Yeshiva University News » YU

Dec 15, 2009 — Yeshiva University (www.yu.edu) announced today that 20 outstanding tenth graders from the Yeshiva University high schools – 10 from the Yeshiva University High School for Boys/Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy (YUHSB) and 10 from the Samuel H. Wang Yeshiva University High School for Girls (YUHSG) – will be participating in a unique six-week student exchange program with Israeli high schools. Now in its second year, the program aims to immerse the American students in Israeli culture and help them connect with their Israeli counterparts.

The YUHSG students, who arrived in Israel on December 6, have already joined their peers at Ulpanat Tzvia in Ma’aleh Adumim, while the YUHSB students will begin classes at Yeshivat Mekor Haim in Kibbutz Kfar Etzion upon their December 17 arrival.

“What’s unique about this program is that the students are fully-integrated into the Israeli classrooms,” said Tova Rosenberg, coordinator of the exchange program and Director of Hebrew Language Studies at both Yeshiva University high schools. “The students sit in on all Judaic studies classes, are included in all school activities, and are housed in the same dormitories as the Israeli students. They are not treated as guests, but as members of the student body.”

The Yeshiva University high school students will also take part in a series of field trips intended to show them Israel’s out-of-the-way treasures – “not the usual tourist spots” – and will enjoy special Shabbat programs at the Yeshiva University Gruss Kollel in Bayit Ve’Gan arranged by the Kollel families themselves.

Later this year, six Yeshivat Mekor Haim students and four Ulpanat Tzvia students will travel to New York to study at the Yeshiva University high schools for a six-week period. In addition to attending classes, the Israeli students will tour New York City and Philadelphia to learn about American history and culture, and will experience life in U.S. Jewish communities.

“By sending our students to Israel and bringing the Israeli students to our schools, we are opening the eyes of every student involved in the program to the reality of the ‘Global Jewish Community.’ As our future Jewish leaders, it is vital that they understand and are accepting of other cultures,” added Rosenberg.

“The culture of deep spiritual purpose and constant reflection that is the hallmark of the Mekor Haim experience has exposed our students to serious religious and intellectual growth in ways unimagined for the typical tenth grader,” said Rabbi Mark Gottlieb, head of school at YUHSB. “Additionally, the visiting Mekor Haim students inject a sense of passion, urgency and authenticity into the rhythm of school life here. Armed with a newfound understanding of the American Jewish scene, these exceptional students have the potential to become the next generation of shlichim (emissaries to Israel).”

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Elie Klein
Ruder Finn Israel for Yeshiva University
Cell: + 972-54-467-6967
Office: + 972-2-589-2013
Email: elie@ruderfinn.co.il

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Jul 6, 2010 — The Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future (www.yu.edu/cjf) announced today that 22 exceptional students from the U.S. and Australia will arrive in Israel next week to serve as counselors on the fifth annual “Counterpoint Israel Program.”

The month-long service-learning initiative, scheduled to run from July 12-August 12, aims to empower and build the next generation of Israeli youth by means of a summer camp experience filled with engaging activities and important life skills.

This summer’s program also marks the 35th anniversary of Counterpoint internationally. Launched in 1974 as an informal Jewish education program for high school students in Australia, the Counterpoint formula has been replicated in the years since in South Africa, South America, Turkey, Canada and Israel with great success.

“As Yeshiva University strives to create and sustain outreach efforts in communities around the world, Counterpoint has proven to be one of our most potent and powerful tools, demonstrating year after year that Jewish education is as much about the approach and delivery as it is the content of the message,” said Yeshiva University President Richard Joel, once the head of YU’s celebrated Torah Leadership Seminar (TLS), from which Counterpoint was spun-off.

“Counterpoint continues to succeed because it creates an atmosphere in which students feel loved, accomplished, and comfortable enough to open themselves up to experiencing the spiritual, joyous side of living a Jewish life.”

Counterpoint Israel has made such a profound impact on the students of Dimona over the last four years that the municipality of the Southern Israel development town has decided to make the move from beneficiary of Counterpoint to full partner, working with the CJF to double the size of this summer’s camp from 60 to 120 students.

“Counterpoint Israel has become such an integral part of the lives and Jewish identities of the teens in Dimona that there is no other way this could have played out,” said Gila Rockman, CJF’s Director of Counterpoint Israel. “For four years, the municipality watched as its high school youth flourished in our camp and it needed to do something to make sure that this trend not only continued but reached as many students as possible.”

As in past years, the program – supported by the Zusman Family, Sharon and Avram Blumenthal and Repair the World – will include classes given in English and workshops in arts, fashion, music, dance and sports, all with the goal of improving the students’ English skills while promoting a positive self-image and traditional Jewish values.

