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YESHIVA UNIVERSITY TODAY March 2002

YESHIVA UNIVERSITY TODAY March 2002

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VOLUME8 NO. 2 YESHIVAUNIVERSITYMARCH2002
www.yu.edu/news/publications
YUToday
Operation Torah Shield II repeats history
      I      N      S      I      D      E
O
n January 13, 200 Ye-shiva University stu-dents embarked on aweeklong solidarity mission toIsrael, Operation Torah ShieldII. The program, created anddesigned by students, aimed touplift Israelis and lend supportto victims of terror.Operation Torah Shield II isa sequel to Torah Shield I,which took place January14–28, 1991, during the Gulf War. Torah Shield I took 400students to Israel to demon-strate support for the countrydespite the US State Depart-ment’s advisory to avoid travelto the region.Participants in Torah ShieldII met with Israelis who havebeen victims of terror, and at-tended lectures and seminarson Israel’s history, culture, andsites. Students visited cancerpatients, took a tour of Jeru-salem’s Old City, and traveledto a kibbutz.Student executive com-mittee member YehudaShmidman said, “While visit-ing communities, participantstook every possible opportuni-ty to meet with families, chil-dren, and soldiers to offerencouragement.”The mission featured aunique component: the Tour-ism Ambassador Training Pro-gram. The Israel Ministry of Tourism appointed studentsofficial Tourism Ambassadorsof the State of Israel and theywill attend continuing train-ing sessions offered by theMinistry in the US.Additionally, students willbe speaking in more than1,000 venues across the coun-try including synagogues,community centers, and con-ferences, to promote tourismto Israel.Studentcommittee memberJoshua Kramer said, “Our mis-sion has not ended now thatwe have returned. In fact, ourreal work has just begun.”They also visited more than20 yeshivot and seminariesacross the country to studywith students currently en-rolled in YU’s S. Daniel Abra-ham Israel Program.Throughout the mission,several RIETS roshei yeshiva joined the group to lectureand participate in activities.They included Rabbi MeirGoldwicht, Joel and MariaFinkle Visiting Israeli Rosh
T
he Wilf family of Hillside, NJ, has made anew gift to Yeshiva Un-iversity of $10 million, chieflyto underwrite major enhance-ments to its main campus inthe Washington Heights sec-tion of Manhattan.In gratitude for the family’sextraordinary generosity, thecampus has been namedthe Wilf Campus of YeshivaUniversity.Eight million dollars of thegift will, over the next fewyears, provide a facelift for theseven city blocks of the up-town campus, while thebalance of the gift will con-tinue the family’s supportof the Wilf Distinguished Un-dergraduate Scholarship Fundat YU.The campus enhancementswill greatly improve the quali-ty of campus life and the over-all academic experience of stu-dents. The Wilf Campus ishome to 3,000 students andmore than 1,000 faculty andstaff.Key elements of the beauti-fication plan include alter-ations in the Tenzer Gardensarea adjacent to Belfer Hall;installation of a signaturesculpture identifying the cam-pus and new functional land-scaping of the lawn in front of the Max Stern Athletic Center;dramatic redesign and land-scaping of the southeasternentrance to the campus onAmsterdam Avenue; and in-stallation of new lighting postsand placement of new bannersthroughout the campus. Muchof the work may requireapproval by city government.“I cannot overstate the im-portance of the Wilf family’s
Main Campus namedfor Wilf family
I
srael President Moshe Katsavand Herbert Smilowitz, vicechairman of the Board of Trustees of Rabbi IsaacElchanan Theological Sem-inary (RIETS), will be honoredat RIETS’ Chag HaSemikhahconvocation on Sunday,March 10.The Chag HaSemikhahceremony, which takes placesevery four years, will celebratethe ordination of 147 RIETSstudents.This year’s event will alsomark the culmination of RabbiNorman Lamm’s quarter cen-tury as president of RIETS andof Yeshiva University.Mr. Smilowitz has been aconsistent supporter of out-reach services through theMax Stern Division of Com-munal Services at RIETS. Heand his wife Marilyn recentlymade a new Guardian-level
President of Israel at RIETS Chag HaSemikhah–March 10
 Dr. Carole Silver, longtime profes-sor of English at Stern College for Women, reflects on the sweepingchanges at SCW during her tenure and discusses her passion for teaching and writing.
