YUToday Fall 2011

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Yeshiva University YUToday Publication Fall 2011



years of YU and community service by Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein and Rabbi Julius Berman


∞ FALL 2011 ∞ VOLUME 15 • NO. 3


Top-Tier Graduate Schools Accept More YU Alumni Than Ever

YU alumni who have served as Presidential Fellows

99 8

Community kollels and learning programs run by CJF across the country this summer

Yeshiva University welcomed over 600 new undergraduate students during Orientation 2011


years Sheldon Gelman served as Wurzweiler dean, a record for social work schools in North America

21 4

he new classes of 2014 and 2015 have arrived at Yeshiva University (YU) armed with personal and academic goals and a desire to succeed in whatever career path they choose. For some inspiration and encouragement, they can simply look toward YU’s current crop of students and alumni. At Stern College for Women, 30 students applied to medical school this past year, with 27 receiving offers of admission, including 17 to YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine, making them eligible to apply for up to a full tuition scholarship from the Anne Scheiber Fund. Stern’s 90 percent acceptance rate to medical schools is well above the national average of 60 percent. “As the years have progressed, the number of students interested

in the health fields has grown substantially, and the acceptance rate has gotten better and better,” said Dr. Brenda Loewy, who has been the pre-health advisor at Stern for close to seven years. “This reflects the high caliber of students that we are attracting, and is also indicative of the quality of education that they are receiving at Stern College, both in the overall curriculum and especially in the sciences.” One Stern student will be pursing a Ph.D. at Einstein in the biomedical sciences, while two others will be pursuing Ph.D.s in chemistry, one at Princeton and the other at Columbia. Thirteen out of the 14 women who applied to dental school were also offered acceptance to top schools, including Columbia, Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania. Continued on Page 6 ç

Creating Sense From Tragedy: Remembering 9/11


YU alumni selected for Wexner Fellowships last year

YU student athletes named to the Skyline Academic Honor Roll, the most in the conference


Interesting new facts about YU all the time. Check in often at blogs.yu.edu/news

hey felt helpless. Jessica Russak Hoffman, then a senior at Stern College for Women, watched the two towers of the World Trade Center fall to the ground from the window of her apartment on Lexington Avenue. “One second you’re having a normal morning, brushing your teeth,” she said. “The next you’re staring at the television, at the window, at the smoke, saying, ‘What do we do?’ ” Dodi-Lee Hecht heard the first plane as it roared across Manhattan before crashing into the South Tower. A freshman from Toronto, she turned to her new roommates, also first-timers in New York City, and joked, “If that pilot’s not careful, he’ll fly into a building.” The joke left September 11, 2001 a deep memory. “It was the kind of joke that was never going to be funny again,” she said. For students, faculty and staff of Yeshiva University on Sept. 11, 2001, those memories are as vivid today as they were a decade ago. Their experiences differ profoundly, but together they create a shared narrative of shock and futility, marked by nightmarish plumes of smoke, the constant wail of sirens, and dazed, ash-covered masses of people walking uptown to escape the calamity.

“There was this terrible, overwhelming sense of fear and disbelief,” recalled Dr. Karen Bacon, Dr. Monique C. Katz Dean of Stern College. “It was like a science fiction movie. A bright, sunny day was turned into one of tragedy and horror, and I think for all of us it took days to internalize how things had changed.” Former students remember a city without hope, where threehour-long lines to donate blood were suddenly dispersed because the projected casualties were all assumed dead and subway stations were wallpapered with photos of the missing. Yet, with no wounded to aid, members of the YU community responded to the devastation of 9/11 with the ultimate chesed shel emet (genuine kindness): They dedicated their efforts to those who perished. Rabbi Daniel Rapp, then associate dean for undergraduate Judaic studies at YU, was tapped to serve on the committee investigating the resulting aguna (chained wife) crisis. As one of the youngest members of the Beth Din of America, his understanding of current technology, including computer Continued on Page 6 ç



Packed House for Sen. Joseph Lieberman at New Straus Center
he Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought played a key role in the launch of Yeshiva University’s new academic year on Aug. 31, featuring an appearance by U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut. The program in Lamport Auditorium drew more than 1,200 students, alumni and community members. “I feel very much at home,” Lieberman said. “YU and the Straus Center stand for an important proposition, that our mission cannot be narrow.” Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik, the center’s director, interviewed the senator about religion in America, his historic political career Senator Joseph Lieberman and his new book, The Gift of Rest: Rediscovering the Beauty of the Sabbath. “The center’s theme for the year will focus on Jewish ideas, faith and American democracy,” said Rabbi Soloveichik. “We will be featuring public figures whose lives relate to that theme.” Future speakers will include former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey and Britain’s Chief Rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, who will lecture on faith and democracy in the United States and Europe. Rabbi Soloveichik will engage each guest in dialogue at the events, which are geared “first and foremost to the students, but will be open to the public as well,” he said During the year, Rabbi Soloveichik will teach a course for undergraduate honors students on Biblical ideas in American democracy and will lead a seminar for select semicha students, which looks at how Jewish ideas appear throughout America’s foundational documents and helped shape the new democracy. n
k For full coverage of the event, please visit yu.edu/lieberman




ChampionsGate 2011
k yu.edu/championsgate2011

Look at our online photo gallery, with dozens of pictures from the conference.
k Download mobile reader at http://scan.mobi and enjoy additional web content throughout YUToday.


11 undergrad students participate in summer research program at Einstein
k yu.edu/einsteinsummer2011

Meet the fresh faces on YU’s faculty
k yu.edu/newfaculty2011

Dr. Pava Leads New Team Forward at Syms



U’s Syms School of Business has a new director. Dr. Moses Pava, Alvin Einbender Professor of Business Ethics and professor of accounting at Syms, is now responsible for both the undergraduate and graduate programs, reporting directly to the provost’s office. Pava is the author of numerous books and articles on corporate accountability and is an expert on Jewish business ethics. He has been with the business school since 1988, has chaired the accounting department and served as chair of the Executive Faculty Committee. “My goal as director for the Dr. Moses Pava Syms School of Business is to strengthen our primary commitment to our energetic, bright, ambitious and very hardworking students,” Pava said. “I view Syms as a dynamic learning-community, dedicated—first and foremost—to preparing the next generation of highly successful Jewish business leaders and professionals in accounting, finance, marketing, management and entrepreneurship.” Michael Strauss, entrepreneur-in-residence and clinical professor of management at Syms, has been appointed associate director of student

advising and administration at the school, where he has taught business courses for several years. Strauss is currently CEO of a company he founded several years ago, BSafe Electrix, Inc. and is also chairman of Sherwood Consulting Group, Inc., while serving on several advisory boards. Dr. Avi Giloni has been named associate director for academic research of Syms. Giloni has been with Syms since 2000 and chaired the Information and Decision Sciences Department since its inception. His research is in robust forecasting, optimization, stochastic system design and their applications to supply chain management. Giloni has published papers in top-tier journals, including Management Science and the SIAM Journal on Optimization. Syms continues to pursue accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International and recently received New York State approval for an executive MBA program. The growing Master of Science program in accounting, which has graduated its second cohort, will continue under the directorship of Dr. Joseph Kerstein. n

CJF Missions
The Center for the Jewish Future ran several worldwide service missions this summer. Check out photos from the Counterpoint Brazil program at k yu.edu/counterpointbrazil

Orientation 2011
Over 600 new YU students arrived on campus during Orientation 2011. To view our full photo gallery, please visit k yu.edu/orientation2011



Chairman, YU Board of Trustees




Editor in Chief


Art Director

Bruce Bobbins, Enrique Cubillo, Zev Eleff, Norman Goldberg, Aliza (Berenholz) Peled, Peter Robertson, Tova Ross Perel Skier, V. Jane Windsor, Matt Yaniv Contributors [email protected] www.yu.edu/cpa

President Obama Appoints Cardozo Professor to Federal Commission


YUToday is published quarterly by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs and is distributed free to faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors and friends. It keeps them informed of news from across Yeshiva University’s undergraduate and graduate divisions and affiliates. The quarterly newsletter covers academic and campus life, faculty and student research, community outreach and philanthropic support. It showcases the University’s mission of Torah Umadda, the combination of Jewish study and values with secular learning, through stories about the diverse achievements of the University community. © Yeshiva University 2011 • Office of Communications and Public Affairs Furst Hall Room 401 • 500 West 185th St. • New York, NY 10033-3201 • Tel.: 212.960.5285

resident Barack Obama announced his nomination of Professor Richard Weisberg—the Floersheimer Professor of Constitutional Law at Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law—to the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad. In this position, Weisberg will help protect and preserve historic buildings, collections and monuments in Europe that are significant to the heritage and culture of U.S. citizens. Weisberg has been a member of the Cardozo faculty since 1977. He received his doctorate from Cornell University and his JD from Columbia Law School, where he was an editor of the Columbia Law Review. “An opportunity to serve in any governmental capacity is a great privilege and I’m especially pleased to serve on this commission,” Weisberg said. “Its work was designed to respect and extend the memory of Holocaust victims now in the U.S. and other interested citizens by preserving American patrimony abroad from misuse, desecration or expropriation.” n

Stanley I. Raskas, Chairman, Board of Overseers, Yeshiva College; Shira Yoshor, Chairman, Board of Overseers, Stern College for Women; Alan Kestenbaum, Chairman, Board of Overseers, Syms School of Business; Ruth L. Gottesman, Chairperson, Board of Overseers, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Leslie E. Payson, Chair, Board of Overseers, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law; Froma Benerofe, Chair, Board of Overseers, Wurzweiler School of Social Work; Mordecai D. Katz, Chairman, Board of Overseers, Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies; Carol Bravmann, Chair, Board of Overseers, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology; Moshael J. Straus, Chairman, Board of Overseers, Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration; Julius Berman, Chairman, Board of Trustees, (affiliate) Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary; Miriam Goldberg, Chairman, Board of Trustees, YU High Schools; Theodore N. Mirvis and Michael Jesselson, Co-Chairs, Board of Directors, (affiliate) Yeshiva University Museum. Board listings as of September 1, 2011.






