Yeshiva University News » Student Life

Second Annual CJF Winter Break Service Learning Initiative to Empower 850 Underprivileged Teens

Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future announced today that its “Counterpoint Israel” winter break program, a 10-day mission that aims to empower Israeli teens from low socio-economic backgrounds, has doubled in size with the addition of four new “Winter Camps” in Kiryat Gat and the expansion of the existing program in Kiryat Malachi.

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YU students will impact hundreds of underprivileged Israeli youth this winter break as part of Counterpoint.

With the program returning to the community of Dimona as well, Counterpoint Israel will serve 850 teens in seven student-run camps January 9–19.

Throughout the mission, 42 YU students from North America, Panama and Colombia will guide the Israeli teens through a curriculum focused on English enrichment and self-exploration through art.

“Counterpoint continues to grow in size and expand its influence, impacting entire communities and changing countless lives along the way,” said Kiva Rabinsky, programs director of the CJF’s Department of Service Learning and Experiential Education. Read the rest of this entry…

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At YU Event, MK Naftali Bennett Shares Dream of Israeli Light in the Darkness of Mideast Conflict

Sharing his vision for Israel at a November 19 event on Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus, Knesset Member Naftali Bennett asked the crowd of close to 300 to imagine a lighthouse.

20131119_Naftali_Bennett_083“A lighthouse has strong foundations, which Israel has in our Torah, our very good economy and the most powerful army in the Middle East,” he said. “But any tower has strong foundations. The most important thing a lighthouse does is project light.” Referring to recent unrest in the region, he added, “There is a storm going on and it’s here to stay, from Pakistan to Iran, from Damascus to Yemen. Israel needs to be the lighthouse in that storm.”

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New Students Embark on Their YU Journey as Undergraduate Orientation Kicks Off

This week, Yeshiva University will welcome hundreds of new students to its Wilf and Israel Henry Beren Campuses as they settle in for their first year of study in fields ranging from biology to marketing, political science to Jewish education, mathematics to studio art and beyond. The students’ backgrounds are as diverse as their interests: this year’s incoming class includes natives from across the United States and countries around the world, including Switzerland, Argentina and France, among others. But all of them are united by their decision to inaugurate one of the most important periods of their lives here, at the only institution where they can receive an unmatched academic education and launch their professional careers while deepening their understanding and commitment to Judaism.

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Students, Alumni and Friends of Yeshiva University Turnout to Support Israel at Annual Parade

Led by President Richard M. Joel, more than 1,300 students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of Yeshiva University marched up Fifth Avenue, cheering and greeting the crowds as they celebrated Israel’s 65th year of independence at the 2013 Celebrate Israel Parade on Sunday, June 2.

The student contingent included representatives from the University’s undergraduate schools, affiliated high schools, as well as YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Benjamin N. Cardozo School of law and their families.

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Students Commemorate Israel with Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut Programs

Students, faculty and staff honored the memories of Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror at Yeshiva University’s annual Yom Hazikaron (Israel Memorial Day) ceremony on Monday night, April 15. The moving program featured words of inspiration from President Richard M. Joel; Rabbi Dovid Miller, mashigach ruchani [spiritual advisor], Rabbi Meir Goldwicht, RIETS Rosh Yeshiva, among others, as well as an a cappela performance and memorial candle lighting service.

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NBA Agent to the Stars, Leon Rose, Shares Strategies of Success with Yeshiva University Students

On March 7, members of Yeshiva University’s Sports Management Club had the opportunity to ask their biggest questions to someone who knows a little about the business.

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NBA agent Leon Rose spoke about his career at a Sports Management Club event on the Wilf Campus.

That would be Leon Rose, attorney and sports agent, who represents National Basketball Association stars including Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul, and formerly LeBron James. During the informal discussion on YU’s Wilf Campus, which was attended by dozens of students and community members, as well as visiting participants of the Annual Red Sarachek Invitational Basketball Tournament, Rose recalled his journey from aspiring basketball coach to legal professional and, eventually, adviser to some of the biggest names in the game. Read the rest of this entry…

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Justin Lundin, Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

A dragon, a hypnotist and a historian—Justin Lundin has represented them all.

Since he was a teenager, Lundin, an accounting major at Sy Syms School of Business, has dabbled as a freelance voiceover artist, carefully cultivating and transforming his voice to anchor hundreds of projects ranging from movie trailers and audio books to advertisements and even birthday messages.

Justin LundinLundin, a senior from Detroit, Michigan, sat down with YU News to talk about his passion for voiceovers, accounting and Judaism.

Q: How did you discover this talent?

A: When I was in high school, I’d hear movie trailers being narrated—some guy saying, “This summer…” or “…in one epic drama.” I thought those were such cool voices. I was especially intrigued by the trailer to “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” which played off the tremendous contrast between two styles of voiceover in the trailer itself. The first narrator had a very posh, British voice, and then all of a sudden it switched into the standard movie trailer voice—the voice that sounds like it’s coming from a seven-foot tall man who’s been smoking cigarettes since childhood. For some reason that gripped me and I started trying to get that voice.

