Jul 22, 2009 — Yeshiva University (YU) graduates, Marc Herman and Rafi Cashman of Toronto, Ontario have been selected to receive the prestigious Wexner Foundation Graduate Study Fellowship this year. The fellowship program is open to aspiring Jewish leaders pursuing careers in Jewish education, the rabbinate, cantorate, and Jewish professional leadership.
Herman, a rabbinic student at YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and a graduate of the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, has been working as a rabbinic intern at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in New York City and will begin his doctoral studies in Jewish History at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall.
“YU has provided me with opportunities that I did not realize were available to me before I arrived,” said Herman. “I have found role models who have shared with me their values and experiences. The intellectual rigor of both the roshei yeshiva and the professors has impressed upon me important skills, and I benefitted from teachers who have provided opportunities for my own personal growth.”
Cashman recently graduated YU’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, where he spoke on behalf of the Masters class at graduation. He served as a full-time rabbi and teacher at Toronto’s Yeshivat Or Chaim from 2002-2006, after which he began teaching at CHAT Jewish Day School in Toronto. At CHAT, Cashman started programs to better integrate Israeli students and also works with an interfaith program that connects CHAT students with those from Muslim and Christian schools. Next year he will be pursuing a doctorate in education at the University of Toronto.
“Azrieli profoundly impacted my sense of what is possible as a teacher; how much there is to learn, how to be a more effective teacher, and how much I can positively impact the world of Jewish education,” remarked Cashman. “They have been personally attentive to my growth, both professionally and personally, in a way I think unimaginable in any other academic institution.”
The Wexner Foundation introduced the program in 1988 to encourage the development of promising leaders in the North American Jewish community through graduate training, professional mentoring and specialized programming. Of the 20 exceptional candidates chosen for the prestigious Wexner Fellowship, seven are YU graduates.
“I was very impressed by the many qualified applicants from Yeshiva University,” said Or Mars, director of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program. “They each articulated special visions for the future of the Jewish world and demonstrated the potential to realize those visions. We are proud to have them in our program and feel confident that they will become masters of exercising leadership for the good of all.”