RIETS to Honor Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein and Rabbi Julius and Dorothy Berman for 50 Years of Service


o hear Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein an agenda for Yiddishkeit [Judaism], tell it, he simply “ended up being and to develop bnei Torah, both within the right man at the right place at the respective yeshivot and the broader the right time.” After entering Yeshiva community.” University at 16, he went on to become an Reflecting on the occasion of being English professor at Stern College, later a honored, Rabbi Lichtenstein said he shiur assistant to the Rav, Rabbi Joseph considers it a privilege to work in chinuch B. Soloveitchik, of blessed memory, and [education], “which satisfies a personal finally a maggid shiur [Torah lecturer] need, and enables one to transcend the and head of the Gruss Institute in Jerusalem, an affiliate of Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS). RIETS will honor 50 years of Torah and community leadership by Rabbi Lichtenstein and by its chairman of the board, Rabbi Julius Berman, and his wife Dorothy, at its annual dinner on Nov. 13 at the Grand Hyatt in New York—a jubilee tribute to Rabbi Lichtenstein and the Bermans. Rabbi Lichtenstein earned his bachelor’s degree from YU, semicha [rabbinical ordination] from RIETS and a PhD in English literature from Harvard. After serving as rosh yeshiva at YU in New York for several years, he made aliyah in 1971 to become rosh yeshiva at Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein Yeshivat Har Etzion. He maintains a close connection to YU as rosh kollel for egocentricity and to devote oneself with the Gruss Institute. He is deeply involved genuine religious fervor to the Ribono in educator training programs worldshel Olam [Master of the Universe].” wide and has published extensively on As for RIETS today, “any observer Jewish life and education. of the beis medrash [study hall] would be A renowned scholar, Rabbi Lichimpressed with the positive development tenstein’s teachings reflect the tradition of a more Torahdig [Torah-oriented] cliof the Rav, who was not only his teacher mate, as regards both the ability to learn, but also his father-in-law. “I spent many the desire to learn, and the readiness years learning,” Rabbi Lichtenstein said. to assume the mantle of responsibility “The combination of background skills within the Jewish world,” he noted. that I had made me, both for YU and for Over the last 50 years, Rabbi LichYeshivat Har Etzion, the kind of person tenstein is most proud of “having built, whom they felt they needed to promote, together with my wife [Tova, nee Soto develop and to inculcate learning and loveitchik], the wonderful family that

we have,” he said. “It is a personal accomplishment, a social accomplishment, and a contribution—through what they are giving and will give in service of the Ribbono shel Olam in the future.” Rabbi Berman, who currently chairs the RIETS Board of Trustees, received his bachelor’s degree from YU and his semicha from RIETS, where he was also a

Rabbi Julius and Dorothy Berman

student of the Rav. After graduating from New York University School of Law, he went on to hold a number of influential positions in communal affairs, including leadership roles at the Orthodox Union and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Today, in addition to his work as a partner at the law firm Kaye Scholer, Rabbi Berman is chairman of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. He took the helm of the RIETS board after the previous chairman, Judah Feinerman, stepped down in 1999. “Yeshiva has been and remains

the core of the movement with which I proudly identify, so it stands to reason that I would ‘return home’ … and share whatever leadership talent G-d has granted me as honed by the teaching of the Rav,” he said of his appointment. In 2002, under Rabbi Berman’s leadership, a Special Strategic Initiative Task Force was convened and eventually recommended “exceptional professional training to prepare our talmidim [students] for the current realities of the Jewish community,” leading to the creation of R-PEP, the Rabbinic Professional Education Program. Those advancements have contributed to the way RIETS students are now tracked, in one of five courses of study: pulpit, education, community and campus outreach, non-profit work and hospital chaplaincy. Alongside these changes, “RIETS continues to perform its age-old responsibility of grounding our musmakhim [ordained rabbis] with the spiritual and intellectual base upon which they can pasken [determine] the Halacha, while at the same time, equipping them with the wherewithal to deal with the diverse situations that arise, to enable them to educate, lead and care for our people,” Rabbi Berman noted. Reflecting on his achievements in the broader Jewish community, Rabbi Berman takes pride in having been the first Orthodox lay person elected to chair the Conference of Presidents. “To sit in the Oval Office next to President Reagan or in the Kube Palace in Cairo with [former] President Mubarak, as the representative of the total organized Jewish community in America is an experience beyond compare,” he said. n

Revel Hosts Int’l Conference

In Memoriam: Rabbi Moshe Furst


ozens of scholars from Jerusalem to Wyoming gathered on Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus in July to share research on a broad array of topics within Jewish studies. The three– day international academic conference on “Israel and the Nations: Visions and Reality” was hosted by YU’s Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. “This conference, precisely because of its breadth, high quality of participants and international scope, reflects the enhanced role that the Bernard Revel Graduate School has assumed on the global stage of Jewish studies,” said Dr. David Berger, dean and Ruth and I. Lewis Gordon Professor of Jewish History at Revel. “To add to the extremely impressive research by our veteran faculty, we have recruited younger scholars who have bolstered our research in Bible, modern Jewish history and Jewish philosophy.” Berger served on the conference’s steering committee, along with Profes-

sors Avinoam Cohen, Hanah Kasher, Yeshayahu Maori and Yosef Rivlin. Support for the conference was provided by the Mordecai D. and Dr. Monique C. Katz Fund. Over 40 scholars lectured in both Hebrew and English and presented on ancient, medieval and modern Jewish history, Bible, Jewish ethics, Jewish law, literature and Zionism. The opening day was highlighted by Berger’s keynote address, charting the development of Jewish-Christian encounters throughout history. Cohen lectured on the second day, arguing that it is possible to detect early anti-Christian polemic in Talmudic literature. Dr. Seth Ward of the University of Wyoming presented on attitudes of 20th century writers toward gentiles. “As a visiting scholar, it was a particularly welcome opportunity to spend time with academics who share both my commitment to Modern Orthodoxy and Judaic scholarship,” he said. n


abbi Moshe (Milton) Furst, the executive assistant to Dr. Samuel Belkin, Yeshiva University’s second president, passed away July 19 at the age of 88. A valedictorian of Yeshiva College in 1943 and a graduate of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 1946, Rabbi Furst served the YU and RIETS communities with distinction, and was responsible for the Synagogue Campaign Division of RIETS. In 1971, he made aliyah to Israel, in where he was served as director general in the Rabbinical Council of America’s Yeshivat HaDarom. He and his wife Batya (Beatrice, nee Bick), who predeceased him in 2005, were both deeply beloved by the members of the Rabbinic Alumni for their warmth, friendship and genuine commitment to strengthen RIETS and YU, together with members of their respective distinguished families. “He was very devoted and a great Zionist,” said Dr. Herbert Dobrinsky, YU’s vice president for university affairs, who succeeded Furst as executive assistant. “I considered him to be my mentor, along with others here at Yeshiva, and a remarkable leader whose dedication to YU and RIETS was a source of inspiration to all who knew him.” Heartfelt condolences are extended to his children, Zev (and Sandy) Furst, Aryeh (and Deborah) Furst, Malkah (and Dov) Cymbalista of Israel, and his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as to his beloved cousin, YU Trustee and Benefactor Gerald (and Violet) Furst, the son of his beloved uncle and aunt, Sol and Hilda Furst, of blessed memory, for whom Furst Hall was named during his tenure. n






On the Road: Students Put YU Education Into Practice


his summer, Yeshiva University organized an array of learning and professional internship programs in cities across the United States, including Denver; Los Angeles; Teaneck; Chicago; Stamford; Atlanta; and Kansas City, MO. These internship programs and kollels [intensive Torah and Talmud study programs]—ranging in length from two to six weeks— were sponsored by YU’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) and Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), in partnership with local congregations in participating cities. Students in the summer kollels had the opportunity to grow through rigorous Torah learning and daily shiurim [lectures] as well as to share their knowledge of Torah with their host communities. Students participated in formal and informal workshops with top educators, physicians and psychologists on a variety of topics that confront rabbis and communal professionals. The programs were intended to help students develop skills in public speaking, as well as to encourage shiur and drasha [sermon] development, and to allow them to experience Jewish life outside of the tristate area. Students participating in the Chicago and Kansas City kollel programs completed internships in a variety of professions for local firms. Additionally, students led numerous community-wide social, cultural and educational activities, interacting with the local community. “Such opportunities allow our students multiple experiences as interns in professions they wish to pursue as careers and to realize how their knowledge and passion as lay leaders can empower communities around the world,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, David Mitzner Dean of the CJF. One program which really made an impact on the community was the YU Kansas Summer experience, held from May 31 to June 26 in Kansas City, MO. Hosted by Congregation Beth Israel Avraham & Voliner (BIAV), the program offered participants the opportunity to integrate with the community, spending their days working at a variety of businesses and dedicating their

YU students help residents rebuild in Joplin, MO

nights to energizing and learning Torah with the Jewish community. On June 12, Tuvia Brander, a second-year RIETS student currently serving as a rabbinic intern at BIAV, led a group of YU students and community members on a Red Cross-sponsored Disaster Relief Mission to Joplin, MO to help residents there rebuild their city and their lives following a devastating tornado in May which killed 150 people. “We have done more than fulfill the mitzvah of tikkun olam [healing the world],” said Tuvia Brander. “We have added to the dialogue of the community and inspired others to get involved.” Joining Brander on the Kansas City Summer Experience were YU students Baruch Cohen, Sarit Cohen,

Malkie Krieger, Asher Lindenbaum, Gabrielle Moskowitz, Mindy Sojcher and Yaakov Taubes. “Having the [students] be part of our community for the month has been a special experience,” said Rabbi Daniel Rockoff, BIAV’s rabbi and also a RIETS graduate. “I am especially proud of the positive example they have set throughout the entire Jewish community as spirited, observant young Jews who are eager to engage the world around them.” The students, each of whom was provided a mentor and a host family, spent the month interning at local businesses, led a nightly beit midrash [study hall] program and organized panel discussions dealing with contemporary religious and halachic issues. n

Former Presidential Fellows Find Success After YU


hey work for the best financial firms and attend top medical schools. They craft programs to create leadership in Israel and coordinate national events for handicapped children. They are rabbis, lawyers and teachers across the country. And they all have one thing in common: they are alumni of Yeshiva University’s Presidential Fellowship in University and Community Leadership. The fellowship, founded by YU President Richard M. Joel in 2004, offers graduating students the opportunity to effect change from within the University, putting their skills to work in departments that range from the YU Museum and the Office of the General Counsel to the Office of the President. A senior member of the department mentors each fellow during the year. Through weekly graduate courses, as well as on-site visits and other training activities, the group is exposed to multiple aspects of leadership. While they have all moved on to the next stage in their personal and professional lives, former fellows still feel the impact of the program. On June 16, alumni from each of the seven cohorts gathered at the YU Museum for a reunion that celebrated not only their time as fellows, but the careers and lives they have built since. “We wanted to bring you together to reignite the inspiration, but also to look back at where you’ve gone over these years and think about where and who you are,” said Rabbi Josh Joseph, vice president, chief of staff and director of the fellowship, addressing the fellows and noting that the program has 99 alumni. President Joel highlighted one characteristic that all members of the fellowship shared. “You were attracted to this fellowship because you want to struggle with the meaning of the word ‘leadership,’” he said. “It’s

about what you see and what you make happen, not just what is.” Alumni have used their training to secure leadership positions across a diverse spectrum of organizations. Rebecca Stone, a 2005–06 fellow in the Office of University Life, felt the fellowship’s educational compo-

