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Students,

Faculty
Publish
Research
4Page 3

Cracking
the Code
at Central

Former NBA
Commissioner
Visits Campus

Focus on
Faculty
4Page 6

4Page 4

YUTODAY

4Page 7

YESHIVA UNIVERSITY

WINTER 2015
VOLUME 19 NO. 1

President Bush Keynotes 90th Hanukkah Convocation

ormer president George W. Bush was the special guest and keynote speaker at
Yeshiva Universitys 90th Annual Hanukkah Convocation and Dinner in New
York City on December 14. More than 750 people came to the Waldorf Astoria to
show their support for the University and to witness President Richard M. Joel confer
an honorary doctorate upon the 43rd U.S. president.
What an honor it is to have you as part of the Yeshiva University family, said
President Joel. We celebrate you for the steadfastness of your integrity, for your commitment to democracy and your clarity of vision that only in a democratic society can
people achieve and grow and thrive. Put simply, you taught Americans that democracy
is a condition for civilization.
He added, We applaud you for the loyalty of your friendship and commitment to
the State of Israel and the Jewish people.
In his keynote address, Bush called YU a prestigious university.
I am proud to accept this degree, he said. Students leave Yeshiva with not only
a fantastic education, but as better citizens of the world.
Honorary degrees were also awarded to Michael Gamson, of Houston, Texas;
Judith Weiss, of Cleveland, Ohio; and Anita G. Zucker, of Charleston, South Carolina.
Gamson, a member of YUs Board of Trustees since 2011 and a member of Yeshiva
Colleges Board of Overseers, is the senior managing director of Freepoint Commodities. Along with his wife, Barbara, Gamson has endowed the state-of-the-art Dr. Bernard
W. Gamson Computational Physics Lab and the Dr. Bernard W. Gamson Physics Teaching Lab at Yeshiva College, both in honor of his late father. The Gamsons have also given
generously to the Universitys Trustee Scholarship Fund.
Weiss and her husband, Morry, have supported a number of YU programs and initiatives, including the establishment of the Stone Sapirstein Center for Jewish Education, and have made gifts to support YU Distance Learning and Rabbi Isaac Elchanan
Theological Seminary Distance Learning, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Sy
Syms School of Business, Yeshiva College, Stern College for Women and the Yeshiva

Former president George W. Bush received an honorary degree from President Richard M. Joel

Continued on Page 5

Straus Center Offerings Bridge Worlds of Faith and Reason

hat happens at the intersection of faith and reason? How does faith inform
the scientific and philosophic discoveries of our time, and how do those
discoveries affect religious beliefs and lifestyles? While these complicated
questions have fascinated thinkers for thousands of years, Yeshiva Universitys Zahava
and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought is committed to providing
forums for Jews in the modern era to continue that conversation and arrive at their
own understanding of the concept of Torah Umadda: the balance of Judaic and worldly
values.
The Straus Center has brought about the bridging of Torah with the world in every
part of Yeshiva, said Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik, director of the Straus Center. In just
the past year, students in our classes have approached, through a Torah lens, the fields
of political thought, American history, law, Zionism, philosophy, art and medicine. We
are so proud of having made the vision of Moshael Straus a reality: for Torah Umadda to
not be merely a motto but rather something that can be experienced throughout Yeshiva
and the larger YU community.
This fall, that included a new undergraduate fellowship directed by Dr. Aaron
Segal, assistant professor of philosophy at Yeshiva College; a seminar for select YUaffiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) semicha [rabbinical
ordination] students taught by Rabbi Dr. David Shabtai, a fellow of RIETSs Wexner
Kollel Elyon; and multiple courses at Yeshiva College and Stern College for Women
that explored the Straus Centers themes. Together with YUs Center for the Jewish
Future and Congregation Shearith Israel, the Straus Center also hosted a Community
Beit Midrash program at the Yeshiva University Museum in the fall in the form of a
six-week interdisciplinary seminar, The Image and the Idea, that discussed art history
and Jewish thought.
Undergraduates took advantage of four courses that were offered by the Straus Center: Judaism and Democracy, cotaught by Rabbi Soloveichik and Rabbi Lord Jonathan
Sacks, the Kressel and Efrat Family University Professor of Jewish Thought; Comparative American and Talmudic Law, an honors course taught by Professor Adina Levine;
Great Political Thinkers, taught by Dr. Matt Holbreich, assistant professor of philosophy; and an honors Jewish philosophy course on medieval poet and thinker Rabbi

Straus Center Fellow Noam Safier explores issues relating to Jewish philosophy

Yehuda HaLevi, also taught by Rabbi Soloveichik. In addition, the fellowship brought
high-achieving undergraduate students together to study the topics of faith and reason.
We discussed the question of whether we can be responsible, authentic and reasonable believers in the absence of any articulable justification for our faith, drawing
on such thinkers as William James, Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Soren Kierkegaard,
Rav Nachman of Breslov, Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, the Chofetz Chaim and C.S.
Continued on Page 5

YUTODAY

Tisch Illumination Fund Supports


Cardozos Indie Film Clinic

Professor David Morrison

he Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Laws


Indie Film Clinic, which provides free legal
services to New York independent filmmakers, has received a $750,000 grant from the Laurie
M. Tisch Illumination Fund. The funds support
will help Cardozo expand legal services to the
New York City film community.
The Indie Film Clinic provides crucial legal
services to New York filmmakers struggling to
make a film on a budget, said Matthew Diller, dean
of Cardozo. We are deeply grateful for the generosity of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund in
recognizing that Cardozo students are playing an
important role by helping their clients bring their
films to commercial success.

