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.”
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 RabbiMenachem 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…
Yeshiva College Hebrew Instructor Places First in 2014 U.S. National Bible Contest
Yair Shahak, Hebrew instructor at Yeshiva College, was crowned the winner of the 2014 United States National Bible Contest for Adults on Sunday, November 30 in New York City.
Yair Shahak will represent the U.S. at the upcoming International Chidon HaTanach.
Shahak, a graduate of Yeshiva College and the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies and a current student at the Belz School of Jewish Music, persevered against 12 talented challengers to claim the first place spot and the opportunity to represent the United States at the International Chidon HaTanach (Bible Contest) for Adults in Jerusalem on December 23, 2014.
“This victory means a great deal to me because I have been involved in Bible study all my life,” said Shahak, a native of Brooklyn, New York. ”It was a very emotional win, as I felt as though I was coming full circle while battling it out against some very capable Bible scholars. I fell in love with the stories and language of the Bible at a young age, and there is still nothing that gives me more joy than sharing my love of the Bible with my students at Yeshiva University.” Read the rest of this entry…
Yeshiva College Research Team Publishes Findings on Protein Structure in Leading Crystallography Journal
A research team led by physics professors Dr. Neer Asherie and Dr. Sergey Buldyrev discovered a new way to control the crystallization of proteins so that researchers can more easily determine a protein’s 3D structure. These findings were published in Acta Crystallographica D, a leading crystallography journal. The paper was co-authored by five former and current Yeshiva College students.
Dr. Neer Asherie
The team, which includes Dr. Bruce Hrnjez at Collegiate School and Dr. Jean Jakoncic at Brookhaven National Laboratory, discovered that adding a specific class of small molecules to water solutions of proteins not only induces the proteins to crystallize, but can also control the type of crystal formed.
“Protein crystals are used to figure out the structure and function of proteins, which is important for understanding certain diseases and for drug development,” said Asherie. “However, proteins are difficult to crystallize. Our research suggests a new way to control protein crystallization and – we hope – increase the success rate of making crystals. The results are new and lay a fertile ground for future studies. ”
The article describes several years of work, to which both past and current YU students contributed by carrying out experiments, simulations and data analysis. Read the rest of this entry…
Fine and Holz Appointed Endowed Chairs; Shatz Named University Professor
In recognition of their outstanding achievements, Yeshiva University recently honored two faculty members at Stern College for Women and one at Yeshiva College.
At Stern College, Dr. Marina Holz has been named the Doris and Ira Kukin Chair in Biology and Dr. David Shatz has been appointed University Professor of Philosophy, Ethics and Religious Thought. Dr. Steven Fine has been named the Dean Pinkhos Churgin Chair in Jewish History at Yeshiva College.
“Each of these individuals is a leader and an innovator whose work advances education and research at Yeshiva University,” said Dr. Selma Botman, vice president for academic affairs and provost at YU. “We recognize their accomplishments with the highest honors the University bestows: named chairs and a University professorship. David, Marina, and Steve represent for students and their colleagues what is worthy and noble about the life of the mind. The advances they have made in science and the humanities come through dedicated and tireless work, relentless focus and the joy that new knowledge brings.”
First Ever National Finals Outside of Israel Scheduled for November 30
Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future and the Orthodox Union will be co-sponsoring the U.S. National Bible Contest for Adults, an event that will determine which outstanding Bible scholars will represent the United States at the International Chidon HaTanach [Bible Contest] for Adults in Jerusalem in December.
Scheduled for Sunday, November 30, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. at the West Side Institutional Synagogue, 120 West 76th Street in Manhattan, the event will mark the first time in the contest’s history that national finals are taking place outside of Israel. In addition to the Bible competition, the event will include a musical performance and remarks by Israeli Consul-General Ido Aharoni and YU President Richard M. Joel.
“The International Bible Contest for Adults was developed to encourage the study of the Bible, strengthen ties with the Land of Israel, and deepen connections with Jewish heritage. As such, it is a natural partnership for Yeshiva University,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, YU’s vice president for university and community life. “We are thrilled to co-sponsor the event, and proud that so many of the participants have ties to the University.” Read the rest of this entry…
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
“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…
Straus Center Programs, Seminars and Lectures Promote Interdisciplinary Study of Jewish and Western Thought
What happens at the intersection of faith and reason?
It’s a complicated question whose depths have fascinated Jewish and gentile thinkers alike for thousands of years. Is it possible to be a religious intellectual? How does faith inform the scientific and philosophic discoveries of our time, and how do those discoveries in turn affect religious beliefs and lifestyles? Yeshiva University’s Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought is committed to providing forums for Jews in the modern era to continue that conversation and arrive at their own understanding of the concept of “Torah Umadda”: the balance of Judaic and worldly values.
Noam Safier, a Straus Center Fellow
“In undergraduate courses, seminars for semicha [rabbinic ordination] students, adult education and public events, the Straus Center has brought about the bridging of Torah with the world in every part of Yeshiva,” said Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik, director of the Straus Center. “In just the past year, students in our classes have approached, though a Torah lens, the fields of political thought, American history, law, Zionism, philosophy, art and medicine. We are so proud of having made the vision of Moshael Straus a reality: for Torah Umadda to never be merely a motto, but rather something that can be experienced throughout Yeshiva and the larger Yeshiva University community.”
Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg ’74YUHS, ’77YC,’81R Helps Kids Kick Fear Out of Cancer
Yeshiva University alumnus Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg has recently been named a 2014 Top 10 CNN Hero for his work advocating the use of martial arts as therapy for children struggling with cancer and other childhood illnesses. His non-profit, Kids Kicking Cancer, uses the mind-body techniques of martial arts instruction, breath work and meditation to empower children beyond their pain. Fondly known as “Rabbi G” by the thousands of children his organization has helped over the years, Rabbi Goldberg, of Detroit, Michigan, also serves as clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Wayne State University School of Medicine.
Voting for CNN Hero of the Year continues through Sunday, November 16, and all of this year’s Top 10 CNN Heroes will be honored during “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute” on Sunday, December 7 (8:00 p.m. ET) on the global CNN networks.
YUNews spoke to Rabbi Goldberg ’74YUHS, ’77YC,’81R about his time at Yeshiva and his work helping children battle the fear and pain of cancer.
Q. Tell us about your experience as a student at Yeshiva University.
I went to Yeshiva University High School for Boys directly from public school in September, 1970, and then did early admissions to attend Yeshiva College, where I graduated from summa cum laude with a degree in political science. Following that, I obtained semicha [ordination] from Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 1980. Read the rest of this entry…
Students in Yeshiva College Summer Course Discredit Claim That Vatican is Hiding Temple Relics
When Yeshiva University senior Ari Rosenberg signed up for a summer school course on the Arch of Titus, he was just trying to fulfill his last history requirement with what sounded like an interesting class taught by Dr. Steven Fine, a professor who was clearly excited about his work and sharing it with his students.
Students in Professor Fine’s Arch of Titus summer course
“What I did not know was how fantastic a professor he really is and how stimulating the course would be,” said Rosenberg, a history major at Yeshiva College who hopes to attend medical school.
The summer course focused on the Arch of Titus, one of the most significant Roman monuments to survive from antiquity, from the perspectives of Roman, Jewish and Christian history and art. Built in 81 CE, it commemorates the Roman victory over Judea a decade earlier, an event that Jews mourn each year with the Fast of the Ninth of Av—Tisha B’Av, which falls this year on August 4-5. The course examined the contexts for the construction of the monument and the continued reflection that it has evoked, especially since its menorah relief was chosen as the symbol of the State of Israel in 1949. Read the rest of this entry…