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RIETS and Revel Student Daniel Goldberg Participates in Prestigious Fellowship at Auschwitz for Study of Professional Ethics

A newly ordained Catholic priest from Kenya, a Mennonite theological student at Princeton University, a Muslim student in a hijab from Harvard Divinity School, and Daniel Goldberg, a semicha [rabbinic ordination] student at Yeshiva University-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, walked into a Polish synagogue.

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FASPE Seminary Fellows walk to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

It may sound like the setup to a great joke, but for Goldberg, it was one of many eye-opening experiences during his two-week Fellowship at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE), a highly selective program for future clergy that explores the history of the Holocaust through the lens of contemporary ethics and firsthand visits to Auschwitz and other sites throughout Germany and Poland.

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Tenure Awarded to Faculty From Schools Across University

Continuing to build an intellectually diverse and rich scholarly community on campus and bolstering its top-level academic offerings, Yeshiva University has granted tenure to eight faculty members from across its undergraduate and graduate schools, in fields ranging from art history to mathematics and Judaic studies.

“After an arduous review, these newly tenured professors join an outstanding faculty who testify to the quality of Yeshiva University,” said Dr. Selma Botman, provost and vice president for academic affairs at YU. “Along with our recent reaccreditation and commendation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, faculty such as these exceptional educators, who bring distinction to our institution while dedicating themselves to student success and research excellence, are the hallmarks of a great university.” Read the rest of this entry…

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Rakeffet’s Bernard Revel Biography Republished; Yeshiva University Presents May 4 Book Launch and Lecture

Yeshiva University Press, in conjunction with OU Press, announces the republication of two landmark books by Rabbi Dr. Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff, professor of rabbinic literature at YU’s Caroline and Joseph S. Gruss Institute, Bernard Revel: Builder of American Orthodoxy and The Silver Era: Rabbi Eliezer Silver and His Generation.

Out of print but in demand for many years, these biographies tell the stories of two of the most important leaders of American Orthodox Judaism in the 20th century. Rabbi Dr. Bernard Revel, the founder of Yeshiva University and its first president, and Rabbi Eliezer Silver, the president and moving force behind Agudath HaRabanim and Vaad Hatzalah, stand as representatives of different communities within Orthodoxy, but they transcended partisan labels. They were each recognized as leaders beyond their own communities because of their passionate dedication to the Jewish people as a whole. Through the lives of Revel and Silver, Rakeffet brings to life the fascinating history of Orthodox Judaism in America, in all its diversity. Read the rest of this entry…

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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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