YUTODAY WEB EXCLUSIVES

www.yu.edu/news
PHOTO

Founded in 2011, the Indie Film Clinic represents, advises and negotiates on behalf of independent, documentary and student filmmakers to
ensure that their projects have the legal foundation
needed to succeed in todays marketplace. As the
only legal assistance clinic in the region fully dedicated to independent filmmakers, the Indie Film
Clinic allows law students, under expert legal supervision, to offer transactional services and provide legal advice to independent and documentary
filmmakers, particularly those from traditionally
underrepresented backgrounds. It has served more
than 50 filmmakers to date, and client films have
regularly screened in leading U.S. and international
film festivals.
The grant will enable Cardozo to expand the
clinic program directors position, increase the
clinics class size and caseload, expand the range
of legal services that will be provided to its clients
and create collaborative partnerships with other
organizations active in indie film production and
distribution. In addition, the funding will support
educational panel discussions covering legal issues
important to the indie film community.
Film is a vital part of the cultural economy
of the city and one both deserving and in need of
philanthropic and legal resources, said Professor
David Morrison, executive director of the Indie
Film Clinic. This funding is a major contribution
to the network of support for filmmakers and one
we hope will help keep New York central to the
growth of independent and documentary film.
In 2008, the Illumination Fund endowed
Cardozos Loan Repayment Assistance Program,
which helps graduates who work in public service or for a nonprofit organization to repay their
student loans. n

View photos from YUs 90th Hanukkah Convocation and Dinner


k yu.edu/hanukkahdinner

PHOTO

From candlelighting and chagigot to a Siyum HaShas and


concert, check out photos from Chanukah on campus.
k yu.edu/chanukah

VIDEO

Six Einstein Faculty Named AAAS Fellows

Every gift to Yeshiva University makes a difference. Learn more


about YUs Mandate to Matter Capital Campaign.
k yu.edu/support/mandate-to-matter

YUTODAY

YESHIVA UNIVERSIT Y
WINTER 2015
VOLUME 19 NO. 1

DR. HENRY KRESSEL

Chairman, YU Board of Trustees


RICHARD M. JOEL

President
PAUL OESTREICHER

Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs


YUTODAY

Dr. Margaret Kielian is one of six Einstein faculty members to be honored as an AAAS Fellow

ix faculty members at Albert Einstein College of Medicine have been named Fellows
of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as an
AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS
members by their peers. This year, AAAS has
awarded 401 members this honor due to their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications
The 2014 AAAS Fellows at Einstein are Dr.
Aviv Bergman, the Harold and Muriel Block Chair
in Systems & Computational Biology, for drawing
upon concepts from physics, mathematics and
biology to address problems spanning from evolutionary systems to cancer; Dr. Margaret Kielian,
the Samuel H. Golding Chair in Microbiology,
for her contributions to the field of virology; Dr.

W W W.YU.EDU/NEWS WINTER 2015

Richard Kitsis, the Dr. Gerald and Myra Dorros


Chair in Cardiovascular Disease, for his contributions to fundamental and translational aspects of
cell death; Dr. U. Thomas Meier, professor of Anatomy and Structural Biology, for his work in the field
of RNA biology; Dr. Robert Singer, the Harold and
Muriel Block Chair in Anatomy & Structural Biology, for development and application of imaging
technologies and insights into the single MRNAs
in living cells; and Dr. Jan Vijg, the Lola and Saul
Kramer Chair in Molecular Genetics, for his contributions to the fields of mutagenesis and aging,
and development of innovative mouse models.
The fellows will be presented with an official
certificate at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the
AAAS Annual Meeting in San Jose, California in
February. n


MATT YANIV
Director of Public Relations,

YAFFI SPODEK

GISEL PINEYRO

Editor

Art Director

Editor in Chief
Aliza Berenholz, Dina Burcat, Malka Eisenberg, Caitlin Geiger, Perel Skier Hecht,
David Huggins, Tova Ross, Suzy Schwartz, Ronit Segal, Adena Stevens, Avi Zimmerman
Contributors
yutoday@yu.edu

www.yu.edu/cpa

YUToday is published quarterly by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs and is
distributed free to faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors and friends. It keeps them informed
of news from across Yeshiva Universitys 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 Universitys 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, Chair, Board of Overseers, Yeshiva College; Shira Yoshor, Chair, Board of
Overseers, Stern College for Women; Steve Uretsky, Chair, Board of Overseers, Sy Syms
School of Business; Roger Einiger, Chair, Board of Overseers, Albert Einstein College of
Medicine; David Samson, Chair, Board of Overseers, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law;
Froma Benerofe, Chair, Board of Overseers, Wurzweiler School of Social Work; Mordecai
D. Katz, Chair, Board of Overseers, Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies;
Carol Bravmann, Chair, Board of Overseers, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology; Moshael J.
Straus, Chair, Board of Overseers, Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration;
Joel M. Schreiber, Chair, 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-chairs, Board of Directors, (affiliate) Yeshiva University Museum
Board listings as of December 15, 2014

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YUTODAY

Students and Faculty Partner to Publish Research

Postdoctoral fellow Dr. Anya Alayev published two articles in leading scientific journals

ast semester, several undergraduate


students had the opportunity to
work closely with faculty members
to conduct high-level research and write
up their findings in papers that were published in prestigious scientific journals.
At Yeshiva College, a research team
led by physics professors Dr. Neer Asherie and Dr. Sergey Buldyrev discovered
that adding a specific class of small molecules to water solutions of proteins not
only induces the proteins to crystallize
but can also control the type of crystal
formed.
They discovered a new way to control the crystallization of proteins so that
researchers can more easily determine
a proteins 3D structure. These findings
were published in Acta Crystallographica
Section D. The paper was coauthored by
five former and current students.
Protein crystals are used to figure

out the structure and function of proteins,


which is important for understanding
certain diseases and for drug development, said Asherie. However, proteins
are difficult to crystallize. Our research
suggests a new way to control protein
crystallization andwe hopeto increase
the success rate of making crystals. The
results are new and lay a fertile ground for
future studies.
The article describes several years
of work, to which both past and current
YU students contributed by carrying out
experiments, simulations and data analysis. The student coauthors are Ariel Axelbaum 14YC, Jacob Berger 11YC, Jerome
Karp 11YC, current student Dahniel Sastow and Mark Stauber 12YC.
This is a thorough paper and its
publication is remarkable, both scientifically and in the participation of students,
said Dr. Fredy Zypman, professor and co-

chair of the physics department. Products of this type promote professionally


the profile of our students.
Sastow, an aspiring doctor from
Scarsdale, New York, felt privileged to
have had the opportunity to work in the
lab under Asherie for the last two years.
What makes Professor Asherie
such a great mentor is his ability to trust
his students and allow for mistakes, said
Sastow, a biology major at Yeshiva College. He gives his students a lot of freedom in designing their own experiments.
He is always there for guidance but really
enjoys letting his students try to figure
out the solution on their own.
In addition, Dr. Sumanta Goswami,
associate professor and cochair of the
biology department, coauthored an article in Science Signaling whose findings
could lead to better tests for predicting
whether breast cancer will spread and to
new anti-cancer therapies. Yeshiva College student Evan Pieri contributed to the
article, which was authored by a team of
researchers from the Albert Einstein Cancer Center and Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care.
At Stern College for Women, Dr.
Anya Alayev, a postdoctoral fellow in Dr.
Marina Holzs lab, authored two papers
together with Holz and a group of undergraduates and research assistants.
One article identified proteins that
are affected by resveratrol, a natural supplement that has been found to have antiaging and disease-protecting properties.
It was coauthored by Sara Malka Berger
13S, who worked in the Holz lab as a research assistant last year.

