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YESHIVA UNIVERSITY TODAY Fall 2009

YESHIVA UNIVERSITY TODAY Fall 2009

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GrantsCreate NewProgramsat Stern
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Page 2Rabbi DanielFieldman WearsEditorial Hatat YU Press
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Page 6Peter AchinsteinGetsPhilosophicalAbout Science
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Page 6YESHA UNERSY
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FA 2009
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UE 14 • N. 1
YUTodaY
YU at Forefront of Community Conversations
CHAPNSGAE CNFERENCE BRNGS RE HAN 200 EADERS GEHER  ADDRESS CN CHAENGES
F
or three days in July,Orlando, FL, was theepicenter of a series of nationwide conversations whenthe 4th Annual ChampionsGateNational Leadership Conferenceconvened more than 200 lay,rabbinic and educational lead-ers from 50 communities acrossNorth America to address themost pressing challenges facing the movement.The conference, sponsoredby YU’s Center for the JewishFuture (CJF), has grown froma gathering of 40 lay leaders in2005 to become a major eventinvolving prominent leadersfrom many sectors of the Mod-ern Orthodox world. Its cre-ation and growth were madepossible by the vision and sup-port of Mindy and Ira Mitzner’81Y, University Trustee andchair of the CJF advisory coun-cil who oered his Champions-Gate resort as the conferencevenue at no charge. Mitzner alsorecently endowed the deanshipof the CJF, held by Rabbi Ken-neth Brander, in honor of hisfather, prominent philanthropistDavid Mitzner.“ChampionsGate 2009 wasa profound celebration of avision of Jewish values andcommunity. We modeled hope,not fear, and aspiration ratherthan crisis,” said President Rich-ard M. Joel. “We demonstratedto community leaders how wecan partner together and createa tremendous resource to helpbuild community.”Rabbi Brander said thisyear’s conference surpassed expec-tations: “ChampionsGate streng-thened an emerging networkof passionate and committed layand professional leaders whounderstand the need to lever-age the eorts of one anotherand partner eectively to realizespecic goals.”The program addressed keyissues in a direct and open man-ner, based on the input of par-ticipants throughout the year aswell as the changed economicand social landscape since lastyear’s conference.“We are marshalling theenergies of the University inservice to the community,” saidRabbi Brander. “Our intentionwas to inspire and provoke sub-stantive dialogue, reach consen-sus on the issues that we canreally do something about andcreate working plans that willenable lay leaders and profes-sionals to enrich Jewish life andaccomplish great things for thewellbeing and future of our peo-ple,” Rabbi Brander said.Speakers included Jewishleaders such as Malcolm Hoen-lein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Orga-nizations; Barry Shrage, presi-dent of the Combined Jewish
Dr. Rona Novick (R), professor at Azrieli, was one of four YUfacilitators who led discussions.
Students’ Research Bears Fruit in Graduate School Placements
T
he career trajectory of DavidStein ’09Y got o to a soaring startwith a research internship in rocketscience at Princeton University’s mechan-ical and aerospace engineering depart-ment, and will continue to rise when hebegins graduate studies in mechanical en-gineering at Columbia University this fall.Stein conducted his research in ful-llment of his honors thesis as part of the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein HonorsProgram at Yeshiva College. He worked inthe Princeton lab of Dr. Edgar Choueiri,which specializes in electric propulsionand plasma dynamics. He worked on abreakthrough thruster model that con-serves fuel and will one day allow fordeep space exploration. Stein’s mentors,Choueiri and Daniel Lev, a PrincetonPhD candidate from Israel, hope that bysearching for a way to use far less fueland achieve much greater velocity, NASAmay soon be able to send astronauts onmissions to Mars.Stein’s duties included designing anddeveloping a special mirror that willhelp direct a laser beam into the thruster,allowing researchers to conduct a crucialdiagnostic test for the prototype thrustersystem.“Without the resources provided by
T
he research that Leah Fried ’09Scompleted for her honors thesisthis spring shed new light on Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD),which involves cutting-edge proceduresthat, when performed on embryos priorto implantation, can detect disease-causing changes in genes or whole chro-mosomes. Her research also helped hersecure a place in the master’s programin genetic counseling at Sarah LawrenceCollege in Bronxville, NY.The Stern College graduate hasaspired to work as a genetic counselorsince high school. As a college student,she volunteered as a counselor at CampSimcha Special for Jewish children andteenagers with genetic and other congen-ital ailments, where she developed rela-tionships with families of children withgenetic disorders.Through these experiences, Friednoticed a common trend. “After giving birth to a child with a genetic disorder,many times these scared families won’thave other children for a long time,” shesaid. “They are sometimes unaware thatPGD would be a viable solution.”For the research component of her studies in Stern College’s S. Dan-iel Abraham Honors Program, Friedturned to Dr. Harvey Babich, professorand chair of biology, for help in nd-ing a mentor. He put her in touch withDr. Nicole Schreiber-Agus, a scienticdirector at Jacobi Medical Center HumanGenetics Laboratory who was an assis-tant professor at Albert Einstein Collegeof Medicine at the time.The two attended workshops and
 G l u e c k   c e n t e r  o p e n s
 !
 S p e c i a l  i n S e r t
Upard TrajecTory for rockeT ScienTiSTGeneTic coUnSelor fUlfillS dream
Continued on Page 3Continued on Page 5Continued on Page 5
Stein (far right) worked with a team of PhD students at a Princeton aerospace lab.Fried did research with Einstein professor.
 
