watched the streaming broadcast of the address online. “If I listen carefully, I hear the murmurings of a consecrated conversation taking place here—a conversation between Torah and the world, between tradition and modernity, between the sacred contents of this beautiful bastion of wisdom and the wide world around it so desperately yearning for the dissemination of those contents.” Read the rest of this entry…
The new dual track program will draw from the best of both graduate schools to provide aspiring Jewish educators with high-level professional preparation by combining the pedagogical teaching in Jewish graduate education offered by Azrieli with the expertise in academic Jewish studies offered by Revel.
Prof. Jeffrey Glanz, Silverstein Chair in Professional Ethics & Values and director of the Azrieli master’s program, and Stuart Halpern, Revel’s assistant director of student programming and community outreach, will jointly coordinate the program.
“The goal of the program is to give the Jewish teacher of the future a well-rounded and complete education in both what to teach and how to teach it,” said Glanz. Read the rest of this entry…
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…
Investigating Landmark Supreme Court Decision, Elie Friedman Publishes Findings on 1967 Academic Freedom Case
It was an issue of academic freedom, cultural change and personal integrity—but Elie Friedman, then a history student at Yeshiva College, needed to know more.
He originally came across the January 1967 Supreme Court case while looking through years of The New York Times back issues for Dr. Ellen Schrecker, professor of American history at Yeshiva College. Schrecker was working on the most recent of her many books, The Lost Soul of Higher Education: Corporatization, the Assault on American Freedom, and the End of the American University, and Friedman, who had just finished his freshman year, was her research assistant. His mission: to seek out and analyze articles that tracked the battle for academic freedom in universities across America over the course of months and years during the 60s and 70s.
“It was a first-hand introduction to history, not just reading about it in books,” said Friedman, a native of Teaneck, NJ. “I was reading newspapers from 40 to 50 years ago day by day, the same way I read newspapers today.”