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Stern Class Combines Art and Jewish Philosophy 4Page 3
Maccabees Capture Cross Country Crown 4Page 5
Acquiring a Piece of Jewish History 4Page 6
YU: A ‘Necessary Counterculture’
David Brooks Keynotes 89th Annual Hanukkah Convocation; Jack A. Belz, Dr. Susan Band Horwitz, Harvey Kaylie and William Zabel Honored
∞ WINTER 2014 ∞ VOLUME 18 • NO. 1
intelligently not only training Adam I, but cclaimed journalist and New York is training the two sides of life, both the Times columnist David Brooks Adams, the majestic and the humble. It’s delivered the keynote address at impressive to be here, in the middle of a Yeshiva University’s 89th Annual Haprofound and necessary counterculture.” nukkah Convocation and Dinner on DePresident Joel also conferred honorcember 8 at The Waldorf Astoria in New ary degrees upon Jack A. Belz of MemYork City. President Richard M. Joel phis, TN, chairman and CEO of Belz bestowed an honorary doctorate upon Enterprises and a YU Benefactor and Brooks, calling him “a noble exemplar of Trustee; Harvey Kaylie of Great Neck, NY, what we hope our students will become” founder, president and CEO of Mini-Cirand drawing on the words of American cuits International and a YU Benefactor; poet Robert Frost to praise the moraland William Zabel of Manhattan, foundity in Brooks’ writing: “In a world which ing partner of Schulte Roth & Zabel and has moved inexorably down a path paved head of the Individual Client Services with hyperbole, cynicism and categoriGroup. cal one-dimensionality, you have musBelz joined his father in the famtered the courage and integrity to take ily business in the late 1940s to develop the road less traveled.” commercial and residential real estate, Brooks has been a New York Times businesses and other properties. Belz’s columnist since 2003 and is a political and parents, Philip and Sarah, established cultural commentator on “PBS NewsYU’s Philip and Sarah Belz School of JewHour.” At the Convocation, he called YU ish Music in 1984. Belz and his wife, Mari“a contrast with the world,” citing Rabbi lyn, are community leaders in Memphis, Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s work on the bibsupporting a variety of organizations and lical ﬁgures of Adam I and Adam II and institutions. his belief that Adam I was driven by the David Brooks delivered the keynote address at YU’s 89th Annual Hanukkah Convocation. Kaylie graduated from City Coldesire for greatness, stature and success, lege of the City University of New York and earned his master’s degree from New York while Adam II sought to build a moral and fulﬁlling internal life. University. He and his wife, Gloria, who serves as the secretary and treasurer of Mini“Soloveitchik’s point was that the good life involves a permanent confrontation beCircuits, support a wide range of charitable organizations, including the Hampton Synatween these two sides of our nature within ourselves, but we happen to live in a society gogue, Shaarei Zedek Hospital, Beit Izzy Shapiro, Harei Torah and Ohel. Kaylie recently that nurtures and encourages and bloats Adam I while neglecting and leading to the atprovided funding to launch YU Global, an initiative that will help the University expand rophy of Adam II, the internal Adam,” Brooks said. “To be here is such an honor because its reach. Yeshiva is one of the rare institutions in the country that is consciously, intentionally and Continued on Page 5 ç
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and Ambassador Danny Ayalon Join Faculty
abbi Lord Jonathan Sacks of the United Kingdom has been appointed to a dual professorship at Yeshiva University and New York University. A world-renowned scholar, philosopher, religious leader and proliﬁc author, Rabbi Lord Sacks served as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from September 1991 until September 2013. At YU, he will serve as the Kressel and Ephrat Family University Professor of Jewish Thought. “The voice, the philosophy and the spirit of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks has been a gift to the United Kingdom and beyond for many years,” said President Richard M. Joel. “It has long been Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks our desire to welcome him into this next stage of his life by having him work at Yeshiva University to both inspire the next generation of Jewish leadership and to be a voice to the Jewish people and world for our timeless values.” “I am excited at the opportunity to teach at Yeshiva University, one of the world’s great institutions of higher Jewish learning and at NYU, a university of global reach and distinction,” said Rabbi Lord Sacks. “This dual intellectual challenge is the perfect context to take forward the project of a Judaism engaged with the world in conversation with students in one of the major centers of Jewish life.”
The Honorable Danny Ayalon, an Israeli diplomat and politician, has been appointed the Rennert Visiting Professor of Foreign Policy Studies at YU for the spring 2014 semester. Ambassador Ayalon will teach on both the Wilf Campus at Yeshiva College and the Israel Henry Beren Campus at Stern College for Women, and will participate in public lectures and events. “Ambassador Ayalon will surely bring to his professorial role at Yeshiva the same commitment to the State of Israel, to integrity, to thoughtful discourse and careful analysis of the geopolitical world, that he brought so successfully to his assignments in the foreign service and foreign ministry,” said President Joel. Ayalon served in Israel’s Foreign Service Ambassador Danny Ayalon for over 20 years, most recently as deputy foreign minister from 2008 until 2012. In 2006, Ayalon joined Nefesh B’Nefesh and the OR Movement for settlement in the Negev and the Galilee. In February 2009, he was sworn in as a member of Knesset representing the Yisrael Beiteinu party. “I am honored to join the distinguished faculty of Yeshiva University, led by President Joel,” said Ayalon. “This institution is exceptional in its support of the State of Israel and in spreading knowledge and education that have always made it a center of excellence. I look forward to a fruitful, insightful and stimulating dialogue with our students.” n
YUTODAY WEB EXCLUSIVES
Sephardic Community Thrives
Half a century later, Sephardic studies continues to expand at YU
program at Yeshiva University that began with a handful of participants will soon mark its 50th year and has never been stronger. The Sephardic Studies Program at Yeshiva University, cofounded by Dr. Herbert C. Dobrinsky, YU’s vice president of university affairs, started out with just seven students back in 1964 and has been steadily expanding and ﬂourishing over the last ﬁve decades. Today, the Sephardic Community Program (SCP) boasts more than 300 undergraduate men and women and serves an additional 100 graduate students, including a dozen rabbinical students. “The Sephardic world is multifaceted, and YU is the only place in North America that has such diversity of Sephardic students and makes a concerted effort to educate them in both secular and Jewish studies, while giving special appreciation to their Sephardic heritage,” said Rabbi Moshe Tessone, the program’s director since 2001. “This began with Dr. Dobrinsky’s vision nearly a halfcentury ago, and now we have an opportunity to do better than we’ve ever done before.” Over the last few years, demographics have been evolving, with a dramatic increase in the number of Sephardic students attending Orthodox day schools that serve as primary feeders to YU. “The synergies are potentially explosive as the number of Sephardic students at YU grows,” said Rabbi Tessone. “There was a sense that these incoming Sephardic students
needed to feel as if they had a home at YU, where they would be able to grow not just academically, but also on a religious, cultural and spiritual level. We want to attract them to YU—students who we train to become future leaders of the Sephardic world—and give them the feeling that they could have a great experience here at Yeshiva.” To augment these efforts, Rabbi Simon Basalely was appointed this fall as the Edmond J. Safra Sgan Mashgiach for the
son who students can turn to after classroom hours to help give them the spiritual and religious guidance that they need beyond academics,” said Rabbi Tessone. “He is there for students in the capacity of a campus rabbi to provide hashgacha ruchanit [spiritual guidance] on an ongoing basis. Our goal is to make the Sephardic Beit Midrash a warm spiritual haven on campus.” Last July, the SCP also celebrated the dedication of a new
The Year in Pictures
From orientation, athletics and exciting events with notable speakers, to the Celebrate Israel Parade, commencement, chagigot and Yom Haatzmaut festivities, 2013 marked another memorable year at YU. k yu.edu/2013
Rabbi Simon Basalely learns with students in the Sephardic Beit Midrash.
Sephardic campus community at YU, a newly established position. He serves as a role model and mentor for students, running minyanim in the Sephardic Beit Midrash during the week and on Shabbat and coordinating events, Torah lectures and other programs that enhance the religious and cultural environment of the Sephardic community. “I feel privileged to work with a group of such wonderful, energetic students, aspiring to learn and to take advantage of the opportunities to further connect with their heritage,” said Rabbi Basalely, ’06YC, ’10R, ’11A. “Rabbi Basalely is the per-
Torah scroll, donated by a great uncle of Rabbi Basalely, Benjamin M. Aminoff, in memory of his nephew, Sam Aminoff, z”l, to be used in the Sephardic Beit Midrash. On November 24, YU’s Center for the Jewish Future and Abraham Arbesfeld Kollel Yom Rishon and Millie Arbesfeld Midreshet Yom Rishon presented a tribute event dedicated to the legacy of Sephardic spiritual leader HaRav Ovadia Yosef, zt”l, which featured remarks by Rav Yosef’s daughter, Rabbanit Adina Bar Shalom, founder and chief executive ofﬁcer of the Haredi College of Jerusalem. n
Watch David Brooks’ keynote address at YU’s 89th Annual
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DR. HENRY KRESSEL
YESHIVA UNIVERSIT Y ∞ WINTER 2014 ∞ VOLUME 18 • NO. 1
Einstein-Ferkauf Researchers Secure $2.5M NIH Grant to Study Diabetes
City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, have been awarded a $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study a telephone-based approach to improving diabetes self-management and treatment outcomes in primary care. “People who successfully self-manage their diabetes can reduce their risk for complications, but many patients have trouble sticking with their treatment regimen and making the necessary health behavior changes,” said Dr. Jeffrey Gonzalez, assistant professor of psychology at Ferkauf and assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology & public health at Einstein. “One of our goals is to develop a treatment strategy that can be widely used in clinical practice that can support patients with diabetes in their efforts to make changes and adhere to their regimen. We also want to learn whether this intervention can help reduce emotional distress related to diabetes, a common problem that often goes along with selfmanagement difficulties.” Gonzalez will oversee the ﬁve-year grant, Translating Telephonic Diabetes Self-Management Support to Primary Care Practice, which was awarded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the NIH. n
Chairman, YU Board of Trustees
RICHARD M. JOEL
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs YUTODAY
MATT YANIV Director of Media Relations, YAFFI SPODEK GISEL PINEYRO
Editor in Chief Aliza Berenholz. Barbara Birch, Perel Skier Hecht, Linda Hsia, David Huggins, Megan van Huygen, Tova Ross, Adena Stevens, Sam Ulrich Contributors firstname.lastname@example.org www.yu.edu/cpa
YUToday is published quarterly by the Ofﬁce of Communications and Public Affairs and is distrib uted 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 2014 • Ofﬁce of Communications and Public Affairs Furst Hall Room 401 • 500 West 185th St. • New York, NY 10033-3201 • Tel.: 212.960.5285 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, Sy Syms School of Business; Ruth L. Gottesman, Chair, 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; Joel M. Schreiber, Chairman, Board of Trustees, (afﬁliate) Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary; Miriam P. Goldberg, Chair, Board of Trustees, YU High Schools; Michael Jesselson and Theodore N. Mirvis, Co-Chairmen, Board of Directors, (afﬁliate) Yeshiva University Museum. Board listings as of January 1, 2014.