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YUTodaY
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fall 2009
 
YUToaY o Th Wb
www.yu.edu/new
Wb xclUsiv: 
Finding the Sacred in Senegal
Find out how a recent mission to Senegal run by AmericanJewish World Service changed the perspectives of four students.
a
www.yu.edu/senegalmission
vio phoTo gallrY
Watch high schoolstudents interviewHolocaust survivorsin the Names NotNumbers project.
a
www.youtube.com/yeshivauniversity
See photos of ourstudents workingas counselors atCounterpoint sraelsummer camps.
a
www.counterpointisrael.com
plUs
isit
a
www.yu.edu/news
for
up-to-the-minuteUniversity news.
YESHA UNERSY
4
FA 2009
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UE 14 • N. 1
YUTodaY
Dr. Henry Kressel
Chairman, YU Board of Trustees
Richard . Joel Dr. Norman amm
President Chancellor 
Georgia B. Pollak
Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs
Stanley I. Raskas, Chairman, Board of Directors, Yeshiva College; Shira Yoshar, Chairman, Boardof Directors, Stern College for Women; Josh Weston, Chairman, Board of Directors, Sy SymsSchool of Business; Ruth L. Gottesman, Chairperson, Board of Overseers, Albert Einstein Collegeof Medicine; Kathryn O. Greenberg and Leslie E. Payson, Co-Chairs, Board of Directors, BenjaminN. Cardozo School of Law; Robert Schwalbe, Chair, Board of Governors, Wurzweiler School ofSocial Work; Mordecai D. Katz, Chairman, Board of Directors, Bernard Revel Graduate Schoolof Jewish Studies; Carol Bravmann, Chair, Board of Governors, Ferkauf Graduate School ofPsychology; Moshael J. Straus, Chairman, Board of Directors, Azrieli Graduate School of JewishEducation and Administration; Julius Berman, Chairman, Board of Trustees, (afliate) Rabbi IsaacElchanan Theological Seminary; Miriam Goldberg, Chairman, Board of Trustees, YU High Schools; Theodore N. Mirvis and Michael Jesselson, Co-Chairs, Board of Directors, (afliate) YeshivaUniversity Museum. Board listing as of Sept. 1, 2009.
yUToday
alerie Peters Kelly Berman Boris olunuev
Editor-in-Chief Editor Designer 
Dan Bretl, Paulette Crowther, Enrique Cubillo, Susan Davis, Zev Eleff, Marc Fein, Karen Gardner,Norman Goldberg, Peter Robertson, Hedy Shulman, V. Jane Windsor, Yael Wolynetz, Matthew Yaniv
Contributors
yutoday@yu.edu
YUToday 
is published quarterly by the Ofce of Communications and Public Affairs and is distributedfree to faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors and friends. It keeps them informed of news fromacross Yeshiva University’s undergraduate and graduate divisions and afliates. The quarterlynewsletter covers academic and campus life, faculty and student research, community outreachand philanthropic support. It showcases the University’s mission of Torah Umadda, the combina-tion of Jewish textual study and values with secular learning, through stories about the diverseachievements of the University community.© Yeshiva University 2009 • Ofce of Communications and Public AffairsFurst Hall Room 401 • 500 West 185th St. • New York, NY 10033-3201 • Tel: 212.960.5285
Stern Expands CurriculumWith New Grants
jeiSh edUcaTion Track eSTabliShed iTh SUpporT from leGacy heriTaGe fUnd
N
ine young women whodream of becoming Jew-ish studies teachers begintheir studies at Stern Collegefor Women this fall, thanks to arecent grant from Legacy Heri-tage Fund that has created a newconcentration in Jewish educa-tion within the Jewish studiesmajor.