You’ve been at Stern for awhile. How long has thisbeen your home?
It’s been thirty-three years,but as I said to PresidentLamm, I started when I wasten. I was chairman of theUniversity’s Humanities Divi-sion from the late 1980s untilthe fall semester of 2001.Earlier, while getting mydoctorate at Columbia, Itaught at Hunter and VassarColleges. I’ve also taught inthe graduate English depart-ment at New York University.
What changes have youseen during this time?
Stern has more than dou-bled in size and courses andstudents have become moresophisticated.The number of courses wehave taught over the years hasliterally tripled (I’ve taughtabout forty different courses);we’re always working in newareas, trying to keep up with
Carole Silver: Looking back, looking forward 
CAROLE SILVER
continued on p. 4continued on p. 4continued on p. 8continued on p. 6 
Faculty Profile
HYPE
Sam Hartstein:The Voice ofYeshiva University”
 page 3
HOPE
Dr. Lamm goes theextra mile for MikeyButler graduation
 page 5
HOOP
Jonny Halpert:Coach of “TeamTorah Umadda”
 page 11
 
2YUToday
March 2002
Dr. J. David Bleich,
Herbert andFlorence Tenzer Professor of JewishLaw and Ethics, CSL, authoredClergy Privilege and ConscientiousObjection to the Privilege,”
Law and Religion: Current Legal Issues,
vol. 4, “Genetic Engineering,”
HaMaariv,
September 2001, andUse of Surveillance Systems onShabbat, Use of Contact Lenses onShabbat,”
Tradition 
. Also, he was ascholar in residence at Cong. EtzChaim, Livingston, NJ.
Dr. Louis Feldman,
Abraham WoukFamily Professor of Classics and Lit-erature, wrote articles that ap-peared in
The Cambridge History of Judaism; Jewish Quarterly Review; Reinterpreting Revelation and Tradition: Jews and Christians in Conversation; Where We Stand: Issues and Debates in Ancient Judaism; Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation; 
and
Biblical Arch- aeology Review.
He delivered lec-tures at the Colloquium on theAntiquities of Flavius Josephus; theSorbonne in Paris; and the Societyof Biblical Literature, Denver.
Cantor Sherwood Goffin,
coordi-nator of outreach programs, BSJM,lectured at Young Israel of Hollis-woodon “The Music of Duchenen.”He lectured at Young Israel ofWoodmere on The Missinai TunesThe Sacred Melodies of the YomimNoroim.”
Dr. Jeffrey S. Gurock,
Libby M.Klaperman Professor of Jewish His-tory, participated in a conference tocelebrate the inauguration of theCenter for Jewish History as a majorresource in Jewish studies. He spokeon “American Jewish History: Per-sonal and Professional Reflectionson a Discipline’s Path TowardsScholarly Acceptance.”
Dr. Meir Havazelet,
professor ofBible, published “Unknown Cus-toms of Hospitality and Protec-tion,”
Saadia’s Commentary and Yemenite Midrashim, Bait Mikrah,August 1962.
He authored “TheYemenite Midrashim as Historicaland Cultural Source,”
Hebrew Lan- guage and Jewish Studies,
Jerusalem,2000. Dr. Havazelet is an editorialmember of Tema World Center ofYemenite Scholarship.
Rabbi Robert S. Hirt,
assistant tothe president, RIETS, has beenappointed vice chairman, Conti-nental Council for Day School Edu-cation, being launched by theUnited Jewish Communities andthe Jewish Educational Service ofNorth America (JESNA). He spoke atthe General Assembly of the UnitedJewish Communities in Novemberon “Visions of Judaism in the21st/58th Century—Where are WeHeaded?”
