Straus Center Fall 2022 Courses: The Wisdom of Solomon, Rembrandt and AI

Collage of Ulysses book cover, the Straus Center logo, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, painting of rabbis learning, the liberty bell and King Solomon

For Fall 2022, the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought, in collaboration with Yeshiva College (YC) and Stern College for Women, is offering numerous courses for Straus Scholars and Yeshiva University undergraduate students to study the great texts and traditions of the West and Judaism.

Back by popular demand, Straus Center Clinical Assistant Professor Rabbi Dr. Dov Lerner is teaching The Thought of Rabbi Sacks on the Beren campus, as well as Malbim and Modernity, which focuses on the nineteenth-century exegete. Rabbi Dr. Mordechai Schiffman, clinical assistant professor of Jewish education, will continue his work with the Straus Center with Happiness: Torah and Psychology, while Straus Center Associate Director and Clinical Assistant Professor Dr. Neil Rogachevsky is teaching American Political Thought.

Straus Center Director Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik and Straus Center Resident Scholar Dr. Shaina Trapedo are splitting their time between the Beren and Wilf campuses. On Beren, Rabbi Dr. Soloveichik is teaching Zionist Political Thought and co-teaching Rashi & Rembrandt with Dr. Jacob Wisse. On Wilf, he co-teaches Epistemology of Judaism with Associate Professor of Philosophy Dr. David Johnson. Dr. Trapedo is teaching Jews in Western Literature at Yeshiva College and The Wisdom of Solomon: Love, Learning, Leadership at Stern.

Dr. Rogachevsky is also teaching at Yeshiva College this year, pulling double duty with Modern Political Thought and American Political Thought. Rabbi Dr. Lerner’s Malbim and Modernity course is also being offered on the Wilf campus this year, and Rabbi Shalom Carmy, assistant professor of Jewish philosophy and Bible, is teaching Repentance and Forgiveness. Rabbi Itamar Rosensweig is teaching a YC course as well on Metaphysics.

Finally, the Straus Center is excited to welcome a number of new affiliated faculty from YC and the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS). Rabbi Dr. Ari Bergmann is teaching his first Straus Center course, titled Schools of Aggadah, while Talmud instructor Rabbi Nathaniel Wiederblank and Rabbi Dr. Mois Albert Navon, a professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, are teaching the cutting-edge new course: Ethics in Artificial Intelligence.

“The new course in AI ethics is a unique opportunity for our students to study an important problem with a rare combination of professors,” said Dr. Judah Diament, clinical professor and chair of the YC computer science department. “Rabbi Wiederblank is not only a maggid shiur at YU, but he is also the author of two very well-received volumes on Jewish thought that have been praised for their rigorous and systematic approach to topics that are often viewed as being ‘fuzzy.’ Rabbi Dr. Navon brings to bear his professional career, which ranged from NASA to Mobileye, as well as his own knowledge in both Torah and general ethics. Far from being passive learners, the students will be writing full-length papers on a topic in AI ethics, working together on them with these stellar professors.”

To learn more about Straus Center courses, click here.

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