Hadassa Rubinstein, ’08–’09 fellow in the Office of the President, catches up with Ephraim Shoshani, who served as the ’09–’10 fellow in the Office of Communications and Public Affairs

nent helped her identify and hone her strengths as she transitioned from the role of student to professional. As a fellow, Stone worked with the American Jewish World Service to develop programming for students in Honduras, and organized events to raise awareness of social justice concerns. She is currently the director of community engagement at Encounter, an organization that informs Jewish Diaspora leadership on the intricacies of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“The fellowship really set me out on this path and empowered me to get clarity about what I was passionate about and where I could make a difference,” Stone said. That empowerment is one of the fellowship’s legacies for many alumni, along with the development of foundational business skills and an enduring connection with senior staff who cultivate their talents. “It was my first full-time job after college and it was helpful to have a relationship with a mentor who could guide me through those steps,” said Raffi Rosenzweig. Rosenzweig was a fellow in the Office of Communications and Public Affairs during the 2007–08 academic year. He later participated in the Legacy Heritage Teacher Training Fellowship, which places fellows in Jewish day schools across the country, and facilitates study for a master’s degree in education. As a fellow, Rosenzweig led Bible and Jewish history classes at Yavneh Academy in Dallas, Texas. He began studies at Harvard Law School this fall. Equally important to these alumni are the camaraderie and connections fostered between fellows. “The fellowship created friendships that have been with me for the last six years,” said Eli Hagler, a 2006–07 fellow in the Office of Student Affairs on the Wilf campus. “It creates a bond…. There’s a whole network of support.” Hagler is earning his master’s degree in business management from Baruch College. After working as YU’s assistant director of undergraduate admissions, he now serves as assistant director at Yachad, where he has organized fundraising marathons and national Shabbatons. “The attention to detail, learning how to run an event and the pieces that go into it—that all came from the fellowship,” Hagler said. n




oseph Bensmihen ’91YC, ’95W, the newest member of the Yeshiva College Board of Overseers, has long believed in the power of education. “My father’s motto was ‘Education is freedom,’ and it was something he emphasized to me every day,” said Bensmihen, who is known to most of his family and friends as simply “JB.” A native of Montreal, JB was born with spastic cerebral palsy, and doctors told his parents that their son would never walk. Fortunately, his parents never told that to JB, and never indicated that he couldn’t do anything because of his disability. “In addition to emphasizing the power of education, my dad told me I was the best every night before I went to sleep,” said JB. “Because of him, I believe it to this day.” Not only did JB walk, but the confidence his father instilled in him has carried him through his life and been instrumental in his success. JB is a successful social worker and businessman in Florida who, with his wife Lisa, is co-owner and CEO of Boca Home Care Services, a private duty home healthcare agency. He is also the founder, in 2005, of Boca Home Care, a Medicare-certified home health agency. Both companies serve seniors and their families in South Florida. He is a former president of Boca Raton Synagogue; has four wonderful children, the eldest of whom will have his bar mitzvah in October; and is a kind, extremely funny and engaging person. JB also administers the David Bensmihen Charitable Foundation, named in memory of his father, which provides scholarships for deserving students. His accomplishments started early in life. At seven years old, JB was told he had to attend a special education school, instead of the local public school, in accordance with Canadian law at the time. “I hated going to that school, which had children of all ages and with various kinds and levels of disabilities, such as deafness and being wheelchair-bound,” said JB. “I just wanted to go to the regular school my sister was attending. I knew I could keep up, and thought the law was really stupid.” Thanks to his unwavering determination and confidence, the very young JB decided to tell the prime minister of Canada, then Pierre Elliot Trudeau, that the law should be changed, and so he had his father drive him to Trudeau’s office in Ottawa. “I learned then that if you walk like you know where you’re going and act like you belong, nobody’s going to bother you,” he said. He got all the way to the main office before a security guard even noticed the young visitor and tried to prevent him from entering. Hearing a commotion, the prime minister emerged to see what was going on, and when he was told what was happening, he declared, “If this young man got all the way to my office, I want to hear what he has to say.” The law was “stupid,” JB promply told the prime minister. “I was just as bold and confident at age seven as I am today,” said JB. In just a few years, after much petitioning and struggling with government officials, he and his father succeeded in changing the law so JB could attend the mainstream school with his sister. Such ambition and determination has marked JB’s path through life. In the sixth grade, he said, he simply knew he was going to be valedictorian of his high school class, which JB saw come to fruition upon graduating Hebrew Academy of Montreal. Growing up with a strong foundation in Torah Umadda, he always knew he would attend Yeshiva University, and was further impressed when several Yeshiva College (YC) students—among them, Moshe Kranzler, director of undergraduate admissions at YU—came to spend a few days learning and chatting with the high school students on a retreat. At YU, JB took advantage of every opportunity that came his way. “I was involved in many extracurricular activities, like writing for the YC


‘Where Others See Obstacles, Joseph Bensmihen ’91YC, ’95W Sees Opportunities’

Commentator and acting with the YC Dramatics Society,” he recalled. JB’s roommate at the time and close friend to this day, Andrew Goldsmith (who also happens to be YU’s director of institutional advancement for the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and the Center for the Jewish Future), said of his inspirational one-time roommate: “Where others see obstacles, JB sees opportunities.” After graduating YU with a degree in political science and working at a Montreal bank, JB befriended Jerry Lifschitz, a”h, who headed Canadian Friends of Yeshiva University. Lifschitz thought JB would make a great social worker, and insisted he attend Wurzweiler School of Social Work, with a scholarship fully funded by Canadian Friends. JB excelled at Wurzweiler, completing an advanced internship in his first year of studies, though he balked when the dean of the school suggested that he become a clinical social worker because he could empathize with a struggling patient due to his own circumstances living with a disability. “I sometimes say I don’t really care about helping or protecting people, that I just care about providing the resources to make sure that people can protect themselves,” said JB, who, in his job as CEO of Boca Home Care and court-appointed guardian for those who are vulnerable, clearly does help people every single day. As for how he has maintained ties to YU over the years, JB said, “I have always been plugged into YU since I graduated, keeping in touch with Andy [Goldsmith] and Rabbi Kenneth Brander, who used to be the rabbi of Boca Raton Synagogue. I have supported YU over the years and when asked to become a Board member, I naturally said yes.” In his new official YU capacity, JB is most excited to reach out to alumni and the greater Jewish community, articulating the mission of YU and letting everyone know its recent accomplishments. “People take it for granted that YU exists, thinking it was always here and always will be, but that’s not necessarily true—we need to cultivate pride in and support for YU, ensuring that everyone knows YU is improved and keeps getting better every day,” he declared. “I understand the mission of YU intimately, and am one of YU’s biggest fans—I know I can communicate the University’s importance to others who may have doubt. Eight of 10 times, when I speak with a high school student who has arguments for not attending YU, I change their minds and they end up going to YU and loving it.” Speaking to YU students today, JB emphasizes, “[Being a student at Yeshiva] is the best job you will ever have—you’re in a risk-free environment! Try anything and everything. For instance, I don’t know why students have ‘undecided’ as their major; you can change your major numerous times, so why not try a few different things and see what you like? You’re not going to get fired or lose a big investment from trying out the different courses, activities, and opportunities that exist at YU. Don’t be ‘undecided.’ ” “JB always viewed those who wanted to exclude him as having the real disability, and that’s been the driving force of his impressive accomplishments professionally, personally and in his community,” said Goldsmith. JB may walk with a cane, but he navigates his way through his personal and professional life better than most people, and will surely be a wonderful ambassador for YU for many years to come. n

k Feel inspired by JB’s story and interested in becoming an Ambassador for YU? To become a
member of YU’s Ambassador Network and join other alumni in a wide range of volunteer opportunities supporting our students and graduates, visit www.yu.edu/ambassadornetwork





Pnina “Pam” (Forman) ’68S and Ya’akov “Jerrold” Aronson (MTA faculty, 1964– 1968) celebrated the bar mitzvah of their grandson, Ephrayim. Mazel tov to parents Bracha and Yisroel Weinman. Helen ’65YUHS, ’70TI and Rabbi F. Meier Brueckheimer ’63YUHS, ’67YC, ’70R, ’70F announce the birth of their grandson, Moshe Shmuel, to Orit (Tatelman) ’00S, ’02W and Rabbi Aryeh Brueckheimer ’96YUHS, ’01SB. Sonia ’62S and Rabbi Mallen Galinsky ’61F celebrated the three b’not mitzvah of their granddaughters Leah, Miriam Devora, and Rachel Leah. Mazel tov to all the parents: Chavi and Ephraim Galinsky, Adina and Shaul Gold, and Yonat and Shimon Galinsky. Rabbi Shmuel Goldin ’69YUHS, ’73YC, ’76F, ’76R was elected president of the Rabbinical Council of America. Dr. William B. Helmreich ’67YC republished What Was I Thinking! The Dumb Things We Do and How to Avoid Them (Taylor Trade Publishing 2011). The June 15, 2011 edition of Hamodia’s “Inyan” magazine featured a cover story on Dr. Elie D. Krakowski ’64YUHS, ’68YC in his diplomatic role as an expert in Afghanistan both as a high Pentagon official and with his consulting firm, EDK Consulting. Tova and Azrieli Dean David Schnall ’65YUHS,’69YC,’72R,’72BR announce the birth of their grandson, Yisrael Moshe, born to Yonina ’02YUHS, ’07S, ’09A and Avi Lermer ’02YUHS. Rabbi David Shapiro ’65YC, ’68BR, ’68R and Rabbi Jon Bloomberg ’69YC, ’74R were honored at the Maimonides School farewell reception as each concludes their Maimonides career and prepares to make aliyah. Deena (Sigler) ’63S and Dr. Auri Spigelman ’58YUHS, ’62YC announce the engagement of their grandson, Shaul Edelman, to Temima Bracha Cohen. Mazel tov to parents Sarah and Moshe Yaakov Edelman and Simma Leah and Avraham Cohen. Anita (Presler) ’63YUHS and Rabbi Stuart Tucker ’65YC, ’69F, ’69R and Sara and Yosef Spitz announce the birth of their grandson, David Nachman, to Tirtza and Evyasaf Tucker.