Dr. Jeffrey Gonzalez
esearchers at Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, and the New York
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New Wurzweiler Certiﬁcate Program Provides Professional Training in Jewish Fundraising
s Jewish causes face more fundraising challenges than ever before, Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work has developed a new Certiﬁcate Program in Jewish Philanthropy to provide Jewish communal professionals with the tools they need to succeed in the modern philanthropic arena. “This is a win-win situation for Wurzweiler and our affiliated Jewish agencies,” said Dr. Carmen Ortiz Hendricks, the Dorothy and David I. Schachne Dean of Wurzweiler. “Jewish agencies are seeking qualiﬁed, professional fundraisers to help advance their mission and goals. The graduates of this program will help to ﬁll this gap, and our MSW students can add these new specialized skills to their professional practices.” “Meaningful philanthropy will ensure the Jewish future both through raising funds and raising sights,” said President Richard M. Joel. “This certiﬁcate program seeks to train the best and brightest to do both.” Melina Rosenberg collaborates with fellow students in Wurzweiler’s Certiﬁcate Program The program kicked off in October with in Jewish Philanthropy. participants from a wide range of Jewish organizations and professional backgrounds, including the UJA Federation of New York, Joint Distri“We aim to address the chronic shortage of skilled, bution Committee (JDC), American Jewish World Serknowledgeable and committed vice, Yachad and American Friends of Shalva, among fundraisers for Jewish organiothers. Classes meet twice a week and are offered on two zations by preparing profeskey topics: the Art and Science of Fundraising and the Dr. Saul Andron sionals who are ﬁrmly Jewish Philanthropic Tradition. Both are frequently grounded in fundraising skills as well as the most guest-taught by leaders in the ﬁeld, such as Jeffrey Solocurrent and effective strategies for resource developmon, president of the Charles and Andrea Bronfman Phiment,” said program coordinator Dr. Saul Andron, the lanthropies; Ruth Messinger, president of the American Hausman Chair in Communal Social Work and associJewish World Service; and Yossi Prager, executive direcate professor at Wurzweiler. “Fundraising has become tor of the AVI CHAI Foundation – North America. increasingly sophisticated and complex, with new The program also features a 56-hour internship with methods of raising money and cultivating and inspiring top-level mentoring in a Jewish development office, eiprospects.” ther within the institutions where participants currently “Modern professionals need this kind of program work or as an independent project.
because there are hundreds, if not thousands, of Jewish nonproﬁts competing for the Jewish philanthropic dollar in New York alone,” said Dan Forman, vice president for institutional advancement at YU, who helped design the program and led several of its class sessions. The two courses hit on all the key elements of modern Jewish fundraising from the inside perspective of successful professionals. Sessions on annual and capital campaigns, major gifts development, women’s philanthropy and legacies and endowments go hand-in-hand with lessons on how to harness technology and social media for maximum impact and the changing nature of fundraising. Participant Melina Rosenberg, a resource development operations associate at the JDC, recalled discovering a book in her office titled The Seven Faces of Philanthropy. “I picked it up and started reading it and saw how much psychology, motivation and personal development was involved with being a donor—the personal investment in the money you give,” Rosenberg said. Working primarily in the world of nonproﬁt project management, Rosenberg was already thinking of professional courses she could take to expand her skills when her supervisor suggested the certiﬁcate program at Wurzweiler. “I can tell that the same amount of heart and soul that I’m putting into this course is being put into it by the organizers,” she said. n
k For more information about the Certiﬁcate Program in Jewish Philanthropy, contact Dr. Saul Andron at email@example.com
Stern Course Bridges Art and Jewish Philosophy
The exchange was representative of the larger dialogue between art and Jewish philosophy at the heart of this interdisciplinary course. Wisse and Rabbi Soloveichik took turns hosting class sessions that examined the subject matter— which included image, paintings, sculptures, architecture or ritual Dr. Jacob Wisse discusses Michelangelo’s artwork in the Sistine Chapel. objects in conjunction with readings from Jewish thought—from the alternating new course offered this fall at Stern College for perspectives of art and Jewish philosophy. This created a Women, “The Image and the Idea,” explored unique class structure that allowed students to see not the intersection of art and Jewish philosophy. only how the ﬁelds of study gain from each other, but also The class was co-taught by Dr. Jacob Wisse, associate how their professors gain from each other’s knowledge. professor of art history and director of the Yeshiva “A team-taught course is at its best when the faculty University Museum, and Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik, come at a subject from different directions but with equal assistant professor of Judaic studies and director of intellectual vigor and passion,” said Dr. Karen Bacon, the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and the Dr. Monique C. Katz Dean of Stern College. “Drs. Western Thought. Soloveichik and Wisse meet—and indeed exceed—these During one class, Wisse discussed the religious and professorial criteria and are presenting our students with historical context of Michelangelo’s “The Creation of a uniquely Yeshiva University experience.” Adam,” touching on his sculptural style and his goals as “We’re not just teaching, we’re learning from each an artist, while Rabbi Soloveichik weighed in on the bibliother and bringing the students into that process, which cal aspects of the fresco, which graces the ceiling of the I think added a real element of excitement to the class,” Sistine Chapel. said Rabbi Soloveichik. The idea of bridging art and Judaism was originally suggested by Moshael Straus ’70YUHS, ’74YC, founder of the Straus Center and member of YU’s Board of Trustees. “We wanted it to be an integrated dialogue, not just a Jewish thought lecture and an art history lecture,” Rabbi Soloveichik said. “What may even be pioneering about this course is the way it created conversation between two worlds.” The class began by addressing the juxtaposition of art and religion in general, with a particular focus on Judaism, before turning to speciﬁc mitzvot, drawing on essays as well as objects within the collections at the YU Museum to consider how beauty can enhance or detract from the proper approach to fulﬁlling those mitzvot. The course beneﬁted not only from its complementary pairing of faculty, but also from the diversity of students enrolled in it. “We wanted students to feel that these various interests they have, whether personal, professional, familial or worldly, do speak to each other and shouldn’t exist in silos,” said Wisse. For Victoria Chabot, a studio art and Judaic studies major, the course was essential. “We looked at images ranging from the Pantheon to the Hagia Soﬁa and the imagery described in the Book of Psalms, as well as the image of the chupah [bridal canopy] and what it means in Judaism,” she said. “It truly enhanced my life as a practicing Jew and made me more sensitive to the world around me.” n
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Rabbi Soloveichik himself feels an emotional connection to Begin, with a shared heritage of both their families originating from the community of BrestLitovsk, or Brisk. “I realized that to truly honor him … we needed to demonstrate to people what Begin’s vision was and how that vision was manifested in different parts of his life,” said Rabbi Soloveichik. “That involves educating students and the wider Jewish community … What I want to do is expose his philosophical vision, his intellectual vision and his religious vision and what that can teach us as religious Zionists and Jews in today’s world. That’s what I believe would truly honor Menachem Begin.” As part of the grant, Rabbi Soloveichik will speak about Begin and the history of Zionism in different communities around the country. On November 17, he delivered the keynote address at the annual Chanukah dinner at the Hasten Hebrew Academy in Indianapolis, and also gave the Hart and Simona Hasten Lecture in Jewish Studies, “From Generation to Generation: Menachem Begin’s Covenantal Zionism” at the Helene G. Simon Hillel Center at Indiana University Bloomington. The Straus Center has a host of activities planned for this year, with guest speakers including Yehuda Avner, author of The Prime Ministers, and Dr. Daniel Gordis, author of a forthcoming biography on Menachem Begin to be published in the spring of 2014. Rabbi Soloveichik led a seminar at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary last semester and will teach an undergraduate course on Begin and Zionism in the spring. A day-long academic conference that will lead to a published volume of essays is in the works as well. n
k To contribute to this project or to learn about other giving opportunities, please contact Alan Secter, associate dean for institutional advancement, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212.960.5481
Grant to Support YU Programming Commemorating Menachem Begin’s 100th Birthday
eshiva University’s Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought recently received a $100,000 grant from the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem to sponsor a series of programs on Zionism and the Begin Legacy in honor of the former prime minister’s 100th birthday, which was commemorated in August. Hart Hasten, president of US Friends of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation, was instrumental in securing the grant for YU. Phil Rosen, vice chairman of the Yeshiva College Board, and Hasten’s son Bernard, a member of the Yeshiva College Board, also played signiﬁcant roles. “Menachem Begin became my hero and my mentor, a role model and an icon,” said Hasten, who along with his wife, Simona, were close friends of Begin for 25 years. “His honesty and integrity were unbelievable. He was a great statesman, always yearning for peace. He took everything he did very seriously, but looked at himself with great humility. He was the complete intellectual, but by the same token he was very unassuming. There have been some outstanding Israeli leaders, but no one comes close to his talent for leadership.” A Holocaust survivor who arrived penniless to the United States, Hasten rose to the top levels of ﬁnance and industry and today is a successful businessman, Jewish leader and philanthropist, residing in Indianapolis, IN. In 2002 Hasten authored a memoir, I Shall Not Die, an account of his escape and rescue from Nazi-occupied Poland, his formative years in Europe’s displaced persons camps and his personal relationship with Begin. “To celebrate the centennial, we wanted to do something special,” said Hasten, who dedicates much of his time and resources to supporting Jewish causes and spreading Begin’s message of Zionism around the world. After meeting Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik, director
Former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and philanthropist Hart Hasten
of the Straus Center, Hasten felt that he would be the best person to lead the project. “Soloveichik is brilliant and has such a talent for speaking,” he said. “We are very excited and so are the people at the Begin Center, to partner with Yeshiva University, the Straus Center and Rabbi Soloveichik to share Begin’s legacy with a new generation of Americans.” Hasten has multiple family connections to Yeshiva University, spanning several generations. His son Josh— at whose bris Begin served as sandek [godfather]—graduated from YU and three of Bernard’s children, Erica ’13S (married to Zev Dlott ’13SB), Joseph and Samantha are currently students at YU. Bernard’s wife, Laurie (Laulicht), is a member of the advisory council for YU’s Institute for University-School Partnership, and his father-in-law, Murray Laulicht, is a member of the Stern College for Women Board and received an honorary degree from YU in 2010. “Thanks to YU and programs of this type, we may be assured that Begin’s accomplishments will continue to be recognized over the next 100 years,” said Hasten.
