Yeshiva University News » Senior

Elie Bochner's research centered on improving medical x-ray scans so that patients would not be exposed to dangerously high radiation dosages.

Feb 13, 2008 — Elie Bochner, a senior at Yeshiva University High School for Boys/The Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy, was designated a semi-finalist in the 2007-2008 Intel Science Talent Search for research he conducted at the State University of New York at Stony Brook during the Simons Summer Research Program. Of the approximately 1,700 students who entered the Intel competition, also referred to as the “Junior Nobel Prize,” Bochner stands among the elite 300 as a semi-finalist.

The senior’s summer research centered on improving medical x-ray scans so that patients would not be exposed to dangerously high radiation dosages, as the procedure must produce sufficiently large signals to overcome the electronic noise associated with the image readout process. Bochner was charged with improving a new x-ray detector patented by Dr. Wei Zhao, professor in the departments of biomedical engineering and radiology at SUNY-Stony Brook.

“I enjoyed the research, especially because it has applications that can benefit society,” said Bochner, who—along with the high school—received a $1,000 award for the achievement.

The Intel Science Talent Search is America’s oldest science research competition for high school seniors. It provides a national stage for the country’s best and brightest young scientists to present original research to nationally recognized professional scientists.

Dr. Zhao’s detector, which amplifies the signal without increasing the radiation dosages, contained a layer that was not perfectly flat, and as a result, the signal gain, which depends on the thickness of that layer, was not uniform. High-quality images cannot be produced unless the layer is sufficiently flat. Bochner developed a method to correct that imperfection while maintaining the radiological capabilities of the detector.

Bochner spent multiple all-nighters a week as part of the prestigious Simons Summer Research Program conducting his experiments, preparing chemical solutions, and working to achieve conclusive results on his project. He also dedicated time to the more mathematical oriented but theoretical component of the research.

“Elie is one of the most motivated students we’ve come across,” said Ed Berliner, PhD, executive director of science management and clinical professor of physics at YU, who also teaches at YUHS-Boys. “He’s always curious, always driving to the end.”

Aside from his talents in the engineering and research field, Bochner is president of his high school debate team, editor of one of its magazines, The Scope, and associate editor of the school newspaper. After graduation, he intends to study engineering, possibly at Yeshiva College.


YU's Jackie Saxe with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

Sep 6, 2007 — Jackie Saxe of San Diego, a senior at Yeshiva University’s (YU) Stern College for Women (SCW), was one of four students nationwide appointed to the executive committee of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Each year AIPAC appoints four exceptional student leaders to its executive committee in recognition of their special dedication and unique perspective. As part of AIPAC’s leadership, these accomplished campus activists travel to Washington, DC four times a year to hear from Middle East scholars and foreign policy experts, and to lobby side by side with their counterparts off campus.

Ms. Saxe, a communications and political science major, has been an active member of AIPAC and took on the role of YU’s AIPAC campus liaison because she “believes that her peers have unlimited potential to influence the political system in ways that support Israel.” She was selected for AIPAC’s Diamond Summer Internship Program, a well-regarded political leadership training program, and was one of six YU students recognized as activist of the year at AIPAC’s annual conference in Washington, DC last March.

“I look forward to representing YU and the modern orthodox pro-Israel community at the executive committee meetings and on the Hill. I am a proud American and Zionist and I believe that the U.S.-Israel relationship is essential for both countries,” Ms. Saxe said.
Founded in 1886, Yeshiva University brings together the heritage of Western civilization and the ancient traditions of Jewish law and life. More than 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students study at YU’s four New York City campuses: the Wilf Campus, Israel Henry Beren Campus, Brookdale Center, and Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus. YU’s three undergraduate schools –– Yeshiva College, Stern College for Women, and Sy Syms School of Business ––– offer a unique dual program comprised of Jewish studies and liberal arts courses. Its graduate and affiliate schools include Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, and Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. YU is ranked among the nation’s leading academic research institutions.


David Makovsky

Feb 16, 2007 — Are Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations a necessary component to finding a comprehensive solution to the war in Iraq? Two experts on Middle East issues – David Makovsky and Raghida Dergham – will discuss “Does the Road to Peace in Iraq Go Through Jerusalem?” on Monday, February 26 at 8 pm at the Schottenstein Cultural Center of Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, 239 East 34th Street.

Mr. Makovsky, is a Senior Fellow and Director of The Washington Institute’s Project on the Middle East Peace Process, and an adjunct lecturer in Middle Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. Mr. Makovsky will report on his recent meetings with Israeli officials and Arab leaders in the Persian Gulf.

Ms. Dergham is the Senior Diplomatic Correspondent for the London-based Al Hayat, the leading independent Arabic daily. Ms. Dergham is also a political analyst for MSNBC and NBC News and a member of The Council on Foreign Relations. She will present first-hand accounts on her meetings with diplomats at the Davos World Economic Forum and how world leaders perceive future diplomacy on this issue.

The Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Scholar-in-Residence Program is sponsoring the event. Dr. Robbins-Wilf, a founding member of the Stern College Board of Directors, established and funded the program, which brings top scholars, authors, artists, and
policy-shapers to Stern College, offering students unique perspectives on the world.

Admission to the panel discussion is free with valid photo ID. For information and to RSVP email or call 212-960-5400 x5869.

Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University offers a challenging, rigorous dual-track education of liberal arts and sciences and Jewish studies to approximately 1,000 undergraduates at the School’s Beren Campus in midtown Manhattan. Stern is known especially for excellence in sciences, social sciences, and humanities and for graduates who, as leaders in their communities and chosen careers, bring to all their activities deep knowledge of Jewish values and heritage.


May 9, 2005 — Shalom Sokolow of Manhattan, a senior at Yeshiva University High School for Boys (YUHS) in Washington Heights, received a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship for his performance on the 2003 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Mr. Sokolow, 17, received a score of 224 out of 240 on the PSAT and was one of 2,500 high school seniors across the country to receive the scholarship. The students were chosen from a pool of 15,000 finalists.

Mr. Sokolow will study at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Israel next year, after which he will attend Columbia University to study political science. At YUHS, he is vice president of both the debate team and ARISTA, the school’s National Honors Society. Mr. Sokolow is also editor of The Academy News, the school’s newspaper.

“I was very surprised and very pleased to have received the scholarship,” Mr. Sokolow said. One of his favorite subjects is history, which enables him to “understand the circumstances that created the world in which we now live.”

Scholarship recipients were selected by a committee that evaluated each candidate’s skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in college studies.

“Shalom’s academic achievements, along with his demonstrated leadership ability and maturity, explain why he is so highly regarded by teachers, administration, and peers,” said Ya’acov Sklar, YUHS principal. “He is an independent thinker and needs virtually no direct guidance on how to tackle complex issues.”

Mr. Sokolow is the son of Judy and Moshe Sokolow.


Feb 24, 2005 — Avishai (Isaac) Chelst, a Southfield, MI, native and senior at The Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy – Yeshiva University High School for Boys (MSTA) in New York City, was one of 236 students nationwide to be named a Distinguished Finalist of the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards for his community service project Aliyat Regel, an eight-week exercise program.

Through Aliyat Regel, 60 students at MSTA walked 5,700 miles – the distance between New York and Jerusalem – around Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus in upper Manhattan from October to the end of January. Mr. Chelst recorded miles walked by each participant, and a local travel agency donated a voucher toward a free airline trip to Jerusalem to the student who logged the most miles.

Concerned about his own fitness, Mr. Chelst initiated the exercise program to also encourage his classmates to exercise. The name Aliyat Regel alludes to the Biblical commandment for Jews to travel to Jerusalem on the holidays of Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkoth.

“It feels great to be recognized for Aliyat Regel,” Mr. Chelst, 17, said. “It’s also nice to see the project recognized for motivating students to walk for their own health.”

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is a nationwide program honoring young people for acts of volunteerism. In its 10th year, the awards program is conducted by Prudential Financial, Inc. in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).


Feb 4, 2005 — Dr. Jacob J. Schacter has been appointed University Professor of Jewish History and Jewish Thought and also Senior Scholar at Yeshiva University’s (YU) Center for the Jewish Future by President Richard M. Joel, effective this fall. University Professor is a special faculty position that allows Dr. Schacter, working in association with the deans, to teach and develop multidisciplinary initiatives at various academic units of the university. The position of Senior Scholar will enable Rabbi Schacter to play a prominent role in the new Center’s development.

Rabbi Schacter comes to YU after serving for five years as dean of the Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik Institute in Brookline, MA. A leading scholar and educator, Rabbi Schacter graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Brooklyn College and received a PhD in Near Eastern Languages from Harvard University, where he was a teaching fellow. At YU, he directed the Torah Umadda Project from 1986 to 1997, and was an adjunct assistant professor at Stern College for Women from 1993 to 1999.

“Rabbi Schacter is one of the nation’s premier Jewish educators and leaders,” said President Joel. “As a faculty member at YU, he will be essential to our goals of providing academic excellence to our students and to enriching our responsibility to our communities through education and outreach. We are very fortunate to have him join us on our journey of shaping a comprehensive vision of American Jewry.”

Rabbi Schacter was the senior rabbi of The Jewish Center in New York City from 1981 to 2000. He is the founding editor of The Torah Umadda Journal and co-author, with YU Prof. Jeffrey Gurock, of A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community: Mordecai M. Kaplan, Orthodoxy, and American Judaism (Columbia University Press, 1997). Additionally, he is the author of some 50 articles and reviews in Hebrew and English as well as editor of several books.

“Rabbi Schacter, whose expertise will help shape the Center, has been an outstanding mentor to many rabbis and Jewish communal leaders,” commented Rabbi Kenneth Brander, incoming dean of the Center for the Jewish Future.