Learning by Doing in Sy Syms Social Media Course

hey brainstormed viral campaigns,


submitted budget proposals, developed websites, pitched stories
to media and held conferences with
clientsand that was just during class
sessions.
These were students in the new Social Media Marketing course at Sy Syms
School of Business last semester, and if
their workload sounds more like a typical day at a marketing agency than a college lecture, its no accident. The class
operated on one simple principle: learn
by doing.
Social media has become a phenomenon in our culture, said Assistant
Professor of Marketing Steven Chan, who
designed and led the course. Theres no
foundation to teaching this kind of thing
because its a new medium thats come
about in the last few years.
As Chan considered different models
for the course, a call from Jonathan Struhl
09SBan alumnus who ran a hugely successful social media campaign at his first
job out of college and went on to create his
own agencygave him an idea.
One of the challenges undergraduates face is how to take the degree they
earned and get a job right off the bat, said
Chan. Great work experience is whats
going to set you apart when you enter
the workforce. We thought, instead of
studying case scenarios, why not make an

As part of a Sy Syms marketing course, students offer finance help in Washington Square Park

agency out of the class and build teachings around it? This course gives students
hands-on experience thats not only going
to teach them social media in a totally new
way but also will help them find a job.
Chan turned an ordinary classroom
into a campaign headquarters. In small
teams, students developed strategies to
help organizations see real differences
in their marketing and brand awareness.
Their client list was diverse, ranging from
Pint Pal, a start-up that makes cozies
for ice cream lovers, to the Young Israel
movement to an organization fundraising
for Ebola research.

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All that field work was contextualized by guest lecturers, like Struhl, who
shared their own experiences in the
evolving world of social media and marketing as well as insights into consumer
behavior and social psychology drawn
from Chans background in management
consulting and academia.
For me, it felt like I was actually
working for a marketing firm that is running a social media campaign for a client, said Daniel Livi, a senior majoring
in marketing. I believe this experience
will help me in the future no matter what
field I enter. n

Alayev also wrote a paper that appeared in the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, coauthored by Berger, current
student Melissa Kramer and Naomi
Schwartz 14S, a research assistant in the
Holz lab.
The paper examines the combination of drugs that induce cell death in
breast cancer cells.
This combination can be easily
tested in preclinical models of breast cancer and if effective after clinical testing,
could be rapidly implemented for clinical
use, said Holz, the Doris and Ira Kukin
Chair in Biology at Stern College.
Holz praised the efforts of the students who were part of the research
team. It is fantastic to have undergraduate students in our lab, she said. They
are enthusiastic and contribute to many
complex experiments. They also benefit
greatly from research experience and are
able to leverage it into meaningful career
paths.
The students, in turn, found their involvement in the research process to be
quite rewarding.
It was exciting to apply concepts I
learned in class with Dr. Holz and other
professors to research that could have
a real impact on people suffering from
breast cancer, said Kramer, a senior at
Stern College majoring in biology. I also
gained a lot from the guidance and support of Dr. Alayev and Dr. Holz. They
taught me not only lab skills, but how to
turn errors in research into productive
efforts. Its gratifying to see the efforts
everyone exerted rewarded with the publishing of the article. n

Ferkauf Programs
Match Rate in
Top Six Nationwide
The clinical PsyD program at Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology had one of the highest match
rates of students placed in accredited internship programs over a
four-year period, according to the
Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers.
The report is one of the factors students weigh when deciding where
to pursue their doctoral degree.
With a match rate of 93 percent
and an average class size of 25
students a year, Ferkaufs clinical
PsyD program rates are higher
than the national average of 74 percent for all doctoral programs and
comparable to even much smaller
PhD programs, according to Dr.
Jamie Schumpf, director of externship and internship training at Ferkauf. The fact that our graduates
are selected at top internships
demonstrates that we have a topnotch program and draw excellent
candidates. We train clinicians who
receive intensive clinical training,
but are also well-versed consumers
and producers of research.

WINTER 2015 W W W.YU.EDU/NEWS

YUTODAY

The Code to Success

or todays high school and college


students, advanced technological
skills are more important than
ever. Demand for computer science degrees has skyrocketed, with employers

in schools around the country to get girls


more involved in science and math, said
Marci Karoll, director of educational
technology at Central. Whats exciting
about Girls Who Code is the overwhelm-

Students learn computer science skills as part of a new club at Central

across industries seeking candidates


who can program and code on any level.
But for women, career prospects arent
as promising: Studies show that despite
making up more than half of the workforce, only 25 percent hold jobs in technical or computing fields, and in a room of
25 engineers, only three are likely to be
women.
Students at Samuel H. Wang Yeshiva
University High School for Girls (Central)
are planning to change that equation.
Last year, at the request of students
in every grade, the school partnered with
Girls Who Code, a nonprofit that works
to inspire, educate and equip girls with
the computing skills to pursue 21st-century opportunities. Theres a big push

ing response weve had. We even have a


waiting list. It was the perfect fit for our
school.
The club is led by Karoll and Rivka
Apfel, a recent Central alumna earning
her bachelors degree in computer science with a minor in physics. They draw
on a full curriculum provided by the Girls
Who Code organization. Once a week,
students meet to learn basic coding and
develop skills that will help them build
anything from games and websites to
their own apps. Theyll ultimately be
able to create art projects, math projects,
and even a shareable app or program,
said Karoll.
I really enjoy teaching, and I loved
my experience at Central, so I jumped

at the chance to teach coding here, said


Apfel, who hopes to work as a programmer in the field of artificial intelligence or
as a patent attorney. It is really inspiring
for me to just see the interest these girls
have in a field that is so stereotypically
male-dominated. They dont seem intimidated at alljust the opposite, they seem
determined and excited. Its a great atmosphere to be a part of.
Jessica Plotsker, a junior, is collaborating with other students to build an app
that will benefit the high school. Coding
will definitely be an important skill for my
future, she said. Ultimately, she hopes to
study engineering in an Israeli institution.
Karen Yehoshua, a senior, has enjoyed learning how to use Java in BlueJ,
a free Java-development environment
for beginners. Im looking forward to
mastering the language and learning how
to code in my free time, she said. Ill already be one step ahead of my computer
science class in college. n