YU High Schools Celebrate 25 Years of Great Debates
would push that even further.” Having loved her own experience as a high school and college debater, Levitt wanted YUHSB students to be able to participate in the National Forensic League, but the League’s debates all took place on Saturdays. Undeterred, Levitt began recruiting judges and organizing debates between YUHSB and the Samuel H. Wang Yeshiva University High School for Girls. Levitt and her husband, Dan, also a college debater, invited other schools, and in 1988, they formalized the ﬁrst Yeshiva Debate League. Now comprising close to 20 local yeshivas and celebrating the 25th anniversary of its ﬁrst Annual Cross-Examination Debate Tournament, or “Great Debate,” the League has made an impact on hundreds of students and alumni. “I remember being pretty nervous at the beginning of my ﬁrst debate, and then, a couple minutes in, feeling thrilled and energized,” said Moshe Spinowitz ’97YUHS, who joined the team as a freshman and found himself hooked right away. He enjoyed debate so much that it played a role in his decision to pursue a legal career; after attending Harvard Law School, Spinowitz went on to clerk for United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and later became an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. “I loved learning how to focus on the key issues that are likely to persuade your audience, whether that’s a judge presiding over a debate or a judge presiding over a court, all while developing rational arguments and presenting them effectively,” said Spinowitz, noting that all of those skills prove critical to him on a daily basis in law. “Mrs. Levitt also helped build a strong atmosphere of camaraderie among the debaters that made it not just a great educational experience, but a great social experience as well. I stayed in touch with her over the years and she’s been a key mentor.” For Yehoshua Levine ’99YUHS, ’03YC, that atmosphere of camaraderie helped him feel connected not only to other debaters on his team, but to members of different schools in the League as well. “Debate helped us cross class and school lines,” he said, recalling Levitt’s policy of having senior debaters coach freshmen. After graduating from Harvard Medical School, Levine found that as a practicing cardiologist, he regularly draws on the communication tools he honed in the League. “Medicine calls for a lot of quick decision-making, critical thinking and multidisciplinary communication and interactions as you navigate the health care system, and those are all things I learned in debate,” he added. That Levine and Spinowitz are still using their debate skills in two different but similarly high-powered careers more than 15 years later is no accident; Levitt has always coached her students with an eye toward the future. “When I give students a topic, they learn every possible fact about it, becoming mini-experts … I tell them it will help them to know the opposition’s arguments and better equip them to respond,” Levitt said. “They come out of the experience asking good questions and with really considered, in-depth conclusions. All of this is training for the mind that can’t happen in any way other than debate.” n
Harriett Levitt helped form the Yeshiva Debate League in 1988.
hen Harriett Levitt began teaching English at Yeshiva University High School for Boys (YUHSB) / Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy in 1982, she saw a tremendous opportunity to enrich her students’ education through a competitive sport that had long been her passion: debate. “The degree of intellectuality that exists at the high school was amazing to me,” she said. “Our students argue gemara [Talmud] back and forth every morning. I realized the activity of debate
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Building the Future: Alumni at the Forefront of Fertility
YESHIVA UNIVERSITY WINTER 2014
t’s a biblical story and a lesson we know well: Eve’s transgressions in the Garden of Eden earned her the punishment of pain during childbirth. More painful than the aches of labor, however, is the anguish of people who wish to have children but ﬁnd it difficult to achieve. The science of fertility—encompassing many different roles and specializations—has made astounding progress in recent decades. Four YU alumni on the forefront of the fertility ﬁeld are helping many people realize their dreams of building a family.
RABBI DR. ZALMAN LEVINE: THE REPRODUCTIVE ENDOCRINOLOGIST
Rabbi Dr. Zalman Levine ’84YUHS, ’88YC, ’94R, ’95E, a native of Englewood, NJ, believes that “YU is an integral part of who I am.” Prior to entering medical school, he received semicha [rabbinic ordination] from YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. “I knew that a strong foundation in learning and a greater knowledge of Halacha [Jewish law] would make me a better doctor,” he said. Levine was a third-year student at YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine when he was ﬁrst exposed to the ﬁeld of reproductive endocrinology. “I was fascinated by the interplay of science and art, technology and theology, and embryology and ethics, and by all the halachic and hashkaﬁc [Jewish thought] issues that arise,” he said. Levine eventually went on to Harvard University for a three-year fellowship in reproductive medicine. “Even after leaving my YU cocoon, if only for a temporary period, I didn’t shy away from wearing a yarmulka on my head or YU’s Torah Umadda ideals on my sleeve,” he said. “I believe that my colleagues and mentors in Boston developed a respect for these ideals and the richness of perspective they bring to the practice of medicine.” Levine studied and taught reproRabbi Dr. Zalman Levine ductive medicine and surgery at Harvard Medical School and its affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and later at the New York Medical College. In 2002, he joined the Fertility Institute of New Jersey and New York in Westwood, NJ. A typical day for Levine—now a board-certiﬁed reproductive endocrinologist and fertility specialist—includes consultations with couples who are having difficulty conceiving or maintaining a pregnancy and couples who carry genetic risks for potential children. While Levine works to identify a reason for their fertility struggles and designs and explains a treatment plan, he also establishes a personal rapport with the couple and offers emotional support. “The desire for children is such a basic human drive that a failure to conceive wreaks emotional havoc with a couple in a way that other medical problems may not,” he said. “As a fertility specialist, I feel I’m responsible for attending to the couple’s emotional needs in addition to their medical diagnosis.” Because human reproduction is fraught with weighty halachic issues, nearly every form of treatment Levine considers for observant couples involves consequential halachic decisions. “While I do not pasken [decide Jewish law] for my patients, I help guide their thinking about treatment options in a way that is sensitive to Halacha, and I help couples communicate effectively with their poskim [deciders of Jewish law] while also explaining my medical recommendations,” he said. “Beyond the halachic aspects, I also feel responsible for helping couples put their suffering into a hashkaﬁc perspective and for giving them spiritual strength.” Levine’s dual role as a doctor and rabbi serves him well. He speaks frequently with YU rabbis and roshei yeshiva, and many of them refer their students and congregants to him for medical help with fertility issues. Levine observed that his rabbinic education and spiritual outlook also enhance his treatment of non-observant couples. “They say there are no atheists in the foxhole, and there are few atheists in a fertility office,” he said. “For couples suffering from infertility, the desperate yearning to have a child does
not comport with a dry analysis of diagnoses and probabilities. Even a completely nonreligious couple will often drift toward the spiritual realm as they grapple with why they are having trouble. I ﬁnd that such couples ﬁnd a sense of security in knowing their doctor is also an ordained rabbi.” Other daily responsibilities include performing reproductive surgery; providing treatment to correct or overcome certain problems that may inhibit a successful conception; and removing eggs from women’s ovaries and working with embryos in his laboratory as part of the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process. For Levine, the best part of the job is changing people’s lives by helping them become parents. “Every time I see tears well up in the eyes of future parents when we hear a brand-new fetal heartbeat on the ultrasound in a long-yearned-for pregnancy, I cannot imagine accomplishing anything greater,” he said. “When a couple comes back to visit me in my office with their newborn baby, I feel overwhelmed by the seismic change wrought by successful fertility treatment: a man and woman are now parents, a brand-new human being now exists who will impact humanity and an entirely new branch of the world’s family tree has been created.” Levine, who lives in Teaneck, NJ, credits Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Daniel Feldman, leader of his shul, Congregation Ohr Saadya, as a tremendous resource for his halachic questions. Levine gives back to YU in various ways: he writes for YU publications such as the “To-Go” series, helped edit Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky’s book on hilchot nidda [laws of family purity], spoke at YU’s Student Medical Ethics Society conference and spent Shabbat as a scholar-in-residence at Stern College. Levine and his wife, Gila ’88S, have ﬁve children: Zeeva ’12S, Doron ’12YUHS, Moreet, Dafna and Leeby. Zeeva, who was part of the S. Daniel Abraham Honors Program at Stern, is also the college’s newest calculus instructor, a job she balances with her graduate engineering studies at Columbia University. Doron is currently a student at Yeshiva College.
ESTIE (BURNS) ROSE: THE GENETIC COUNSELOR
Estie (née Burns) Rose ’07S knew the odds were not in her favor when she applied to graduate programs in genetic counseling. “There was another Stern College student who applied to genetics programs at the same time, and we knew that the chances of both of us getting in were slim,” recalled Rose, who cited the competitiveness of the programs, most of which accept fewer than 10 students each year. To Rose’s great relief, both students were accepted. “I had always planned to be a physician and was taking premed courses, but during my junior year, I made a list of priorities I really wanted out of my career in health care,” said Rose, who majored in biology. “Like most people, I wanted to have patient contact, but it had to be in a specialty that was exciting and evolving. I realized that genetic counseling, which I observed at Monteﬁore as a high school student during a six-week work study program, was actually the perfect combination of both.” Rose shadowed a genetic counselor at NYU Cancer Institute to conﬁrm her passion. “I’m so happy I made that decision, because I absolutely love what I do now,” she said. “I deal with patients every day and genetic counseling is one of the fastest-growing, most Estie (Burns) Rose exciting ﬁelds around.” Rose studied at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in an intensive twoyear program, with many clinical rotations and a curriculum divided among science, medicine, genetics courses and psychosocial and counseling classes. She was hired to work at Monteﬁore Medical Center’s Reproductive Genetics Clinic in 2009. When YU launched its Program for Jewish Genetic Health (PJGH) the following year, she was recruited to work there, too. She now splits her week between Monteﬁore and PJGH. Continued on Page 2 ç PJGH was created to serve the Jewish community
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and its unique genetic concerns. One of its main objectives is to provide accessible and affordable options for carrier testing for Jewish genetic diseases that could affect offspring, so that couples can ensure the health of their children as much as possible before getting pregnant. Rose, who championed the cause of genetic screenings as an active member of the Student Medical Ethics Society while she was at Stern, says that based on her experience, approximately one in three Ashkenazi Jewish individuals who undergoes screening is identiﬁed as a carrier for at least one Jewish genetic disease. One in 100 couples will be a carrier couple. “For those couples who are carriers, it’s much better to know prior to conception so that they may take proactive steps, like undergoing preimplantation genetic diagnosis,” said Rose. “When a couple ﬁnds out that they are both carriers when they are already pregnant, very difficult decisions, many of which run counter to one’s own ethical and religious beliefs, need to be made in a short time. I hate to think of all the times this heartache could have been avoided.” As evidence of the program’s commitment to serving the Jewish population’s speciﬁc needs as they arise, Rose pointed to the increase in Sephardic patients who have come in for preconception screening. Because they have different genetic concerns than those of Ashkenazi Jews, PJGH is working on a pilot program geared speciﬁcally toward screening and educating Sephardic Jews. But Rose said she is not the ﬁrst stop for a couple who is experiencing trouble conceiving. “Instead, the ﬁrst professional that a couple facing infertility should see is a reproductive endocrinologist, who will most likely send the couple to a genetic counselor like me as part of a comprehensive workup,” she said. “I can then look for, and hopefully rule out, potential genetic issues that can affect fertility.” In addition to her busy work schedule, Rose mentors YU students who are becoming more aware of the unique professional opportunity that genetic counseling provides. She tells students that internships shadowing genetic counselors and volunteering at support groups or crisis hotlines are part of the trifecta of preparing to apply to graduate programs; the other two are good grades and stellar interviewing skills. “I assume that more graduate programs will open, or that the graduate programs in existence will expand their programs, because I see such a huge interest and need in the ﬁeld now,” said Rose. Rose is married to Srulie Rose ’07YC, ’10C, an immigration lawyer. They live in North Woodmere with their two sons, Daniel and Raﬁ.
