YU Sephardic Programs: On the Rise

Highlighting the record increase in Sephardic undergraduate enrollment at YU, more than 40 current and potential Sephardic students in the YU Israel program turned out for a recruitment dinner at the Entrecote Steakhouse in Jerusalem, co-sponsored by the YU Israel Office and the YU Sephardic Program. Rabbi Moshe Tessone, Director of YU’s Sephardic Program and Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Meir Goldwicht addressed the students, who included graduates of Hillel Yeshiva, Magen David Yeshiva, and Flatbush Yeshiva, encouraging students from the Syrian- Sephardic community to feel that YU is their home away from home.



The Sephardic Program also welcomed a new Sefer Torah in the Sephardic Bet Midrash, on loan to the YU Sephardic minyan by the Esmail family in memory of Yitzhak ben Yoseph and Harold ben Henry. Welcomed with joy, singing and dancing, the students gathered afterward for a Seudat Mitzvah in honor of the Sefer Torah, continuing the evening by singing sacred Pizmonim and songs of joy for the occasion.


Beginning in spring 2023, Rabbi Joey Soffer, an associate Rabbi at Syrian Congregation Bnei Yitzhak in Brooklyn, began leading a learning group at YU, where he teaches Hovot Halevavot twice a week to a group of Sephardic students in the Sephardic Beit Midrash.