Bryna (Greenberg) ’71S and Paul Epstein announce the birth of their grandson, Meir Yeshurun, to Neta and Aharon Epstein. Bonnie ’75YUHS and Steve Farkas announce the birth of their granddaughter. Mazel tov to parents Michelle and Dr. Josh Arbesman. Ruthie ’72YUHS and Ahituv Gershinsky ’71YUHS, ’75YC, ’77W announce the birth of their grandson, Peleh, to Bat-Chen and Hannanel Gershinsky. Nancy ’71S and Rabbi Kenneth Hain ’69YC, ’78R announce the birth of their grandson. Dr. Martin Jacobs ’79F retired after 42 years as an associate professor of counseling from the City University of New York (Brooklyn College, 1970–1979, and Queensborough Community College, 1980–2011). His wife, Dr. Ruth Jacobs, recently graduated from St. John’s University with her EdD degree after retiring from the NYC Department of Education. They also announce the birth of their grandson, Samuel Jacob, to Alana and Malcolm. Rabbi Ari Kahn ’78YUHS, ’83YC, ’86R, ’89BR published Echoes of Eden: Insights into the Weekly Torah Parshiot (Gefen Publishing House, 2011). Judy (Miller) ’76YUHS, ’80S and Jay Kalish ’79YC, ’82C announce the birth of two granddaughters, Haleli Ahava, born to Yael and Gavriel Kalish, and Rachel Hodaya, to Leora and Yonatan Halperin. Dr. Bernie Kastner ’78YC has begun a new bimonthly column in the 5 Towns Jewish Times on the subject of Olam Habba [the afterlife]. The articles can be accessed online at www.5tjt.com. Amy (Herskowitz) Katz ’72YUHS, ’76S, ’78W was appointed executive director of Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education (PEJE). Judy (Yehudit) ’78YC and Irwin “Itzhak” Kotler announce the birth of their grandson. Mazel tov to parents Ranit and Ariel Kotler. Penina (Reich) ’72TI and Rabbi Joel Kutner ’60YUHS, ’68YC, ’71R, ’72F announce the birth of their 11th grandchild, a daughter, Elah, to Yael and Amnon Kutner. Elah is the great-grandchild of Chaya and the late Zvi Reich ’79W, the founding director of Camp Morasha. Ruth (Frank) ’69YUHS, ’73S, ’75F, ’92A and Elchanan “Charles” Lipshitz ’67YUHS, ’71YC, ’75F, ’76R announce the birth of a granddaughter, Chibat Sarah, to Elana and Elyasaf Shweka. Malka and Rabbi Saul Mashbaum ’70YC, ’73R announce the birth of their grandsons, Yechezkel Shlomo to Dvora and David Mashbaum, and Yedidya Asher to Yocheved and Yehonatan Schreier. Dr. Natan Ophir (Offenbacher) ’74YC announces the birth of his fifth grandson, Yehonatan Moshe Ophir. Nava Rephun ’76W presented a program sponsored by Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck, NJ, on the topic “Enhancing Marriage: From Good to Great.” Rephun is a licensed clinical social worker and certified Imago Relationship Therapist who works with couples and individuals in her NYC private practice and conducts workshops in the United States and Israel.

Class Notes is where YU celebrates the milestones and accomplishments of its alumni. In this section, you can catch up on everything your classmates have been up to over the years, from marriages and births to professional and personal achievements. Submit your class note by e-mailing [email protected] with the subject line “Class Notes,” or by visiting www.yu.edu/alumni to complete the online form. We hope that you enjoy reading about your fellow alumni and friends, and we look forward to hearing about your achievements.

Judith and Dr. Alon Stern ’74YC announce the birth of their granddaughter, Carmel, to Dikla and Zvika Weiss and the marriage of their son, Liran Shlomo, to Yonit Weiss. Mazel tov to Yonit’s parents, Miriam and Dr. Shimon Weiss. Brenda and Rabbi Dr. Elihu Turkel ’72YUHS, ’76YC, ’79R, ’84F announced the birth of their granddaughter, Lielle Sima, to Dahlia ’04YUHS and Nathaniel Jacob.

Erica Brown ’88S published In the Narrow Places: Daily Inspiration for the Three Weeks (OU Press/Maggid Books, 2011). Rabbi Neil Fleischmann ’84YC, ’92R, ’96W published In the Field: A Collection of Haiku (Lulu.com, 2011). Rabbi Mark Gottlieb ’87YUHS, ’90YC, ’94R received the Kesser Shem Tov Award at the Yeshiva University High Schools Annual Dinner of Tribute on May 3, 2011. Rabbi Gottlieb, who served as head of school at YUHSB/MTA from 2005–2011, was recently named senior director at the Tikvah Fund. Joseph “Yossi” Huttler ’87YC published Lakol Z’Man: A Poetical Journey Through the Jewish Calendar. E-mail Huttler at [email protected] to learn more. Peninah and Rabbi Maury Kelman ’87YC, ’93R announce the birth of their daughter, Rachel Bracha. Dr. Michelle J. Levine ’87BR, Stern College associate professor of Bible, was voted Professor of the Year for Jewish Studies by the Stern College senior class. Rebecca (Stillman) ’84YUHS and Moshe Linzer ’84YUHS, ’87YC celebrated the marriage of their daughter, Aderet, to Yehonatan Shatz.

Miriam and Rabbi Dr. Bernard Rosensweig ’47YC, ’50R, ’70BR celebrated the bar mitzvah of their grandson, Elisha Meir. Mazel tov to parents Debbie ’77S, ’80C and Judah Rosensweig ’77YC, ’80C.

Susan ’59YUHS and Rabbi Aaron Fruchter ’57YUHS, ’61YC, ’63BR, ’63R announce the birth of their granddaughter, Aviva Rachel, to Miriam and Josh Fruchter ’90YC. Sarah (Lebowitz) ’55YUHS, ’58TI and Rabbi Hersh Moshe Galinsky ’51YUHS, ’55YC, ’58R celebrated the bar mitzvah of their grandson, Yaacov Daniel. Mazel tov to parents Chaya and Aviad Sasson.

Rabbi Joseph Harris ’53YC, ’57W received the Allan Weissglass Distinguished Leadership Award during a gala affair at the Joan and Alan Bernikow Jewish Community Center in Staten Island.

Rabbi David Hartman ’54R published The God Who Hates Lies: Confronting & Rethinking Jewish Tradition (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2011).

Debra ’58S, ’80W and Rabbi Dr. Sol Roth ’48YC, ’50R received the Jewish Continuity Award at the Manhattan Jewish Experience (MJE) East gala in recognition of their tremendous contribution to the Jewish community. Rabbi Melvin Sachs ’56YUHS, ’60YC, ’62R, ’85A was honored at the Jewish Community Council of Pelham Parkway’s Annual Breakfast on May 22, 2011 with a Lifetime Rabbinic Achievement Award for his work as a chaplain at Rikers Island, a pulpit rabbi and educator. Ora and Rabbi Melvin Sachs also announce the birth of their granddaughter, Shira Gittel Barg, to Esther and Daniel Barg. Shoshana and Rabbi Hershel Schachter ’58YUHS, ’62YC, ’67R announce the birth of their granddaughter, Hila, to Yehudis and Akiva Posen; the bar mitzvah of twin grandsons, Elisha and Ezra, to Aliza and Moshe Heching; and the bat mitzvah of their granddaughter, Hadas, daughter of Aviva and David Engelmayer ’92YC.

Miriam and Rabbi Aharon Adler ’74YC, ’76BR, ’77R celebrated the marriage of their daughter, Moriya, to Yair Ariel. Joanne ’75S and Rabbi Kenneth Auman ’71YUHS, ’75YC, ’75BR, ’78R announce the marriage of their son, Zvi, to Miriam Shirah Davis. Shulamith (Predmesky) ’73YUHS, ’02A and Rabbi Joel Cohn ’73YUHS, ’77YC, ’80R announce the birth of their grandson, Doniel Yechiel, to Elana and Yossi Cohn ’96YUHS, ’00YC.

Dr. Batya L. Ludman ’84F, a clinical psychologist and Jerusalem Post columnist, published her book Life’s Journey: Exploring Relationships, Resolving Conflicts (Lambda Publishers/Urim Publications, 2011). Rebecca and Rabbi Nahum Spirn ’87YC, ’90BR, ’90R celebrated the bar mitzvah of their son, Eliyahu Shimon. Mazel tov to grandparents Regina and Rabbi Charles Spirn ’47YC, ’51R. Sheryl and Rabbi Michael Susman ’83YC, ’86R, ’86A announce the birth of a grandson, Ya’Are, to Tamar and Tsuriel Edri and the birth of a granddaughter, Rut, to Elisheva and Izik Dahan. Laura and Rabbi Neal Turk ’80YC, ’83A, ’83R announce the birth of their grandson, Eliezer Tzvi. Mazel tov to parents Talia and Yitzy Turk. Tamar and Dr. Moshe Weber ’89YC celebrated the bar mitzvah of their son, Eli.




o Rabbi Yaakov Neuburger ’77YC, ’79R, lectures on “The Best of Times, The Worst of Times: Does Refraining From Holding Certain Events During Certain Times Have Any Halachic Basis?”

m 600 alumni and friends enjoy Shavuos at the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa in Kerhonkson, NY, and participate in a Havdalah ceremony led by Hillel Davis ’72YC, ’75R, ’75BR


Stern College For Women Hosts Third Annual

m Ora and Melvin S. Sachs ’56YUHS, ’60YC, ’62R, ’85A prepare to hear the music of “Tchaikovsky and Other Romantics” m Daniel Somech ’11SB outside of Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center

