Yeshiva University News » RIETS

Rabbinical Seminary Honors Communal Leaders and Educators at Annual Dinner

Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), an affiliate of Yeshiva University, will celebrate dedicated leaders and educators of the Jewish community at its Annual Gala Evening of Tribute on Sunday, March 8, 2015 at The Grand Hyatt in New York City. The dinner will honor the memory of Herb Smilowitz, z”l, as well as Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of the Orthodox Union Kosher Division, and Rabbi Ronald Schwarzberg, director of the Morris and Gertrude Bienenfeld Department of Jewish Career Development and Placement at YU’s Center for the Jewish Future.

“Vital in its approach and vibrant in its tradition, RIETS has provided an unsurpassed educational experience in the classic mold of the great yeshivot for more than a century,” said Joel Schreiber, chair of RIETS. “The seminary is a fountain of great Torah wisdom and a pre-eminent source of professional rabbinic leadership for the next generation and beyond.”

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Murray and Basheva Goldberg Dedicate Pastoral Psychology Program at RIETS

For Murray and Basheva Goldberg, of Teaneck, New Jersey, a gift to support Yeshiva University was an opportunity to make a lasting impact on as many people as possible. When the Goldbergs learned of the pastoral psychology program at YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), where students studying for the rabbinate learn how to best guide their congregants and community members through both celebratory and challenging times, they knew they’d found their philanthropic match.

Murray and Basheva Goldberg

Murray and Basheva Goldberg

“By supporting the pastoral psychology program, we’re not only affecting the men sitting in the classrooms at a specific time, but we’re also positively impacting everyone those students will go on to serve as rabbis,” said Basheva Goldberg ’65YUHS, ’69S, who remembers her time at YU fondly. “We also feel confident that these young men will take the message of YU—its hashkafah [outlook] of Torah Umadda—and successfully give that message over to so many.”

For many in the Jewish community, their rabbi is the first person they turn to when seeking guidance on meeting personal challenges or addressing questions concerning faith, family and friends. The pastoral psychology program at RIETS explores some of the basic concepts, principles and requisite skills for rabbis who seek to be effective counselors and educators. Topics include mental health issues, domestic violence and substance abuse. Training is also offered on how to develop listening and communication skills and how to apply the basic types of psychotherapeutic approaches in a pastoral setting. Even students who are obtaining semicha [rabbinical ordination] but are not planning to enter the rabbinate are required to take courses in pastoral psychology since the fundamentals from these classes are beneficial to myriad other professions. Read the rest of this entry…

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Winter Break Torah Study Program Draws 72 Students

It may be cold outside but inside Yeshiva University’s Glueck Beit Midrash the warmth of Torah learning continues during winter break. Rather than traveling to warmer climes, 72 undergraduate students have opted to stay in yeshiva for the popular Bein HaSemesterim [Between the Semesters] program that runs from January 6 – 19.

Yeshiva University“That so many talmidim [students] stay is a real testament to the strength and vibrancy of the Torah environment and energy the Yeshiva has to offer and a real testament to the talmidim,” said Rabbi Elisha Bacon, assistant dean of undergraduate Torah studies.

Now a program of YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), Bein HaSemesterim originally began seven years ago after two students presented the need for such an effort to President Richard M. Joel, said Rabbi Bacon. Read the rest of this entry…

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Leading Online Torah Study Resource Surpasses Major Milestone 

Begun as an ad-hoc gathering of shiur [lecture] recordings, YUTorah has become a formidable force in the spread of Torah learning worldwide, reaching a major milestone upon passing the 100,000 shiur mark this January.

yutorah“The growth of YUTorah has been exponential,” said Rabbi Robert Shur, director of YUTorah since 2007. “What started in 2004 with a little over 1,000 shiurim grew to 10,000 about two and a half years later. It took another five years to get to 50,000, with the second 50,000 taking less than three years.”

The list of contributors and lecturers is extensive, from across Yeshiva University and around the world. While some contributors have just a handful of recordings, there are 20 rabbis or lecturers with more than 1,000 uploaded to the site. Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Nathan and Vivian Fink Distinguished Professorial Chair in Talmud, and Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz, a daf yomi [daily Talmud study] contributor and host of the “Ten Minute Halacha” series on the site, each have more than 4,000. The recent addition of some 3,500 shiurim of Rabbi Moshe Weinberger, mashpiah at YU, now available free to the public for the first time, helped YUTorah break the 100,000 mark. Read the rest of this entry…

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Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus Rabbis Across North America Maintain Close RIETS Ties

Graduates of YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) serving as Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC) rabbis at east coast college campuses returned to Yeshiva University to reconnect and meet with Roshei Yeshiva and administration on December 24.

RIETS - JLIC Panel

RIETS graduates and current JLIC rabbis returned to Yeshiva University on December 24 to reconnect and discuss issues they face on college campuses.

