Pursuing a Shared Dream

New Students From Around the World Begin Unique Journey at Undergraduate Orientation

Each year, Yeshiva University welcomes hundreds of young men and women from around the country and across the globe who are drawn to its New York campuses by a shared dream: to lead bold, meaningful lives that shape a better world around them while deepening their connection to Jewish identity and learning.

Who are these new faces on campus? They’re aspiring physicists, educators, filmmakers and innovators. They speak French, Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch and of course Hebrew. And they might surprise you in other ways. There’s a prize-winning powerlifting champion from Malaga, Spain, who hopes to study medicine and explore Stern College for Women’s rich Judaic studies curriculum; a Panamanian student who dreams of working for NASA as an astrophysicist; a professional basketball player who’s competed in Israel and Hungary and is eager to learn how to start his own business at the Sy Syms School of Business.

At YU’s three undergraduate colleges, these students and their peers will shape unique destinies while building a foundation in Torah Judaism that will accompany them through every stage of their lives.

“You have come to a place that offers an unparalleled education and engaging professors and rabbeim, in an environment that nurtures and inspires a feeling of shleimut [wholeness],” said YU President Richard M. Joel. “It is all here for you. Don’t be an onlooker—be an owner and join with me in continuing this wonderful enterprise that charts the destiny of the Jewish people.”

“With a world class faculty delivering a Torah U’Maddah curriculum to nearly 600 talented new students on campus, you know electricity will be in the air,” said Dr. Karen Bacon, the Dr. Monique C. and Dr. Mordecai D. Katz Dean of Undergraduate Faculty of Arts and Science at YU. “Orientation 2016 is where the great academic and personal journey starts for the students of YU. The faculty and staff could not be more excited.”

Events Not to Miss

The week of Orientation is brimming with exciting events and activities that will help incoming students get used to their new home—which expands beyond their dorm room and campus to encompass the heart of one of the most famous cities in the world. “My favorite days of the year are during Orientation, when I see months of planning come together to properly welcome new students and set them up for success at YU,” said Dr. Chaim Nissel, dean of students. 

On the Wilf Campus, YU’s philosophy of Torah U’Madda will come to life through tours of the surrounding Washington Heights neighborhood from very different perspectives. During a session titled “Crossing the Bridge to Your College Years,” students will have the opportunity to learn about the history of bridge architecture in New York City from Dr. Paul Glassman, director of the University Libraries, as they visit the recently renovated High Bridge near campus. Later, they’ll view their new neighborhood through the lens of halacha as they accompany Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank, rebbe in the Mazer Yeshiva Program and rabbi of YU’s Shenk Community Shul, on a guided tour of the Washington Heights Eruv.

Students on the Beren Campus will enjoy a trip to nearby Chelsea, where they can visit YU spaces like the Yeshiva University Museum and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law which will offer important resources during their undergraduate career, as well as nab last-minute textbooks and move-in essentials from Barnes & Noble, the Container Store and Bed Bath & Beyond. Later, they’ll get to unwind with other new students during fun fondue and yoga sessions.

Students from both campuses will be able to meet and connect with Torah mentors and peers as they take in the iconic New York City skyline on separate boat cruises, as well as gain insight and perspective into making the most of their YU experience during conversations with deans and academic advisors in sessions throughout the week.

There will be plenty of fun ways to meet new fellow students, too. From a Pokemon Go rush to a scavenger hunt extravaganza and Welcome Back Bash Barbecue, Orientation is an all-out celebration, featuring music, games, great food and friends in the making.

Campus Renovations

On both the Wilf and Beren Campuses, newly-renovated dorms and student spaces will greatly enhance student life at YU.

A new student moves in on the Wilf Campus last year.

On the Wilf Campus, new air-conditioning has been installed in every room of Rubin Hall, and study lounges have been created on several floors. All dorm buildings now include kitchenettes and new television and video game options in student lounges to give residents another fun way to connect. Morgenstern Residence Hall’s Burdick Lounge and the Vending Lounge across from Furman Dining Hall also boast a variety of ping pong, billiards, air hockey and foosball tables, among other enhancements. The Jacob and Dreizel Glueck Center for Jewish Study has been updated with new lighting and more outlets to help students charge as they study.

On the Beren Campus, 16 deluxe rooms have been created in Brookdale Residence Hall, featuring completely new kitchens and updated furniture, and the bathrooms on the ground floor have also been renovated. A new fitness center is being installed in Schottenstein Residence Hall, along with a remodeled front lounge. A new reading room on the lower level of Heidi Steinberg Library and student lounge on the third floor of Stanton Hall as well as a remodeled experimental psychology lab are all in the process of being completed.

Resource Checklist

As new students become part of the Yeshiva University community, a host of innovative resources are available to help them navigate their college experience.

YU Mobile puts University life in students’ pockets, making the latest news, campus and athletic event listings, course schedules, library resources, photos, videos, minyan schedule, and more accessible on their smartphones. The app is free and available for download on iTunes and Google Play.

For the first time this semester, students will be able to download a mobile app, called YU Card, that links their meal plan to their ID, enabling them to log in online to add money or purchase meals at the caf or a host of other participating restaurants nearby. Students looking to stock up on seforim [Judaic texts] won’t have to go far: the Fall Seforim Sale make a wide range of offerings available during the week of Orientation.

New to YU,” a one-stop website designed especially for new students, includes information on everything from academic offerings to dorm rooms to service learning opportunities. It is the perfect place to go when students don’t even know where to start. Whether they’re looking to become more involved in student life or just need help getting around New York City, the site is full of helpful links and tips to get students off to a great start.

Still have questions? Students can call the Office of Student Life helpline at 212-960-5411 or email answers@yu.edu with any issue, question or comment about all aspects of life at YU, whether it’s “How do I find a chavrusa?” “What is the intercampus shuttle schedule?” or “Where do I share a new idea?”

With hundreds of on-campus events and activities each semester, there’s always something happening at YU. Whether it’s a film festival, lecture, philosophical debate, sporting event or concert, there’s something for everyone. Visit the Events Calendar to see what’s scheduled this week.

Keep up with the latest University news and announcements throughout the year by visiting the YU News blog. Students can also connect with the University’s official social media channels on FacebookTwitterInstagram and SnapChat (@YeshivaUSnaps).