NOVEMBER 8, 2011 Join us again this year for an exciting evening of fashion and fun to benefit the scholarship program at Stern. Glitz, Glamour and Giving—this stylish night will have it all! For more information, please call 212.960.5422 or visit yu.edu/sternfashionshow2011


m (l–r) Yeshiva College Board of Overseers chairman Stanley Raskas ’65YC, ’69R, ’69BR, Yeshiva University Board of Trustees member and chair of the Real Estate Committee Joshua Muss ’58YUHS, ’62YC and Yeshiva College Board of Overseers member Lawrence Askowitz ’87YC

m Glen Kunafsky and Mark Schlossberg ’97SB

The Annual Fund supports YU’s values and mission of Torah Umadda This fall YU welcomed to its campus more than 600 new students from around the country and the world. These students come to YU to prepare for successful careers and experience a true sense of community. Whether from Los Angeles, Boca Raton, Houston, Chicago, Silver Spring, Teaneck, Woodmere, or New York, at YU they will all be part of one community that melds a first -rate secular education with the values of an integrated life based on Torah. m Co-chairs of YUWSG Evelyn Havasi Stavsky ’82S, ’85C and Lawrence Askowitz ’87YC Nowhere but at YU is the commitment to the values and mission of Torah Umadda greater. Your gift will provide the critically needed funds to ensure that YU maintains its excellence including small class sizes, outstanding faculty, a rich array of student programs and career planning services. Visit yu.edu/onlinegiving or call 212.960.5422 to make your gift today. o (l–r) Rebecca Hedaya ’08S, Yeshiva College Board of Overseers member Lawrence Askowitz ’87YC and Martin Kessler
Annual Fund Committee: Joseph Bensmihen ’91YC, ’95W, Boca Raton, FL Adam Berner ’90SB, ’94R, ’94C, New Milford, NJ Saul Burian ’88YC, New York, NY Barry Diner ’90YC, Houston, TX Benzion Fuchs ’83YUHS, ’87YC, Woodmere, NY Laura Goldman ’90SB, Silver Spring, MD Joy Sklar ’93S, Bergenfield, NJ Susan Ungar, MD ’87S, New York, NY Steven Usdan ’89YUHS, ’92YC, Los Angeles, CA

m (l–r) Moderator Michael Stoler and panelists Bradford Klatt, Brahm Cramer, Jeffrey Barclay, Ralph Herzka and Richard Born


Nowhere but





TO DO THIS, WE NEED YOUR HELP! • For every graduate that you identify (and is confirmed), you will be in the running to win great prizes!

m (l–r) First–year medical students at Einstein, Estee Mizrachi ’11S, Faye Burekhovich ’11S, Rebecca Weiss ’11S



A recent winner received two round-trip tickets sponsored by EL AL Israel Airlines. • Once confirmed, the lost graduate, too, will be entered to win a prize.

Visit YU Alumni Finder today at yu.edu/AlumniFinder to start searching for alumni you know.

m Reena Gottesman ’09S and son Netanel Moshe

k (l–r) Shoshana Gilbert ’10S, Aviva Ginsburg Berkowitz ’10S, Nechama Grunsweld Ackerman ’09S and daughter Ashira


m (l–r) Ahuva Freilich ’11S, Sarah Ariella Reinstein ’10S, Batya Matla Herzberg ’10S, Jenny Ariella Deluty ’10S and Hadassa Klerman ’11S


Panama, known as ‘the Bridge of the World’, is a country where man-made wonders perfectly compliment natural wonders. With its biodiversity and its captivating natural beauty, rich culture, ample recreational facilities, well-organized infrastructure and modern amenities, Yeshiva University and Deluxe Kosher Tours promise you a complete luxury leisure package. The friendly approach of Deluxe Kosher Tours will make your vacation this winter to Panama a wonderful experience complimented by the scholarship of Yeshiva University’s top faculty.

m Yossi ’86YC and Gina Gottesman ’86S

m Beverly and Ira Piltz ’95YC

• A specially designed sightseeing program to include visits to the colonial ruins of Panamá Viejo, and Casco Antiguo. • A visit to Miraflores Locks on the infamous Panama Canal offering the best view of the locks at work. • Activities exploring rain forests, relaxing on the Pacific Coast beaches and enjoying magnificent sunsets. • Panama City Tour visiting key tourist attractions as you learn about Panama’s significance throughout history. A story of Spanish colonization, pirate attacks, independence from Spain and later Colombia and the construction of the Panama Canal. • Three Kosher meals daily, Shabbat programs, and related lectures by a YU faculty member and scholar


m Guest speaker Grace Charles ’09S and fellow alumnae Orli Haken ’11S, Michal Jaff ’11S, Shoshana Balk ’11S, Adina Poupko ’11S, Esty Rollhaus ’05YUHS, ’10S and Tami Adelson ’11S attend the 2011 Beren Campus Orientation Dinner

For more information about this opportunity, please contact: Dorit Roth Deluxe Kosher Tours 800.953.1531 [email protected]



Miriam ’99S and Rabbi Ely Bacon ’92YUHS, ’97YC, ’99A, ’00R announce the birth of their son, Yitzchak Doniel, named for his great grandfather, the late Isaac Bacon, dean of Yeshiva College from 1959–1977. Mazel tov to grandparents dean of Stern College for Women Dr. Karen Bacon ’64S and Dr. Stephen Bacon ’64YC. Moran and David Beker ’94YC, ’94W announce the birth of their daughter, Ayala Devora. Joseph Bensmihen ’91YC, ’95W was appointed to the Yeshiva College Board of Overseers. Bensmihen is the current CEO and owner of Boca Home Care Services (1998), Boca Home Care (Medicare–2005) and was appointed National President of Private Care Association in 2010. Ariella and Rabbi Yaacov Ellish ’91YC, ’96A, ’96R of Moshav HaZore’im announce the birth of their daughter, Miriam Esther. Mazel tov to grandparents Lea and Dr. Daniel Hain ’61YUHS, ’66YC.

Yocheved and Rabbi Elly Krimsky ’91YC announce the birth of their daughter, Rachel Chavivah. Andrea and Nicolas Muzin ’97YC announce the birth of their son. Dina and Rabbi David Rabhan ’89SB, ’92R announce the birth of their daughter, Sophia Rivka. Yeshiva College Professor Rabbi Eliezer Schnall ’95YUHS, ’00YC, ’02F, ’03R, ’06F co-authored “The 15 Minute Hour: Practical Psychotherapy for Primary Care,” a chapter in Primary Care: The Art and Science of Advanced Practice Nursing (F.A. Davis Company, 2011). Dr. Chani (Pearlman) ’90YUHS, ’94S and Jason Schwartz ‘93SB announce the birth of their son, Uriel Eitan. Ellen (Payne) ’91S, ’94A and Rabbi David Solomon ’90YC, ’94R announce the birth of their son, Moshe Tzvi. Lauren “Shoshana” Stein ’98YUHS, ’02S married Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz ’09BR. Rubin M. Stone ’92SB was promoted from corporate controller to vice president of finance and corporate controller for the Topps Company in NYC. Sarah ’91S and Kenneth Wagner ’82YC celebrated the bat mitzvah of their daughter, Meira Leah Wagner. Rachel (Israel) ’90YUHS, ’98C and Isaac Zetooney announce the birth of their son, Michael Benjamin on February 18, 2011.

Caroline Sarah ’00SB and Rabbi Dr. Eytan M. Cowen ’11R announce the birth of their son, Efrayim Menashe. Ora ’07S, ’10W and Rabbi Michael Davies ’07SB, ’09R announce the birth of their daughter, Chana. Yacov Farkas ’10SB married Hannah Chornock. Mazel tov to parents Bonnie ’75YUHS and Steve Farkas. Ayelet ’06S and Ari Feder ’04SB announce the birth of their daughter, Chava Esther. Mazel tov to grandparents Charlene ’68YUHS and Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg ’69YC, ’74R, ’74F, ’92A and Soshie ’80C and Elliot Feder ’69YUHS. Leah (Lubetski) ’00S and Ari Feldman ’00SB announce the birth of their daughter, Aliza Tamar, born in London on March 26, 2011. Mazel tov to grandparents Ann ’72S and Rabbi Eliot Feldman ’72YC, ’75R and Edith ’68BR and Dr. Meir Lubetski and siblings Talia, Ilan and Atara.

Rabbi Ezra Frazer ’01YC, ’04A, ’05R, ’05BR married Azadeh Refah. Jennifer (Novick) ’07S and Yehuda Gelberger ’08SB announce the birth of their son, Zachary Philip. Shoshana ’07S and Yitzi Genack ’08YC, ’11R announce the birth of their son. Mazel tov to grandparents Sarah and Rabbi Menachem Genack ’65YUHS, ’69YC, ’73R and Helen and Yeshiva College Board of Overseers member Emanuel Adler ’72YUHS, ’76YC. Stephanie ’09S and Mordechai Gershon ’07YC, ’11A announce the birth of their daughter, Sara Rivka. At the May 2011 NYU School of Law convocation, Moshe Goldfeder ’07YC, ’11R was awarded the Chuna David and Rose Estreicher Memorial Prize for the law student who has shown the greatest promise in the study of issues confronting the Jewish/Israeli people. Dr. Rena ’98S, ’01F, ’05F and Avi Goldin ’95YUHS, ’99SB, announce the birth of their daughter. Mazel tov to grandparents Barbara ’76S and Rabbi Shmuel Goldin ’69YUHS, ’73YC, ’76F, ’76R and Harriette ’67S and Willy Moses.

Rabbi Efrem Goldberg ’97YC, ’01R delivered the April 5, 2011 invocation before the United States House of Representatives. Hila ’95A and Rabbi Meir Goldwicht announce the marriage of their son, Elyada, to Leora Lichtenstein. Dr. Patricia Goodman ’94F, ’99F introduced Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) at the Westchester Parenting Center that she founded in 2006. PCIT is an evidence-based treatment that helps parents build more positive relationships with their children and teaches effective behavioral management techniques. Greg Haber ’95YC, ’98C was promoted to National Director of Business Development at the Garden City Group, Inc. (GCG). Haber will be spearheading all of GCG’s business development activities for both class action and bankruptcy matters. Devorah (Newman) ’97S and Tzvi Harow ’94YUHS, ’98SB announce the birth of their daughter, Nofet Maya. David Hazony ’94YC, ’94BR published The Ten Commandments: How Our Most Ancient Moral Text Can Renew Modern Life (Simon and Schuster, 2010). Rabbi Benjamin Kelsen ’94YC, ’97C, ’00R was appointed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and confirmed by the NJ Senate to be a judge of the Palisades Interstate Park Municipal Court. Judge Kelsen continues to represent clients in residential and commercial real estate transactions, estate planning (halachic wills), conflict resolution, commercial litigation, beis din, general, and special counsel services.

