Meet The Class of 2016

Asher Schreier, Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary

Students of all ages and backgrounds come to Yeshiva University to pursue a range of professional and personal dreams, from scientific research and medicine to law, Jewish education and the creative arts. Our students seek to harness their unique talents and YU education to make a lasting impact on the world around them. This spring, when they graduate, these new alumni will hit the ground running.

This Commencement season, YU Newswill feature one remarkable graduate from each school, reflecting on their time here, their passions and their dreams for the future.

Meet the Class of 2016.

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During his undergraduate career at the Sy Syms School of Business, Asher Schreier found himself drawn as much to Yeshiva University’s rich Judaic studies as his first-rate accounting classes. “I loved the learning—I became especially close to Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky, whose shiur [class] I took for three and a half years,” he said. Intrigued, Schreier began taking courses in the semicha [ordination] program at YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS). After graduating in 2014, he decided to continue his semicha studies at RIETS as he pursued a master’s in accounting at Sy Syms because of the deep impression his rebbeim had on him.

“At RIETS we have access to leaders like Rabbi Menachem Penner, the dean of RIETS, and Dr. David Pelcovitz, who really illustrate what kind of positive impact rabbis can have on their communities,” said Schreier. “Aside from the high-level learning about important topics in Jewish law through Rabbi Sobolofsky’s shiurim and getting to develop relationships with the other Roshei Yeshiva, it’s incredible to have Dr. Pelcovitz and Dr. Norman Blumenthal, experienced professionals in their field, devote their time to helping us become better rabbis through courses like the pastoral psychology class.”

Schreier has also been deeply moved by his experience as a rabbinic intern at Kehillas Beis Yehuda (known as “KBY”) in Wesley Hills, New York, where he serves alongside Rabbi Joshua Blass, mashgiach ruchani [spiritual advisor] at YU. “Rabbi Blass has been a true mentor to me, and it’s been eye-opening to watch him guide people through difficult situations. You can see how great the need of the Jewish community is and how rabbis can really impact people by being present in a very powerful way that wouldn’t be possible in any other capacity.”

Despite his busy academic and learning schedule, Schreier still finds the time to take advantage of the many perks of life on campus, where he lives with his wife, Elana, and infant son Aharon. “I love basketball and play in the intramurals,” he said. “I also really enjoy swimming in the pool at the Max Stern Athletic Center.” There’s another perk as well: there are more Schreiers on the Wilf Campus each day than there are even at his childhood home in Woodmere, New York. “My sister, who also graduated from Sy Syms, lives in the same building as us, my brother is a student at Yeshiva College now, and my mother works in the Office of Institutional Advancement,” he said. “So it’s like a family reunion all the time. We’re very blessed—we have a lot of history here. ”

Next year, Schreier will continue his journey in both accounting and the rabbinate, traveling to KBY for the weekends with his young family while working as an auditor at Ernst and Young. Ultimately, he hopes that like his teachers at RIETS, he can become a leader in the professional and spiritual realms alike: “The goal for me is to be that presence that makes a difference for the better in the lives of others,” said Schreier.

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