DR. GILA LEITER: THE OB-GYN
with a relentlessly inquisitive mind, hungered for greater intellectual Jewish and secular learning. At age 15, she packed some belongings in a couple of garbage bags and took the train to Midtown, where she would attend Stern College for Women for the next threeand-a-half years.
Dr. Gila Leiter
Leiter knew no one when she ﬁrst arrived at Stern but her assigned big sister, an upperclassman, helped make the transition easy. She introduced her to a large circle of wonderful friends and to the teachings of Rabbi Saul Berman, who quickly became her mentor and cherished professor. “Rabbi Berman and I come from similar backgrounds and I was immediately taken with his expertise in Halacha,” said Leiter. “I took every class that he taught, and they helped reinforce my passion for Jewish learning.” Leiter’s deep interest in science was also nurtured at Stern, where Dr. Nathaniel Remes and Dr. Betty Rosoff taught courses in organic chemistry and biochemistry. Leiter majored in biology and also took graduate courses at Einstein and YU’s Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. Following graduation, Leiter deferred admission to Einstein and traveled to Israel to study at Midreshet Lindenbaum and the Hadassah Medical Center. When she returned, she was pleased to ﬁnd many courses and
shiurim [lectures] at Einstein on medical ethics, especially those given by Rabbi Dr. Avraham Steinberg, who was taking part in a fellowship there at the time. “It was a wonderful continuity of my learning at Stern,” she recalled. Leiter fulﬁlled her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Mount Sinai Hospital and then started in private practice at Park Avenue Women’s Center, where she has been ever since. Her focus is on delivering babies to a varied clientele and treating women’s health issues such as pelvic pain, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, menopause and osteoporosis. Leiter has delivered thousands of babies, but for her, the experience never gets old. “Each pregnancy and each couple experiencing a birth have different dynamics, so the pleasure I get from delivering their babies is really unique each time,” she said. “I enjoy seeing a wide variety of patients—I can be treating a 45-year-old CEO from the Upper East Side and a 20-year-old Hasidic couple at the same time, each with their own fears and concerns. And when the couple has experienced difﬁcult fertility histories or difficult pregnancies, the joy of delivering a healthy baby is indescribable.” Many of Leiter’s patients are from Hasidic communities. Even with her awareness of the many religious and halachic guidelines involved, Leiter said it’s “both a challenge and a lesson” to ﬁnd solutions for ultra-Orthodox women. “It is a constant learning experience to ﬁnd a balance between the desires of my patients to obey strict Halacha and the recommended care I feel is best for them,” said Leiter, who lectures medical students at Mt. Sinai on cultural and religious sensitivities. Thanks to Leiter’s long-standing, family-based practice, she often sees multiple generations of patients. “It’s especially gratifying to treat everyone from the grandmother to the mother to the daughter in a given day,” she said. “I’ve delivered many babies of women who I delivered as babies themselves.”
Interestingly, the two largest groups of patients that Leiter treats— Hasidic and urban professional women—have fertile tracks that are almost completely opposite. “Just a few weeks ago, I saw one young Hasidic woman who had her ﬁrst baby at 18 and then, in the next room, I saw a 45-year-old woman who had just given birth to her ﬁrst baby after a couple of IVF treatment cycles,” said Leiter, who often counsels those professional women who tend to put off childbearing by freezing their eggs. Leiter also holds other roles at Mount Sinai, including serving on the faculty of the medical school as an associate clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive science, supervising third-year medical students on their ob-gyn rotations and helping with the admissions process for aspiring students. She is also president of the Attending Association at Mount Sinai, which represents the 3,000 doctors affiliated with Mt. Sinai, and serves as secretary of its medical board. Even in her spare time, Leiter is active; she is a competitive cyclist, runner and swimmer and frequently competes in triathlons. “I know it’s gotten boring because everyone’s read [Sheryl Sandberg’s] Lean In 42 times by now, but you also just have to do the best you can,” she said. “I give it my all when I’m at work and I give it my all when I’m at home.” A supportive spouse, like her husband, James Lavin, is also helpful. “Women ask me about the worklife balance all the time, especially after they’ve just had their ﬁrst baby and are worrying about going back to work,” said Leiter. “I always encourage them to try and do so because I think it’s tremendously beneﬁcial for children to see their mothers working to contribute to the world with something they are passionate about.” Leiter regularly lectures on gynecological and reproductive health. She also counsels at-risk teens through the
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Dr. Gila Leiter ’78S, ’83E, is the daughter of Holocaust survivors who settled in Brooklyn. Leiter, a devoted student
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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 emailing email@example.com with the subject line “Class Notes,” or by visiting www.yu.edu/alumni/notes 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.
Rivka ’75TI and Rabbi Howard Finkelstein ’69YUHS, ’73YC, ’76R, ’77F announce the marriage of their son, Netanel ’13YC, to Judith Frankiel ’13S.
Rabbi Benjamin Yudin ’66YC, ’69YC published his book, Rabbi Benjamin Yudin on the Parsha (Mosaica Press, 2013).
Dr. Charles Freundlich ’62BR published his book, Vyse Avenue (CreateSpace, 2013).
Sharon ’72S and Rabbi Shimon Altshul ’72YC, ’76R, ’76F announce the birth of a grandson, Yakir David, born to Anat and Rabbi Asher Altshul. Joanne ’75S and Rabbi Kenneth Auman ’71YUHS, ’75YC, ’75BR, ’78R announce the marriage of their daughter, Leni, to Donny Kazarnovsky. Faye Debbie (Klaff) ’71S and Herby Dan announce the birth of their two grandsons: Yedidya Elimelech, born to Yona Chana (Meirerovitz) ’10W and Meir Chaim Dan, and Amitai Shmuel, born to Bina (Dan) and Shlomo Beychok. Dr. Maureen ’74E and Rabbi Lippy Friedman ’66YC, ’69BR, ’69R announce the birth of their great grandson, Yoseph Tuvia, born to Talia and Yedidya Fishman of Yad Binyamin. They also share the birth of their grandson Itamar Yehuda, born to David and Naomi Friedman of Karnei Shomron. Ruthie ’72YUHS and Ahituv Gershinsky ’71YUHS, ’75YC, ’77W announce the birth of their granddaughter, Tohar born to Hanannel and Bat Hen Gershinsky. Ira Herman ’75YUHS, ’79YC of Thompson & Knight LLP was included in the 2013 list of New York Super Lawyers. New York forensic podiatrist Dr. Bryan B. Kagan ’76YC had his study, “Comparing Dynamic Shod Foot Impressions with Dynamic Barefoot and Shod Foot Impressions,” featured in the October edition of Forensic Magazine. Carrie and Morrie Klians ’76YC announce the birth of their grandson, Aviel Shalom, born to Sharona and Nachman Rosenberg. Cookie ’70S and Rabbi David Klavan ’69YC, ’71R announce the birth of their granddaughter, Masos, born to Yael and Chanan Ariel. Dr. Jack Mermelstein ’71YC was presented the E.C. Nurock Award for Lifetime Achievement by the New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians. Deborah ’71S and Morris Robinson announce the birth of their granddaughter, Rachel Chaya, born to Yehudit (Robinson) and Sam Daitch. Mignone ’72YUHS and Ezra Rosenfeld ’77BS announce the birth of their grandson, born to Hadass and Amichai Rosenfeld. Rabbi Marc Schneier ’76YUHS, ’80YC, ’83A, ’83R with Imam Shamsi Ali published Sons of Abraham: A Candid Conversation About Issues That Divide and Unite Jews and Muslims (Beacon Press, 2013). Brenda and Rabbi Elihu Turkel ’72YUHS, ’76YC, ’79R, ’81F and Dr. Jessica ’76YUHS and David Jacob announce the birth of their grandson, Ezra Pesach, born to Dahlia and Nathaniel Jacob. Sara ’76S and Rabbi Aryeh Weil ’70YUHS, ’74YC, ’77BR, ’77R announce the engagement of their daughter, Miriam Aliza, to Ian Schrier.
Ezra Wohlgelernter ’78YC lectured at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and presented at the Pennsylvania Association for Justice’s annual premises liability seminar in Philadelphia.
Sheba and Rabbi Gary Beitler ’89YC, 92R announce the marriage of their daughter, Batya, to Yitzy Simon. Batya (Shulman) ’80TI, ’84BR and Rabbi David Berlinger and Beverly and Rabbi Aharon Simkin ’85R announce the birth of their granddaughter, Miriam Bracha. Mazel tov to parents Devorah and Pini Berlinger. Anita ’88YUHS and Rabbi Ari Berman ’87YUHS, ’91YC, ’94BR, ’95R celebrated the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Tamar Rivka. Mazel tov to grandparents Rosalie ’62S and Ted Berman ’62YC. Daniel Y. Gielchinsky ’88SB, ’01C has joined Higer Lichter & Givner as Of Counsel. He will focus his practice on bankruptcy and commercial litigation. Michael “Moshe” Karash ’86YUHS, ’91YC was appointed administrator of the Fort Tryon Center for Rehabilitation & Nursing in Washington Heights. Chana and Rabbi Joshua Kupchik ’80YUHS, ’85YC, ’87R celebrated the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Avi. Dena (Greenspan) ’88S and Mark Lehrman ’85YC, ’92BR, director of Yeshiva University in Israel, announce the marriage of their daughter, Temima, to Binyamin Greenberg, son of Rachel and David Greenberg ’80YC. Mazel tov to Temima’s grandparents, Gala and Rabbi Alan Greenspan ’58YC, ’61R, ’61BR and to Binyamin’s grandparents, Chana and Rabbi Aharon Greenberg ’46YUHS. Rabbi Daniel Mann ’86YC, ’89R published his book, A Glimpse at Greatness: Studies in the Works of Giants of Lomdus (Eretz Hemdah, 2013). Mindy and Yeshiva University Trustee Ira M. Mitzner ’81YC announce the marriage of their son, Steven, to Stephanie Perl ’09S in December. Mazel Tov to Steven’s siblings, Laura (Mitzner) ’11S and Steven Paletz ’11YC and Michael Mitzner. Dr. Esther ’86S, ’95F and Rabbi Meir Orlian ’83YUHS, ’87YC, ’90R, ’93BR are pleased to announce the birth of their granddaughter, Hod. Mazel tov to great grandparents professor of Bible and Hebrew Rabbi Dr. J. Mitchell Orlian ’51YUHS, ’55YC, ’57F, ’73BR and associate dean of Stern College for Women Ethel Orlian ’57 YUHS, ’61S. Leslie and Jeffrey Silber ’84YC announce the marriage of their daughter, Ariel Rose, to Yedidya Rothner, son of Adina and Yehuda Rothner. Faige and Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Mayer Twersky ’85R announce the marriage of their daughter, Rivky, to Ariel Diamond.