Dr. Norman Lamm,
YU president,delivered the Harav Lord JakobovitsAnnual Memorial Lecture lastNovember at the Hendon UnitedSynagogue in London. He spoke onJewish Leadership in Times ofCrisis: Duties and Dilemmas.” Also,he led a session of world religiousleaders at the World EconomicForum, the elite gathering recentlyheld in NYC. The religious leaderswere charged with developing rec-ommendations of religious contri-butions to setting priorities for theglobalization agenda.
Dr. Michelle Levine,
assistant pro-fessor of Bible, participated in theAnnual Association for Jewish Stu-dies Conference, Washington, D.C.,where she presented a paper, “TheInner World of Biblical CharacterExplored in Nahmanides’ Com-mentary on Genesis.”
Prof. Edith Lubetski,
SCW headlibrarian, presided over a session onthe Pentateuch at the Society ofBiblical Literature 2001 Interna-tional Meeting.
Daniel Pollack,
WSSW assistantprofessor, was interviewed by BBCRadio about a Sixth Circuit Court ofAppeals ruling in the case ofWilkinson v. Flagner. Prison officialscut off a prisoner’s beard despite hisprotests of First Amendment reli-gious protection, and the Courtruled that he has the right to sue.
Dr. David A. Rettinger,
assistantprofessor of psychology, was amember of a five-psychologistresearch team from across the USthat tested 167 participants on avariety of tasks to discern the rela-tionships among spatial abilities,visuospatial working memory, andexecutive functioning. Their resultsappeared in the December issue ofthe
Journal of Experimental Psy- chology—General,
published by theAmerican Psychological Association.
Rabbi Bernard Rosensweig,
ad- junct professor of Jewish history,delivered a paper at the 13th WorldCongress for Jewish Studies in Jeru-salem on “The Moral Status of theJews in Ashkenaz in the Aftermathof the Black Death.” He wrote thehistorical introduction to the schol-arly edition of the
Responsa of Rabbi Jacob Weil,
published by MachonJerusalem in Jerusalem. He wasscholar-in-residence at the Homo-wack Hotel in Spring Glen, NY, dur-ing Rosh Hashanah and Sukkot.
Dr. Alvin I. Schiff,
Irving I. StoneDistinguished Professor of JewishEducation, AGS, spoke on “Biblicaland Exegetical Insights into Ancientand Modern Travel.” He also lec-tured on “Educational Implicationsof the Reactions to the Twin TowerTragedy,” Cong. Torah Ohr, Boca Raton.
Prof. Peninnah Schram,
associateprofessor of speech and drama,presented a talk on “The JewishOral Tradition and RhetoricalTheory,” Florida Atlantic University,Boca Raton.
Rabbi Moses D. Tendler,
RabbiIsaac and Bella Tendler Professor ofJewish Medical Ethics, spoke onBioterrorism: Anthrax is Not theReal Assassin” in November.
Dr. Manfred Weidhorn,
AbrahamS. and Irene Guterman Professor ofEnglish Literature, authored “AnEarly Modern ‘Failure of Nerve’,”
Colloquium: Essays in Literature and Belief; 
The Great Paradigm Shift,”
Journal of Thought,
fall 2001; andLandmines of the Mind,”
Michigan Quarterly Review,
fall 2001.
Dr. Walter S. Wurzburger,
adjunctprofessor of philosophy, was schol-ar-in-residence at Cong. ShaarHashomayim, Montreal. He lec-tured on What is Unique in JewishEthics?—Particularism or Universal-ism?and on “Is There a Problemof Evil?”
Dr. Joshua Zimmerman,
occupant,Eli and Diana Zborowski Profes-sional Chair in InterdisciplinaryHolocaust Studies, BRGS, presenteda reading of his chapter, “TheAttitude of the Bund to PolishIndependence, 1897–1905,” at theCenter for Jewish History. The eventwas sponsored by the Yivo Instituteas part of a book party in honor ofthe publication
Jewish Politics in Eastern Europe: The Bund at 100.
