In a three-day whirlwind of activity, from Sunday, August 21, through Tuesday, August 23, Yeshiva University welcomed more than 700 new undergraduates to its Wilf and Beren Campuses for a fall orientation focused on Values in Action. With a 20% increase from 2021, this incoming undergraduate class is the largest in 20 years.
In addition, over 700 students are enrolled for the coming year in the S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program. They will be studying at one of the over 40 yeshivot and seminaries.
Eager to familiarize themselves with the essentials of university life, students from across the country and around the globe connected with faculty and rebbeim, bonded with fellow classmates and engaged in YU’s unique campus culture and with the Core Torah Values that will inform and guide their college careers.
With energy to spare, the new undergrads participated in back-to-back sessions on the academic, spiritual and extracurricular opportunities YU offers. From hands-on technology tutorials and discussions on academic integrity to a robust Student Life fair, they listened and learned about the resources and services available to thrive academically and personally. Organized by student-leaders, fact-filled walking tours of Washington Heights and Murray Hill rounded out orientation with tips on how YU newcomers can navigate their adopted neighborhoods like true New Yorkers.
“For incoming students, orientation is a critical component to their future success,” said Jonathan Schwab, director of the Office of Student Life. “Thanks to the tireless efforts of our faculty, rebbeim and staff, we’re confident that the class of 2025 got off to a flying start. What’s more, we are pleased that they not only received the critical information needed to acclimate to their new home but also the warmth and guidance to grow as individuals as they start this exciting new chapter.”
Here are just a few highlights from YU’s Values-in-Action Orientation
In addition to participating in uplifting shiurim and inspiring conversations with student leaders and faculty, incoming students met with President Berman at lunch (Beren) and breakfast (Wilf) for engaging discussions on the values and ideals that drive YU and shape each undergrad’s college journey. Students received copies of President Berman’s soon-to-be published book, A Life of Faith, Meaning and Purpose: Nineteen Letters to Our Students, that articulates the University’s educational philosophy.
As Monday, August 22, came to a close, orientation activities on Wilf and Beren campuses shifted to new locations. Incoming students at Wilf headed to Camp Merockdim in Monsey, New York, for an end-of-the-day gathering with fellow classmates, faculty and rebbeim. In a spirited evening of food and fun, students participated in team-building exercises and a music-filled kumzitz led by Rabbi Mordecai Willig.
That same evening, students from Beren Campus enjoyed rooftop dining at Manhattan’s Tempura restaurant, followed by a lively panel discussion on “values and social media.” A panel of five female Jewish influencers, entrepreneurs and journalists shared their success stories and examined how one’s core values guide personal and business success.
On Tuesday, August 23, as the afternoon transitioned to evening, students from both campuses joined upper classmen at Wilf Campus’ Tenzer Gardens for a coed BBQ, marking the final hours of orientation and the start of the fall semester. Drawing close to 900 students, the annual Welcome Back BBQ featured music from Digital Dov and student-led chesed activities for local public schools.