Revel Student
Wins Prize for
Leading Jewish
Educators

abbi Yigal Sklarin 02YC, 07R,


11BR was awarded the prestigious
Pomegranate Prize from the Covenant Foundation, which recognizes
five passionate and talented emerging
leaders in Jewish education. The annual
prize grants $15,000 to each recipient to
invest in educational projects and help
them make an impact in their communities. Sklarin, a PhD student at the Bernard
Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies,
teaches Talmud and Jewish History at
the Ramaz Upper School in Manhattan,
where he also serves as director of interdisciplinary studies. He is a guest lecturer
throughout the New York area and has
edited and published numerous books
and articles. n

New Executive Director at YU High Schools


Joshua Jacoby has been appointed executive director of Yeshiva University high
schoolsthe Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy/Yeshiva University High School
for Boys (MTA) and the Samuel H. Wang Yeshiva University High School for Girls
(Central)where he will oversee strategic business areas. Jacoby, a graduate of
MTA and Yeshiva College, will be responsible for managing various business and
revenue-generating aspects of both schools and will lead MTAs planning and preparation for its 2016 centennial celebration.

Online Course Helps Rabbis Create Safer Communities

Dr. David Pelcovitz

new online Yeshiva University


course designed to help rabbinic
leaders identify and protect their
communities from the dangers of child
abuse was recently offered to 20 rabbis
around the world.
Its imperative that we, as rabbis in
the Orthodox world, understand as much
as we can about child abuse if we are
going to navigate the complexity of emotions and pain of congregants or anyone
who has experienced an atrocity like this
as they seek guidance, said Rabbi Alon
Meltzer, who leads the ACT Jewish Com-

W W W.YU.EDU/NEWS WINTER 2015

munity in Canberra, Australia. Continuing my education is paramount and the


opportunities afforded to me through YU
grant me access to the brightest minds in
an array of fields.
Jointly offered by YUs Center for the
Jewish Future (CJF), YU-affiliated Rabbi
Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary
(RIETS) and Gundersen National Child
Protection Training Center, the 12-week
course, Addressing Child Abuse: Defining
Roles, Enhancing Skills, featured experts
in fields that run the gamut from synagogue safety to emotional healing. The
course is just one example of the many
resources that YU offers its community
and other institutions to deal with these
sensitive topics.
Rabbis engage in the issues relating to child abuse on multiple levels,
said Rabbi Yaakov Glasser, David Mitzner
Dean of the CJF. They play a crucial role
in educating the community regarding
awareness and prevention, they contribute to setting policies in local institutions
and they are often on the front lines of
guiding families through these extraordinarily difficult circumstances.
The rabbi is in a unique position,
said Rabbi Naphtali Lavenda, director of
online rabbinic programming at the CJF.
Hes the first responder for all crises
in the community and bears the weight
of every persons suffering. This course

seeks to provide rabbis with the skills,


resources and relationships with presenters so that they have a full toolkit to draw
on, both in terms of knowledge and being
able to connect to people and consult with
them as these issues come up.
The course was developed after a
one-day intensive workshop offered last
year met with overwhelming demand for
further exploration. The response from
the one-day seminar was this feeling that
it had been both incredibly eye-opening
and unnerving, said Lavenda. Victor
Vieth, founder and senior director at
Gundersen, led many sessions, and he has
a background in working with faith-based
institutions, clergy and chaplains. We also
have our own community experts to provide real, relatable experiences about
whats going on in our shuls, our schools
and our communities.
Presenters included Dr. David Pelcovitz, the Gwendolyn and Joseph Straus
Chair in Psychology and Jewish Education at Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, and
Dr. Shira Berkovitz, director of Youth
Department Consulting at the Orthodox
Union. Sessions with Vieth cover everything from the long-term effects of child
abuse to how spiritual communities can
help victims heal and how rabbis can
care for their own mental health.
For many of the participants, one of

the most difficult elements of the course


was confronting the prevalence of abuse
in religious communities.
We tend to assume that folks inside
faith communities are moral and upstanding and would never violate a child,
said Vieth. Just accepting the likelihood
that most communities have survivors
and people who prey on children is hard.
Participants leave the course with knowledge about what kinds of protection policies should be in place, how to respond to
child abuse and how to work with criminal justice and mental health professionals as well as a deeper appreciation of the
spiritual questions survivors have.
For Rabbi Yaakov Weiss, a chaplain
from Omaha, Nebraska, facilitating that
healing is one of the most important skills
he hoped to gain. I want to serve as a resource to the synagogue and Jewish community about how to deal with cases of
abuse and create safeguards to prevent
future offenses, he said.
Vieth noted that the depth and scope
of YUs course showed unprecedented
initiative and commitment to improving
community safety and awareness. There
are studies showing that undergraduate
institutions and universities dont know
much about child abuse, he said. I think
this YU course is historic and could be a
model for other faith-based communities
as well. n

