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President Joel and Rabbi Penner Address Undergraduate Torah Studies Students on Wilf Campus

Undergraduate Torah Studies on the Wilf Campus officially kicked off on Monday, August 25 with an opening kennus to mark the beginning of a new zman at the Yeshiva University.

The kennus, which took place in the Lamport Auditorium, featured remarks from President Richard M. Joel and Rabbi Menachem Penner, Max and Marion Grill Dean of YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS),  all connected to the themes of ahavat Yisrael and the upcoming month of Elul.  In attendance were students, Roshei Yeshiva, faculty, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Dr. Henry Kressel.

“On the one hand, the zman already started because this morning the beit midrash was louder than ever before,” said Rabbi Penner. “But to establish something kodesh, we must have this special kennus.” Read the rest of this entry…

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Yeshiva University and RIETS Family Mourn Passing of Rabbi Gershon Yankelewitz zt”l

Yeshiva University and its affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) are saddened by the loss of Rabbi Gershon Yankelewitz, who passed away on August 19. The longtime senior Rosh Yeshiva was 104.

Rabbi Gershon Yankelewitz zt"l

Rabbi Gershon Yankelewitz zt”l

“Rabbi Yankelewitz by his nature and learning so represented both our history and our destiny,” said YU President Richard M. Joel. “For over half a century he taught his students how to learn and how to live. We will always remember him.” Read the rest of this entry…

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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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Yeshiva University and Orthodox Union Offer Joint Learning Programs for Three Weeks and Tisha B’Av

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

The Three Weeks begin on Tuesday, July 15— the Fast of Shiva Asar B’Tammuz, the Fast of the 17th of Tammuz, with its restrictions on levity. The Nine Days, with its deeper restrictions, begin on Sunday night, July 27, Rosh Chodesh Av. Tisha B’Av itself, the Ninth of Av, extends from Monday evening August 4, until nightfall Tuesday, August 5.

“We are proud to partner with the Orthodox Union in providing our community with an inspirational program for Tisha B’Av,” said Rabbi Yaakov Glasser, David Mitzner Dean of the CJF. “This collection of shiurim address the meaning and poignancy of Tisha B’Av in the framework of our contemporary Jewish experience.” Read the rest of this entry…

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After 13 Years at the Helm, Outgoing Azrieli Dean Sheds Light on Advances in the Field

YU-121412-Dr-Schnall (1)On June 30, Dr. David Schnall will step down after 13 years as dean of Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration. An author and Fulbright Scholar, he expects to resume teaching and publishing at YU after a brief sabbatical. Schnall, who was recently named University Professor of Jewish Culture and Society, sat down with YU News to share his unique perspective and insight into the communal changes that are redefining the field of Jewish education and to discuss new frontiers for both the field and Azrieli.

Q: How have you seen the field of Jewish education change during your tenure as dean of Azrieli?

DS: To my mind, the focus of Jewish community life, particularly Orthodox Jewish life, has moved from social services and the synagogue to the school. The famous Mishna in Avot tells us that the world rests on three props: the study of Torah, prayer, and acts of mercy and compassion. It’s been suggested that Jews in the United States have accomplished all that, but in reverse order.

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CJF-RIETS, in Conjunction With Cardozo, Present Conflict Resolution Workshop For Rabbis

A group of 15 rabbis convened in New York City for a three-day seminar, May 19-21, on mediation training, organized by Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) – Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), in conjunction with the Kukin Program for Conflict Resolution at YU’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

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Adam Berner, seated, and Sequoia Stalder presented a workshop for rabbis on conflict resolution

The training was presented by attorneys Adam Berner and Sequoia Stalder, both expert trainers in the field of mediation and conflict resolution.

“By definition, rabbis here and in all places are serving so many different roles—in the pulpit, as teachers and as educators, working with many people, and people have differences,” said Berner, an alumnus of RIETS and Cardozo and an assistant professor at Cardozo. “This workshop is a frame of how best to help these leaders deal with differences, how to manages the realities of being in a community and how to take conflict and see it is an opportunity for growth, learning and change, for themselves and for others.” Read the rest of this entry…

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From Tape Cassettes to Mobile Apps: How YUTorah Grew Into The Leading Site For Online Torah Study

It started with one semicha [rabbinic] student.

yutorah-screenshot3While studying at Yeshiva University-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, Rabbi Marc Spivak was training for a career as a pulpit rabbi outside the tri-state area—but he didn’t want to miss out on the advanced learning and shiurim [Torah lectures] he loved at YU. He began taping shiur after shiur at the University, building a collection of Torah lectures he’d be able to listen to anywhere, any time. When his apartment could no longer hold the sheer volume of tapes he’d created, he tried digital storage, learning how to encode the shiurim and burn them to CDs. Eventually, with help from YU student Chaim Jaskoll and other Jews still exploring the internet’s fledgling potential, Spivak turned to the emerging world of online media, uploading all the shiurim he had recorded to a single website where they would remain accessible, for free, to any Jew, anywhere in the world, who wanted to broaden their Torah horizons.

That turned out to be just the beginning. The site was an instant hit. Spivak joined what would eventually become known as YU’s Center for the Jewish Future to embark on an even more ambitious project: recording and uploading shiurim Yeshiva-wide. Excited donors contributed recording equipment and initial server space, while students and YU faculty added a growing number of shiurim to the site daily. Before long, the site had expanded beyond YU’s borders, receiving submissions and listenership from Torah figures and institutions around the world.

Today, that website is known as YUTorah, and with over 90,000 shiurim—and counting—it’s the leading site for online Torah study. Read the rest of this entry…

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From World-Class Faculty to Unique Opportunities, Seniors Reflect on Yeshiva University Experience

On May 22, some 600 new graduates will march across the stage at the Izod Center to receive their diplomas during Yeshiva University’s 83rd Commencement Exercises, completing a foundational chapter in their educational journeys and moving on to exciting new opportunities. Before they toss their caps in the air, members of the Class of 2014 shared some of their favorite moments and the profound experiences that shaped their undergraduate careers, as well as dreams that started here but which they will carry with them all their lives.

“Yeshiva University created opportunities that I never dreamed of,” said Yosefa Schoor, of Monsey, New York, who hopes to attend medical school. Read the rest of this entry…

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Rabbi David Baruch Lau Meets with Roshei Yeshiva, Center for the Jewish Future Staff

20140508_chief_rabbi_53On May 8, Rabbi David Baruch Lau, the Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel, visited Yeshiva University. The chief rabbi met with Roshei Yeshiva at YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and YU President Richard M. Joel. He also spoke with YU’s Center for the Jewish Future senior staff about their work around the world with rabbis, communities and students, and toured the Wilf Campus and the Jacob and Dreizel Glueck Center for Jewish Studies with students.

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President Richard M. Joel on Banayich and Bonayich: Two Halves of a Nuanced Whole

This past Sunday, I joined thousands of celebrants in Yeshiva University’s Lamport Auditorium for a most joyous occasion, as a record 230 of our young rabbinical students received their ordination, from our Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.

13380712214_f4ef10fb63_zThe atmosphere at this quadrennial Chag HaSemikhah event, attended by more than 3,000 people on our Wilf Campus, was simply electric; the potential energy latent in the collective capacity of these young men reverberated in the room, throughout our campus, and around our Jewish world.

The moment was not merely memorable – it served as a dramatic demonstration of Jewish vibrancy and Torah vitality in our day, a ceremonial call to arms for the incoming leadership of our people. Read the rest of this entry…

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