PEOPLE
CSL Board of Directors ChairmanEarle I. Mack announced that fellowBoard member
Eric M. Javits
hasassumed his duties as ambassa-dor and US representative tothe Disarmament Conference inGeneva. He was appointed byPresident Bush.In December, 49
Marsha SternTalmudical Academy students
traveled to Washington, D.C. aspart of their senior seminar coursefor a weekend that focused on
achdut 
(unity). The high school stu-dents visited the Senate where theymet with NY Senator HillaryClinton, Israel’s Embassy, the US
YESHIVAUNIVERSITYRobert M. Beren,
Chairman YU Board of Trustees 
Dr. Norman Lamm
President 
Peter L. Ferrara
Director of Communications and Public Affairs 
Jay Schottenstein, Chairman, Board of Directors,Yeshiva College; Marjorie DienerBlenden, Chairman, Board of Directors, Stern College for Women; Bernard L.Madoff, Chairman, Board of Directors, Sy Syms School of Business; Robert A.Belfer, Chairperson, Board of Overseers, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; EarleI. Mack, Chairman, Board of Directors, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law;David I. Schachne, Chair, Board of Governors, Wurzweiler School of Social Work;Mordecai D. Katz, Chairman, Board of Directors, Bernard Revel Graduate Schoolof Jewish Studies; Jayne G. Beker, Chair, Board of Governors, Ferkauf GraduateSchool of Psychology; Moshael J. Straus, Chairman, Board of Directors, AzrieliGraduate School of Jewish Education and Administration; Julius Berman,Chairman, Board of Trustees, (affiliate) Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Semi-nary; Erica Jesselson, Chairperson, Board of Directors, (affiliate) Yeshiva UniversityMuseum.YESHIVAUNIVERSITYTODAYHedy Shulman
Managing Editor 
June Glazer
Editor 
Doug Dayhoff
Graphic Designer 
Jerry Bergman, Kelly Berman, Adam Cohen, Esther Finkle,Michelle Fogel, Norman Goldberg, Peter Robertson
Contributors 
www.yu.edu/news/publications
Yeshiva University Today 
is published monthly during the academic year by theYeshiva University Department of Communications and Public Affiars, 401 FurstHall, 500 West 185th St., New York, NY 10033-3201 (212-960-5285). It is dis-tributed free on campus to faculty, staff, and students. © Yeshiva University 2002
YUToday
VOLUME 8 • NUMBER 2
I
n December, YeshivaCollege alumnus Dr.Ephraim Kanarfogel re-ceived the YC Alumni Assoc-iation Samuel Belkin LiteraryAward for his second book,
Peering Through the Lattices: Mystical, Magical and Pietistic Dimensions in the Tosafist Period.
A widely recognized auth-ority in the areas of medievalintellectual history and rab-binic literature, he is the E.Billi Ivry Professor of JewishStudies and chairman of theRebecca Ivry Department of Jewish Studies at Stern Collegefor Women. In 1992 he re-ceived the award for his firstbook,
 Jewish Education and Society in the High Middle Ages,
and is the only author thus farto receive the honor twice.At the annual Yeshiva Un-iversity Alumni Awards Cere-mony, held at GeraldineSchottenstein Cultural Centerat the Midtown Campus, Dr.Kanarfogel noted wryly thathe has spent his entire adultand professional life at YeshivaUniversity. He also noted—seriously—that he believes abook like his could only havebeen written by a YeshivaCollege or Stern College forWomen graduate.“Having studied at Yeshivawith my rebbeim and teachersin all fields, it became clear tome” that one should “expectthe unexpected” when itcomes to people at YU, hesaid. “Though they were im-mersed in Torah study, theyoften had interests that werevery different.”His book demonstrates thatmany
tosafists
(legal experts inthe Middle Ages) were in-volved in mystical and magi-cal doctrines.Other YC awardees wereSam Hartstein ’43, for Pro-fessional Achievement; RabbiChaim Brovender ’62, forReligion and Religious Ed-ucation; and Rabbi YechielEckstein ’73, for CommunityService Leadership.SCW Samuel Belkin Mem-orial Award recipients wereElisheva Benovitz Kaminetsky’91, for Jewish Education;Barbara Cooper Radinsky ’65,for Community Relations; andDr. Jessica Wernick Grant ’62S,for professional achievement.Judith Krotki Putterman,’71, received the NormanLamm Business LeadershipAward from Sy Syms School of Business.