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ALUMNITODAY

YESHIVA UNIVERSITY
WINTER 2015

Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg: CNN Hero Helps


Children Kick Fear Out of Cancer
by a secular education that has proven itself in so many of
my lifes opportunities and challenges.
While he was teaching at YULA, his first child, Sarah
Basya zl, was diagnosed with leukemia.
She was an amazing little girl, recalled Goldberg. She
used to tell the doctors at UCLA, No medication today,
please. She would comfort the other kids in the clinic, telling them not to cry, and she would comfort me and my wife,
too, telling us not to be afraid and that she loved us.
In 1981, Sarah Basya died at the age of 2.
Goldberg eventually moved to Southfield, Michigan,
where he became the rabbi of the Young Israel of Southfield
in Detroit and a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Wayne State University School of
Medicine, where he still lectures about pediatric pain management and end-of-life care. Needing an outlet from his fulfilling yet demanding roles and disinterested in the slightly
more traditional pastimes of running and racquetball, Goldberg stepped up his casual dabbling in martial arts to more
intense training and practice. Over a period of 14 years, he
earned a black belt in Choi Kwang-Do.
In Southfield, he encountered Rabbi Simcha Scholar,
one of the founders of Camp Simcha, a summer camp in the
Catskill Mountains for critically ill children. Scholar asked
Goldberg to direct the camp, which he did for 12 years.
Camp Simcha is an extraordinary place, and its also
where I came across the medical reality that I lecture about,
Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg 74YUHS, 77YC, 81R uses martial arts to help children suffering
said Goldberg. One occasion, early on after he arrived at
from cancer and other illnesses
camp, was a true turning point for him.
I met a 5-year-old from Texas having his port accessed for chemo, and he
ften found clad in a gi, the traditional karate uniform, Rabbi Elimelwas screaming in pain, recounted Goldberg. Nothing distracted him from
ech Goldberg 74YUHS, 77YC, 81R, who holds a black belt in the
it, and two nurses had to hold him down while another attempted to inject
Korean art of Choi Kwang-Do, is not your typical rabbi.
As the founder and director of Kids Kicking Cancera nonprofit organi- him with the medication. I told everyone to stop and asked for five minutes
with the child. They obliged, and when I was alone with him, I asked him if
zation that uses martial arts to help children afflicted with cancer and other
serious illnesses cope with the pain of their diseases and associated treat- he wanted to learn some karate. Pain is a message, you see, and you can learn
mentsGoldberg draws on his passion for martial arts and personal life expe- how to exhale that pain and block it out and inhale an amazing chi using techniques of martial arts. This boy was so entranced by what I was teaching him
rience to help children all over the world. When people, including children,
that, 20 minutes later, he asked the nurse if she had taken out his needle yet.
have a sense of purpose, they have control, which can lessen pain and offer
She had, minutes before he asked. I realized I had something there.
empowerment, he said.
In 1999, Goldberg founded Kids Kicking Cancer with 10 kids on board.
Goldbergs work has made such a deep impact on so many that he was
Today, the organization serves nearly 2,500 children each year in the United
recently named a 2014 Top 10 CNN Hero. CNNs broadcast of the ceremony
States, Israel, Italy and Canada. In Rome, Goldberg needed permission from
and a tribute to the 10 Heroes, who were named on December 7, offered Kids
the Popes office to begin his first program at the Vatican Childrens Hospital.
Kicking Cancer international exposure and, most important to Goldberg, a
The organization offers one-on-one training and group classes in marchance to reach more critically ill children. He was also a recipient of the Robtial arts for both pediatric inpatients and outpatients in over 30 hospitals and
ert Wood Johnson Foundation Community Health Leaders Award in 2004
institutions around the globe. In areas where programs are not yet estaband was featured in People magazine.
lished, videoconferencing lessons are available. Kids Kicking Cancer also
Growing up in the Bronx, New York, and attending a public elementary
offers transportation to and from classes as well as counseling and individual
school, Goldberg discovered martial arts, which proved to be a good activity
support during hospitalizations and medical procedures.
for a child who wasnt so tall and naturally tough.
Before terminally ill children pass away, they receive black belts embroiHe attended the Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy/Yeshiva Univerdered with their names and the words Master Teacher during ceremonies
sity High School for Boys and then entered Yeshiva College through its early
admissions program, graduating summa cum laude with a degree in politi- with their family and friends present. The ceremonies are sometimes held
in big auditoriums filled with hundreds of people, or they may take place in
cal science. At YU, he was influenced by Professor Harvey (Chaim) Sober, a
10th-degree black belt and grand master of martial arts who, in 1967, estab- small hospital rooms with immediate family gathered together.
From the first intervention, children learn that they become teachers to
lished Tora Dojoa Jewish self-defense organization that incorporates Jewteach these techniques to others. Goldberg has brought Kids Kicking Canish philosophical concepts with Japanese, Okinawan, Korean and Chinese
cer to major companies across the globe to teach them how to take control
karate techniques. Sober also served as mentor for Goldberg years later when
of stress in their lives. The children have less pain, knowing that the world
he founded Kids Kicking Cancer.
After college, Goldberg earned semicha [rabbinical ordination] from YU- is watching. Ninety-seven percent of adult participants describe it as having
had a profound influence in their lives.
affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and went on to teach
The program also offers resources and services including special family
Talmud and Bible at Yeshiva University Los Angeles (YULA).
events and outings, sibling support programs and group and individual parent
YU gave me a unique life view with powerful tools to live life with a
counseling. All services provided by Kids Kicking Cancer are free of charge to
sense of spiritual purpose effectively, said Goldberg. The four years I
the children and their families.
spent learning with Rav Joseph Soloveitchik totally shaped my being, and
the other extraordinary Roshei Yeshiva, especially Rav Herschel Schachter,
In 2002, so consumed with the growing outreach and success of Kids
provided mentorship that continues to inspire me so many years later. At the
Kicking Cancer, Goldberg left his post as Rabbi of the Young Israel of SouthContinued on Page 8
same time, the tools of articulating our message to the world were provided

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ALUMNITODAY 1

ALUMNITODAY
CLASSNOTES
Rabbi Shmuel Goldin
69YUHS, 73YC, 76F,
76R published his book,
Unlocking the Torah Text:
An In-Depth Journey Into
the Weekly Parsha:
Shmot (Gefen Publishing
House, 2014).

YOUR NEWS IS OUR NEWS!

Class Notes is where Yeshiva


University 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
alumni@yu.edu 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.

STAY C NNECTED
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events email and monthly
eNewsletter from the Office
of Alumni Affairs?

Ruth 69YUHS, 73S, 75F, 92A and Rabbi


Elchanan Lipshitz 67YUHS, 71YC, 75F,
76R announced the birth of their granddaughter, Hadar Eliraz, born to Batya and
Yonatan Kolitz.
Barbara and Dr. Joel Luber 68YC
celebrated the Bar Mitzvah of their
grandson, Yair Huri, son of Ahuva and
Gil Huri.
Dr. Sara Reguer
66BR re-published
her book, The Most
Tenacious of
Minorities: The Jews
of Italy (Academic
Studies Press,
2013).