“For the last 35 years, Counterpoint has transformed the lives of thousands of high school students and inspired its counselors – consistently YU’s best and brightest – to become agents of change in the world around them. The ways in which this initiative has shaped Jewish communal leadership and communities like Dimona over the years is a testament to the life-changing magic of Counterpoint,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, the David Mitzner Dean of the CJF and a past Head Advisor of Counterpoint Canada.

“So many leaders of Jewish communities throughout North America and in Israel are products of Counterpoint. As this innovative program marches on, it is exciting to think that the counselors and campers of today will be among the Jewish leaders of tomorrow.”

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Jun 30, 2010 — Dr. Marina Holz, assistant professor of biology at Stern College for Women, has received an NIH Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) R15 grant for identification and characterization of S6 Kinase 1 (S6K1) targets in mammary cell proliferation. S6K1 is a therapeutic target in breast cancer treatment.

Holz’s research will attempt to provide a comprehensive assessment of the therapeutic potential of the S6K1 signaling pathway by identifying and characterizing downstream effectors of the S6K1 pathway in breast cancer cells.

“Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women,” explained Holz. “Current chemotherapies are indiscriminate, have toxic side effects and, in about half of the patients, do not prevent cancer progression or recurrence. We are hoping to identify new therapeutic targets against which new chemotherapy agents could be developed. These new drugs could be then used in the clinic in combination with other regiments to achieve greater response.”

The AREA grant, supported by funds provided to the National Institutes of Health under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009, supports small research projects in the biomedical and behavioral sciences conducted by faculty and students. The funds provided by this grant—totaling $408,000 over three years—will be used to support student research during the academic year and the summer semester in Holz’s lab.

This summer, Stern College students Faygel Beren, Miriam Steinberger and Tirtza Speigel, as well as research fellow Myriam Maruani ’09S, will work in the Holz lab on this and various other projects.

“This award represents an historic milestone for YU,” said Holz. “Receiving an NIH grant is a rite of passage for most biomedical researchers. I view this as a validation that the research environment at YU is nationally competitive and on par with the best research colleges.”

A resident of Greenwich, CT, Dr. Holz has supervised undergraduate honors projects at Stern since 2007. She received her PhD from Harvard Medical School.

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Jun 2, 2010 — Yeshiva University announced today that the Center for the Jewish Future’s inaugural Creating Connections weekend (May 7-9, 2010) has successfully inspired dozens of North American Jewish communities to make significant strides toward being more mindful of and involved with their local singles.

In the three weeks since Creating Connections, communities across the country have begun revamping existing programming and creating additional social networking and matchmaking opportunities.

“The feedback we have received about the weekend from community organizers, Rabbis and participants – both single and married – leads us to believe that this was by no means a one-time thing. Rather, this is the beginning of a movement that will add a communal dimension to increasing positive and proactive measures with singles,” said Dr. Efrat Sobolofsky, Director of YUConnects, the CJF program that initiated and sponsored Creating Connections.

While several participating communities planned unique events for singles to meet and interact with other singles and married community members over the Creating Connections weekend, others devoted sermons and special lectures to the ways in which married couples can be most helpful to single friends and family members.

“Regardless of the format chosen by each community, the weekend was incredibly successful in encouraging lay leadership nationwide to do everything in their power to connect with and increase opportunities for the singles in their neighborhoods,” added Dr. Sobolofsky.

For the married participants, Creating Connections forced them to break from routine and interact with single community members outside of their age groups and networks of friends, a first for many. At the same time, many single participants also experienced a first: networking events that were well-run, enjoyable and had nearly perfect male to female ratios.

“After taking part in this exceptional weekend, our Jewish communities are beginning to understand that everyone can help make a difference for the singles in their area. It is exciting to think that we may now be able to move from a longstanding state of good intentions and inaction when dealing with singles issues to a new paradigm of strong, appropriately-focused community efforts,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, the David Mitzner Dean of the CJF.

“We are confident that this initiative will bring about the intended positive results because our single Creating Connections participants have expressed deep satisfaction with our efforts as well as a desire to become more involved in the planning and programming of future events. As we see it, we can only be successful if we reach out to singles and invite them to voice their preferences in order to create the best-suited resources.”