Rabbi Schacter has served as founding president of the Council of Orthodox Jewish Organizations of the Upper West Side of Manhattan. He is currently a faculty member of The Wexner Foundation and The Wexner Heritage Foundation, and a member of the board of governors of the Orthodox Union. He also sits on the editorial boards of Tradition, Jewish Action, and Bechol Derachecha Da’ehu.

“For many years I considered Yeshiva University as my ideological home and I am honored for it now to be my professional home as well,” Rabbi Schacter said.


Jul 28, 2004 — For most students, summer internships mean long hours pecking away at a computer. For Yonatan Goetz, however, it’s a chance to hone his nautical know-how.

A Baltimore native and senior at Sy Syms School of Business, Mr. Goetz is no stranger to the city’s Inner Harbor. This is his fourth summer working for the Water Taxi – but his first as captain.

Mr. Goetz started working on boats as a deck hand at 14. He landed his first job with the Water Taxi in 2001 as a mate – collecting fares, providing tourist information, and docking the boat. This spring, he received his captain’s license from the U.S. Coast Guard.

As captain, he runs the entire operation of the boat – from supervising the mate and ensuring passenger safety, to navigating the boat to its various landings within the harbor.

“Working on the water taxi is definitely a unique and fun summer job and it’s a relaxed environment,” Mr. Goetz said. “But there is a management aspect to this.”

At Sy Syms, Mr. Goetz is a management major and a member of the Max Investment Club. To receive internship credit, he keeps a journal and will write a paper at the end of the summer. His supervisor will also submit an evaluation.

Ira Jaskoll, associate dean of Sy Syms, said Mr. Goetz will gain practical work and management experience at the Baltimore Water Taxi.

“Because he’s supervising another employee and managing an operation, the Baltimore Water Taxi is a great venue for Yonatan to apply what he is learning as a business management major,” he said.


Jul 21, 2004 — Sy Syms School of Business senior Reuben Kerben received an honorable mention and $100 for his business plan at the Palo Alto Software 2004 Business Plan Competition.

Mr. Kerben, a finance major from Great Neck, NY, presented his plan for his venture company Bionex Corp., which seeks to provide fingerprint recognition technology for credit card purchases. He is currently working with several banks and credit card issuers across the United States to introduce the biometric credit card.

“The fact that I received an honorable mention from Palo Alto is a personal milestone,” he said. “It sends a clear message to me and to my classmates at Sy Syms that the institution and professors really prepare students for writing an exceptional and award-winning business plan.”

Mr. Kerben’s business plan also received third place and $2,000 in Sy Syms’ Dr. William Schwartz Business Plan Competition held last March.

“Reuben has all the instincts of a dedicated entrepreneur whose keen sense of market need will play a major role in his future success,” said Lawrence Bellman, assistant professor of management and marketing at Sy Syms. “In an undergraduate entrepreneurial program, students who are tasked to conceive a business idea and write a business plan usually do so without the business experience that enables the venture to succeed. Reuben’s efforts reflect a business person’s view of a market need and the tools needed to successfully launch a new venture.”

Palo Alto Software develops and markets business planning software. Contestants in its business plan competition are judged by business planning experts on various criteria, including management strengths, nature of the business case, business strategy, and competitive analysis.


President Joel and members of the Class of 2004

May 11, 2004 — More than 130 members of the Class of 2004 spent May 10, Lag Baomer, socializing, celebrating, and frisbee-throwing at the first annual senior barbeque hosted by President and Esther Joel at their house in Riverdale.

First Annual Senior Barbeque Photo Gallery

President Joel saluted their achievements and spoke about leadership and pride as essential pillars of their YU education.


Chanoch Goldfeder

May 5, 2004 — A fellowship from the U.S. Department of Defense is helping Chanoch Goldfeder on his way to Columbia University next fall, where he will work toward a master’s degree and a doctorate in computer science.

Mr. Goldfeder, 21, received the prestigious National Defense Science and Engineering Fellowship, which covers tuition and fees and offers a stipend.

“I am really excited,” Mr. Goldfeder said. “It was the first acceptance I received and it was the fellowship I really wanted.”

Mr. Goldfeder, who will graduate with a double major in math and computer science, will conduct research in the robotics lab of Dr. Peter Allen, professor of computer science at Columbia University.

“I would like to be a professor and conduct research and I’d also like to be involved in Jewish communal services,” he said.

During his years at YC, Mr. Goldfeder was a member of the computer science society and the dramatics society. He was also active in the Max Stern Division of Communal Services.

“Chanoch showed a high degree of creativity in his approach to problem solving,” said Dr. Gabriel Cwilich, associate professor of physics at YC. “I used to post online puzzles that related to creative applications of the material covered in class. Chanoch even established a warning system in his pager that would alert him when I typed anything in that particular Web page.”

The defense department granted 170 fellowships, 13 of which are for computer and computational science.