“Legacy Heritage Fund,through this Jewish EducatorsProject, will ultimately elevatethe caliber of instruction in Jew-ish schools nationwide, provid-ing children with a new cadreof dynamic and creative teach-ers to enrich our educationalsystems,” said Dr. Karen Bacon,The Dr. Monique C. Katz Dean.The scholars will receivefull tuition support in the formof grants and forgivable loansfor three years of undergraduatestudy. Graduates who work inthe eld of Jewish education forthree years will have their loansforgiven in full.Each scholar will beassigned a mentor for the rsttwo years of her employment inJewish education to support herprofessional development.Deena Rabinovich, aninstructor in Bible at Stern Col-lege, directs the program. Shewill develop new pedagogiccourses, oversee eldwork, stu-dent teaching and mentoring,and coordinate the programwith the oerings at Azrieli forstudents wishing to pursueadvanced degrees.
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A new fellowship oered byStern College this fall, with thepartnership and support of theJewish Foundation for Educa-tion of Women (JFEW), willenable high-achieving sopho-mores to further excel in thesciences.“Stern is home to a recordnumber of women enrolled inscience programs in preparationfor careers in both clinical areasand research,” said Dean Bacon.“With the support of the foun-dation, a select group will nowhave the benet of enhancedscholarships, mentoring and sti-pends to conduct research.”This year and next, 10 JFEWFellows will receive $10,000 schol-arships for each of three years.A stipend of $2,500 will supporttheir summer research intern-ships.The fellows will be oeredthe opportunity to attend andpresent research at national andinternational conferences. Men-tors from the Stern faculty willadvise the students on courseselection, research experienceand preparation for graduateschool applications.“Since 1880, JFEW hashelped women achieve their edu-cational aspirations and contrib-ute to society,” said Jill Smith,vice president and chair of thefoundation’s Jewish Commu-nity Program. “Stern is similarlycommitted to women’s educa-tional achievement.
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Rabinovich directs program.JFEW fellowship prepares students for science careers.
jeiSh foUndaTion for edUcaTion of omen creaTeS Science felloShip
Barry Eichler Appointed New YC Dean
D
r. Barry Eichler ’60Y, pro-fessor of Bible and ancientNear Eastern studies at Yeshiva College (YC) and Ber-nard Revel Graduate Schoolof Jewish Studies, has beenappointed as dean of YC for thenext two years. Dr. David Srolo-vitz resigned as dean in late Julyto accept a high-level researchopportunity in Singapore, wherehe is scientic advisor to theAgency for Science, Technol-ogy, and Research’s (A*STAR)Science and Engineering Research Council andscientic director to A*STAR’s Institute for HighPerformance Computing. Srolovitz is on leave asprofessor of physics at YC.Eichler, a distinguished scholar and educator, joined YU full time last year after 40 years as profes-sor of Assyriology in the Department of Near East-ern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania. A YC graduate, he returned periodi-cally over the years as a visiting professor at Revel.“Dean Eichler shares mycommitment to invest in build-ing the undergraduate enter-prise at Yeshiva and to advancethe quality of teaching andresearch,” said President Rich-ard M. Joel. “He is dedicated tocelebrating the Torah in all itsfacets and to ensuring that ourstudents will be welcomed atthe nest graduate and profes-sional institutions.”Eichler founded Penn’s Jewish studies programand curated the Babylonian Tablet Collection at itsMuseum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Hetaught at Penn Law and was a visiting professor atHebrew University and a fellow at Yale University.He is the author or editor of ve books andmany articles. Most of his publications focus onthe application of Mesopotamian literature to thestudy of the Bible.
n
Eichler founded Penn’s Jewishstudies program.
 
