May 3 Event Recognizes University Contributors to Wide Range of Fields, Features Interdisciplinary Faculty Symposium
On May 3, Yeshiva University hosted its second Celebration of University Authors, marking the accomplishments of 59 writers who produced 179 publications that ranged from books, scholarly articles, and poetry to documentary films, musical scores and visual art.
The celebration included a faculty symposium on the topic of “Immigration and Identity” with five YU academics: Peter Markowitz, professor of law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and the founding faculty member and director of the Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic; Dr. Seamus O’Malley, assistant professor of English at Stern College for Women; Dr. Ronnie Perelis, Chief Rabbi Dr. Isaac Abraham and Jelena (Rachel) Alcalay Chair in Sephardic Studies and associate professor of Sephardic studies; Rabbi Dr. Jeremy Wieder, Rosh Yeshiva at Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary; and Dr. Danielle Wozniak, Dorothy and David I. Schachne Dean of the Wurzweiler School of Social Work.
Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman, President of YU, praised Dr. Selma Botman, provost and vice president of academic affairs; Paul Glassman, director of University libraries; and Dr. Stuart Halpern, senior adviser to the provost, for convening the symposium. “Many of my conversations with people on campus often break out into informal symposia, where people share their knowledge of a topic from their many and varied perspectives,” he noted. “I have always thought how wonderful it would be if we all had an opportunity to talk to each other and galvanize the interdisciplinary resources of this institution for the benefit of our faculty, our students and the broader public. This afternoon’s presentation makes that thought a reality and shows what Yeshiva University is about, a place where we can come together to challenge each other and emerge from this conversation edified and enlightened.”
The five members of the panel touched on different facets of the topic, drawing upon their specific expertise. Rabbi Wieder and Dr. Perelis, speaking from the scholarship they’ve done on Jewish history and law, outlined what the Talmud teaches about “the other” and converts as well as being sent into exile, states of being that have been experienced by the Jewish people over the millennia of their history.
O’Malley, coming from a more literary viewpoint, examined the linguistic usage of the phrase “the people,” noting that those both included and excluded from this group are created by language and circumstance and do not exist “out there waiting to be found.”
Markowitz and Dr. Wozniak addressed the topic from the work that lawyers and social workers have been doing to deal with the legal, physical and emotional trauma caused by the current “unprecedented and anomalous mass deportation system,” according to Markowitz. He explained how his immigration clinic has tried to provide constitutional protections to the vulnerable, while Dr. Wozniak described the work that Wurzweiler professors and students have done with families held in detention centers as they seek asylum.
Rabbi Shaul Robinson, senior rabbi at Lincoln Square Synagogue in New York City, who was invited to the symposium, said that “I’ve never attended an event like this before at YU, and I enjoyed everyone’s presentation.”
Wendy Kosakoff, a public services and outreach librarian, awarded the Student Library Research Award to Samuel Gelman ’19YC for his paper titled “India and America, A New Special Relationship: An Analysis of the Future Alliance between the United States and India.” The award recognizes excellence in research using the University libraries. Gelman’s paper was selected by a team of seven librarians out of 27 entries.
Glassman also announced that the University now has an institutional repository where faculty and others can submit their works for archival and research purposes. The 2018 Catalog of University Authors can be viewed online.