Dr. Kanarfogel amongalumni awardees
FACULTY NEWS
continued on p. 4
 
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” 
 —YOGI BERRA
S
omehow, Yogi Berra’sloopy advice to make adecision and stick to itmakes perfect sense when re-flecting on the life of SamHartstein.Mr. Hartstein came to a fork in the road in 1943, the yearhe graduated from YeshivaCollege. While his mentorspressed him to study for therabbinate at RIETS, his hearttold him to pursue a career in journalism, a childhood dream.He chose the latter.As fate would have it, thispath would also keep himclosely tied to the Yeshivacommunity. Indeed, he wouldspend his entire career at YU asdirector of public relations,getting the University’s mes-sage out to the world.
From the Lower East Side
Sam Hartstein was born in1921 on Manhattan’s LowerEast Side, the second child of Nathan and Lea (Harris) Hart-stein, a tailor and a housewife,recent émigrés from EasternEurope.“My parents spoke Yid-dish,” he says, “but in orderfor us to become Ameri-canized, they encouraged mybrothers and me to speak Eng-lish. They wanted us to fit in.”The Hartstein kids were alsoencouraged to get an educa-tion and, one by one, theyfound their way to YeshivaCollege.The eldest brother, Jacob,was a member of YC’s firstgraduating class. Next wasSam, who enrolled at Boys’High School in 1935, and atthe Teachers Institute for Men(forerunner of the Isaac BreuerCollege of Hebraic Studies),and finally at YC.All the while, Sam worked.“I was earning money by theage of sixteen, one way oranother,” he says, fiddlingwith his ever-present cigar. “Idid tutoring, preparing kids forbar mitzvah. I worked in thepost office Christmas and NewYear’s. I was also a bellhop, acamp counselor, and foreleven years head counselor ata number of Jewish sleep-awaycamps.”Most notably, he was a col-lege correspondent for
The New York Times,
one of onlytwo at the time. (The otherwas Abe Rosenthal, who wenton to a long and distinguishedcareer at the paper.)He would also serve the“Gray Lady” as a news clerk,working the graveyard shiftalongside some of the greats of  journalism. The night editorscame to value his extensiveknowledge of Jewish life andJudaism, giving them a deeperperspective on the horribleevents unfolding in Europeduring the early ‘40s.The only drawback to hisstint at the paper was that itoften made him late to morn-ing classes. This did not pleasehis rebbe, who once com-plained to Dr. Belkin.But the young man, feetfirmly planted in both worlds,thrived. He even found time toplay on the YC basketballteam, eventually rising toteam captain, all the moreremarkable considering he isbarely 5'4".
“Put it in the paper”
Then came an event thatwould change his life.The occasion was Dr.Samuel Belkin’s election aspresident of the College in1943. Yeshiva officials, awareof Mr. Hartstein’s ties to
TheTimes,
asked him if he could“put it in the paper.” He did.Subsequent requests forpublicity were also handledwith success, and the adminis-tration eventually invited himto establish a publicity depart-ment at the College. Fouryears later, he was hired fulltime at a salary of $3,000 ayear.Over the years, he publi-cized and chronicled a bewil-dering array of events andmilestones at Yeshiva, fromcelebrations to groundbreak-ings to literary symposia tohonorary doctorates.He is particularly proud of his work related to the cre-ation of the University and thefounding of the medicalschool, Stern College forWomen, and the law school.“The best part is that I’veseen all of them thrive,” saysMr. Hartstein, who has beencalled “the voice of YeshivaUniversity.”His own department thrivedas well. In his 51 years at thehelm, the department evolvedfrom a one-man show into amultifaceted media and devel-opment operation, earninghim numerous industry hon-ors and the respect of hisemployees (although at timeshe could be a gruff, demand-ing boss.)His term of service isbelieved to be the longest of any public relations profes-sional at a university or Jewishorganization in America.“When I started, every timeI called a newspaper I had tospell out the name Yeshiva,”he says. “The word ‘yeshiva’was an alien term in Americansociety. I do hope we haveovercome this handicap.”The changes he witnessedduring his tenure at YU areastonishing. Enrollment grewfrom 850 to 7,000, the facultyfrom 94 to 1,092, the budgetfrom $444,000 to $315 mil-lion, and the physical plantfrom a single building inWashington Heights to fourmajor campuses, including af-filiates in Jerusalem and, untilrecently, Los Angeles.But Mr. Hartstein, who haslived in Washington Heightssince 1935, is more impressedby what hasn’t changed.“What is amazing about myexperiences here is how somany things have remainedconstant. For example, a com-mitment to Torah study, aswell the commitment to out-reach,” he says.He knows of what hespeaks. Just after World War II,Mr. Hartstein studied Yiddishso that he could converse withEuropean refugees who cameto YU as students and faculty.And he reached out to helpmany students and employeesin the years since.