Sara and Rabbi Yaron Barach ’05YC, ’08R, ’09A announce the birth of their daughter, Leah Rivkah. Sarah ’09S and Jeremy Baran ’06YC, ’10A announce the birth of their daughter, Ahuva Meira. Mazel tov to grandparents Brenda and Rabbi Chaim Bronstein ’66YUHS, ’70YC, ’72R, ’73BR.

YU CareerLink | YU InfoLink www.yu.edu/cdc
Learn how to leverage the CDC for your professional development or support students and fellow alumni with their career aspirations.

Gigi ’09S and Rabbi Dovi Bergman ’07YC announce the birth of their son, Elisha. Yonina ’00S and Rabbi Etan Berman ’02YC, ’05R announce the birth of their daughter, Shifrah. Yehuda Bernstein ’10YC, Mijal Bitton ’10S, Simcha Gross ’10YC and Shlomo Zuckier ’10YC have all been selected as Wexner Graduate Fellows for their past achievements and promise as future Jewish leaders. Wexner Graduate Fellowships are awarded to 20 outstanding individuals who seek to prepare themselves through graduate training for careers in the cantorate, Jewish education, Jewish professional leadership, Jewish studies, and the rabbinate.

Contact the Career Development Center
Wilf 90 Laurel Hill Terrace 212.960.5400 ext.5033 Beren 215 Lexington Avenue 5th Floor 917.326.4869 [email protected]


Joseph Becker ’04 YC published The Spider and the Ant: A Philosophical Tale of Man’s Reason and Experience (Imaginarium Press, 2011), available on www.jrbecker.com and amazon.com.





Faygie ’02S and Jay Hellman ’01YC announce the birth of a boy. Mazel tov to grandparents Rochel ’72S and Rabbi Moshe Bomzer ’75R, ’75BR and Leona and Rabbi Chaim Zev Bomzer ’45YUHS, ’48YC, ’51BR, ’51R, ’84F. Babette Marciano ’03S was featured in a solo art show titled “Pop Up Gallery” on May 5, 2011. Lavie Margolin ’02SB has been quoted for his career coaching expertise in numerous media articles including: “Long-Term Unemployed Shunned by Employers” in the New Pittsburgh Courier; “How to Succeed at Job Fairs” in AOL Jobs; “Top Ten Ways to Blow the Job Interview” and “How to Gather References for Tech Jobs” in The Wall Street Journal; and “Job Interview Horror Stories” on “CBS MoneyWatch.” Houston’s May 19 edition of the Jewish-Herald Voice highlighted Torah Letzion, an organization that helped raise over $130,000 for student scholarships to study in Yeshivot or seminaries in Israel. Torah Letzion was started in 2008 by Michael Adler ’10YC, Yoni Bardash ’12YC, Rachey Berkowitz ’11YC, Corey Fuchs ’08YUHS, ’13YC, Jason Jacobs ’10SB, Marc Merrill ’10YC, Estie Neff ’11YC, Chana Salomon ’11YC and Daniel Sherman ’11YC. Rebecca Miller ’10S received a research scholarship for a Master of Science in pharmacology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Denise Sandole ’11F received the American Psychological Association 2011 Division 56 Award for Outstanding Dissertation in the field of trauma psychology for her dissertation, “Trauma Transforms: Female Survivors of the Rwandan Genocide.” Rebecca ’04S, ’06W and Rabbi Ariel Schochet ’03SB, ’06A, ’06R announce the birth of their son, Avraham Menachem Schochet. Mazel tov to grandparents Miriam (Furst) ’70YUHS and Lenny Halstuch, and Shelley (Lipschitz) ’76S and Stuart Schochet ’70YUHS. The Jewish Week featured several YU alumni in their annual “36 Under 36” section profiling Jewish leaders under the age of 36. Among the honorees were Rabbi Jeremy Stern ’07YC, ’09A, ’10R who was recognized for his work as the executive director of the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot (ORA) and Uri Westrich ’09YC as the music video director for the Maccabeats, YU’s male a capella group. During the week of May 9, 2011, the City of New York celebrated “Project Sunshine Week,” recognizing the nonprofit organization that Joseph “Joe” Weilgus ’00SB founded in a dorm room at Yeshiva University in 1998. The week received proclamations from both the New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Project Sunshine brings over 10,000 volunteers who provide free educational, recreational, and social programs to over 60,000 children facing medical challenges and their families in 150 major cities across the United States and in five international satellite sites. Rabbi Matan Wexler ’05SB, ’09A, ’09R and Yaffi Spodek ’08S, editor of YU Today were married. Frieda and Pablo Zamoszczyk ’08SB announce the birth of their son.

The 2010 Bnei Akiva Schools Toronto annual newsletter recognized Michael “Micha” Hershkop ’10YC for his emergency relief services as an ambulance technician in serving the victims of the Carmel forest fire. Micha shared that a key reason he is an ambulance technician is because, “it allows me to personify the lessons of Torah.”

Elisheva (Ginsburg) ’99S and Rabbi Yosef Kalinsky ’00YC, ’03R, ’06A, ’09W announce the birth of their daughter, Bracha. Mazel tov to grandparents Sandy and Rabbi Alan Kalinsky ’69YUHS, ’73YC, ’76R, ’77F. Naomi ’04S, ’06W and Rabbi Eli Kohl ’06YC, ’08R announce the birth of their daughter, Elana Ora. Ariella and Sammy Landa ’09Y announce the birth of their son, Naftali Aryeh Landa. Chaviva ’11S and Yair Libin ’10YC announce the birth of their son, Jamie Abraham Libin.

Lisa and Rabbi Yehuda Septimus ’00YC, ’03R announce the birth of their daughter, Gila Yael. President Richard M. Joel selected Rabbi Dr. Meir Y. Soloveichik ’02YC, ’03R to serve as director of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought. Esther ’05S and Rabbi Elon Soniker ’05SB, ’08R, ’11A announce the birth of their daughter, Elisheva Beila.

In Memorium
Rabbi Melvin Amos Bunim ’50YC, ’50R Bernard A. Finkelstein ’39YC Rabbi Albert B. Hollander ’45YUHS, ’49YC, ’52R Dr. Vera Hornstein ’98F Robert Kurtzman ’50YC, ’55W Dr. Irwin Smalleiser ’59F Stanley Sobolofsky ’64YC

Rebecca ’06F, ’10F and Rabbi Elie Mischel ’03SB, ’06BR, ’07C, ’07R announce the birth of their daughter, Aderet Raaya.


Join the YU Wall Street Group, YU Real Estate Group and the YU Accounting and Financial Planning Network to interact with colleagues and fellow alumni, attend panels and hear from industry experts, earn essential CPE credits while learning from top advisors, identify job opportunities and mentor YU students interested in your field. To learn more about these groups, e-mail: YU Wall Street Group


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YU Real Estate Group

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YU Accounting and Financial Planning Network

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Legend for school abbreviations: A: Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration • BR: Bernard Revel Graduate School • BS: Belfer Graduate School of Science • BZ: Philip and Sarah Belz School of Jewish Music • C: Cardozo School of Law • E: Albert Einstein College of Medicine • F: Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology • R: Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary • S: Stern College for Women • SSB: Syms School of Business • TI: Teacher’s Institute • W: Wurzweiler School of Social Work • YC: Yeshiva College • YUHS: Yeshiva University High Schools




Dean Gelman Retires from Wurzweiler



ome 40-plus years ago, Dr. Sheldon Gelman was starting what he envisioned and noted that his years at Wurzweiler have been filled with one highlight after would be a long and fulfilling career as a social worker, providing counseling and another. He said he is especially proud that the school was among the first in the nation services to handicapped children at an agency in Central Pennsylvania. As part to address the physical and mental health and public policy challenges of HIV/AIDS of his work, he was also asked to help supervise a group of social work students from and to champion Black-Jewish and Hispanic-Jewish dialogue. nearby Penn State University. Gelman said he also takes pride in the passion and commitment of Wurzweiler “I must have done a good job, because I was then invited to join the Penn State students, faculty and alumni, “all of whom do our school and our University proud,” he faculty,” Gelman said. “So getting into academia was a total fluke.” stressed. What hasn’t been a fluke has been Gelman’s unparalleled success over the past Gelman has held office and served on national commissions of the Council for 21 years as the dean of the Wurzweiler School of Social Social Work Education, National Association of Social Work at Yeshiva University. Indeed, when he stepped Work Deans, and American Association on Intellectual down from the Dorothy and David I. Schachne Deanship and Developmental Disabilities. He has conducted extenin September to return to research and teaching, he was sive research and published more than 100 professional the longest tenured dean of a social work school in North journal articles and book chapters on topics related to America. social policy, developmental disabilities, liability issues in “The length of my tenure is certainly unusual,” said non-profit organizations, ethics and child abuse. Gelman. “The average term of service for a social work That Gelman has been able to accomplish all this while school dean is about five years, so I’ve quadrupled that. running one of the most prestigious social work schools in What can I say? I’ve loved the job.” the country—an institution that has graduated more than And the students, faculty and alumni—not to mention 7,000 professionals—is a testament to his abiding commithis many peers in the social work profession—love him. In ment, creative leadership and far-reaching vision. his honor, YU has established the Dr. Sheldon R. Gelman So, what’s his secret to longevity and success? “It’s Scholarship Fund, which will provide scholarship support essential to surround yourself with equally committed and for future generations of social work students. competent people, from fellow administrators to the highRecently, the New York State Assembly issued a procest quality faculty,” said Gelman. lamation in Gelman’s honor and he has received an official YU announced the appointment of Dr. Carmen Ortiz letter from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg recHendricks as interim dean of Wurzweiler, the first Latina ognizing his service. He was also presented with awards dean of a school of social work in New York City. Since from the Latino Task Force of the National Association of July 2005, Hendricks has served as associate dean and Social Workers and New York City Children’s Services. professor of social work. Prior to joining YU, she taught “For nearly a quarter of a century, Dean Sheldon Dean Sheldon Gelman retires after two decades of service at the Hunter College School of Social Work for 25 years. at Wurzweiler Gelman has nurtured, sustained and advanced Yeshiva Hendricks has served on the board and as an accreditation University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work into a force commissioner for the Council on Social Work Education, for good, the impact of which is felt around the world,” said YU President Richard M. and as president of the New York City chapter of the National Association of Social Joel. “With passion and commitment, Dean Gelman has championed the nobility of his Workers. Last year, Gov. David Paterson appointed Hendricks to New York City’s profession and sent forth thousands of students to serve humanity.” Citizens Review Panel on welfare policies and services. Dr. Norman Linzer, the Samuel J. & Jean Sable Professor of Jewish Family “Hendricks’ scholarship is nationally recognized in the arena of culturally Social Work at Wurzweiler, noted that Gelman raised the stature and reputation of competent social work practice and education,” said Dr. Morton Lowengrub, provost Wurzweiler, “so much so that at a recent site visit by the Council on Social Work Educaand senior vice president for academic affairs. ”Her years of experience in academia tion we were told we were the best school in the country,” he said. “Such an achievehave honed her ability to serve as an effective administrator.” n ment attests to the spirit of gevurah [heroism] with which he has endowed this school. In his own quiet, self-effacing way, he took a very good school and made it a great one.” k For more information about the Dr. Sheldon R. Gelman Scholarship Fund or to make a donation, contact Gelman said he is “profoundly moved” by the outpouring of support in his honor, Doris Holz at [email protected]