Several major Jewish organizations involved in singles programming, including the Orthodox Union, the National Council of Young Israel, SawYouAtSinai, Gateways, MakeAShidduch Foundation, FutureSimchas, Sasson V’Simcha and the Shalom Task Force, participated in the weekend and are strong supporters of the YUConnects program.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Elie Klein
Ruder Finn Israel for Yeshiva University
Cell: + 972-54-467-6967
Office: + 972-2-589-2013
Email: elie@ruderfinn.co.il

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May 24, 2010 — On the heels of a $4 million grant to Yeshiva University last September, the San Francisco-based Jim Joseph Foundation announced today that it is making a new $11 million grant to bring its overall investment in YU’s training and credentialing of Jewish educators to a historic $15 million over the next four years. With new grants in the same amount to The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC), the Foundation has now committed a total of $45 million to increase the number of credentialed future Jewish educators and improve the quality of professional preparation and Jewish education they receive.

The initial grant last fall marked the beginning of what the Foundation envisioned would be a multi-year investment and a partnership with the three institutions. “The investment in these training institutions directly addresses the future of Jewish education and is a partnership that will greatly advance this cause,” says Foundation President Al Levitt. “We care deeply about the future of Jewish life in this country. This partnership should have a significant impact on the number of future Jewish educators and the skills they will bring to their professions. With the help of these grants, we know the institutions can reach their full potential and produce teachers who continue to positively shape the lives of Jewish youth.”

At Yeshiva University, the funding provides both financial aid for students pursuing education degrees or certification in programs that prepare them to work with Jewish youth and young adults, as well as support for enhanced programs designed to attract more educators to the field. These programs include a new full-time master’s degree in Jewish education, a certificate in experiential Jewish education, advanced training and certification for classroom teachers in technology and differentiated instruction, and a robust investment in the induction and support of new teachers. Additionally, the grant supports recruitment efforts that include experiential learning missions for undergraduate students and a new, full-time Jewish Education and Recruitment Manager to attract and guide future Jewish educators toward training opportunities at YU in formal and experiential education.

In addition to the grant’s impact on YU’s ability to deliver the best training to an increased number of students, the announcement of a $45 million grant makes a bold statement to the community in support of Jewish education. “We are humbled by both the challenge and the profound sense of purpose that this historic investment represents,” notes Richard Joel, President of Yeshiva University. “The Jim Joseph Foundation’s continued investment and partnership ensures that the community’s focus remains laser-like on the centrality of Jewish education.”

The grants also present a unique opportunity for collaboration and partnership between and among the Foundation and the three institutions. As part of the grants to all three institutions, funding has been carved out for the exploration and implementation of new technologies for distance learning that will make training and credentialing possible for students unable to take coursework on campus. The three institutions will work to foster best practices in the field, and they have committed, where possible, to collaborate on projects to ensure creative new directions to the education of future Jewish educators.

Since its establishment in 2006, the Jim Joseph Foundation has made grants totaling nearly a quarter of a billion dollars to an array of institutions and organizations that support Jewish learning.

“The Jim Joseph Foundation is confident that partnering with these institutions is an effective way to impact the next generation of Jews,” adds Executive Director Chip Edelsberg. The foundation’s first four years of grant making represent significant investments in both established institutions and newer organizations – indicative of JJF’s commitment to support Jewish youth and young adults in myriad educational settings. JJF Directors deeply value preparing, credentialing and developing professional educators. The Board also generously supports organizations that enable individuals to have immersive Jewish learning experiences. The Foundation believes this approach to its philanthropy will help to create multiple pathways to a vibrant Jewish future.”

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May 24, 2010 — On the heels of a $4 million grant to Yeshiva University last September, the San Francisco-based Jim Joseph Foundation announced today that it is making a new $11 million grant to bring its overall investment in YU’s training and credentialing of Jewish educators to a historic $15 million over the next four years. With new grants in the same amount to The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC), the Foundation has now committed a total of $45 million to increase the number of credentialed future Jewish educators and improve the quality of professional preparation and Jewish education they receive.

The initial grant last fall marked the beginning of what the Foundation envisioned would be a multi-year investment and a partnership with the three institutions. “The investment in these training institutions directly addresses the future of Jewish education and is a partnership that will greatly advance this cause,” says Foundation President Al Levitt. “We care deeply about the future of Jewish life in this country. This partnership should have a significant impact on the number of future Jewish educators and the skills they will bring to their professions. With the help of these grants, we know the institutions can reach their full potential and produce teachers who continue to positively shape the lives of Jewish youth.”

At Yeshiva University, the funding provides both financial aid for students pursuing education degrees or certification in programs that prepare them to work with Jewish youth and young adults, as well as support for enhanced programs designed to attract more educators to the field. These programs include a new full-time master’s degree in Jewish education, a certificate in experiential Jewish education, advanced training and certification for classroom teachers in technology and differentiated instruction, and a robust investment in the induction and support of new teachers. Additionally, the grant supports recruitment efforts that include experiential learning missions for undergraduate students and a new, full-time Jewish Education and Recruitment Manager to attract and guide future Jewish educators toward training opportunities at YU in formal and experiential education.