Meetings with remark-able men—and women
By staying at Yeshiva allthose years, Sam Hartstein did-n’t go out into the world; in-stead, the world came to him.Over the years, a bewilder-ing number of internationalfigures have come to YU todeliver lectures and to acceptawards and honors.As head of public relations,Mr. Hartstein was fortunate tomeet most of them, includingPresidents Kennedy, Johnson,Nixon, Reagan, and Bush (theelder), David Ben Gurion,Bernard Baruch, Golda Meir,Earl Warren, and AlbertEinstein, to name a few.Mention of the great physi-cist evokes one of Mr. Hart-stein’s fondest memories. “Imet Einstein several times,” herecalls. “One of those meet-ings, we brought a number of our outstanding studentsdown to Princeton. One of thepeople with us was Dr. Ben- jamin Fine, who was going tointerview Einstein for
TheTimes.
“When Dr. Fine askedEinstein for his opinion onhow mathematics is taught inschools, he replied, ‘I don’tknow,’ and that others knewmore about the subject thanhe did.“It left a lifelong impressionon me. The other person of great stature to react similarlywas the late Rav while beinginterviewed by a
 Life
magazinereporter for a special issue onJudaism.”
From Revel to Belkin toLamm to…
Mr. Hartstein, now 80, alsohad the good fortune to knowall three Yeshiva presidents.“Remarkable people, outstand-ing scholars,” he says.“Each one of them broughtto the job a special skill andtalent. And each one had thecourage of his convictions andwas forced to make very diffi-cult decisions, which I’m notsure just anybody could havemade.”Does he worry, then, aboutwho will succeed Dr. NormanLamm? “No, I dont,” he says.“One of the advantages of get-ting older is that you worryless about certain things, andthis is one of them. There’snothing I can do about it. It’sup to the current presidentand the board.Mr. Hartstein “retired” in1994 at the age of 72. But hisdefinition of the word differsfrom most. He still reports reg-ularly to his old office, nowcalled the Department of Communications and PublicAffairs, where he handles avariety of projects.“I retired in ‘94,” he insists.“It’s a difference of day andnight. I don’t live by the clock.I don’t have the administrativeheadaches or the meetings—they kill more time than any-thing.”That same year, he was therecipient of two of Yeshiva’stop honors, an honoraryDoctor of Humane Lettersfrom the University and aLifetime Achievement Awardfrom the College.
“I have been blessed”
Mr. Hartstein once said that“YU is the greatest Jewishachievement on Americansoil. It has remained true to itsideals and has never lost sightof it major mission. I amproud that I have been blessedto have played a role in thisenterprise.”Many would say that theYeshiva has been blessedbecause Sam Hartstein playeda role in the life of theUniversity.
Living History
 In this issue,
YU Today
inaugurates a series of profiles of YU faculty and staff who have spent a lifetime at the University, becoming invaluable threads in the tapestry that is YU. The first subject is Sam Hartstein, the first director of public relations, who has been associated with theinstitution for 66 years.
Sam Hartstein: ‘The Voice of Yeshiva University’
March 2002
YUToday3

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