YU’s Jewish Genetic Health Program Aims to Ensure a Healthy Future
ews, like any ethnic group, have health concerns unique to their ethnicity. Nearly one in four Ashkenazi Jews carries a genetic alteration associated with Tay-Sachs disease and other Jewish genetic diseases. A child Dr. Susan Gross who inherits altered genes from both parents has a 25 percent chance of having one of these diseases, and knowing one’s carrier status is critical to planning for healthy families. Yeshiva University’s Program for Jewish Genetic Health focuses on safeguarding the health and future of the global Jewish community, through genetic testing, education and community support. The program, which was launched in February, is the brainchild of director Dr. Susan Gross. “This program truly emphasizes the Torah Umadda philosophy that exemplifies YU,” said Dr. Gross, chairperson of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Jacobi Medical Center and North Central Bronx Hospital, affiliates of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Medical Director of the Human Genetics Lab at Jacobi. “It’s also one of the first programs to bridge YU and Einstein, combining Jewish communal responsibility and education with clinical services and biomedical research.” A major component of the program consists of subsidized community screenings, coordinated by Dr. Susan Klugman, an OB/GYN and geneticist who serves as the


program’s director of Clinical Services and Community Outreach. Screenings are held at synagogues and community centers throughout the New York metropolitan area. Donations fund the cost of the test for those whose insurance plans don’t cover it. Before participants are screened, they meet with Estie Rose ’09SCW, the program’s primary genetic counselor, who educates them on the available childbearing options if both spouses are found to be carriers. Blood samples are sent for carrier testing at clinical laboratories, including the Human Genetics Lab at Jacobi. One of the tests performed, which was developed by Einstein researchers in 1971, is known as the “platelet assay for enzyme levels,” a gold-standard test that accurately detects the disease more than 99 percent of the time. Over the last few years, the Jacobi lab has tested more than 4,000 Jewish individuals for genetic diseases at near cost. Now, with an official YU/Einstein collaboration, the program can be far more comprehensive by offering community education and support to lay leaders, rabbis and medical professionals. “Over the past decades, with the explosion of genetic knowledge and technology, there are many other issues beyond Tay-Sachs and the other, lesser-known recessive Jewish genetic diseases that require the same focus, and education plays a large role,” explained Dr. Nicole Schreiber-Agus, the scientific director and program liaison, who has a Ph.D. from Einstein. “We are hoping to be a centralized resource of the Jewish community for current and future generations for all Jewish genetic health concerns.”

For example, Schreiber-Agus says, the program collaborates with other medical institutions to examine the relationship between Ashkenazi Jewish heritage and the propensity to develop Parkinson’s disease. The program is also planning an educational event with the breast cancer support group Sharsheret. YU’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) will be partnering with the program on the awareness and education component. In June, the center co-hosted a practical genetics forum for students from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, to educate future rabbis on Jewish genetic testing, genetic health issues and its halachic components. Rabbi Levi Mostofsky, CJF’s director of continuing education, is heading a program this year that will train communal rabbis on how to counsel couples with questions about genetic issues, compatibility and the emotional impact of receiving a particular diagnosis. The program faces the challenge of receiving significant support from grants and private philanthropy to help subsidize the genetic screenings and to support the community programs being organized. Another crucial challenge, Dr. Gross noted, is to raise enough awareness about the link between one’s genetic background and vulnerability to certain diseases. “Our ultimate hope is that our efforts will move the Jewish community to take ownership of these issues and work together to help one another,” she said.” n
k For more information on the program, contact Bruce Lander, director of
Institutional Advancement, at 212.960.5279 or [email protected]






Top-Tier Grad Schools
ç Continued from Page 1

“I am particularly gratified by our students’ continuing successes because they aspire to use their talents to make this a better world,” said Dr. Karen Bacon, Dr. Monique C. Katz Dean at Stern College. “At the same time our alums invariably credit Yeshiva University for giving them both the tools and the inspiration to reach high. I am so very proud.” The numbers are similarly impressive at Yeshiva College (YC). A total of 31 men applied to medical school this past year, with 28 receiving offers, including 16 to Einstein and others to Harvard, Cornell and Dartmouth. Several students were also accepted to M.D./Ph.D. programs. Michael Siev, a YC graduate who began at Einstein this year, was the recipient of a prestigious community service scholarship, which is awarded to only one incoming student each year. Of the 13 men who applied to dental school, nine students were accepted to one or more schools, including Columbia, Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania. “The YC pre-med students are just exceptional,” said Lolita Wood-Hill, the pre-med advisor at YC. “They are driven, they’re very community-minded and they participate in an enormous number of extracurricular activities while taking on a rigorous dual curriculum, and I am extremely impressed with them.” Wood-Hill also noted that dozens of YC and Stern students participated in research programs this summer, including a new initiative with Jacobi Medical Center and a joint program with Bar-Ilan Kressel Scholars; standing: Ma’ayan Hachen, Nisim Tishbi and Aviva Gubin; seated: Mordechai Kornbluth and University in Israel. Several students Alexandra Michalowski have also been published in nationally recognized scientific journals. Last year, YC’s Yair Sapirstein was “Our students do well because they are in an inone of 300 students in the country to timate environment with top-flight faculty where receive a Barry M. Goldwater Scholareducation is more than downloading information—it’s ship, granted to those who intend to purthe developing of serious educational and research resue careers in mathematics, the natural lationships that yield great fruit,” said YU President sciences or engineering. Richard M. Joel. “Our students do superbly because the “YU undergrads distinguish themdual curriculum that they participate in gives them the selves not only by the high level of their rigor, the analysis and the discipline to be able to conacademic achievements but by their front any challenge in the world. And our students do strong desire to give of their talents to optimally well because they are in a culture of tomorbuild a sense of community by helprow and a culture of success.” ing others,” said Dr. Barry Eichler, dean YC student Yair Sapirstein, a recipient of the Barry M. Goldwater scholarship, does In addition to pursuing advanced graduate degrees, research in the science lab at YC. “One of many examples is Yair students and alumni have been the recipients of various Saperstein’s leadership in seeing a need nationally acclaimed awards and scholarships. and creating the solution. He became aware that the local public school lacked laboraFour YU alumni—Yehuda Bernstein, Mijal Bitton, Simcha Gross and Shlomo tory instruction and organized a cadre of YC and Stern students to create and teach a Zuckier—were selected as Wexner Graduate Fellows, part of a group of 20 people enone-term laboratory science course in chemistry, biology and physics, thus enabling tering graduate school who aspire to careers in the fields of Jewish education, Jewish these students to experience the excitement of scientific discovery.” professional leadership, Jewish studies and the rabbinate. During the past few years, YU students were also offered admission to some of Current students are also excelling at YU. Five students will perform advanced the top law schools in the country, including Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Harvard, NYU, research this year as part of the Henry Kressel Research Scholarship program. The Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania. In the 2009–10 year, 93 percent of YU scholarship—established in 2008 by Dr. Henry Kressel, chairman of the YU Board applicants were admitted to at least one school. of Trustees, managing director of Warburg Pincus LLC and a YC graduate—offers Over the years, hundreds of YU students have matriculated into the best gradustudents the opportunity to craft a year-long intensive research project under the ate schools around the country, and these numbers are growing, as the university guidance of a faculty mentor and with a stipend of $7,500 for the year. The past year’s continues to attract top-performing men and women who channel their talents toward recipients were Aviva Gubin, Ma’ayan Hachen, Mordechai Kornbluth, Alexandra higher education. Michalowski and Nasim Tishbi. n

Creating Sense from Tragedyç

Continued from Page 1

Ten years ago, Jessica Russak Hoffman (pictured today, with her daughter) was one of several Stern students who volunteered to do shmira for the victims of September 11, 2001

systems, databases and DNA analysis, was critical in establishing the evidence of death that would allow young widows to mourn their husbands and be free to remarry. “Over the next few months I spent my days tracking cell phone towers, posting on company Web sites for information and searching databases like Lexus to read about survivors who may have seen someone,” Rapp said. “Understanding technology was key. It was a 21st century tragedy.” Hoffman and Hecht found a different way to create meaning from the tragedy. During the week, Rabbi Allen Schwartz of Congregation Ohab Zedek had arranged a shmira (watch) for Jewish volunteers to sit with the remains of victims being held in a makeshift morgue near New York University Hospital, in

accordance with the halacha that Jewish bodies should not be left alone from the time of death until burial. Finding volunteers for Shabbat, however, was more difficult. With the help of then Dean of Students Zelda Braun and the college’s security force, Hoffman organized a group of Stern students to sit with the victims every Shabbat. A security guard accompanied each woman to and from the morgue for her four–hour shift. When she arrived, the student would take the Stern identification badge from the young woman she was relieving; it couldn’t be carried since there is no eruv in midtown Manhattan. “It was the one thing that made me feel less hopeless,” Hoffman said. “When we were sitting in the morgue, saying Tehillim [Psalms], we felt connected to

3,000 neshamas [souls] lost in this little world of souls. I realized that as long as these souls were trapped in Manhattan, we were keeping them company.” The intervening 10 years have seen much growth and healing. The Freedom Tower rises in downtown Manhattan, missing posters are gone and subway service is restored. For Hoffman, though, like many in New York, no matter how much time passes, the impact lingers. “At some point on most days, some thought of what happened comes into your head,” Hoffman said. “It’s simply a reminder.” n

k To read firsthand accounts of
Sept. 11 from Hecht, Hoffman, Rapp and others, visit yu.edu/september11




