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YU Today Winter 2011

YU Today Winter 2011

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Published by Yeshiva University
Yeshiva University Publication
Yeshiva University Publication

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Published by: Yeshiva University on Feb 24, 2011
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VOLUME 15 • NO. 1
In Glow of Candlelight, Media Spotlight Shines
Campus pride lls the air
tern College for Women’s(SCW) Brookdale Resi-dence Hall lounge, on34th street, was covered in alu-minum foil. The tables and oorshined with the reection of hundreds of ickering candles,oating oil wicks and colorfulwax sculptures, in menorahsof every size and description,from hand-carved wood to Is-raeli bronze. Every few minutesmore young women entered thelounge and gathered togetheraround a menorah, singing blessings together. As one groupnished singing, another one began. One woman brought anAfrican drum from her dormroom and began to thump outa beat; another got her guitar.Seated in a cluster of nearby easychairs, a student paged throughbiochemistry notes, glancing upfrom time to time at the glow of candles.“The unity is palpable,” saidIlana Hostyk, a senior from Hol-lywood, FL. “All the studentsare congregated in the dormlounges during candlelighting,singing and dancing. Chanukahat Yeshiva University is the ulti-mate actualization of the YU ex-perience: 3,000 undergraduatestudents joined together to en-rich a Jewish tradition in theirown ways, but together.”Unity and community wereChanukah themes on both cam-puses. For a student body thathails from 23 countries, withmyriad customs, the holidaywas a time to celebrate the com-mon identity of young, obser-vant Jews leading Torah-infusedlives in the modern world. Thatpride was only magnied bythe success of the Maccabeats,a YU a cappella group, whosemusic video “Candlelight” hasbeen viewed on YouTube  morethan four million times. Sincethe video debuted, the Mac-cabeats have been featured onThe Today Show on NBC, TheEarly Show on CBS, on CNN, inTime, The Wall Street Journal,The Washington Post, The NewYork Times, The New York Post,The Jerusalem Post, The Jew-ish Week, The Jewish Star, TheHungton Post, on the Yahoohomepage, on numerous localtelevision and radio stations andmany other media outlets.“It’s a great feeling to beable to bring some semblance of 
The Yeshiva Maccabeats performing on the Wilf Campus in December, days after their video “Candlelight” began a run of more than four million views on YouTube.
Continued on Page 6
YU Takes Lead on Affordable Day-School Tuition
Avi Chai grant will helptoday’s undergrads,tomorrow’s moms and dads
eshiva University is therecipient of a $1.6 mil-lion grant by the Avi ChaiFoundation. The grant to YU’sInstitute of University-SchoolPartnership will support cut-ting-edge nancial analysis,long-term planning and operat-ing changes within 30 Jewishday schools in Baltimore, Cleve-land, Chicago, and Philadelphia.The YU-School Partnership, asit’s known, will also continueworking with eight schools inBergen County, NJ, where a pilotprogram took place beginning last year. The work represents acritical step toward aordable,quality Jewish education.As rising tuition and opera-tional costs challenge the nan-cial viability of the day-schoolmovement, the YU-School Part-nership, part of the Azrieli Grad-uate School of Jewish Educationand Administration, has been atthe vanguard of eorts to createa stable and sustainable schoolsystem. “There have been at-tempts to do analysis of day-school economics on some basisbefore, but never have they beenapproached this comprehen-sively or on a multi-communityscale,” said Dr. Harry Bloom,the director of planning and per-formance improvement at theYU-School Partnership.The YU program diersfrom previous eorts in itsrange and focus. It will studythe communities in which dayschools are located in additionto the schools themselves, pro-viding local leadership withinformation for initiatives thatwill serve the larger community.It will also provide three yearsof consultation to participating communities in areas ranging from educational improvementsand recruitment to fundraising and long-range nancial plan-ning, allowing for a period of supported implementation toensure that the schools’ strate-gies are successfully designed.The program’s goal is to achievea 10 percent improvement in theschools’ nances, with a collec-tive target value of $30 million.“It isn’t just about cutting the budget, or fundraising with-out a vision for what the schoolaspires to be,” said Dr. Scott J.Goldberg, director of the YU-School Partnership. “This initia-tive is emanating from what isitself primarily an educationalinstitution at YU, with a broaderperspective and expertise thanfundraising or auditing alone.Sustainability has to start withquality.”According to Bloom, theprogram alleviates pressurefrom middle-class families whodon’t qualify for as much nan-cial aid as needier parents, butstill struggle with tuition coststhat account for a huge propor-tion of their earnings. “Thosepeople in the middle are stillfacing day school tuition thatamounts to a third or more of their pre-tax income,” he said.“Those people need relief. Withthe kind of support we hope toprovide, some of those gains willgo to middle earners to make
