David and Daniel Danesh Pay It Forward By Giving Back
Talking with the Danesh brothers, David (’13SB, ’16C) and Daniel (’13YC, ’16C), is like running a race. Both speak at a fast pace and with great enthusiasm, thoroughly committed to whatever idea or observation they are discussing with keen insight and rapid-fire analysis.
It’s not surprising, then, that they both found a home at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law after completing their undergraduate education at Yeshiva University, as well as positions in the fast-paced business world of Goldman Sachs, where they work in their respective legal fields. Both worlds suit their love of using language precisely and their enjoyment of intellectual challenges.
As undergraduates they pursued similar objectives but from slightly different directions. At Yeshiva College, Daniel pursued a degree in Hebrew literature with a minor in business. “I know three and a half languages,” Daniel noted jokingly, naming English, Farsi, Hebrew and two courses in Yiddish (that’s the “half”). “I knew business was going to be important to me,” he said, “but it was more important to my growth as a person to learn languages and literature.”
At Sy Syms School of Business, David took a range of different courses because “I wanted to have a more rounded experience” and found himself drawn towards “the advising side of business because I found that I enjoyed the intellectual challenge of mastering laws and procedures.”
Cardozo afforded them both ample opportunities to exercise their speaking skills and analytical powers as they pursued parallel interests in tax and corporate law. “In law,” said Daniel, “you have to do a lot of advocacy where you’re interpreting things and promoting your position. This means you have to learn how to think and speak very clearly.”
“For me,” said David, “I find it exciting to take an idea and break it down,” a process he got to refine as a teaching assistant for two courses and a research assistant for a tax law professor. “I also enjoy the challenge of looking at a business situation and ensuring the appropriate rules and regulations are followed.”
They bring this same enthusiasm and energy to their work as alumni because they share the same belief in the obligation of giving back by paying it forward. “Being an active alumnus,” Daniel said, “is part of a mandate that I have where I need to look back and make sure that the people behind me get the same opportunities to succeed that I got by going to YU.”
David shares Daniel’s sentiment 100 percent. “YU was very kind to me,” he said. “The desire to give back is the desire to see the chain of support continue. There is an important place for YU in the larger Jewish world, and we must support that.”
They are both members of the Annual Fund Campaign Cabinet, comprised of people who have volunteered to include YU as a priority in their own giving and serve as “brand ambassadors” to promote YU’s profile in their community.
David and Daniel attended ChampionsGate in Orlando this past July, to take advantage of the chance to meet with lay leaders from around the world and interact with world-famous leaders of Jewish thought. As Daniel observed, “Where else could you have the chance to sit at a table with major leaders of organizations and discuss issues of importance to these communities?” while for David, ChampionsGate helped him “appreciate how important the impact of the lay leadership is on the Jewish community and the Jewish family.”
Both Daniel and David will be giving what time they can to the upcoming “I Am YU” fundraising campaign, raising $5 million in one day on September 20. Clearly, YU is lucky to have such a dynamic duo supporting it with passion, commitment and gratitude.