Mindella and Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm ’49YC, ’51R, ’66BR announce the birth of their great granddaughter, Sara Ruchama, born to Shlomit and Ari Lamm ’10YC. Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm ’49YC, ’51R, ’66BR published Derashot LeDorot Exodus and Derashot LeDorot Leviticus (YU Press, OU Press and Maggid Books, 2013.) Both editions were edited by Dr. Stuart Halpern ’09BR, ’13A. The former has a foreword by Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter, Senior Scholar of the Center for the Jewish Future and University Professor of Jewish history and Jewish thought, and the latter has a foreword by Rabbi Mark Dratch ’79YC, ’82F, ’82R, ’12W, instructor of Jewish philosophy. Rabbi Mordechai Schnaidman ’48YC, ’52BR, ’52R announces the birth of his great grandson, born to Shoshan and Yaakov Siberman. Mazel tov to grandparents Esther and David Schnaidman. Rabbi Max N. Schreier ’49YC, ’52R was honored at the 91st Anniversary Dinner of Avenue N Jewish Center in Brooklyn for his 50 years of service as their Morah D’Asra.
Rabbi Menachem Genack ’65YUHS, ’69YC, ’73R published his book, Letters to President Clinton: Biblical Lessons on Faith and Leadership (Sterling Ethos, 2013).
Rabbi Dr. Eugene Korn ’68YC co-edited Jewish Theology and World Religions (Littman Library of Jewish Civilization), a ﬁnalist in the 2012 Jewish Book Awards. His essay in that volume, “Rethinking Christianity,” has been translated and published in Hebrew and Italian for use by the Israeli and Italian Rabbinates. In October 2013 he was invited to give a paper on “Ethical and Religious Challenges to Contemporary Religion” to the International Liaison Committee of Jewish and Catholic Leaders in Madrid, Spain. Phyllis (Curchack) Kornspan ’69S announces the marriage of her daughter, Terry, to Amir Kogan.
Lucy ’69S and Rabbi Eliezer Langer ’68YC, ’75BR, ’75R announce the birth of their grandson, born to Baila and Naftali Langer. Barbara and Dr. Joel Luber ’68YC announce the birth of four grandchildren: Yehuda Elisha, Eitan, and twins, Moshe and Anna’el. Edith Lubetski ’68BR, head librarian of the Hedi Steinberg Library at Stern College for Women, delivered a lecture on “Database Searching for Biblical Studies” at the World Congress of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. Charlene and Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg ’69YC, ’74R, ’74F, 92A announce the birth of their grandson, Asher Tzvi, born to Ilana and Joshua Merl.
Dr. Morton Frieman ’56YUHS, ’60YC, ’64E sculpted a giant menorah for the IDF Golani Brigade’s training base and was named Sculptor of Israel Defense Forces. Elke ’59YUHS and Nachman Kupietzky ’55YUHS, ’59YC and Judi ’63YUHS and Rabbi Harris Guedalia ’57YUHS, ’63R announce the birth of their great grandson. Mazel Tov to parents Miriam and Rabbi Eitan Kupietzky; to grandparents Allison and Dr. Ari Kupietzky and Sue and Zev Gershon; and to great great grandmother Mrs. Els Bendheim. Eitan is the great grandson of the late Charles H. Bendheim, a YU Benefactor. Monty Noam Penkower ’59YUHS, ’63YC published his book, The Swastika’s Darkening Shadow: Voices Before the Holocaust (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).
Charles Sherman ’67YC published his book, The Broken and the Whole: Discovering Joy after Heartbreak (Scribner, 2014).
Aaron Bernstein ’66YC, ’66R published Future Mysteries: A Vision of 2020, available as an eBook on Amazon.com
Aviva ’69YUHS and Marvin Sussman ’64YUHS, ’68YC and Rochelle and Leo Goldberg announce the birth of a grandson born to Shari ’82S and Josh Goldberg and a granddaughter, born to Amanda (Sussman) ’97YUHS, ’00S and Meir Katz ’01YC, ’04C. Rochel Sylvetsky ’63TI and Raaya and Rabbi Yakov Shapira announce the birth of their granddaughter born to Avital and Rabbi Avraham Sylvetsky.
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CLASS OF 1954 | 60 YEAR CLASS OF 1964 | 50 YEAR
in Brooklyn. He has also been invited to present to the Bronx County Dental Society in April on the topic of “Atraumatic Exodontia: Principles, Concepts & Techniques.” Rabbi Eliezer Schnall ’95YUHS, ’00YC, ’03R, ’06F, associate professor of psychology at Yeshiva College, lectured at Congregation Sons of Israel in Cherry Hill, NJ at an event marking the 120th anniversary of the synagogue. Yocheved and Rabbi Avraham Willig ’99W, ’02R announce the birth of their son, Yosef. Mazel tov to grandparents Faygie ’72S and RIETS Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Mordechai Willig ’68YC, ’71R. Rabbi Ari Kellerman ’05YC, ’09A received the Distinguished Alumnus and Faculty Teacher of the Year Award at the 44th Anniversary Gala Dinner of Robert M. Beren Academy in Houston, Texas. Surie and Aaron Krakowski ’05YC announce the birth of their son, Daniel Shlomo. Jonathan Mantell ’03SB, ’10W became the chief operating ofﬁcer of Water Waste Prevention, Inc. Dr. Chani ’97S, ’00BR, ’13A and Rabbi Shmuel Maybruch ’97YC, ’02R, ’13W announce the birth of their son, Yaakov Simcha, and the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Dovid. Tzippy and Rabbi Gershon Meisel ’09YC announce the birth of their son. Avi Sinensky ’01YUHS, ’04YC became an associate at Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein, and Breitstone, LLP. Rabbi Eli Slomnicki ’01YC, ’04A was appointed assistant principal of Yeshiva University High School for Girls in Holliswood. Yael ’05S and Rabbi Akiva Willig ’01YC, ’05R announce the birth of their daughter. Mazel tov to grandparents Faygie ’72S and RIETS Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Mordechai Willig ’68YC, ’71R.
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Daniella and Jonathan Dyckman ’01SB were honored at the Kehilas Ishei Yisrael Fifth Annual Dinner for their many contributions to the shul community. Rebecca ’07S and Greg Eliason ’06SB announce the birth of their son, Daniel Aharon.
Dr. Robert van Amerongen ’82YC, ’86E has been appointed medical director of Urgent-MD Family Urgent Care Centers. Dr. van Amerongen is also chief of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at New York Methodist Hospital in Park Slope, Brooklyn. RIETS Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Jeremy Wieder ’88YUHS, ’91BR, ’91YC, ’94R has been appointed Scholar-in-Residence at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun. Chair of the Stern College Board of Overseers Shira Yoshor ’89S received the Dena and Baruch Brady Award for Dedicated Service at the 44th Anniversary Gala Dinner of Robert M. Beren Academy in Houston, Texas.
Chava and Rabbi Yonah Gross ’98YUHS, ’04YC, ’06R announce the birth of their son, Yosef Leib.
John K. Houten ’91YC became professor of Clinical Neurological Surgery at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Aaron Katsman ’93YC published his book, Retirement GPS: How to Navigate Your Way to a Secure Financial Future with Global Investing (McGraw-Hill, 2013).
Lauren ’03S and Rabbi Eliezer “Josh” Friedman ’97YC, ’01R announce the birth of their daughter, Esther Liba.
Betty and Jake Arjang ’97SB announce the birth of their son, Akiva.
Ann Koffsky ’93S published her book, Frogs in the Bed: My Passover Seder Activity Book (Behrman House, 2014).
Karen ’01BR and Rabbi Aaron Goldscheider ’94R have been appointed to the faculty of Nishmat as co-directors of the Alisa Flatow International Program, which offers English-speaking women of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities the opportunity to study Jewish texts. Heather Goldstein ’00SB is now vice president of marketing for Net-A-Porter.com. Noam Greenberg ’04YC of Thompson & Knight LLP was recognized as a New York Rising Star in 2013 by Thomson Reuters. Rabbi Micah Greenland ’00YC, ’02R, ’10A was elected International Director of NCSY. Shevy and Aaron Gropper ’02SB announce the birth of their son, Elazar Dov Ber. Leba ’02S and Rabbi Gary Guttenberg ’04YC, ’07R announce the birth of their twins, Yehuda and Yosef Shalom. Mazel Tov to grandparents Sandy ’78S and Aryeh Guttenberg ’72 YUHS, ’76YC, ’79C and Rayla and Ben Zion Krupka ’77YC. Mazel tov to great grandparents Fay and Rabbi Yitzchak Sladowsky ’54YC, ’56R. Dina and Rabbi Shaye Guttenberg ’06YC, ’09A announce the birth of their son, Shlomo Tzohar. Ariella (Joel) ’03S and Shlomo Benzaquen announce the birth of their daughter. Mazel tov to Dr. Esther ’83F and President Richard Joel ’68YUHS.
Josh Geller ’12SB was hired as the South Florida Director of Institutional Advancement for Southern NCSY.
Sara (Silverstein) ’97YUHS, ’01S and Rabbi Yaakov Blau ’93YC, ’93BR, ’96R, ’97A announce the birth of their son, Yehuda Shabtai. Mazel tov to grandparents, Dr. Rivkah ’58YUHS and Rabbi Yosef Blau ’55YUHS, ’59YC, ’60BS, ’61R, senior Mashgiach Ruchani at Yeshiva University. Rabbi David Brofsky ’94YC, ’94BR published his book, Hilkot Mo’adim: Understanding the Laws of the Festivals (Koren Publishers Jerusalem, 2013). Rabbi Avi Cutler ’93YUHS, ’00YC, ’01W, ’02R was scholar-in-residence at the Young Israel of Woodmere where he lectured on “The Signiﬁcance and Relevance of the Rebbe: Talmid Relationship in the 21st Century.” Rabbi Joshua Fass ’91YUHS, ’94YC, ’96A, ’98R was honored by the World Orthodox Leadership in November for co-founding Nefesh B’Nefesh. Solomon Genet ’96YC served as a panel speaker at the Cuban American Bar Association Conference: Legal Aspects of Doing Business in the Americas, a one-day conference to discuss the complex regulatory, legal, market and cultural issues relating to conducting business in Latin America. Hila ’95A and RIETS Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Meir Goldwicht announce the birth of their grandson, Oriel, born to Ariella and Eitiel Goldwicht ’05SB.
Chaya and Rabbi Jonathan Krimsky ’98YC, ’02R announce the birth of their son, Akiva Pesach. Malka ’97S and Rabbi Ely Landman ’97YC, ’99R announce the birth of their daughter, Shalva Emuna. Ahava (Aaron) Leibtag ’97S published her book, The Digital Crown: Winning at Content on the Web (Morgan Kaufmann, 2013). Rabbi Bini Maryles ’97SB, ’01R, ’10A became the Executive Director of Yeshivat Sha’alvim. Dr. Vivian ’91F and Rabbi Moshe Neiss ’68YUHS, ’72YC, ’75R, ’75BR announce the birth of their granddaughter, Dahlia Chaya, born to Alison and Jeremy Neiss ’99YUHS, ’03YC. Amer Ranish-Randell ’91YC celebrated the Bar Mitzvah of his son, Ethan (Ephraim Aryeh) in November.