Shifrah and Steve Adler 57YUHS


announced the birth of their grandson, Hillel
Shlomo, born to Amit and Chagit Geron.
Judith 57YUHS, 61S and Rabbi Irwin
Borvick 53YUHS, 57YC, 60BR, 60R
announced the birth of their great-grandson, Michael Baruch Tzvi, born to Esther
and Rafi Offenbacher.
Judith (Grossman) 58YUHS, 62S and
Rabbi Yitzchak Rosenbaum 60YC, 62R,
63BR and Sonia (Intrator) Galinsky 59S
celebrated the wedding of their granddaughter, Leah Rosenbaum, to Adam Mali.
Mazel tov to Leahs parents, Devorah
(Galinsky) 95A and David Rosenbaum
88SB, 94R.
Sharon and Rabbi Melvin Sachs 56YUHS,
60YC, 62R, 85A celebrated the marriage
of their son, Dr. Ephraim Sachs, to Nofar
Hanan.
Marion and Dr. George J. Siegel 53YUHS,
57YC announced the birth of their third and
fourth great-grandchildren, twins born to
Chava Sara and Avi Siebzener.
Rabbi Marvin Tokayer
54YUHS, 58YC
published his book,
Pepper, Silk, Ivory:
Amazing Stories about
Jews and the Far East
(Gefen Publishing
House, 2014).

1960s
Marcia 66S and Rabbi Yitzchak Frank
61YC, 65F, 65R announced the birth of
their grandson, born to Lea and Uriel Frank.

2 ALUMNITODAY

1970s
Sharon 72S and Rabbi Shimon Altshul
72YC, 76R, 76F announced the marriage
of their daughter, Esty, to Hillel Garcia
Austria.
Sue 74W and Joe Freedman announced
the birth of two grandchildren: Neta to
Naomi and Lior Shmueloff and Emanuel
to Aviva and Eylon Maser.

1950s

Ellen Seigel 78W


published her
book, Be Happy
No Matter What:
5 Steps to Inner
Freedom (Clear
Path Publishing,
2013).

Frieda and Rabbi Dr. Henry Horwitz


66YC, 69BR, 69R celebrated the
Bar Mitzvah of their grandson, Yonatan
Refael Catriel.

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programs as well as news and
updates for YU alumni.
Update your profile and your
email preferences to get our
news and information.
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alumnidirectory today!

Nechama and Elliot Rosner 72YC


announced the marriage of their daughter,
Chana Sara, to Yussie Abramowitz
08YUHS, 12SB, son of Rachel and
Hondo Abramowitz.

Bryna (Greenberg) 71S and Paul Epstein


announced the birth of their grandson,
Ephraim, born to Ayelet and Ayton
Lefkowitz. They also celebrated the Bar
Mitzvah of their grandson, Netanel
Lefkowitz.
Dr. Rosa Perla
Resnick Helfgot
76W, chair of the
Subcommittee on
Intergenerational
Relationships, NGO
Committee on
Ageing at the UN,
was the editor of a recently issued
publication, Ageing is an Intergenerational
Journey, which presents the proceedings
of a conference on that subject held at the
UN last May. She was also a contributor to
the 24th celebration of the International
Day of Older Persons, proclaimed by the
UN in 1991.

Chana and Rabbi Steven Stein 70YC,


73R announced the birth of their granddaughter, Gefen Rivka, born to Eliana and
Shlomo Lachiyani.
Marilyn and Rabbi Robert Zeiger 77YC,
81R announced the birth of their grandson,
Yosef Mordechai, born to Nadine and
Eliezer Menachem Zeiger.

Tammy 88S and Rabbi Dr. Jonathan


Schwartz 96YC, 99F, 99R, 02F
celebrated the Bat Mitzvah of their
daughter, Eliana.
Director of the Morris and Gertrude
Bienenfeld Department of Jewish Career
Development and Placement Rabbi Ronald
Schwarzberg 80YC, 82F, 83R was a
speaker at the West Coast Region
Orthodox Union convention in December.
Bonnie 86YUHS, 90S and Rabbi David
Sheer 91YC, 93R, 94A announced the
engagement of their daughter, Penina,
to Zack Nussbaum, son of Tsippy and
Stuie Nussbaum 91SB. Mazel tov to
grandparents Judith and Rabbi Charles
Sheer 65YC, 67BR, 67R and Joan and
Philip Soskin.
Sheryl and Rabbi Michael Susman 83YC,
86R, 86A announced the birth of their
grandchildren, Chen, born to Elisheva and
Izik Dahan and Roi David, born to Tamar
and Tsuriel Edri.
Berni and Rabbi Lawrence Zierler 82YC,
85R announced the marriage of their
daughter, Dorona, to Gadi Braude.

1980s
Aaron Bassan 81YC and Debra
(Handler) Bassan 78YUHS announced
the marriage of their son, David, to Naomi
Alper and the marriage of their daughter,
Leah, to Dvir Wechsler. Both couples reside
in Israel.

1990s

Dr. Alan Kadish 80E was profiled in the


New Jersey Jewish Standard in November.
Hannah and Daniel Katsman 81YC, 84R,
87BR celebrated the Bar Mitzvah of their
son, Yedaya Tzvi Katsman, grandson of
Rabbi Philip Katsman 51YC, 54R.
Tova 85S and Aharon Naiman 83YC
announced the birth of their granddaughter,
Gefen, born to Avital Tali and Tzuri Dotan.
Mazel tov to Vivien 53YUHS and Rabbi
Bernhard Auerbach 45YC, 50R and Tzivi
and Dr. Robert Segel 56YUHS.
Rabbi Allen Schwartz 85YC, 86R,
97BR was named a Guest of Honor at
the American Friends of Bet El Dinner in
New York.

Miriam 98S and GPATS faculty member


Rabbi Gedalyah Berger 90YUHS, 94YC,
98R celebrated the Bat Mitzvah of their
twin daughters, Racheli and Sheindl. Mazel
tov to grandparents Dean of Yeshiva
University Libraries Pearl 60YUHS, 62TI
and Dean of Bernard Revel Graduate
School Rabbi Dr. David Berger 64YC,
68R.

Anita Hilewitz 79W announced the birth


of her granddaughter, born to Mindy
(Levine) and Yedidya Hilewitz.
Carrie and Morrie Klians 76YC celebrated
the Bat Mitzvah of their granddaughter,
Adira Eliora, daughter of Sharona and
Nachman Rosenberg.
Miriam and Director of RIETS Israel Kollel
and RIETS Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Dovid
Miller 71R celebrated the Bar Mitzvah of
their grandson, Aryeh Miller, born to Aliza
and Rabbi Boaz Miller.
Rabbi Yoni Mozeson 77YC, 80R
presented a lecture at the Jerusalem
Business Network Forum about his career
at advertising agency Ogilvy, for which he
was featured in the Wall Street Journal.