10 Years: A Renaissance at Azrieli



n 2001, Dr. David J. Schnall was invited by then-Yeshiva techniques and train to be school administrators and comUniversity (YU) President Norman Lamm to sit down with the munity leaders. They hail from community day schools, the newly configured Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish EducaSolomon Schechter system and all types of Orthodox schools— tion and Administration’s board of overseers to discuss taking co-ed, single-sex and Chabad. the helm. “Azrieli has really changed what is happening in the field of “It was a chance to do things differently,” recalled Schnall, Jewish education,” said Dr. Howard Deitcher, an alumnus of the who recently marked 10 years as founding dean of the school. former institute and former director of the Melton Centre for “Jewish education was always an imJewish Education at Hebrew University. portant concern at YU. There had been He pointed to the school’s emphasis on for many years a unit, then a department research and theory and the development and finally an institute for Jewish educaof programs that reach out to day schools tion, but Azrieli was not yet a graduate across North America. school.” Located on the eighth floor of As headmaster of the Ramaz Upper what is now Stanton Hall at Stern College School and recent recipient of a doctorfor Women, it employed only one fullate from Azrieli, Rabbi Jay Goldmintz time faculty member and offered a small highlighted the school’s impact on teachselection of courses. ers and administrators across the field. The board had something bigger in “Azrieli [has] helped to fundamentally mind. change the way Jewish education is done Long-time professor and acclaimed in our community,” said Goldmintz. administrator Dr. Chaim Feuerman was “There are now students graduating who soon joined by a group of all-stars includhave greater knowledge and proficiency ing Dr. David Pelcovitz, a renowned psythan ever before.” chologist; Dr. Moshe Sokolow, a prolific “Azrieli is creating a cadre of school Jewish scholar and now editor of Azrieli leaders who are dually credentialed in publications, most recently The Azrieli Jewish philosophies and practices as Papers (see below) and PRISM, a journal well as in state-of-the-art research and of research about Holocaust education; application of research in educational Dr. Rona Novick, an expert in bullying Dr. David J. Schnall leadership,” said Novick. “Over the years, and school culture, who heads the Azriwe’ve created educators who are not only eli doctoral program; Dr. Jeffrey Glanz, consumers but contributors: presenting former New York City Public School at conferences and publishing in journals principal and dean of graduate educaso their knowledge adds to [that of] their tion at Wagner College, who heads the colleagues and the global community of Azrieli master’s program, and Dr. Scott Jewish educators.” Goldberg, pioneer of the Institute for UniThe next frontiers are distance versity-School Partnership, which brings learning and online programming, acits expertise and research to schools and cording to Goldberg, director of Azrieli’s communities all over North America. Institute for University-School Partner“The single most important variship. Thanks to a generous grant from the able in promoting Jewish identity and Jim Joseph Foundation, the Partnership affiliation into the next generation is offers certificate programs in differentifull-time Jewish education in the form ated instruction, technology and student of day school or yeshiva attendance,” exsupport on these platforms. Credit-bearplained Schnall. “In this regard, it is fair ing programs, in addition to a full masto say that the future of the Jewish comter’s and even a doctoral program, will be munity is being forged in the classrooms offered in coming years. and schools led by students and alumni “A powerful renaissance has taken of Azrieli.” PRISM, a journal of research about Holocaust place,” Schnall said. “But it’s important education Enrollment has skyrocketed over to recognize that everything we’ve acthe last decade and few, if any, graduate complished over the last 10 years speaks programs attract such a diverse mix of Jewish day school educato the collaboration of an outstanding faculty and a university tors, from so wide a religious and theological spectrum. Some president who continues to appreciate and support the impor250 veteran and fledgling professionals are currently enrolled, tance of research and professionalism in Jewish education as a seeking to gain a foundation in theory, hone their classroom core value of Yeshiva University.” n

Meet YU’s Recently–Elected Trustees and Board Members
YU Board of Trustees Michael Gamson–Gamson, of Houston, is senior partner and group manager with Vitol S.A., a private international oil and gas trading and marketing company. He is also director of the Holocaust Museum Houston. Gamson is currently a member of the Yeshiva College Board of Overseers. Mark Silber–Silber, of Lawrence, New York, is executive vice president, chief compliance officer, chief legal officer, chief financial officer and director of Renaissance Technologies LLC, an investment management company. He is a member of YU’s Finance Committee. Shira Yoshor–Yoshor ’89S, of Houston, is a litigation partner with the law firm of Baker Botts LLP, as well as the president of United Orthodox Synagogue. Yoshor is currently chair of the Stern College Board of Overseers. Her husband, Dr. Dan Yoshor, is a 1989 graduate of Yeshiva College. Albert Einstein College of Medicine Board of Overseers Sue Ann Friedman | Nathan Gantcher Karen Mandelbaum | Edward S. Pantzer Cardozo School of Law Board of Overseers William Greenblatt | Meredith Perl Kornreich Hon. Dianne Renwick | David P. Samson Ferkauf School of Psychology Board of Overseers Dr. Elizabeth Barkin Leight Dr. Barbara Lauer Listhaus Dr. Lee Rosenbaum Dr. Arlene “Lu” Steinberg Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary Board of Trustees Eric A. Rothner | Kenneth Zitter Stern College for Women Board of Overseers Michelle Ross Goldwyn | Baruch Weinstein Syms School of Business Board of Overseers Alan Kestenbaum | Steve Uretsky Wurzweiler School of Social Work Board of Overseers Fara Leff | Robert Oppenheimer Yeshiva College Board of Overseers Joseph Bensmihen YU High Schools Board of Trustees Alissa Horn | Louis Tuchman
Legend for school abbreviations: Graduate and Professional Schools: A: Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration • BR: Bernard Revel Graduate School • BS: Belfer Graduate School of Science • BZ: Philip and Sarah Belz School of Jewish Music • C: Cardozo School of Law • E: Albert Einstein College of Medicine (includes BGSS for Belfer Institute for Advanced Biomedical Sciences and SG for Sue Golding Graduate Division of Medical Sciences) • F: Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology W: Wurzweiler School of Social Work Undergraduate Schools: IBC: Isaac Breuer College of Hebraic Studies • JS: James Striar School of Jewish Studies • MY: Yeshiva Program/Mazer School of Talmudic Studies S: Stern College for Women • SBM: Stone Beit Midrash Program SSB: Syms School of Business • YC: Yeshiva College • Affiliates: R: Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary • TI: Teacher’s Institute YUHS: Yeshiva University High Schools

New Collection of Azrieli Research Combines Educational Theory with Practice


ince its inception a decade ago, the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration has pioneered serious research in Orthodox Jewish day schools in North America. The Azrieli Papers: Dimensions of Orthodox Day School Education, its first volume of collected works, showcases that research—in areas as critical and varied as educational psychology, differentiated instruction and school infrastructure—for an audience that includes parents and lay professionals as well as academics. “This book represents the confluence of theory and practice,” said Dr. Moshe Sokolow, associate dean at Azrieli and co-editor, whose chapter demonstrates the use of Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik’s writing in developing a day school curriculum for tefilah [prayer]. “Jewish education can be improved through research and development,” he noted. “Azrieli is uniquely situated to advance it in this way because our faculty and students engage both in practice in the field as well as research and theory.” n
k For more information, visit yu.edu/azrielipapers




YESH IVA U N IVE RSITY • 500 WEST 185TH STR E ET, N EW YOR K, NY 10033 • FALL 2011 • VOLU M E 15 NO. 3


YU Athletes Sweep Academic Honor Rolls
dent athletes who compete in the Skyline Conference made the Skyline Academic Honor Roll for the fall 2010 and spring 2011 semesters. The Maccabees led the conference with 116 student athletes, the only school to break 100. St. Joseph’s was next with 89 student athletes on the list. To make the list, athletes must achieve a 3.3 GPA or higher in their season of competition. Of the 381 students who made the list conference-wide last fall, 65 attend YU; 351 did so for the winter and spring including 51 for YU. Yeshiva’s Zach Charles was named Men’s Tennis Scholar Athlete of the Year for having the highest GPA on the All-Conference First Team. This was Charles’ third consecutive appearance on the six-person First Team and the first time he earned the top honor. “It’s an honor to recognize these student athletes who truly exemplify what the college experience is all about,” said Skyline Commissioner Linda Bruno. “Their commitment to excellence on and off the playing field is inspiring and should serve as an example to all.” The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) also puts together a list of teams with the best GPAs among the three NCAA divisions. YU’s 3.457 team GPA ranked them 19th in the country among all Division 3 women’s basketball programs. The top team in the country, Case Western Reserve University, had a 3.609 team GPA. This is the sixth time since the 2000-01 season that YU has made the top 25, and the fourth time in the past six seasons. In July, the Hudson Valley Men’s and Women’s Athletic Conferences announced its All-Academic Teams for the winter and spring semesters, with each student athlete required to have an overall GPA of at least 3.5. Four women’s basketball players made the AllAcademic team: Mercedes Cohen, Ayelet Friedman, Lauren Kempin and Malka Lebovic. On the men’s side, eight volleyball players made the team: Moshe Cohen, Eitan Finkelstein, Raphael Herskovits, Kevin Katz, Elchanan Margolis, Jared Rechnitz, David Wagner and Jonah Wilkof. n

Hundreds Attend ChampionsGate Leadership Conference

From left: Beryl and Doreen Eckstein, YU President Richard M. Joel and Rabbi Kenneth Brander, dean of the Center for the Jewish Future, at ChampionsGate


YU student athletes excel at both sports and academics


eshiva University’s student athletes make a triple commitment to their sport. In addition to the rigorous dual program of Torah study and academic subjects that is de rigueur at Yeshiva College and Stern College for Women, student athletes also make time for practice, often beginning late in the evening, and for scheduled games. Still, 60 percent of YU’s stu-

ore than 400 Jewish leaders gathered in Orlando, FL in early July, for Yeshiva University’s National Leadership Conference at the ChampionsGate resort, hosted by University Trustee Ira Mitzner. The theme of the sixth annual conference, presented by YU’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF), was “Community Re-Imagined: Building New Horizons.” During the four-day event, YU President Richard M. Joel announced that an anonymous donor would make a $1 million gift to support YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. Seminar topics ranged from the financial sustainability of day schools to how to keep families connected to schools and shuls in an increasingly stratified world, as presenters sought to provide new strategies for building and strengthening communities. “The overarching power of ChampionsGate is that it models and advances a hopeful vision of community based in Torah Umadda,” said President Joel. “Communities gather to celebrate their successes, share their challenges and resolve to continue their commitment to advancing the values and story of the Jewish people.” n

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