Rabbi Herschel Hartz 13R, ’13BR was acknowledged in The Jewish Week for kickstarting Inwood’s Jewish community. He is founder and Executive Director of Inwood Jews (www.inwoodjews.com). Tova (Gardin) ’09S and Peter Kahn ’11YC, ’13R were honored at the 100th Anniversary Dinner of Congregation Sons of Israel of the Bronx.
Dena Block ’11S, Nechama Price ’01S, ’05A, ’08BR, Tova Warburg Sinensky ’03S, ’08A, and Avital Weissman ’00S, ’03A were members of the ﬁrst American class to become yoatzot halacha, female advisors of Jewish law, from Nishmat, a Jerusalembased Torah study center for women.
Dr. Shlomo Charlap ’75YC Dr. Herbert A. Friedman ’54YUHS, ’58YC Rabbi Nehemia Gellman ’44YC, ’50R Rabbi Ezra R. Labaton ’72YC, ’74R, ’75BR Leon Mir ’54YUHS Rabbi Jacob “Jack” M. Sable ’44YUHS, ’48YC, ’56R, ’64BR, ’99W Rabbi Dan Segal ’93YUHS, ’97YC, ’02E Cheryl Stern ’81S Rabbi Arnold Wieder ’49YC
Dr. Dale Rosenbach ’99YUHS, ’03YC joined the faculty of the postgraduate department of periodontics and implant dentistry at Lutheran Medical Center
Elisheva and assistant dean of undergraduate Torah studies Rabbi Yosef Kalinsky ’00YC, ’03R, ’09A, ’09W announce the birth of their son, Dovid. Mazel tov to grandparents Sandy and Rabbi Alan Kalinsky ’69YUHS, ’73YC, ’76R, ’77F.
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From Small Start-Ups to Big Business, Attorney Joey Nussbaum Finds his Niche
or someone who wasn’t sure what he wanted to do professionally until his senior year of college, Joey Nussbaum ’94YC, seems to have managed just ﬁne. “I majored in English but didn’t really know what kind of career I wanted to pursue, and then someone suggested that I take the LSAT,” said Nussbaum, who ended up attending Harvard Law School. “That suggestion worked out pretty well for me.” One thing that Nussbaum, a Chicago native, was clear about was his intention to attend Yeshiva University. “I come from a long line of people who attended YU, starting with my grandfather, Rabbi Gersion Appel ’38YC, ’41BR, ’45R, z”l,” said Nussbaum. “Attending YU just makes sense for a Modern Orthodox family who cares about Jewish learning on a higher education level, in addition to excellent secular studies.” Nussbaum fondly recalled his wonderful rebbeim, English classes with Dr. Joanne Jacobson and Dr. Joan Haar and Hebrew courses with Dr. Samuel Schneider; the close friends he made; his time working at the Commentator, Yeshiva College’s newspaper; and intramural basketball. After graduating from Harvard in 1997, Nussbaum accepted a position at the law ﬁrm of Sullivan & Cromwell, where he had been a summer associate, and worked there for two-and-a-half years. “I soon got the itch that many associates get—to do something outside the realm of a corporate law ﬁrm,” said Nussbaum. “Being young and single, I ﬁgured there was no better time to try an opportunity elsewhere.” That opportunity came at Comstellar Technologies, a start-up tech company that created cutting-edge hardware, software and service solutions, where he served as director of corporate development, which led to more than 10 years at different technology start-ups. After a year at Comstellar, he went on to Leapstone, where he served as in-house counsel and directed both corporate development and legal affairs for seven years. He then joined LightSquared, a wireless broadband company where he spent three years working as director of commercial transactions. In 2012, he became the assistant general counsel at Time Warner Inc., a global leader in media and entertainment with businesses in television networks, ﬁlm and publishing—offering a professional environment
vastly different than a corporate law ﬁrm or start-up. Nussbaum, who thrives on the stimulating and “from-the-ground-up” atmosphere that exists in start-ups, said his biggest fear was that Time Warner would be “a real corporate bureaucracy with all the associated politics that go with it.” To his relief, he found that it wasn’t like that at all. “I’m in a group within Time Warner that’s made up of about 700 people, so it’s not too huge, but I can still take advantage of the resources and opportunities that come along with being a part of a major company,” Nussbaum said. A day at the Time Warner headquarters in Manhattan is typically ﬁlled with drafting and negotiating a wide variety of commercial agreements, such as software licenses, health and welfare contracts and professional services agreements. “I work for a very diverse client base, so I never really know what will come up or what kinds of things I’ll have to deal with in a given day,” he said. “It keeps things interesting.” The job does come with its challenges, such as “managing attorneys when I hadn’t managed anyone before,” said Nussbaum. “But overall, it’s a positive career development and much more stable, which is important now that I’m married and have a child.” Nussbaum said that his experience there has been overwhelmingly positive and that the company is very accommodating of employees who are trying to balance their professional and home lives. Nussbaum’s wife, Tamar Kaplan-Marans, is an attorney at WilmerHale. They describe the balancing act they do to manage their busy jobs and raise their 2-year-old, Harry, as challenging but workable. “My wife actually works longer hours than I do, since I can usually leave my office by 6:30,” said Nussbaum. “When I need to take a day off or come in late, my office is very understanding. I can also work remotely from home.” Nussbaum recognizes the different market that now exists for young lawyers, as opposed to when he was a new Harvard graduate. “It’s tough out there,” he said. “It used to be an asset to have a law degree no matter which professional ﬁeld you wanted to pursue, but employers don’t look at it the same way today.” Still, Nussbaum said, if you have a passion for the law, you should pursue it. “There are jobs out there, and networking is a must,” he said. “YU students are lucky that they have a great Career Center and a huge network of lawyers to tap into. I am always happy to speak with students and offer my perspective to them.” Nussbaum’s family tradition of attending Yeshiva University continues through his nieces and nephews, many of whom are current students or graduates. Nussbaum and his wife are proud to support YU and contribute to its Annual Fund. “YU is an incredible institution with an incredibly important mission, and ultimately, I think it achieves its goal like no other,” he said. “It continually turns out a very impressive product, and I am proud to be associated with it.” n
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ALUMNI TODAY 5
ALUMNI IN ACTION
Students Helping Students is a student-run initiative that educates undergraduates about the role philanthropy plays in funding a YU education, with a particular focus on the need for scholarship funds. This year’s kickoff event took place at Lake Como Pizza on the Wilf Campus. More than 30 students created their own personal pizzas while showing their appreciation for alumni support and doing their part to raise money for undergraduate scholarships.
STUDENTS HELPING STUDENTS PIZZA-MAKING KICKOFF EVENT (OCTOBER 2, 2013)
The Nahshon Society held their Fall Meeting at the Yeshiva University Museum. Participants had a behind-the-scenes tour of the exhibit, “Threshold to the Sacred: The Ark Door of Cairo’s Ben Ezra Synagogue,” led by Museum Director Dr. Jacob Wisse. Following the tour, Nahshon Society members participated in a discussion titled “From Student to Alum: Identifying Your New Role,” featuring Lawrence Askowitz ’87YC, member of the Yeshiva College Board of Overseers and co-chair, Yeshiva University Wall Street Group; Joel Strauss ’82YUHS, ’86YC, ’92C, member, Undergraduate Alumni Council and chair, Subcommittee on Career Planning and Placement; and Jocelyn Coalter, director of Employer and Alumni Relations at YU’s Career Center.
NAHSHON SOCIETY FALL MEETING (OCTOBER 16, 2013)
m Students create their own personal pizzas
m Members of the Nahshon Society enjoy a tour of the museum’s newest exhibit
o Seth Feuerstein-Rudin, president of Students Helping Students, demonstrate how to prepare crisp, thin-crust pizzas
m Nahshon Society members Gabriel Unger ’12YC and Sarah Rosenbaum ’13S attend the Fall Meeting at the Yeshiva University Museum
m Participants show their support for Students Helping Students by designing posters
Silver and Golden Shield Society members joined Stern College for Women students on a tour of Jewish Harlem led by Dr. Jeffrey S. Gurock, Libby M. Klaperman Professor of Jewish History. The group visited various Harlem sites that were keystones of Jewish life in the early part of the 20th century. The tour was followed by lunch on the Wilf Campus.
SILVER AND GOLDEN SHIELD SOCIETY TOURS JEWISH HARLEM (OCTOBER 13, 2013)
m Daniel Danesh ’13YC speaks with panelist Joel Strauss
Yeshiva University Career Center, Sy Syms Student Council, Real Estate Club and the Office of Alumni Affairs hosted a panel discussion at Anchin, Block & Anchin, moderated by partner Steven Kahn ’95SB, with panelists Benjamin Blumenthal ’12SB, Jason Muss ’93C, David Rosenberg ’93SB and Lynette Tulkoff. The speakers shared insights about the profession with current students interested in pursuing careers in real estate.
YU REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY FORUM (DECEMBER 11, 2013)
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Forty Stern College for Women graduates who are pursuing their medical degrees at YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine joined together to honor Dr. Harvey Babich ’64YUHS, ’68YC. Hadassa Klerman ’11S, a member of the Stern-Einstein Scheiber Connection, thanked Dr. Babich for his dedication as an educator and mentor to Stern students.
ANNE SCHEIBER SCHOLARS BRUNCH (OCTOBER 27, 2013)
m Dr. Harvey Babich and Tirtza Spiegel ’11S
m Dr. Ariella Nadler ’07S, ’11E, Dr. Temima “Timi” Strauss ’07S, ’13E and Shira (Roszler) Steinburger ’08S.
Alumni of the Yeshiva University women’s volleyball team, men’s fencing team and men’s soccer team came back to play against the current squads.
ALUMNI GAMES (NOVEMBER 17 AND DECEMBER 15, 2013)
YESHIVA UNIVERSITY WRESTLING ALUMNI REUNION
Come back to campus to see Yeshiva high school wrestling in action at the annual Wittenberg Tournament and celebrate the growth and success of Yeshiva University wrestling under the leadership of Coach Neil Ellman ’68YC. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2014 | HENRY WITTENBERG WRESTLING TOURNAMENT
High School Meets, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. | Yeshiva University, Max Stern Athletic Center 2501 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10033
6:30–8 p.m. | SkyCafe, Belfer Hall, 12th Floor | 2495 Amsterdam Avenue, NYC Please RSVP at www.yu.edu/wrestlingreunion For more information, call 212.960.5373
s WE WANT TO HE AR YOUR IDE AS FOR PROGR AMMING IN YOUR REGION. CONTACT BARBAR A BIRCH AT BIRCH @YU.EDU OR 212 .960.0848 .