JLIC, a program administered by the Orthodox Union and Hillel, “helps Orthodox students navigate the college environment and balance their Jewish commitments,” explained Rabbi Ronald Schwarzberg, director of the Morris and Gertrude Bienenfeld Department of Jewish Career Development and Placement Center for the Jewish Future-RIETS.

He added, the JLIC couples are there “to inspire and learn with Orthodox affiliated students on campus, to open their homes and create an atmosphere where students will feel welcome and continue to remain engaged with their Judaism while on campus.” Read the rest of this entry…

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Yeshiva University and RIETS Present December 25 Yarchei Kallah 

Yeshiva University and the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) will present a communitywide Yarchei Kallah [gathering for Torah study] Thursday, December 25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Jacob and Dreizel Glueck Center for Jewish Studies, 515 West 185th Street, New York City.

Sessions will focus on current issues facing the land of Israel, including shemittah [the Sabbatical year], the Temple Mount, halachic [Jewish law] ramifications of Israel’s proposed conversion bill, archeology in Jerusalem, as well as communal and social matters. Read the rest of this entry…

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Students, Faculty and Alumni Honored as Points of Light at Hanukkah Dinner

Students, faculty and alumni who embody the mission of Yeshiva University were recognized as “Points of Light” during the dinner portion of Yeshiva University’s 90th Annual Hanukkah Dinner and Convocation, held at New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria on December 14.

“The lesson of Hanukkah is that the Jewish people must cast the light of our values onto the world,” said YU President Richard M. Joel. “Tonight, we publicize the lights that represent the past, present, and future of Yeshiva University.”

Read more about the Points of Light below. Read the rest of this entry…

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Yeshiva University Celebrates Rabbi Dr. Bernard Rosensweig’s 38 Years of Dedicated Service

After 38 years of molding students’ minds and expanding their Torah horizons at Yeshiva College, Rabbi Dr. Bernard Rosensweig, visiting professor of Jewish history, literature and philosophy at Yeshiva University, will be retiring at the end of this semester.  On Thursday, December 11, some 100 friends, relatives and colleagues came to pay tribute and celebrate the beloved educator’s career at a reception held at Weisberg Commons on the Wilf Campus.

“Rabbi Dr. Rosensweig has touched thousands of talmidim [students] with his warmth, wisdom, wit and passion for Jewish history and the Jewish community,” said Rabbi Menachem Penner, Max and Marion Grill Dean of Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and Undergraduate Torah Studies. “He is beloved by students and colleagues. I, myself, was a talmid several decades ago, and have never ceased being a talmid.” Read the rest of this entry…

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Yeshiva University Offers Online Child Abuse Prevention Course for Rabbis

Early each Monday morning, from 1:30 to 3:30 a.m., Rabbi Alon Meltzer wakes up and logs on to his computer, joining 20 other rabbis from countries around the world who are participating in a new online Yeshiva University course designed to help rabbinic leaders identify and protect their communities from the dangers of child abuse. As rabbi of the ACT Jewish Community, Inc., in Canberra, Australia, he considers the sleep loss a small price to pay.

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Victor Vieth

“It’s imperative that we, as rabbis in the Orthodox world, understand as much as we can about child abuse if we are going to navigate the complexity of emotions and pain of congregants, or anyone who has experienced an atrocity like this, as they seek guidance,” said Meltzer. “Continuing my education is paramount and the opportunities afforded to me through YU grants me, and by extension my community, access to the brightest minds in an array of fields.”

Jointly offered by YU’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF), YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center, the course, “Addressing Child Abuse: Defining Roles, Enhancing Skills,” takes place over 12 weeks and features experts in fields that run the gamut from synagogue safety to emotional healing.

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Rabbi Yigal Sklarin ’02YC, ’07R, ’11BR Wins Prestigious Prize for Leading Jewish Educators

Yeshiva University alumnus Rabbi Yigal Sklarin ’02YC, ’07R, ’11BR was recently awarded the prestigious Pomegranate Prize from the Covenant Foundation, which recognizes five passionate and talented emerging leaders in Jewish education who have been working in the field for 10 years or less.

Rabbi Yigal Sklarin (right), recipient of the Pomegranate Prize, with Eli Evans, chairman of the Covenant Foundation

Rabbi Yigal Sklarin (right), recipient of the Pomegranate Prize, with Eli Evans, chairman of the Covenant Foundation

Sklarin earned his BA in history from Yeshiva College, where he received the Max and Sophie Manicoff Award for Excellence in Talmud. He received semicha [rabbinic ordination] from YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and was a member of the Wexner Kollel Elyon. He also completed an MA from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, where he is now pursuing a PhD in Modern Jewish History.

“It is very humbling to be in the company of educators who have accomplished so much,” said Sklarin. “I look forward to being part of the cohort at the Covenant Foundation, including the past Covenant awardees and Pomegranate Prize recipients, and learning from the talented field of educators.” Read the rest of this entry…

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