 
YUTodaY
3
 
fall 2009.yU.edU/neS
 
ß
New Syms SeminarsTarget Entrepreneursand Family Businesses
S
y Syms School of Busi-ness further expands thescope of its educationbeyond undergraduate program-ming this fall when it launchesthe Center for Executive andProfessional Education. Thecenter will oer post-graduateeducation and professionaldevelopment to meet the needsof business professionals, espe-cially in the Jewish community.“Success in businessdemands continual updating of our knowledge and skills,” saidDr. Michael Ginzberg, dean of the business school. “This isnever more true than at a timeof rapid economic change suchas we are experiencing today.”“The center’s professorsareexperiencedpractitionersand talented educators whoknow what is needed to suc-ceed in today’s economicenvironment and have theskills to communicate it,”Ginzberg added.The center launches withtwo one-day seminars this falldedicated to entrepreneurshipskills and another series in thespring dedicated to family busi-ness challenges and not-for-prot leadership. “These areareas where we have great expe-rience,” Ginzberg said.The certicate-granting sem-inars will be held on Sundaysto cater to Shabbat-observantbusiness professionals. Teach-ing these seminars will be Dr.Brian Maru and Dr. StevenNissenfeld, both professorsof management, and MichaelStrauss, adjunct professor andentrepreneur-in-residence, aswell as outside industry experts.The center is working toward oering an ExecutiveMaster of Business Adminis-tration program (EMBA) in fall2011, which will be designed formid-career managers and pro-fessionals.It will also hold classes onSundays for Sabbath observersand those who cannot do thetypical Saturday coursework of many other EMBA programs.
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Thak YoU
To everyone hoconTribUTed ToyeShiva UniverSiTy’SfUndraiSinG SUcceSSThiS year.
With your help, theUniversity realized some
$105 mn 
in cash during its 2007/08scal year.“Although we are pleasedwith the approximate threepercent increase from lastyear, the demands for morescholarship aid for ourstudents and funding of ourprograms and services are sosignicantly greater in thesechallenging economic timesthat increased philanthropicsupport is critically importantto propel us forward in thecoming years,” PresidentRichard M. Joel said.This year’s total cashraised, the highest in YUhistory, demonstrates thecondence that donors havein the University as a vital andvibrant institution committedto ensuring the future of theJewish community.Visit the new giving Website,
www.u.u/gg
, tomake a gift, see videos andread news about alumni,donors, students and friendswho are making a differenceat Yeshiva University.
 
