Top Graduates Learn Leadership Skills Working on Campus

L-R: Joshua Ross, Elysia Rothenberg, Anat Barber, Shira Rosenfeld and Lisa Grundman are five of the eleven new graduate fellows.

Jul 13, 2004 — Eleven fellows will assume positions in departments around campus, under a presidential initiative to train YU graduates for leadership roles in Jewish communal life.

The inaugural awardees of the Graduate Fellowship in University and Community Leadership at Yeshiva University are part of a broader effort to identify top graduates and keep them connected to YU.

“My intention is to inspire these young people not only to pursue their professional dreams, but to remain committed to the university and to the Jewish community by utilizing the very real, demanding skills they will gain in this program,” said President Joel. “They will play a meaningful role in enhancing the academic enterprise.”

The students were selected after an intense screening and review process by Mort Lowengrub, PhD, vice president for academic affairs; Sheldon Gelman, PhD, Dorothy and David I. Schachne Dean of Wurzweiler School for Social Work; and Ed Fox, ’75T,CTI, deputy to the president.

The 2004-05 fellows are Jacob Agatstein, Anat Barber, Rachel Horn Cyrulnik, Debra Feinberg, Lisa Grundman, Ouriel Hassan, Shoshana Libin, Marisa Parker, Shira Rosenfeld, Joshua Ross, and Elysia Rothenberg.

They have been assigned to the following departments: RIETS’s Max Stern Division of Communal Services, Stern College for Women dean’s office, Sy Syms School of Business dean’s office, Office of Student Affairs (one each on the Wilf and Beren campuses), Office of University Life, Office of Enrollment Management, Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Development.

“The fellows will be exposed to the inner workings of the university,” said Dean Gelman. “The program seeks to help these young men and women develop leadership skills and apply them to their chosen fields.”

The experience, said President Joel, should help broaden Yeshiva University’s visibility in the Jewish community.

Rachel Horn Cyrulnik, former co-editor of The Observer, will work in the Office of University Life. “I think this fellowship will be a good learning experience, but more than that, it will empower me—at a very young age—to make a difference,” she said.

Under the program, the fellows will take on a specific project, and will be mentored by a university administrator. They will tour YU’s four campuses and visit major Jewish service agencies in the city to meet with executives. They will also attend biweekly leadership seminars, developed by Dean Gelman, and earn up to three graduate credits per semester.

The fellows will meet with donors to learn about their philanthropic interests and values.

Each fellow will receive $18,000 plus fringe benefits, including a year of housing and health insurance. In September, the 11 fellows will attend a Shabbat dinner at the home of President and Esther Joel.

The fellowship program underscores a concerted effort to listen to YU’s chief constituencies and use participants’ insight and knowledge to enrich university and academic life.

Joshua Ross, who will work at Sy Syms School of Business dean’s office, said he hoped “this will be a give-and-take learning experience.”

“Senior administrators will be actively engaged in grooming these fellows and, in turn, will be receptive to their ideas and observations,” said the president. “We expect that their contribution will benefit the university in both the short and long term.”

The program was made possible through the generosity of Ronald P. Stanton, Robert M. Beren, the Jesselson family, Sy Syms, Marjorie Diener Blenden, Warren Eisenberg, and Sender Cohen.

“After three years, following an evaluation, we hope the program will become a permanent feature of YU,” said Daniel T. Forman, vice president for development.

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