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Chana Rochel and Rabbi David Blum


95YC, 01R announced the birth of their
daughter, Sheindel Chaya.
Josh Fine 97YC, 00C,
was elected to a
three-year term on the
Borough Council of
Highland Park, New
Jersey, in November.
Yocheved 98W and Rabbi Efrem
Goldberg 97YC, 99R celebrated the
Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Leora.
Dr. Hannah (Shonfield)
98S and Justin Kaufman
announced the birth of
their son, Ethan Gabriel.
Dr. Kaufman, audiology
supervisor at Weill Cornell
Medical College, is an
adjunct assistant professor at Stern College
for Women and New York University.

Rabbi Eliyahu Teitz


84YC, associate head
of school at the Jewish
Educational Center in
Elizabeth, New Jersey,
participated in the food
stamp challenge to
bring awareness to the
food insecurity that
families and individuals dependent on food
stamps face.
Elisheva and Rabbi Avraham Willig 99YC,
02R celebrated the Bar Mitzvah of their
son, Dovid. Mazel tov to grandparents,
Faygie 72S and RIETS Rosh Yeshiva
Rabbi Mordechai Willig 68YC, 71R.

Shira 99S and Rabbi Zvi Romm 95YC,


99R, 02A celebrated the Bar Mitzvah of
their son, Aharon Shmaya.
Daniella 96S, 96A and Rabbi Joshua
Rudoff 84YUHS, 87YC, 91R celebrated
the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Shmuel.

Elana Katz 05S, 06A compiled a new


Chumash curriculum for grades 26 that
is being piloted in day schools. The
differentiated curriculum focuses on
textual skills, independent learning and
critical thinking.

Dr. Rebecca 06F, 10F


and Rabbi Elie Mischel
03SB, 06BR, 07C, 07R
announce the birth of
their son, Uriel Shlomo.

Rabbi Shalom Morris 03YC, 06R, 10BR


was honored at the Jewish International
Connection of New York Annual Gala in
November.

Leah 98S and Rabbi Chaim Marcus


92YUHS, 95YC, 99R celebrated the Bat
Mitzvah of their daughter. Mazel tov to
grandparents, Barbara and Rabbi Jay
Marcus 64YUHS, 68YC, 71R.
Yolanda Robano-Gross
92W was appointed
executive director of the
Smithtown-based Options
for Community Living, Inc.

Rachel (Salamon) 00S and Rabbi Dr.


Aton Holzer 95YUHS, 99YC, 04BR, 05R
announced the birth of their son, Aharon
Levi. Mazel tov to grandparents Ruthie
(Gelb) and Dr. Sam Salamon 70YUHS,
77E and to great-grandparents, Norma and
Rabbi Emanuel Holzer 43YUHS, 50R.

Leah and Rabbi Baruch Price 01A, 01R


announced the birth of their son.
Ari Zoldan 99SB, CEO at Quantum
Networks, hosted a media event at Young &
Rubicam in November with the Zula
Messaging Summit.

Cory Richman 95YUHS, 99SB was


profiled on Aish.com for his work as an
entertainment agent in Schmoozing with
the Stars, Except on Shabbat.

Rachel 96YUHS and Rabbi Michoel


Zylberman 96YUHS, 00YC, 03R, 03BR,
10R announced the birth of their daughter,
Yehudis Chedva Bayla.

2000s

Brittany (Voystock)
09SB and Josh Ricklis
06SB announced the
birth of their daughter,
Sarah.

Meira and Rabbi Mordechai Schiffman


09YC, 11A, 12R announced the birth of
their son, Yosef Eliezer.

Rabbi Eliezer Schnall,


PhD 95YUHS, 00YC,
02F, 03R, 06F,
professor of psychology
at Yeshiva College,
authored an article,
Psychological science
and religious education in
a devout university,
published in the journal Religious Education,
outlining the application of Torah Umadda
to the teaching of college and graduate
level psychology.

Dr. Cesar M.
Garces Carranza
02W published his
textbook in Spanish,
El Trabajador Social
En El Centro
Hospitalario
Intervenciones
Edicion Revisada
(Palibrio, 2014). He
was also awarded the 2013 Leadership
award from the Latino Social Work Task
Force of the National Association of
Social Workers, New York City Chapter.

Jonathan Yoni
Shenkman 07SB
joined Oppenheimer &
Co. Inc. where he heads
the Shenkman Private
Client group. In this role
he is responsible for
providing customized
investment and
financial planning advice to families,
businesses and non-profit organizations
based in the United States and abroad.

Bonnie and Rabbi Gideon Shloush 93YC,


97R announced the birth of their son,
Elisha Kalman.

Rachel and Rabbi Yitzi Ehrenberg 04YC


announced the birth of their daughter,
Aderet Liat.

Yehuda Shmidman 04YC was named to


the Board of Directors of the YMA Fashion
Scholarship Fund.

Gary Swickley 90YC established his


clothing business for girls and women out
of Israel, www.koshercasual.com.

Tziporah 02S and Rabbi Shaanan


Gelman 97YUHS, 02YC, 06R announced
the birth of their son, Adir Moshe.

Malka and Rabbi Yaakov Trump 09YC


announced the birth of their daughter,
Leora Rachel.

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Rabbi Yaacov Meir Weisenberg 02YC,


06R, 12A married Naomi Lewis, daughter
of Madeleine and Rabbi Yehuda Lewis.
Sari 05S and Rabbi
Simcha Willig
00YUHS, 10R, 10A,
announced the birth of
their son, Roey. Mazel
tov to grandparents
Faygie 72S and RIETS
Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi
Mordechai Willig
68YC, 71R and Evy and Sheldon
Shimmy Stein 73YUHS.

2010s
Tamar and Ben
Blumenthal 12SB
announced the birth of
their son, Jack Bernard.

Sarah and Rabbi Avi


Miller 13BR, 14R
announced the birth of
their son, Samson Judah.
Mazel tov to Enid and
Rabbi Jeffrey Miller
88BR, 88R.