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Students Land Prestigious Internships
U
ndergraduate studentscompleted a range of prestigious internshipsthis summer that will be a valu-able bridge between their YUexperience and graduate studyor the working world. YU’sCareer Development Centerhelps students nd internships,while faculty often help connectthem to appropriate researchopportunities. Yehudit Fischer, who ismajoring in biochemistry andJudaic studies at Stern College,interned at Hebrew Univer-sity’s Research Center for Bio-engineering in the Service of Humanity and Society. Fischerworked with a PhD student toinvestigate ways to sterilizefoods and drugs in areas of theworld that lack refrigeration.“This experience has pro-vided me with a glimpse of whatconducting research in Israel islike,” said Fischer, who hopes tomove to Israel one day. “I thinkhaving made some contacts herewill be benecial for the future.”Fischer will apply to doctoralprograms in biomedical engineer-ing in the fall and plans to work inthat industry or academia.Political science majorsChaya Citrin and Steven Paletzworked on Capitol Hill as partof a program run by the Ortho-dox Union’s Institute for PublicAairs. Citrin interned for Rep.Michael E. McMahon of New York, while Paletz worked forRep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, the ranking member of the House of Representatives’Foreign Aairs Committee.Citrin organized materi-als for staers, responded toconstituent queries, attendedhearings and showed constitu-ents around the Capitol. “Com-municating with a wide base of constituents made me realizehow complex their issues areand how dicult it is to balancethem,” said Citrin.Paletz led tours, wrote let-ters, edited speeches and con-ducted research on proposedbills. “It is important for mygeneration to become moreinvolved in public service, andto do it proudly while wearing ayarmulke,” said Paletz.These are just three of the many exciting internshipsand research opportunities thatstudents completed this sum-mer. For more proles of stu-dents’ summer internships, go to
 www.yu.edu/interns
 
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Yehudit Fischer hopes to work in biomedical engineering in Israel.
YU Appoints19 New Faculty
Y
eshiva University app-ointed 19 undergraduateand graduate professorsthis fall.Dr. James A. Kahn, a fore-most expert in economics,was appointed the Bertha andHenry Kressel Professor of Eco-nomics and chair of the com-bined undergraduate economicsdepartments. He comes to YUafter a long tenure at the FederalReserve Bank of New York, mostrecently as vice president since2004. Last year, Kahn was con-currently a visiting professor atthe University of Pennsylvania’sWharton School of Business andNew York University’s SternSchool of Business. He is theauthor of more than two dozenarticles and the recipient of many awards and grants. Kahnreceived his PhD from the Man-hattan Institute of Technologyin 1986. Kahn will be teaching in both the men’s and women’sundergraduate programs.Dr. Ronnie Perelis joinsBernard Revel Graduate Schoolof Jewish Studies as the Chief Rabbi Dr. Isaac Abraham andJelena (Rachel) Alcalay Profes-sor of Sephardic Studies (Judeo-Spanish). His area of researchis the history and literature of Marranos, Spanish Jews forcedto convert to Christianity underthreat of expulsion, the subjectof his PhD research at NYU. Hehas taught at institutions includ-ing Brandeis University, Univer-sity of Pennsylvania and NYU.Dr. Moshe Krakowski hasbeen appointed assistant professorat Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Admin-istration. Krakowski receivedhis PhD at Northwestern Uni-versity in 2008 and conductedpost-doctoral research at theUniversity of Chicago. Hisresearch interests include con-ceptual change, spatial intelli-gence, ultra-Orthodox Jewisheducation, worldview, epis-temology and non-dominantepistemologies. Krakowski haspresented his work at numerousconferences and has taught andled workshops for elementaryschool teachers.See all new faculty at
 www .yu.edu/newfaculty2009
 
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Kahn will chair economics.
Uw Tt
Continued from Page 1
the honors program, this oppor-tunity would not have been opento me,” said Stein, who called theprogram “the highlight of my YUacademic experience.Dr. David J. Srolovitz, thendean of the college who came to YU after a distinguished tenureat Princeton, introduced him toPrinceton’s researchers in aero-space engineering. It is just oneexample of the University’s fac-ulty using their networks of col-leagues and collaborators aroundthe world to help students ndresearch opportunities thatmatch their interests and aca-demic goals.Stein, who is also pursuing rabbinic studies at YU’s RabbiIsaac Elchanan Theological Sem-inary, said he discovered twininterests in teaching Torah andstudying science at YC. “The twocoalesce as part of my passion indoing something for the Jewishpeople,” said Stein, who plans tomove to Israel eventually withhis wife, Talya.“My dream was always touse creativity found in Torah andan engineering background tomake a serious contribution inIsrael,” said Stein. “YU has beena driving force that has broughtme much closer to realizing thatdream.”
 
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