Sy Syms School of Business Valedictorian Has a Head for Numbers and a Heart for Torah

Jun 3, 2009 — Chavi Schwartz, who graduated as co-valedictorian from Sy Syms School of Business, always had a head for numbers. “I always enjoyed having to work through problems and come to conclusions based on a given set of rules,” said the accounting major from Highland Park, NJ.

But while Syms’ accounting program—taught by professors who have worked in the profession—qualified her for a job at KPMG starting this fall, the school had a further-reaching impact on her life. The University equipped her for a life as a Torah-observant Jew in the modern workplace, she said.

“YU’s dual curriculum has prepared me to enter the business world with superior skills and knowledge and a deep-rooted commitment to Torah values and laws regardless of the situation I am in,” Schwartz said. “The teachers and atmosphere at YU have taught me how to integrate Judaism into yet another area of my life and that is something that will stay with me forever.”

Schwartz, whose father and two brothers attended Yeshiva College, said her teachers at the business schools modeled this fusion of religious lifestyle with business interests. On a weekend trip out of the city she coincidentally walked into a shiur [lecture] being given by one of her accounting professors.

“Observing how my teachers are able to teach and excel in their business careers while still being actively involved in their religious communities made a major impact on me and is something that motivated me to continue on the path that I am on,” she said.

Next profile: Alison Brill, who advocated for prisoners’ rights at Cardozo, awarded clerkship for NJ Supreme Court Justice

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