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Project TEACH Volunteers Create Interactive Science Modules for Children in Hospitals

Explosive milk fireworks, bridges built from gumdrops and suspenseful egg drop competitions: they may sound like wacky science experiments gone awry, but these are all fun and educational activities for children that may soon be coming to a hospital near you.

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Yosefa Schoor, left, and Laura Taieb, right, work with children in Columbia University’s Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital to create a volcano.

Welcome to Project TEACH – Together Educating All Children in Hospitals, a joint initiative from Yeshiva University undergraduates and students at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in which volunteers design, develop and implement a series of science and humanities modules for pediatric patients. The program currently operates in eight hospitals in New York, with over 270 volunteers running informational and recreational activities for children and their families. Its largest event took place this spring, when more than 30 YU students constructed volcanoes with patients at Columbia University’s Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.

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Student Organization of Yeshiva – Jewish Studies Council Publishes Haggadah with Divrei Torah by YU Roshei Yeshiva, Faculty and Students

Just in time for Passover, Yeshiva University’s Student Organization of Yeshiva – Jewish Studies Council (SOY-JSC) has published And You Shall Transmit to Your Children, a collection of divrei Torah on the Haggadah from renowned Torah scholars at YU. The book features contributions from Roshei Yeshiva, including Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Nathan and Vivian Fink Distinguished Professorial Chair in Talmud; Rabbi Mordechai Willig, Rabbi Dr. Sol Roth Chair in Talmud and Contemporary Halacha; Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter, University Professor of Jewish History and Jewish Thought; Rabbi Shalom Carmy, assistant professor of Jewish philosophy and Bible; and Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Jeremy Wieder, among others.

haggadahTopics include the halachic aspects of the seder, the rituals of mechirat chametz [selling leavened food] and korban pesach [the Passover sacrifice], and the history of the seder in Jewish experience.

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In Yeshiva College Course, Students Examine Trends in School Violence From Multiple Perspectives

Schools are supposed to be safe places, where children learn, grow and acquire the skills and knowledge they need to build successful lives. But what happens when they aren’t? In the last decade, news stories about violent outbreaks and bullying in school settings have brought this question and others to the forefront of American awareness. How are our children and institutions impacted when violence—whether in harder-to-spot forms like bullying or more alarming behaviors like muggings or assaults—becomes pervasive in our school systems? And, more importantly, how do we prevent it from happening?

Violence and Education class

Students gave a group presentation on the impact of school violence on teacher turnover.

At Yeshiva College, students in Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology Daniel Kimmel’s “Violence, Schools and Education” course are seeking answers.

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Meet the Musmakh: Rabbi Yosef Bronstein Continues His Father’s Devotion to Torah Scholarship at RIETS

Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and the Yeshiva University community will celebrate the ordination of its largest class of musmakhim [ordained rabbis] at its Chag HaSemikhah Convocation on March 23, 2014. The record class of rabbis represents an internationally diverse group, hailing from five continents and more than 50 North American cities. While most will remain engaged in either full-time post-semikhah Torah study or religious work—Jewish education, the pulpit, outreach or non-profit work—many will pursue careers in other professions, including medicine and law.

In the weeks leading up to the celebration, YU News will introduce you to several of these remarkable musmakhim

Yosef BronsteinAs a young boy growing up in Bayswater, NY, the prominent Torah scholars at Yeshiva University-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary were household names in the home of Rabbi Yosef Bronstein. His father, Rabbi Chaim Bronstein, was a musmakh of the yeshiva and had worked as an administrator there since before Yosef was born. “The study and teaching of Torah were heavily-emphasized values in our home,” recalled Bronstein. “We regarded the faculty at RIETS as respected Torah leaders and role models.”

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YU Faculty Offer Insight into Historical, Political and Religious World of Esther

It’s the only book in the Bible to omit all mention of God, the Torah and the land of Israel. Aside from Genesis, it’s also the most written-about biblical work in the Talmud. Throughout the ages, the unique tension in the Book of Esther has made it one of the most fascinating books in Jewish tradition, and also one of the most deeply complex. On March 10, in honor of the upcoming festival of Purim, scholars from schools across Yeshiva University came together to discuss those complexities and their implications for Jewish thought and experience.

"Exploring Esther: The Origins, Values and Power of Purim” at the YU Museum

Dr. Aaron Koller and Yael Leibowitz

Co-hosted by the Yeshiva University Museum, Yeshiva College, Stern College for Women, the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, and the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought, the evening, titled “Exploring Esther: The Origins, Values and Power of Purim,” focused on the historical and political context, religious significance and gender roles in Esther. Panelists included Dr. Aaron Koller, assistant dean and associate professor of Near Eastern and Jewish Studies at Yeshiva College; Yael Leibowitz, instructor in Bible at Stern College; Rabbi Dr. Meir Y. Soloveichik, director of the Straus Center; and Dr. Daniel Tsadik, assistant professor of Sephardic and Iranian studies at Revel.