Continued on Page 2
For more interestingYU numbers visit
students onseven CJFwinter missionsacross the globe
A record
raised atHanukkah dinner
age of Irving Kahn,participant inEinstein’s LongevityGene Project
dreidels spunby YU students,alumni and friendsa new GuinnessWorld Record
books authoredby undergraduateYU facultyin 2009–10
More than
attend student medicalethics conference
2010 in Pictures
A look back at a wonderful year at YU
Download mobile reader at scan.mobi and enjoy additional webcontent throughout YUToday
The Hanukkah dinnerraised $4.1 millionin 2010, the mostsuccessful one yet
At Dreidel-Paloozastudents helped studentswith tuition, and set aworld record (video)
for up-to-the-minute University stories and information
VOLUME 15 • NO. 1
Chairman, YU Board of Trustees
President Chancellor 
Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs
Editor in Chief Editor Art Director 
Shulamith Berger, Avi Fertig, Rachael Fried, Karen Gardner, Norman Goldberg, Elie Klein,Zachary Levine, Stephen Nickson, Peter Robertson, Tova Ross, Perel Skier,V. Jane Windsor, Matt Yaniv
yutoday@yu.edu             www.yu.edu/cpa
is published quarterly by the Ofce of Communications and Public Affairs and is distrib utedfree 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 study and values with secular learning, through stories about the diverse achieve-ments of the University community.© Yeshiva University 2011 • Ofce of Communications and Public AffairsFurst Hall Room 401 • 500 West 185th St. • New York, NY 10033-3201 • Tel.: 212.960.5285Stanley I. Raskas, Chairman, Board of Overseers, Yeshiva College; Shira Yoshor, Chairman, Boardof Overseers, Stern College for Women; Josh Weston, Chairman, Board of Overseers, Sy SymsSchool of Business; Ruth L. Gottesman, Chairperson, Board of Overseers, Albert Einstein Collegeof Medicine; Leslie E. Payson, Chair, Board of Overseers, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law;Robert Schwalbe, Chair, Board of Overseers, Wurzweiler School of Social Work; Mordecai D.Katz, Chairman, Board of Overseers, Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies; CarolBravmann, 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, (afliate) Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Semi nary; Miriam Goldberg, Chairman, Board of Trustees, YU High Schools; Theodore N. Mirvis and Michael Jesselson, Co-Chairs, Board of Directors, (afliate) Yeshiva University Museum.Board listings as of January 18, 2011.
their burden more aordable, by leveling o tu-ition increases or allocating more scholarship dol-lars.”The pilot program in Bergen County includeda benchmark survey to identify school-specic op-portunities to streamline costs and increase rev-enue. “The survey helped our schools learn a greatdeal about themselves,” said Dror Futter, co-chairof the county’s Jewish Education for the Gen-erations’ Cost Reduction Committee. “It forcedschools to look at their own information in newways and dierent categories.”Avi Chai’s three-year grant represents 50percent of the program’s overall budget, which isbeing matched by funding from local foundationsand federations. According to Bloom, the responsefrom these donors is telling.“We’re seeing huge enthusiasm about thisprogram from the communities because it givesschools not just the ability to get data, but thewherewithal and capacity-building to help themact on the information,” he said. “Foundations andfederations are matching the Avi Chai grant be-cause they see the power of increasing day schools’capacities to help themselves.”“We are delighted to be working together withYeshiva University and the YU-School Partnershiptoward our shared goal of building a strong andsustainable day-school eld,” said Yossi Prager, ex-ecutive director of Avi Chai North America.If the project is successful in these 30 schools,Avi Chai and YU will expand the program to in-clude as many as 200 schools in 30 communities.
To learn more about what the Institute for University-SchoolPartnership is doing to improve day schools around North America,see yu.edu/schoolpartnership.