ALUMNI TODAY 7
Forefront of Fertilityç
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Ohr Naava organization in Brooklyn and serves on the medical board of Sharsheret, a nonproﬁt organization that supports Jewish women with breast cancer. Leiter and her husband live in Manhattan and Teaneck, NJ. They have four daughters: Yonit, an MD/ PhD immunology student at Mount Sinai married to Kobi Luria; twins Talia, an intern at the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and recent Fulbright Scholar and Sarah, an associate at Finn Partners in Israel; and Leore, a freshman at Harvard University.
RABBI ADIR POSY: THE RABBINIC COUNSELOR
Yeshiva University was always in his blood, said Rabbi Adir Posy ’04YC, ’06R, citing his mother, Fayge (née Butler) Posy ’69S, a proud alumna and former editor of the Observer, Stern College’s newspaper. “YU was consistent with what I was looking for: a quality secular education in an environment where I could grow in Torah,” said Rabbi Posy.
Rabbi Posy majored in psychology and minored in sociology, planning to pursue a “helping” profession. He threw himself into learning at YU, where he was “most touched by the knowledge that you get back exactly what you put in,” he said. He continued pursuing his passion to help others and connect to high-level Jewish learning at
RIETS, and saw the deep and enduring impact rabbis can have through powerful classes and internship experiences, including a stint as a summer rabbi in Botswana. “I was hooked,” said Rabbi Posy. After RIETS, he spent four years in Baltimore, where he taught at Yeshivat Rambam and served at Congregation Shomrei Emunah. At the same time, he commuted for weekends to Los Angeles, where he was hired to work with the young professionals demographic at Congregation Beth Jacob, a 700-family Modern Orthodox shul. He and his family moved to Los Angeles two years later so that Rabbi Posy could work at Beth Jacob full-time. He was soon promoted to associate rabbi, assisting Senior Rabbi Kalman Topp ’96SB, ’97R, ’97A on all aspects of shul leadership, from life cycle events to pastoral counseling and everything in between, while maintaining his original role working with young professionals. In 2011, Rabbi Posy eagerly signed up for Reproductive Health & Halacha, a 40-hour course launched that year by Rabbi Kenneth Brander, vice president for University and Community Life and the David Mitzner Dean of YU’s Center for the Jewish Future, and Machon Puah (an Israel-based organization offering resources to couples experiencing infertility), to counsel rabbis on issues of fertility from both a medical and halachic perspective. Over 40 rabbis from three countries came together in person and online to discuss contemporary topics like egg and sperm donation, fertility treatments and the latest methods in contraception. “I never see myself as a ﬁnished product when it comes to my development as a rabbi,” said Rabbi Posy. “There is always more to learn and new prisms in which to view my work. This course was especially interesting to me because of my niche in my community and because it was an opportunity to stay connected to YU.”
Drawing a distinction between his training at RIETS and the course, he said, “I was able to ﬁlter the classes and anecdotes that are covered in the sessions through the lens of the experiences that I have had as a practicing rabbi in the ﬁeld.” Rabbi Posy regularly uses what he learned from the course. “I’m always referring back to my notes or contacting the course’s presenters to apply the information to practical situations in both counseling and shiurim,” he said. “As in many areas of Halacha, the rabbi’s unique challenge is to present the halachic facts when the emotions and the stakes are very high. The course did a great job preparing me to translate sometimes challenging halachic restrictions in a way that displays empathy and loyalty to the Halacha.” Rabbi Posy was unaware of the extent to which he would be a couple’s advocate, but quickly realized his signiﬁcant role in the process. “Fertility and other treatments often require the couple to interface with a wide variety of medical and rabbinic resources, and I can help the couple navigate that maze—and sometimes speak on their behalf either to medical professionals or poskim and batei din [Jewish courts] as appropriate,” he said. “The course also allowed me to solidify an ‘in’ with many world-class professionals and offer access that a congregant might not have had on his or her own.” Another world-class professional and source of support and information for Rabbi Posy is his wife, Dr. Hindi Posy, a practicing high-risk obstetrician on the faculty at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. “My wife and I have frequent conversations where I beneﬁt from her expertise and in-depth knowledge of women’s and reproductive health to better understand something I’m researching,” he said. “She also has an added depth of understanding in her role as rebbetzin, and we work as a team to be a resource for our community.”
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Rabbi Posy is also assistant director of the Orthodox Union’s West Coast office, where he serves on the programming and consulting staff of the Department of Synagogue Services. He and Hindi have four sons: Yitzy, Eitan, Ami and Ariel. n
Deciphering medieval piyutim is difﬁcult. Making a gift to the Yeshiva University Annual Fund is not.
Annual Fund support touches every aspect of a YU education–every student and every area of study, including piyyutim.
Visit www.yu.edu/onlinegiving, call 212.960.5373 or send your donation to: Ofﬁce of Annual Giving Yeshiva University 500 West 185th Street, FH530 New York, NY 10033
A profile of Gary Rosenblatt printed in the fall ’13 issue of Alumni Today incorrectly identified several of his family members. His father, Rabbi Morris D. Rosenblatt, z”l, was a 1938 graduate of RIETS, and his son, Avi, and daughter, Tali, did not attend YU high schools.
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 • SB : Sy Syms School of Business • TI : Teacher’s Institute • W : Wurzweiler School of Social Work • YC : Yeshiva College • YUHS : Yeshiva University High Schools
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A ‘Necessary Counterculture’ ç
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Zabel practices in the area of estate planning, wills, trusts, charitable foundations, income and gift-tax planning, estate administration and family law. A prominent advocate for civil liberties and human rights, he is involved with many charitable causes and organizations. In addition to the honorary degree recipients, President Joel bestowed the Presidential Medallion on Dr. Susan Band Horwitz of Larchmont, NY, who is the Rose Falkenstein Professor of Cancer Research and co-chair of molecular pharmacology at YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine and whose pioneering cancer research has touched the lives of thousands of people. During the dinner, President Joel recognized eight Points of Light—students, faculty and alumni who embody the mission of Yeshiva University—calling each one up to light a symbolic candle on the menorah. “It remains our sacred mission to ensure purposeful survival and provide enthusiasm for a life of meaning to a society still searching for light,” said President Joel. “At this annual gathering, we have made it our tradition to identify eight Points of Light who are exemplars of the array of inspired excellence that makes this University like no other.” The Points of Light included: • NICOLE SCHREIBER-AGUS, assistant professor of molecular genetics at Einstein and program director of the Program for Jewish Genetic Health, which aims to educate the Point of Light Mark Weingarten with President Joel Jewish community about genetic health issues and provide affordable care for testing. for students with outstanding scholastic and athletic achievements. • MARK WEINGARTEN, a premed major at Yeshiva College, who created Music Vs., a student club that performs • SHMUEL LEGESSE, a doctoral candidate at YU’s Azrieli music for the elderly, veterans and sick children in hospiGraduate School of Jewish Education and Administratals and has expanded to universities across the country. tion, who plans to build a school that will help Ethiopian Jewish teens integrate their cultural and Jewish back• REBECCA YOSHOR, an English literature major at Stern grounds and prepare them to succeed in Israeli society. College for Women who plays forward for the Lady Maccabees basketball team and became the ﬁrst female in • SAVYON LANG, a hard-of-hearing graduate of YU’s YU history to receive the Academic All-America honor, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, who works to help
(L-R) Standing: William Zabel, President Richard M. Joel, David Brooks and Chairman of the Board Henry Kressel. Seated: Jack A. Belz, Dr. Susan Band Horwitz and Harvey Kaylie
others in the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities overcome their disabilities. • DR. ARIEL FISHMAN, director of institutional research in the Office of the Provost and assistant professor of management at the Sy Syms School of Business, who became an active volunteer spokesman for the New York Blood Center after surviving a horriﬁc car accident and now gives motivational speeches about his experience. • BRITTANY BROWN, an alumna of YU’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, a Cardozo Immigration Justice Fellow at the Brooklyn Defender Services and a member of the New York Immigration Defenders Team. • ADAM MOISA, a freshman in the Business Honors and Entrepreneurial Leadership Program at Sy Syms, who founded a startup, Cloudifyd, which aggregates cloud storage services and changes the way information is viewed and displayed. The convocation and dinner, which serves as the University’s main annual fundraising event, raised more than $3.5 million. n
k View the full photo gallery from the dinner at yu.edu/hanukkahdinner
Macs Run Away With Conference Championship
First Joint Research Day Highlights Undergraduate Students’ Work in Wide Range of Fields
YU’s men’s and women’s cross country running teams took home the HVIAC championship this fall.
eshiva University’s women’s cross country running team claimed ﬁrst place of eight schools at the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (HVIAC) championship in October, earning its ﬁrst ever HVIAC women’s cross country running championship. The Maccabees, with 41 points, ﬁnished 14 points ahead of runner-up Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Stephanie Greenberg was the top ﬁnisher for the Maccabees, sprinting through ﬁve kilometers at 19:26, with Talya Rhode and Sarah Mizrachi right behind her. “This is a historic occasion, the ﬁrst championship for our women’s program,” said Joe Bednarsh, YU’s
director of athletics. “I can tell you from personal experience, I was positioned at the ﬁnish of the race and not a single runner left anything out on that course.” The men’s cross country running team also won the HVIAC championship, for the fourth year in a row, beating out six other teams. Oliver Sax was Yeshiva’s top runner, ﬁnishing eight kilometers in 27:16. Teammates Dov Levine and Isaac Markel placed second and third for YU. “I am so very proud as a coach of the men’s and women’s teams this year,” said Head Coach Stephen Begley. “Their dedication, hard work ethic and unity in bringing each other to the next level, individually and as a team, is what makes coaching Yeshiva so special and an absolute pleasure.” n
On November 15, Yeshiva College and Stern College for Women hosted their ﬁrst joint Research Day across multiple disciplines. The event celebrated the research of undergraduates in ﬁelds ranging from the humanities to natural and mathematical sciences and allowed students to share their work and hone their presentation skills, while providing attendees an opportunity to learn from their peers and get a taste of the rich, exciting world of research. The program began with presentations from students, followed by a poster session in Furst Hall showcasing the work of about 35 undergraduates. Topics ranged from “Plasma Imaging in the Columbia Non-Neutral Torus” to “Perceptions of Jewish Criminality and the Jewish American Gangster in the Early 20th Century.” n
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Focus on Faculty
The following is a sampling of books recently published by Yeshiva University faculty
Art and the Historiography of Judaism in Roman Antiquity (Brill Academic Publishers, November 2013) by Dr. Steven Fine, professor of Jewish history. Kol Zvi on tractate Yevamos (Yeshiva University Press, August 2013) by members of the RIETS Kollel Elyon. 2013) by Dr. Moshe Bernstein, David A. and Fannie M. Denenberg Chair in Biblical Studies and professor of Bible and Jewish history.
Dr. Anatoly Frenkel, professor of physics at Stern College for Women, has been awarded three separate grants to study energy, totaling more than $1 million, from the United States Department of Energy, Brookhaven National Laboratory and Chinese petrochemical company Sinopec. Frenkel’s research on catalytic studies was also recently recognized in Science Magazine, where it was selected for an Editor’s Choice review.