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Behind the Scenes with Shield News, Yeshiva University’s Student-Run Broadcast News Team

These days, The Shield News team—Yeshiva University’s student-run news video broadcast—is a well-oiled machine.

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Shield News anchors Benjamin Scheiner and Shimra Barnett.

For instance, they’ve gotten their popular “Week at a Glance” videos, which keep YU students up to date on the academic calendar, extracurricular events and university athletics news, down to a science. In the beginning of the week, producer and Yeshiva College senior David Bodner takes a look at the YU Events Calendar, selecting the most talked-about upcoming events for a script to be built out by a team of student writers and writing editors. Then anchors Benjamin Scheiner ’14YC and Shimra Barnett ’15S join videographers Ari Hagler ’16YC or David Khabinsky ’14YC at the team’s studio in the Schottenstein Center, where they draw on many of the modern staples of broadcast news, such as a green screen and a teleprompter, to give their broadcasts a professional look and feel. Read the rest of this entry…

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YU High School for Boys Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Great Debate Tournament

When Harriet Levitt began teaching English at Yeshiva University High School for Boys (YUHSB) / The Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy in 1982, she saw a tremendous opportunity to enrich her students’ education through a competitive sport that had long been her passion: debate. “The degree of intellectuality that exists at the high school was amazing to me,” she said. “Our students argue gemara back and forth every morning. I realized the activity of debate would push that even further.”

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Harriet Levitt, along with her husband, Dan, formed the Yeshiva Debate League in 1988.

Having loved her own experience as a high school and college debater, Levitt wanted YUHSB students to be able to participate in the National Forensic League. But there was a problem—the League’s debates all took place on Saturdays. Read the rest of this entry…

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First Multidisciplinary Research Day Highlights Undergraduate Students’ Work in Wide Range of Fields

On November 15, Yeshiva College and Stern College for Women hosted their first joint Research Day across multiple disciplines. The event celebrated the research of undergraduates in fields ranging from the humanities to natural and mathematical sciences and allowed students to share their work and hone their presentation skills, while providing attendees an opportunity to learn from their peers and get a taste of the rich, exciting world of research.

Celebrating Student Research, cross-dscipline

A student explains her research to Dr. Rachel Mesch, one of the event’s judges.

The program began with keynote presentations from students representing the social sciences, natural sciences and the humanities. Yael Farzan, a Stern College student whose research focused on religion and expressive writing as predictors of prosocial behavior, noted that despite their differences, researchers in these fields shared similar qualities. “To be a good psychologist you need to ask questions, open your eyes and be curious about the world around you,” she said. “We are all by nature psychologists and sociologists.”

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Israel Deputy Foreign Minister Appointed the Rennert Visiting Professor of Foreign Policy Studies at Yeshiva University

The Honorable Danny Ayalon, Israeli diplomat and politician, has been appointed the Rennert Visiting Professor of Foreign Policy Studies at Yeshiva University for the spring 2014 semester. Ambassador Ayalon will teach on both the Wilf Campus at Yeshiva College and the Israel Henry Beren Campus at Stern College for Women, and will participate in public lectures and events.

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Ambassador Ayalon has been appointed the Rennert Visiting Professor of Foreign Policy Studies

“Ambassador Ayalon will surely bring to his professorial role at Yeshiva the same commitment to the State of Israel, to integrity, to thoughtful discourse and careful analysis of the geopolitical world, that he brought so successfully to his assignments in the foreign service and foreign ministry,” said YU President Richard M. Joel. “We are delighted to welcome Danny as a visiting professor.” Read the rest of this entry…

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Dr. Bella Tendler Delves into Roots of Conflict at Inaugural “In Plain Words” Honors Program Event

Want to understand the complicated roots of the civil war in Syria? According to Dr. Bella Tendler, visiting assistant professor of history at Yeshiva College, you’ll need to go back to the origin of the Sunni and Shi’ite split in Islam more than 1,000 years ago.

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Dr. Bella Tendler, visiting assistant professor of history at Yeshiva College, explains the roots of the Syrian uprising.

On October 30, Tendler helped YU students do just that with a talk titled, “Mystery Religions, Missionaries, and Lost Manuscripts: Understanding the Alawites and the Current Political Crisis in Syria.” The talk was the first in a new series of events launched by the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program, “In Plain Words,” which draws on faculty expertise to break down complex and timely topics to provide students with an understanding of the issues and background involved. Read the rest of this entry…

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