Always in Session: Yeshiva University “reImagines” Summer Session 2020

Yeshiva University’s Summer Session is bigger than ever before, with more course offerings in a wider variety of subjects. Starting June 1, YU will be offering an enhanced and expanded summer session for high school, college and graduate school students to maximize their summer learning.

The “reImagined Summer Session 2020” will include Torah and academic programs, including interactive bootcamps, academic classes, as well as timely shiurim [lectures] and classes. Between the two summer sessions—Session I, June 1 to July 2, and Session II, July 6 to August 7 —there will be close to 100 virtual classes being offered in three modes: synchronous (live online sessions), asynchronous (accessed by students on their own schedule) and semi-synchronous (a hybrid of the two).

Torah Learning

In addition to June Zman shiurim with Rabbi Herschel Schachter amongst many other of our roshei yeshiva [heads of the yeshiva], this year there will also be shiurim and classes in July.

High school girls and undergraduate women can select from a wide range of course offerings in areas of Halacha [Jewish law], Tanakh [Hebrew Bible], Jewish philosophy and Jewish history, and build relationships and connections with teachers and peers as they engage in personal and religious growth and self-actualization. Offered courses will be taught by Rabbanit Shani Taragin, Dr. Deena Rabinovich, Nechama Price and others.

For high school boys and undergraduate men, there are opportunities to learn up to three sedarim [divisions of subject matter] a day with our prestigious roshei yeshiva, rebbeim [teachers], and faculty, including Rabbi Mordechai Willig, Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz, Rabbi Tanchum Cohen and Rabbi Aaron Ciment.

“There is a tremendous opportunity for our high school and college-aged students this summer to continuing learning,” said Rabbi Yosef Kalinsky, dean of the men’s Undergraduate Torah Studies. “We decided to engage both men and women through a full array of daily shiurim with our roshei yeshiva, rebbeim, and faculty, ranging from tanakh, gemara [rabbinic commentary], halacha, and more.”

The Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies will also be offering summer courses in Jewish history, Jewish philosophy, and Bible studies. A full list can be found at yu.edu/revel/revelonline

Academic Courses

The academic courses include business, science, art, history, economics, accounting, philosophy and English literature. Science courses will include interactive labs for chemistry, biology, physics, foundation of engineering, organic chemistry, human physiology and microbiology.

The interactive labs will still allow students to participate fully in the scientific process. “They instill the scientific method of formulating a hypothesis, designing experiments to answer the hypothesis, and interpreting the results. Most importantly, there is no time constraint, and students can try the simulation repeatedly,” according to Dr. Athulaprabha Murthi, clinical assistant professor, who is teaching Principles of Biology Labs I and II.

Interactive Bootcamps

Designed for high school students, these summer interactive science and technology bootcamps include: Software Engineering, Data Analytics Fundamentals, and Cybercrime: The Darker Side of the Web. There will also be a section on Software Engineering for women titled Girls Who Code.

The Pandemic

YU will be offering a trilogy of courses that cover the history, theology, and science of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

“How Pandemics Shape the World” will be taught by Dr. Jeremy Brown, Director of the Office of Emergency Care Research at the National Institutes of Health. The human reactions to pandemics have remained remarkably constant over the centuries. That history, together with that of the Jewish people during these pandemics, can help inform us about what is happening today.

“Responses to COVID-19 in Jewish Ritual and Theology,” with Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Zuckier, focuses on how the impact of COVID-19 has forced Jewish communities to re-evaluate their teachings and practices. In the course, Dr. Zuckier will consider 12 studies in halacha and Jewish theology that outline the relevant controversy or diversity of opinion on a subject and how the issues and values at stake can be resolved. This class is a first opportunity to consider these weighty issues that will occupy scholars for generations to come.

In “Introduction to Covid-19 Drug Development,” Dr. Jeremy Wertheimer, a former vice president of engineering at Google and the founder of several biotech startups, takes a deep and detailed journey into how to use computational tools to visualize proteins, search protein databases, and model protein structure to synthesize and analyze drug designs.

“The two summer sessions offer more classes than ever before on an expanded range of topics,” noted Dr. Paul Russo, vice provost and dean of the Katz School. “We’re doing this because we are committed to remaining connected academically, socially and spiritually with our students and their families.”

For more information and full list of courses and bootcamps, go to yu.edu/summer