Nov 1, 2004 — A glimpse of Yeshiva University’s future could be seen Sunday on the Israel Henry Beren Campus. The annual ritual of Open House activities began with hundreds of enthusiastic and fresh faces familiarizing themselves with what life might be like at Stern College for Women and Sy Syms School of Business.
The new faces belonged primarily to high school seniors and some current college students considering Stern College and Sy Syms as the next stop in their academic careers.
One of the newest and most exciting aspects of this year’s Open House was Yeshiva University’s Israel Fair, which brought together in one place, representatives of 13 Israeli schools that provide prospective YU students with a year of study abroad. John Fisher, YU Director of Enrollment Management, said the Israel Fair’s kickoff in Koch Auditorium was extremely well attended. “I never saw that auditorium so filled,” he said. “People were standing. It was packed.”
Miriam Fekri is a sophomore at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, and has definitely decided to attend Stern. She said Bard has not been as accommodating as she had hoped of her observance of Jewish holidays, and she has had a tough time making up for time lost during some of those holidays. She also liked the idea that Stern is a women’s college.
“Stern is a place more open to the needs of women, especially observant Jewish women,” said Miriam, who plans to major in both economics and psychology and has a keen interest in studying foreign languages.
Miriam’s mother, Rachel, said she believes a women’s college will help further her daughter’s academic achievement.
Miriam was one of hundreds of students from the New York metropolitan region as well as from cities across the country who assembled at the Schottenstein Cultural Center on 34th Street Sunday morning. Greetings were offered by Michael Kranzler, director of admissions, Charles Snow, Dean of Sy Syms School of Business, Ephraim Kanarfogel, chairman of the Rebecca Ivry Department of Jewish Studies at Stern, Karen Bacon, The Monique C. Katz Dean of Stern, and President Richard M. Joel.
President Joel told students they had to be “deliberate consumers” when choosing a college. He proceded to make the case for Yeshiva University with not only his own endorsement, but by allowing several current Stern College and Sy Syms students extoll the virtues of the schools. “We have an obligation,” President Joel told prospective students, “to provide you the space to grow.”
Anna, who asked that her last name not be used, had not made up her mind to attend Stern but was taking in as much as she could and said she was impressed. A senior at Cleveland’s Fuchs Mizrachi high school, Anna said all the teachers she met at Open House were “very friendly.”
“And I like that Stern offers a broad range of courses. I’m considering majoring in psychology or education, but I would like to take courses in biology and philosophy. And I like that there are girls here from different Jewish backgrounds, not just Orthodox ones.
Several students, including Darah Dolny of Monsey, NY, said the mixture of Judaic and secular studies offered on the Beren Campus appeals to her. Undecided about her major but seemingly set on attending Stern (Darah’s mother, Mindy, is a Stern and Wurzweiler alumnus and her father, David, graduated from MTA), Darah said Open House gave her a good sampling of the programs. Mindy Dolny offered kudos not only for the academic aspect of Open House but also for the culinary aspect. “We really enjoyed the lunch,” she said with a big smile. “They had great wraps and desserts.”
In addition to its academic aspects, Open House is always an opportunity for fun. Young women from different parts of the country establish acqaintanceships that may one day blossom into friendships. Three such women were Debbi Ganz of Miami Beach, Aliza Weinschneider of Chicago, and Adira Lautman of Cleveland. All three said Stern and Sy Syms appealed to them because of the quality Jewish and secular education offered.