In addition to the grant’s impact on YU’s ability to deliver the best training to an increased number of students, the announcement of a $45 million grant makes a bold statement to the community in support of Jewish education. “We are humbled by both the challenge and the profound sense of purpose that this historic investment represents,” notes Richard Joel, President of Yeshiva University. “The Jim Joseph Foundation’s continued investment and partnership ensures that the community’s focus remains laser-like on the centrality of Jewish education.”

The grants also present a unique opportunity for collaboration and partnership between and among the Foundation and the three institutions. As part of the grants to all three institutions, funding has been carved out for the exploration and implementation of new technologies for distance learning that will make training and credentialing possible for students unable to take coursework on campus. The three institutions will work to foster best practices in the field, and they have committed, where possible, to collaborate on projects to ensure creative new directions to the education of future Jewish educators.

Since its establishment in 2006, the Jim Joseph Foundation has made grants totaling nearly a quarter of a billion dollars to an array of institutions and organizations that support Jewish learning.

“The Jim Joseph Foundation is confident that partnering with these institutions is an effective way to impact the next generation of Jews,” adds Executive Director Chip Edelsberg. The foundation’s first four years of grant making represent significant investments in both established institutions and newer organizations – indicative of JJF’s commitment to support Jewish youth and young adults in myriad educational settings. JJF Directors deeply value preparing, credentialing and developing professional educators. The Board also generously supports organizations that enable individuals to have immersive Jewish learning experiences. The Foundation believes this approach to its philanthropy will help to create multiple pathways to a vibrant Jewish future.”

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Apr 26, 2010 — With Iran’s defiance of the Western world in creating nuclear weapons and President Obama considering a number of measures to counteract Iran’s agenda, Yeshiva University will host a discussion entitled “What To Do About Iran’s Nuclear Program?” with Elliot Abrams, Senior Fellow of the Council of Foreign Relations; Robin Wright, Senior Fellow of the U.S. Institute of Peace; and David Albright, Former Nuclear Weapons Inspector for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), on Monday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the Schottenstein Cultural Center, 239 E. 34th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Aves.

The program is under the auspices of Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Scholar-in-Residence program at YU’s Stern College for Women. Dr. Robbins-Wilf, a founding member of the Stern College Board of Directors, established and funds the program, which brings top scholars, authors, artists, and opinion-shapers to Stern College, offering students unique perspectives on the world.

Elliot Abrams is a Senior Fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations and was the former Deputy National Security Advisor handling Middle East Affairs in the George W. Bush Administration. He was also the former Secretary of State for UN Affairs, Human Rights, and Latin America in the Reagan Administration.

Robin Wright is the Senior Fellow of the U.S. Institute of Peace. She is the former Senior Correspondent for The Washington Post and has reported from more than 140 countries on six continents. She is currently working on a project that focuses on Iran, the Middle East, South Asia and the wider Islamic world, exploring what has happened to the Islamic world in the decade since 9/11 and the thinkers and trends that will define the future over the next decade.

David Albright is a physicist and president of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) in Washington, D.C. In this role and in his former position at the IAEA, he has written numerous assessments on secret nuclear weapons programs throughout the world.

Admission is free and open to the public with valid photo ID. To reserve a seat visit www.smarttix.com or call 212-868-4444.

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Apr 15, 2010 — Over 200 high school students from more than 18 day schools across North America will meet on April 25-27 to hone their leadership skills at the Eimatai National Leadership Conference in Stamford, Connecticut.

Eimatai, a project of Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future, aims to cultivate the leaders of tomorrow by empowering high school students to confront community challenges, and offering them the support they need to succeed in making positive contributions to their schools and communities.

“Our hope is for students to gain a sense of responsibility for the communities they live in and to feel empowered to return home as active and involved Jewish citizens,” explained Aaron Steinberg, director of Eimatai. “Students will be able to share their ideas and passions, resulting in vibrant discussion, debates and lasting connections.”

The program, now in its 11th year, will convene for three days of leadership training, group discussions, project planning and inspiration.

The theme for this year’s program is “Opening Our Eyes to Poverty,” which the young men and women will engage in from a number of different angles – appreciating the various causes and manifestations of poverty, the nature of their obligation to address poverty and the various methods and tools they can use to combat it.

