A Festschrift in Honor of President Emeritus Richard M. Joel

Forty-five Authors Contribute Essays to Ennoble and Enable, Edited by Rabbi Dr. J.J. Schacter and Rabbi Dr. Zev Eleff

Rabbi Dr. JJ Schacter, President Emeritus Richard Joel, Rabbi Dr. Zev Eleff
(l-r): Rabbi Dr. JJ Schacter, President Emeritus Richard M. Joel, Rabbi Dr. Zev Eleff

On Thursday, October 11, at the Sky Café in Belfer Hall, in a ceremony organized by the Office of the President, 50 friends and colleagues of President Emeritus Richard M. Joel gathered to celebrate the publication of a Festschrift in his honor. Ennoble and Enable: Essays in Honor of Richard M. Joel, edited by Rabbi Dr. J.J. Schacter (Senior Scholar, Center for the Jewish Future and University Professor of Jewish History and Jewish Thought) and Rabbi Dr. Zev Eleff ’09YC ’11R (Chief Academic Officer of Hebrew Theological College and an assistant professor of Jewish history for the Touro College and University System), features 45 contributions, including Joel’s original To Ennoble and Enable: An Inaugural Vision delivered at his investiture in 2003.

Rabbi Schacter praised Joel for using his tenure as University president to “take the eternal truths of our tradition, which you revere, and create a base in the University where these values could be brought into the real world. The real world needs to be animated by the values of the Torah, and this is what Yeshiva University stood for under your leadership.”

Rabbi Zevulun Charlop, dean emeritus of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, offered his good wishes in a written statement, where he spoke about the admiration he felt for the work that Joel did as president. “He traveled all over the world, always propelling the divine exceptionality that is Yeshiva University. He embraced and exemplified its message, transmitting to people an understanding of their responsibilities as Jews and what it means to be a human being. He had an unabashed conviction of what is important, which represented an honesty of heart and came from his honest self, always.”

In accepting the lauds of his friends and colleagues, Joel spoke both for himself and his wife, Esther. “Our tenure at YU was its own reward. For the two of us, this was a decade and a half of privileged service. The ideas that this book expresses are a celebration and a validation that few are ever privileged to receive. We had the chance to matter by living and embracing Torah, trying to advocate values of integrity and civility, kindness and justice.”

Below are the essays contained in Ennoble and Enable. The book can be purchased on Amazon and Koren Publishers.

To Ennoble and Enable: An Inaugural Vision, Richard M. Joel
John Quincy Adams and Richard Joel, Marjorie D. Blenden
President Richard Joel: His Overall Vision, the Great Expansion, and the Great Contraction, Will Lee
Richard Joel: An Extraordinary Leader, John Sexton
Richard Joel: Man Thinking, Fredric M. Sugarman
Hadar and President Richard Joel’s Leadership Legacy, Shira R. Yoshor
The Encyclopedic Versus the Creative Thinker, Nachman Cohen
Redemption – Hesed or Din? A Text by Rabbi Hayyim David HaLevi, David Ellenson
From Sinai to “Seminar”: The Transformative Power of Experiential Jewish Education, Yaakov T. Glasser
Reframing the University: Shifting Higher Education to a Learner-Centered Approach, Joshua M. Joseph
Social Orthodoxy: An Educator’s Perspective, Binyamin Krauss
Jewish Education as Illumination, Rona Milch Novick
Birhkat HaTorah: The Halakha’s Singular Religious-Educational Philosophy, Michael Rosensweig
Two Cultures? Science and the Humanities in Undergraduate Education, David Shatz
Teaching and Reaching All of Our Students, Michael Taubes
Twenty-First Century Social Work Education at Yeshiva University, Danielle Wozniak and Jay Sweifach
Community-Building: A Sisyphean Task, Ruth A. Bevan
Community: The Good and the Bad, Benjamin Blech
Divisions and Missed Opportunities: The Etiology of the First New York Synagogue Breakaway, Kenneth Brander
Not Religious and Not Secular: The Israeli Perspective, Hillel Davis
“As Long as There Is a Yeshiva College There Will Always be a Commentators”, Zev Eleff
A Talmudic Meditation on Individual and Community in the Age of Big Data, Ozer Glickman z”l
Spiritual Entrepreneurship, Warren Goldstein
Social and Communal Dimensions of Avelut, Shmuel Hain
The Relevant Community, Yaakov Neuberger
“There Is No Synagogue”,  Menachem Penner
Three Civil War Seders: A Study in American Jewish Identity, Meir Y. Soloveichik
The Value of Difference and the Contribution of Sinners, Netanel Wiederblank
Joel: Proto-rabbinic Community Leader, Prophetic Visionary, Hayyim Angel
The Beginning of Brotherhood, Ari Berman
The Power of Education: Two Complementary Models of Leadership, Selma Botman
Elisha’s Vision: Strengthening the Orthodox Leadership Pipeline, Erica Brown
Notes Toward a Theory of Jewish Leadership, Arnold Eisen
A Note on Rabbinic Titles and the Communities that Create Them, Steven Fine
Passing the Torch of Leadership in Judaism, Aliza Abrams Konig
On Leadership and Integrity, Henry Kressel
To Represent and to Inspire: The Role of a Sheliah Tzibbur, Leonard A. Matansky
Positive Leadership: Lessons from Positive Psychology, David Pelcovitz
The Tale of the Ultimate Leader, Nechama Price
The Far Horizon, Jonathan Sacks
Orthodox Jewish Lawyer-Leaders in Nineteenth-Century America, Jonathan D. Sarna
Moses’s Prophecy and the Essence of Torah, Hershel Schachter
On Sustaining Communal Values: Leaders and Their Children, Jacob J. Schacter
Paradigms of Leadership: The Model of Our Patriarch Jacob, Ezra Y. Schwartz
The Great Communicator, Suzanne Last Stone