From the Dean’s Desk: The State of Sy Syms 2021

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Our name “Israel” emerged from a struggle.  Yaakov Avinu wrestled with an angel and the angel suddenly had to leave (Bereishit 32:25-27). We would have expected Yaakov to breathe a sigh of relief and move on quickly to easier tasks.

Yet, Yaakov did something surprising: He refused to relinquish the angel until he received a bracha, a blessing.  R’ Jonathan Sacks, zt”l, former chief rabbi and YU professor, says that this is how we have to come out of any struggle: by finding ways to exit amidst blessing.

This year has certainly been one of struggle, but as you’ll see in this State of Sy Syms newsletter, everyone involved in Sy Syms, from students to faculty to administration to alumni and members of the Board of Overseers, helped make this into a year of blessings, too. For instance, please see this brief video about last summer’s YU Consulting Force.

First, as a review of the year, here are links to six of our recent Dean’s Desk newsletters:

Second, to set the table for the coming year, please watch the four-minute “State of Sy Syms 2021” animated video below.

Thank you to everyone who helped make possible all of our progress and deepening of our strengths: faculty, students, parents, alumni, board members, donors, support aces, administration, and many other members of Team Syms and One YU.




Dr. Noam Wasserman