As part of the program students will spend one of the days volunteering at a local food bank and hear from guest speakers including YU President Richard M. Joel, who will discuss leadership; John Dau, former Lost Boy and survivor of the Sudanese civil war, who will be talking about his life experiences and his foundation that provides health services to Sudan; and Ari Teman, comedian and social activist (JCorps).

For more information about Eimatai and programs available visit www.eimatai.org or contact (212) 960-5261 or eimatai@yu.edu.

Eimatai is generously supported by the Jim Joseph Foundation.

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Jan 6, 2010 — The students of Yeshiva University (YU) will hold their annual SOY Seforim Sale from January 24 through February 15 in Belfer Hall, 2495 Amsterdam Ave. on YU’s Wilf Campus in Manhattan. The sale, North America’s largest Jewish book sale, is organized entirely by YU students who run the entire operation from ordering to setting up the premises, marketing and all the technology the project entails. Proceeds support a myriad of initiatives, including student activities on campus and student-lead outreach programs in the Jewish community.

Last year the acclaimed Judaica book sale drew over 15,000 people from the tri-state area and raised more than $1 million in sales. The annual event provides discounted prices on the latest of over 10,000 titles in rabbinic and academic literature, cookbooks, children’s books, music and lecture CDs, and educational software.

“We expect to draw close to 20,000 people this year,” said Eliezer Barany, CEO of the SOY Seforim Sale. “We will be offering a wider array of seforim and have many exciting events planned, including multiple book signings and lectures, musical performances, and for the first time ever, a stand-up comedy routine by one of the authors.”

The Seforim Sale has become a highlight for the Yeshiva University community, as students and alumni congregate to visit their alma mater, see old friends, and add books to their personal libraries.

Those who can not attend the sale can still take advantage of the great prices and vast catalog selection by ordering online on the Seforim Sale’s upgraded Web site. For a complete listing of dates and times, to purchase gift certificates or to view the online catalog, visit www.soyseforim.org.

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Sep 14, 2009 — In the two weeks since the Jacob and Dreizel Glueck Center for Jewish Study opened on the Wilf Campus, its walls have vibrated with the hum of students learning in its two-storey beit midrash [study hall]. That “harmonic symphony of Torah study,” to use President Richard M. Joel’s words, erupted into a rousing chorus of celebration as students and their rebbes, alumni and staff danced in the streets at the dedication of the new building on Sunday, Sept. 13.

“Today we celebrate a new chapter in the history of Yeshiva University and the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS),” said President Joel. “The Glueck Center has already revolutionized this campus, adding a proud new space for scholarship and learning that is both timeless and timely, and a convening center for our thriving community.”

Read more about the building here.

See a photo gallery from the event here

“RIETS was the first yeshiva to wave the flag of Yavneh on American soil,” he said. “From an inaugural class of only a dozen students meeting in a small room on the Lower East Side, RIETS can now proudly boast of this wonderful state-of-the-art beit midrash, which serves as just one of many under its auspices.”

Vivian Glueck Rosenberg, the daughter of donor Jacob Glueck, said that her parents’ survival of the Holocaust motivated them to devote themselves to supporting Jewish community institutions. Rosenberg, together with her husband, Henry, was instrumental in realizing her father’s vision for a new beit midrash at YU that began under the administration of Dr. Norman Lamm in 1997.

“My parents believed in the primacy of education,” said Rosenberg, a member of the Boards of YU and Stern College for Women. “Our dedication of this building to YU is a statement of our belief in the importance of limud haTorah [the study of Torah] and the need for the vast majority of our youth to have the opportunity to earn a parnasa [a living].”

Addressing the students in the crowd, she said, “We pray you use to the fullest the opportunity put in front of you and thus assure the continuity of our people and our traditions.”

Special guests at the dedication included Sheldon Silver ’65YC, Speaker of the NY State Assembly and recipient of an honorary degree from YU, and NY State Representative Herman “Denny” Farrell, Jr.

Silver, who President Joel welcomed as “a ben Torah [son of Torah],” wished his alma mater congratulations. “I am proud to see YU expand in its size and prestige,” said Silver, whose three children are also alumni. “As it grows, YU invigorates the city and the state and especially this Washington Heights community.”

President Joel paid tribute to the many supporters whose gifts made the building possible, including the Nagel family, after whom the Jack and Gitta Nagel Family Atrium and Student Commons in the adjoining Mendel Gottesman Library is named.

The new stone and glass structure, he said, is a “tangible symbol of our absolute optimism in the future of our yeshiva and our University.”

“We must fill this space with the best of our community,” added President Joel. “A YU education must be both aspirational and non-negotiable. This is where our children will learn and grow into proud leaders of a proud and purposeful people of our nation.”

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