CJF on the Road: YU StudentsLearn While Doing
he Nicaraguan village of Boca de la Montana ap-pears remote and deso-late in an image captured fromspace by a satellite; hardly theplace for a hard-earned vaca-tion. But more than a dozen Ye-shiva University (YU) students,accompanied by Rabbi Yosef Blau, mashgiach ruchani of theYU-aliated Rabbi Isaac El-chanan Theological Seminary(RIETS), visited Nicaragua dur-ing their winter break to help laythe foundation for a new librarythere.  YU students were intro-duced to the  community twoyears ago when they worked onthe construction of the road andbridge to the school complex.“I think it’s an importantpart of our student’s education,that they interact with others andtake responsibility,” Rabbi Blausaid. “The intellectual experi-ence in school, while the essenceof what we are, does not automat-ically translate to life. This is away of translating the values thatwe learn into actual experiences,and doing so while contributing and not just watching.”Other YU students par-ticipated in Jewish Life Coastto Coasta trip to Richmond,Charleston, Jacksonville andSouth Floridaduring whichthey analyzed how individualscan become active and make adierence in North America’sdiverse Jewish communities.“Watching our studentsengage with the Jewish commu-nity of Richmond was exciting,”said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, theDavid Mitzner Dean of YeshivaUniversity’s Center for the Jew-ish Future (CJF). “They inter-acted with Jews of all ages andall backgrounds. In the processof inspiring the communitiesthey encountered, our studentswere transformed.”Coast-to-Coast and the Ni-caragua mission were among seven experiential learning trips organized this winter bythe CJF. Others included a hu-manitarian mission to Mexico;Project Kharkov, a two-weekprogram aimed at gaining rst-hand understanding of the wel-fare challenges and identitycrises facing Ukrainian Jewry;QUEST II, a leadership pro-gram that helped former GushKatif residents rebuild theirlives in the desert communityof Halutza; and “A Place CalledHome,” during which studentstraveled across Israel for a week,exploring what it means to cre-ate a national home for the Jew-ish people. Throughout “A PlaceCalled Home,” students engagedIsraelis on kibbutzim, in develop-ment towns, immigrant villages,towns in Judea and Samaria,and religious and secular com-munities. These compelling ex-periences forced students toexamine their shared existen-tial dilemma of loyalty to both abirthplace and a homeland.The trip also introduced thestudents to “some of the complexsocial issues of the State of Is-rael,” said Rabbi Yaakov Neuber-ger, a rosh yeshiva at RIETS whois also a congregational rabbi atBeth Abraham in Bergeneld,NJ. “Specically, this group wasintroduced to the issue of thedisengagement from Gaza in away that they were not aware of before. These programs are veryvaluable and should be attendedby anyone planning to go intorabbanus [the rabbinate] or chi-nuch [Jewish education].”The programming and in-stitutional partners that madethese missions possible for hun-dreds of our students include:American Jewish Joint Distri-bution Committee, AmericanJewish World Service, the Eck-stein Family, Jim Joseph Foun-dation, Jewish National Fund,and Repair the World.
Seeking Solutions: YU Takes Lead
Continued from Page 1
A Place Called Home participants visited a greenhouse in Kfar Maimon, Israel,learning about cutting- edge agricultural methods used in Gush Katif. Fromleft: Atara Burian, Tova Schi, Marnina Sherman, Orah Jooyandehnik andMalkie Krieger.
Missions Across Israel,Ukraine and North andSouth America
Hanukkah Dinner Brightened by Student Points of Lights,Distinguished Honorees and Mayor Booker of Newark
ory A. Booker, mayor of Newark, NJ, and the key-note speaker at Yeshiva University’s Eighty-SixthAnnual Hanukkah Dinner and Convocation at TheWaldorf=Astoria in New York City, implored members of the audience, and the Jewish community at large, to betrue to themselves, to their faith and to their heritage.“This world doesn’t need ‘Jews.’ This world needsJews who are manifesting the truth of who they are, whorecognize that yes, there is a ‘chosen-ness’ in Judaismbut it necessitates in the individual making a choice,”Mayor Booker said.In an address replete with references to Jewish his-tory and the Torah that brimmed with humor, warmthand wisdom, he sought to outline exactly what thatchoice means.“We are in a world that cries out for redemption;there is pain and suering all around us. Why am I sodrawn to Judaism? Because this world needs peoplewho will choose to live those values, instill them in theirhearts and manifest them in theiractions.”Re-elected as Newark’s mayorwith a clear mandate for change,Mayor Booker knows the impor-tance of working with and depend-ing on others. He noted that hisbold vision for Newark could nothave been set into motion withoutvital outside help and cooperation.And he sees in YU opportunitiesfor cooperation, unity and restor-ative hope that must continue to becarried out.“We are sitting here in homage not to individualsbut to a tradition at a university that at its very core isthat mission. Why I am so honored to be here, why I feelthe gravity of the gift of kindness that you all have shownme, is because this university is answering that call.”President Richard M. Joel conferred the honoraryDoctor of Humane Letters degree on Mayor Booker.Honorary degrees were also awarded to Emanuel Gruss,a prominent investment executive and philanthropist,and Benefactor and honorary trustee of Yeshiva Univer-sity; business executive Arthur N. Hershaft, a Benefac-tor and member of the Board of Overseers of YU’s AlbertEinstein College of Medicine; attorney and communityleader Murray Laulicht, a YU alumnus and Benefactorand member of the Board of Overseers of the Univer-sity’s Stern College for Women; and philanthropist andcivic leader Laurie M. Tisch, a Benefactor and signicantsupporter of YU’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
The Hanukkah Dinner, the University’s main annualfundraising event, raised a record $4.1 million.The dinner portion of the evening opened with aviewing of the hit video “Candlelight,” a song performedby a Yeshiva University a cappella group, the Maccabe-ats. Over Chanukah the group was featured on dozens of media outlets, including NBC, CBS and CNN. The videohas been seen on YouTube well over four million times. 