In October, Rabbi Benjamin Blech, professor of Talmud, presented on “The Three Great Spiritual Truths That Can Change the World” at the Fifth Worldwide Meeting on Human Values in Monterrey, Mexico. The conference attracted more than 15,000 people, with lectures on topics ranging from education rights for women to science and spirituality.
Educating in the Divine Image: Gender Issues in Orthodox Jewish Day Schools (Hadassah Brandeis Institute Series on Jewish Women, October 2013) coauthored by Dr. Chaya R. Gorsetman, clinical associate professor of education and co-chair of the education department at Stern, and Elana Maryles Sztokman.
Learning to Teach, Teaching to Learn: A Guide for Social Work Education (2nd edition, Council on Social Work Education, November 2013) co-authored by Dr. Carmen Ortiz Hendricks, the Dorothy and David I. Schachne Dean of the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, along with Jeanne Bertrand Finch and Cheryl L. Franks.
The Laws of Cooking and Warming Food on Shabbat (Koren Publishers Jerusalem, December 2013) written by Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Mordechai Willig and edited by Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman.
Dr. Joshua Bacon, associate professor of psychology and chair of the psychology department at Stern, received a $1 million Grant for Multiple Sclerosis Innovation, awarded by EMD Serono, Inc.
Esther in Ancient Jewish Thought (Cambridge University Press, January 2014) by Dr. Aaron Koller, assistant dean of Yeshiva College and associate professor of Bible.
Legal Emblems and the Art of Law: Obiter Depicta as the Vision of Governance (Cambridge University Press, October 2013) by Peter Goodrich, professor at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and director of the Program in Law and Humanities.
The Philosophical Quest: Of Philosophy, Ethics, Law and Halakhah (Koren Publishers Jerusalem, December 2013) by Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi J. David Bleich, Herbert and Florence Tenzer Professor of Law and Ethics and professor of law at Cardozo.
Susan Crawford, professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, was recognized by Time magazine as one of the most inﬂuential minds in tech, and named “one of the most respected and authoritative U.S. voices on technology and telecom policy.” Crawford, who has been a visiting professor at Harvard and Yale, served on the National Economic Council as a top telecommunications advisor to President Obama.
k Keep up with the latest faculty news at blogs.yu.edu/facultynews
Having It All in the Belle Époque: How French Women’s Magazines Invented the Modern Woman (Stanford University Press, July 2013) by Dr. Rachel Mesch, associate professor of French and chair of the department of foreign languages and cultures.
Letters to President Clinton: Biblical Lessons on Faith and Leadership (Sterling Ethos, October 2013) by Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Menachem Genack.
The Tragedy of a Generation: The Rise and Fall of Jewish Nationalism in Eastern Europe (Harvard University Press, July 2013) by Dr. Joshua Karlip, associate professor of Jewish history.
House Hold: A Memoir of Place (University of Wisconsin Press, January 2014) by Dr. Ann Peters, associate professor of English at Stern.
Outside the Bible: Ancient Jewish Writings Related to Scripture (Jewish Publication Society, December 2013) by Dr. Louis H. Feldman, the Abraham Wouk Family Chair in Classics and Literature; Dr. Lawrence H. Schiffman, vice provost for undergraduate education and professor of Judaic studies; and Dr. James L. Kugel.
Thomas Hardy: The Poems (Palgrave Macmillan, September 2013) by Dr. Gillian Steinberg, associate professor of English and director of First Year Writing Program.
Reading and Re-Reading Scripture at Qumran (Brill Academic Publishers, June
Yesamach Av: Essays and Observations on Topics in Massekhes Brachos and Pesachim (Yeshiva University Press, August 2013) by Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Eli Baruch Shulman.
Rock of Ages: Acquiring History
lished an article in an archaeology journal about Jewish tombstones in ancient Israel. The piece caught the attention of Carl Morgan, curator of the Woodland Museum of Biblical Archeology in California, who sent Fine a photo of a limestone gravestone in his collection—one of the stones about which he had written. Fine and his students, who were later featured in the New York Times, began corresponding with Morgan and spent the semester deciphering the stone—a gravestone dating to 430 C.E. from the biblical city of Zoar along the Dead Sea. Morgan eventually donated the stone to YU, where it is now in the collection of the Yeshiva University Museum. n
k Read the New York Times story at yu.edu/nytimes
In Memoriam, Adrienne Asch
YU mourns the passing of Dr. Adrienne Asch, director of the Center for Ethics at Yeshiva University and the Edward and Robin Milstein Professor of Bioethics, who passed away on November 19. Asch taught courses at Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Cardozo School of Law and Albert Einstein College of Medicine on bioethics, reproductive rights, professional ethics and disability. A proliﬁc scholar and engaged activist, Asch’s work focused on the ethical, political, psychological and social implications of human reproduction and the family. She authored numerous articles and book chapters and was the co-editor of Prenatal Testing and Disability Rights and The Double-Edged Helix: Social Implications of Genetics in a Diverse Society.
Dr. Steven Fine
n March 2012, Dr. Steven Fine, professor of Jewish history and director of YU’s Center for Israel Studies, pub-
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t Knesset Members Visit YU Last semester, students had the opportunity to meet several members of the Israeli Knesset. On November 13, Education Minister Rabbi Shai Piron discussed the halachic, political and educational challenges facing Israel; Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett spoke about his vision for Israeli innovation on November 19; and Deputy Minister of Transportation Tzipi Hotovely shared her views on Israel’s identity as a Jewish state on December 19. n
MK Rabbi Shai Piron MK Naftali Bennett MK Tzipi Hotovely
u Alumni Offer Insight Into Israeli Entrepreneurship On October 9, the Sy Syms School of Business presented “The Silicon Valley of the Middle East: Understanding Israeli Entrepreneurial Success.” YU alumni living in Israel offered advice from their own professional journeys about how to get involved in Israel’s business landscape. Speakers included Michael Eisenberg ’93YC (pictured), a partner at the $140 million venture capital fund, Aleph; Jeremy Lustman ’96YC, a partner at DLA Piper’s Corporate and Securities Group; and Alon Harris, an innovation facilitator and key accounts manager at Tel Aviv-based Systematic Inventive Thinking. n
p Landmark First Amendment Cases On November 6, Yeshiva University’s Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought hosted a conversation between United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and renowned attorney Nathan Lewin ’57YC on “Synagogue and State In America.” n
p Putting on a Good Show In November, the Stern College Dramatics Society presented its fall musical, The Wizard of Oz, under the direction of Reuven Russell. In December, the Yeshiva College Dramatics Society performed Terra Nova, directed by Lin Snider. n
p Cardozo Examines History of Blood Libels In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of a blood libel trial in tsarist Russia, the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law hosted “A Thousand Years of Infamy: The History of Blood Libel” on November 14 and 15. Organized by Cardozo Professor Richard Weisberg (pictured, left), the Walter Floersheimer Professor of Constitutional Law, the conference brought together a group of distinguished legal and literary scholars. n
p Washington’s Broken Politics Veteran investigative reporter Bob Woodward (pictured, left, with Professor Bryan Daves, assistant professor of political science) shared his thoughts on the origins and impacts of Washington’s dysfunctional politics at the Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Scholar-in-Residence Program at the Center for Jewish History on November 13. n
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Chanukah Celebrations Light up the Campus
From chagigot to the Chanukah Concert featuring Alex Clare (above), students celebrated eight exciting nights at Yeshiva University. k To view more pictures from Chanukah on campus, visit yu.edu/chanukah2013
Revel Reﬂects on the Teachings of Nehama Leibowitz
come a larger than life ﬁgure, a sort of celebrity,” said Cohen. “Yet Nehama regarded herself as a simple teacher, who sought to guide others in their study of Tanach [Bible].” In 1930, at the age of 25, Leibowitz (1905-1997) earned a doctorate in Bible from the University of Marburg in Germany and subsequently immigrated with her husband to Jerusalem. Over the next 67 years, she became one of the world’s most esteemed Bible scholars, winning the Israel Prize for education in 1956. At the beginning of her career, from 1930 until 1950, Leibowitz taught at Jerusalem’s Mizrachi Women’s Teachers Seminary. One of her students there was Esther Manischewitz (née Ostrovsky), also Leibowitz’s Esther Manischewitz, z”l, shared her memories of Bible scholar Nehama Leibowitz neighbor at the time, who entered the seminary in 1938. he Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish “I wasn’t afraid of her, but a lot of people were,” said Studies held its inaugural event of the year, “NeManischewitz in a video presentation about her experihama Leibowitz and Tanakh Study: Yesterday ences in 1930s Jerusalem. “She was tough, but also very and Today,” at Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus on kind and very nice. She was an excellent teacher.” October 22. The event, which attracted more than 200 Manischewitz immigrated to the United States people, included personal recollections of Leibowitz in 1951 when she married her American husband, Bill. by one of her earliest pupils, Esther Manischewitz (reTogether, they helped found Teaneck’s ﬁrst Orthodox cently deceased), as well as an academic lecture about synagogue, Congregation Bnai Yeshurun. Leibowitz’s Bible scholarship by Revel Associate Dean In the 1980s, while pursuing his doctorate in Bible and Professor of Bible, Dr. Mordechai Z. Cohen. from Revel, Cohen too had the opportunity to learn “Nehama Leibowitz, the master teacher, has befrom Leibowitz. In his lecture, “Nehama Leibowitz’s Lasting Impact on Bible Scholarship,” Cohen noted that the traditionally Orthodox Leibowitz rejected the scholarly method of “source criticism” that contested the Bible’s divine origins, though she had no problem quoting non-Orthodox Bible scholars. She also rejected the “historical” school’s assertion that there can only be one legitimate explanation of the biblical text. Instead, Leibowitz preferred to apply to the Bible the literary method analysis known as “New Criticism,” following the lead of German Jewish scholars such as Franz Rosensweig and Martin Buber, as well as his student Ludwig Strauss. “Nehama Leibowitz, following the tenets of new criticism, makes a fundamental distinction between literature and history,” said Cohen. “She therefore argued that the text alone—and not the history behind it—determines what is the correct interpretation. Hence, if the text is open to multiple interpretations, they are all valid.” Additionally, said Cohen, Leibowitz stressed the Talmud’s observation that the Bible is written in “the language of man.” For example, God’s question to Adam —“Where are you?”—in the Garden of Eden does not indicate God’s lack of knowledge, but rather serves to start a conversation with His human creation. “I thought the event was fabulous,” said David Moster ’07YC, ’09A, ’10BR, a doctoral student of Bible and Ancient Near Eastern History at New York University. “Mrs. Manischewitz’s oral history was the perfect complement to Dr. Cohen’s fantastic lecture about Nehama Leibowitz’s scholarship and its intellectual context.” The Dr. Monique and Mordecai D. Katz Endowed Lecture Fund sponsored the event. n
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