I would actually practice and try to get my voice to that level. I was very much into filmmaking in high school, so I’d use my voice for films and documentaries that I made for school.

The first time I did professional voiceover work was during my two years studying in Israel. I was put in contact with two production companies and one of them in particular coached me a lot. They taught me how to work with different tones of voices and enunciation, how to get yourself into the character and mood of each particular project.

Q: What kind of projects have you taken on?

A: When I came to Yeshiva University, I started doing voiceover work online. A friend directed me to a website where people provide creative services for five dollars. I get clients from all over the place: introductions to audio books, movie trailers, low-budget films, video games. I did the intro video to an iPhone app video game where I had to do a voice similar to Gandalf the Grey’s: “Once upon a time, in a far away land…” I’ve also worked for hypnotists who wanted a low, soothing, organic voice. Read the rest of this entry…

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YU Women’s Basketball Team Comes Together On and Off the Court

It’s nine o’clock on a Wednesday night and the Yeshiva University women’s basketball team is practicing basketball drills in a midtown high school gym. Poised on the sideline, guard Stephanie Greenberg holds a basketball close to her chest, scanning the court for an open teammate.

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First-year Head Coach Nesta Felix has instilled the Lady Macs with a sense of confidence and cohesiveness.

Greenberg, a Stern College for Women sophomore, inbounds to Naomi Gofine, who curls around a defender and fires a pass to a cutting Rebecca Yoshor, who effortlessly lays it in the hoop. “I like that!” calls out Coach Nesta Felix. “When you do it right, basketball is like beautiful music. That was pretty.”

Felix, first-year head coach of the Maccabees, has worked rigorously, alongside Assistant Coach Garianne Brown, to mold the 2012-13 squad into one of the most hard working, tightly knit and cohesive teams to set foot on court for YU.

A native of St. Lucia, Felix was a two-sport Division I athlete, playing basketball and volleyball for Iona College. Her coaching career began right out of college in 2001, with Felix serving as an assistant coach for seven seasons at Monroe College, where she helped lead the team to four regional championships. In Fall 2012, Felix brought her discipline, determination and passion to Stern College—traits she has found in the Maccabees, as well. “One of the things I love about coaching here is the focus and work ethic of my ladies,” she said. “I’m driving them like they’ve never been driven before, but they are so committed because of who they are.” Read the rest of this entry…

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YU Students Engage in Volunteer and Service Learning Missions Around the World

This winter break, 90 Yeshiva University students took part in an array of hands-on community building projects in Israel, the United States, Nicaragua and Mexico.

Counterpoint Israel participants conducted English language and art camps for Israeli teens.

Organized by YU’s Center for the Jewish Future, the missions differed widely in focus, ranging from service-learning and experiential education to humanitarian aid. Building on the success of the Counterpoint Israel summer program, 39 YU students ran a series of winter camps for 500 Israeli teens in Jerusalem, Kiryat Malachi and Dimona that sought to strengthen their English language skills and facilitate self-exploration through art.

In Mexico, 16 students assisted with farming and harvesting in local private and public gardens, building pools for aquaculture development and contributing to the community’s ecotourism project, in collaboration with a local non-profit organization that works within the Mayan community to promote environmental sustainability, advance the integration of women in the economy and strengthen the capacity of grassroots groups.

A group of 16 students also volunteered in Nicaragua with Servicios Medicos Comunales, an NGO that promotes community-based sustainable development in the southwestern district of San Juan del Sur, by assisting with the construction of a public library—a project started by previous CJF winter mission participants. And 19 students traveled across Texas—from Houston to San Antonio to Dallas—on the CJF’s “Jewish Life Coast to Coast” program, meeting with local rabbis, educators and communal leaders to gain a better understanding of the unique challenges faced by these diverse Jewish communities. Read the rest of this entry…

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Students Present Seforim Sale February 3 to March 3; North America’s Largest Jewish Book Sale will Benefit Victims of Sandy

The students of Yeshiva University will present their annual Seforim Sale, North America’s largest Jewish book sale, from February 3 to March 3 in Belfer Hall, 2495 Amsterdam Ave on YU’s Wilf Campus in Manhattan. The sale—operated entirely by YU students—supports various initiatives, including student activities on campus and undergraduate scholarships.

A portion of the proceeds from this year’s Seforim Sale will benefit a shul or school affected by Sandy.

A portion of the proceeds from this year’s sale will also benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy. As part of their #Seforim4Sandy campaign, sale organizers will help replenish a depleted library of a shul or school affected by the storm. Based on the results of online voting, one participating organization will be selected to receive up to $10,000 worth of books and seforim. Members of the general public will be able to vote at www.facebook.com/seforim. The Seforim Sale website will also provide online registries for contributions to assist additional shuls or schools devastated by Sandy.

“The Seforim Sale has always focused on its charitable responsibilities,” said Yehuda Kaminer, CEO of the Seforim Sale. “This year, we decided nothing was more appropriate than helping rebuild libraries damaged by Sandy. We are incredibly excited to be giving back to the community.” Read the rest of this entry…

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