President Joel then honored the Points of Light, eightpeople who exemplify YU’s mission, one for each candleof the menorah. They included:Chanan Reitblat, founder of the Yeshiva Collegechapter of the American Chemical Society, who is help-ing to develop a drug to prevent kidney stones and workswith special needs individuals.Leah Larson, a Stern College for Women studentand founder, editor and publisher of YALDAH, a Jewishmagazine for girls, which she started at age 13.Michael Goon, a current student at YU aliated RabbiIsaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) serving asa Sanford Lurie Scholar at theJewish Center and rabbinic in-tern at the Roslyn Synagogue.He founded “Shabbat HeightsLink,” which organizes Shabbatdinners for singles and couplesin Washington Heights; he alsodesigned and produced “Peace-keeping: The Game,” a boardgame that teaches the chal-lenges of intrastate conict.Joey Small, who holds amaster’s degree from YU’s Az-rieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Adminis-tration, and launched a fellowship program at YU withtwo tracksGive Back and the Legacy Heritage TeacherTraining Fellowshipsboth of which focus on encourag-ing recent graduates to pursue careers in education.Tova Fish-Rosenberg, chair of the Hebrew languagedepartment at Yeshiva University High School for Boysand creator of the acclaimed “Names, Not Numbers” In-tergenerational Holocaust Oral History Project.Martin Leibovich, a student at YU’s Sy Syms Schoolof Business, who grew up in Argentina and was heavilyrecruited by American college basketball programs be-fore eventually transferring to Yeshiva, where he showsa tremendous love of Torah learning and plays varsitybasketball.Dr. Arturo Casadevall, the chair of microbiologyand immunology at YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a major force behind Einstein’s foray intobiodefense following Sept. 11, 2001; he also helped de-velop a new therapy for metastatic melanoma.Jaqueline Murekatete, a second-year student at YU’sBenjamin N. Cardozo School of Law who, at the age of nine, during the Rwandan genocide of 1994, was the solesurvivor of her Tutsi family. She founded Jacqueline’s
Mayor Cory A. Booker delivering the keynote address at 86th Annual Hanukkah dinner. Martin Leibovich lighting a candle after being recognized as a Point of Light.
Tradition Dates Back to University’sEarly Years
Two ads in the Nov. 8, 1928 issue of The New YorkTimesone in English and one Hebrewannouncedthe chanukat ha-bayit, the dedication, of the new Ye-shiva College building, the rst step in the creationof the Washington Heights campus. The dedicationceremonies on Dec. 9, 1928 were followed by abanquet four days later on Chanukah. Describingthe building, the ads invoked the Beit Hamikdash,the ancient Temple in Jerusalem. The choice of Cha-nukah for the dinner and dedication ceremonies wasdeliberate and symbolic.The inauguration marked the move uptown fromthe impoverished, overcrowded, immigrant neighbor-hood of the Lower East Side to the then bucolicWashington Heights. It also launched a new era inthe life of the institutionthe addition of a college ofliberal arts and sciences to the Yeshiva.
To read the complete article online visit blogs.yu.edu/library/2010/11/ or scan the barcode with your smartphone.
First in Washington Heights: Yeshiva College building completed in 1928 is now home to Yeshiva University HighSchool for Boys.
Nights like tonight areso important for those ofus who dream about theJewish future.
Human Rights Corner and has raised $100,000 for a com-munity center in Rwanda for other genocide survivors.Echoing the words of Mayor Booker, President Joelsummed up the evening with these words: “Nights liketonight are so important for those of us who dream aboutthe Jewish future. We must continue working with otherpeople of goodwill to advance civilization; that’s our sa-cred mission, and that’s what we are celebrating tonightand what we will continue to celebrate in the days andmonths and years to come.”

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