In Memoriam
Rabbi Dr. David M. Feldman 47YUHS,
51YC
Rabbi Aaron S. Fruchter 57YUHS, 61YC,
63BR, 63R
Rabbi Philip H. Goldman 47YUHS, 51YC,
56R, 59F
Shmuel Sam Levenson 53YUHS
Rabbi Gil Marks 74YC, 79R, 80W
Rabbi Hailu Moshe Paris 72F
Rabbi Sholim Singer 46YC
Arthur D. Tauber, longtime fencing coach
and athletic director

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: Teachers Institute W:
Wurzweiler School of Social Work YC: Yeshiva
College YUHS: Yeshiva University High Schools

ALUMNITODAY 3

ALUMNITODAY
Turning Ideas Into Reality: Designers at Work
Among our scores of alumni who have forged impressive careers, we count many men and women who pursued their callings in designoriented fields where imagination and innovation are part and parcel of a typical workday. Here are a few of their stories.

HAYYIM DANZIG 05YC: EXHIBITION DESIGNER FOR WILDLIFE


CONSERVATION SOCIETY

Hayyim Danzigs children think their dad is a total rock starnot just because he
is the bassist for the Jewish rock band Blue Fringe, but because Danzig 05YC is
an architectural designer whose latest project is a major walrus exhibit for the
New York Aquarium in Coney Island.
But before he was designing exhibits for major institutions and before anyone knew what a Maccabeat was, Danzig was a Yeshiva College student whose
casual jamming with three longtime friends catapulted the foursome into Jewish music fame when they formed an official band, Blue Fringe. They performed
at YUs annual Chanukah Concert to much acclaim and played in sold-out venues
across the United States, Europe, Israel, South Africa and Australia. The band
enjoyed hit songs including Flipping Out and also recorded three albums, each
selling more than 30,000 copies.
Some of my best memories from YU were from my time spent in music
classes like Professor Jon Schapiros History of Jazz and Blues and playing with
the YU jazz band, said Danzig, who paid much of his way through college with
the revenue generated from Blue Fringe. When he wasnt performing, Danzig, an
honors student from the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, studied psychology; though he had long maintained an interest in the arts, hed never thought
of making a feasible professional career out of it. I enjoyed the coursework for
psychology and was all set to enter a PhD program, when some ceramics and silversmith classes I took just for fun at the 92nd Street Y sparked a thought that just
maybe I could foresee a career in design one day, he said.
For his honors thesis, Danzig focused on the graffiti murals painted around
New York City in direct response to September 11, which occurred while Danzig
was a freshman. I tracked down a bunch of graffiti artists and interviewed them
about their work, and the experience showed me that a passion for art and design
in a nontraditional setting was a valuable, viable career choice, recalled Danzig.
After graduating YU, Danzig decided not to pursue a PhD and took some
time to figure out what he really wanted to do. He was working at the Jewish
Theological Seminary and at the Halachic Organ Donor Society when someone
suggested he look into industrial design: the design of any manufactured product, like a piece of furniture or houseware, a field that has recently extended into
service and exhibition design. After some initial research, Danzig enrolled at
the Pratt Institute. He enjoyed his studies there so much that he applied to the
masters degree program.
Coming from a psychology standpoint, I wanted to create things that could
impact peoples lives in positive ways, said Danzig, who decided to concentrate
on exhibit design. I found that telling a story and offering an experience was
more impactful for me than designing an actual product, and it could have a
broader impact. This inclination was confirmed after Danzig completed an
internship in toy design, which he described as cool, but very corporate. An
internship at the American Museum of Natural History, on the other hand, was
more appealing to him.
I had always loved the museum when I was a kid, and it was interesting to
revisit it as an adult. I had remembered it being at least twice as large as it actually
was, said Danzig. I think that coming at an exhibit from my behind-the-scenes
standpoint informs that magic that I remember as a kid more than it detracts
from it. Im better able to appreciate the culture and history of the museum.
After completing his internship, a full-time job at the museum became available. Danzig created two exhibits there: One displayed habitats for live spiders,
including tarantulas and black widows, and another was the restoration of the
Hall of North American Mammals, a majestic gallery that exhibits taxidermal
bears, moose, bison and other animals in naturalistic dioramas. Working at the

4 ALUMNITODAY

American Museum of Natural History tapped me into serious scientific work as


well as a legacy of stunning artistic successes, said Danzig. The dioramas are
beautiful and set a high standard for me.
Danzig brought his son, Raanan, to the spider exhibit. I felt this immense
pride bringing my son to see my work, and it was very fulfilling to know I had a
hand in something geared to educate and entertain children, he said.
In September 2012, Danzig was hired by the Liberty Science Center in Jersey
City, New Jersey, where he designed an international traveling exhibit called
Beyond Rubiks Cube that offered dynamic visitor experiences using multiple
interactive technologies.
In May 2014, he began working for the Wildlife Conservation Society, which
oversees the Bronx Zoo and the New York Aquarium at Coney Island. There he
participated in design and project management for multiple concurrent largescale aquarium and zoo exhibitions through all phases of design. Much of the
aquarium was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in 2013, though thankfully, most of
its animals were rescued. Its been a long two years of restoration, and Danzig
tasked with designing new exhibitions for various viewing galleries, including
the new walrus exhibithas played an instrumental role in the renovations.
Were not just putting back what the aquarium had before Sandy, but also
creating comprehensive brand new experiences that hinge on teaching about climate change and human impact and responsibility to the oceans, said Danzig.
The redesigned New York Aquarium will inspire people with the beauty and
complexity of fish and mammals and guide them to become stewards of our
waters.
Danzig credits YU with offering him a supportive environment in which to
explore new avenues and take on challenges in a way that likely wouldnt have
been possible at a larger school.
Paula Geyh, my thesis adviser for the Honors Program, was very open to my
idea of writing about graffiti art; frankly, I was shocked by her wholehearted
acceptance of my idea, said Danzig. It wasnt literature or history or Judaic
studies; it was nothing I was studying in school. But she told me it had value,
especially as New York continued to heal after September 11, and I was encouraged to pursue it.
Danzig was a panelist on the architecture and design career panel at YU on
the Wilf Campus last semester, and he also participated in a similar panel last
year on the Israel Henry Beren Campus.
Danzig is married to Shira Kaufman Danzig 02S, a clinical psychologist
with a private practice on the Upper West Side, and they have three children:
Raanan, 5, Amalya, 2, and Micah, 6 months old. He still plays, occasionally, with
Blue Fringe today.
FELICIA ZWEBNER 92SB: INTERIOR DESIGNER AND FOUNDER OF FZ DESIGNS

As a teenager, Felicia Zwebner 92SB of Teaneck, New Jersey, used funds she
earned from babysitting jobs to furnish the dollhouse she had built with her
grandfather, who was a carpenter.
That should have been a sign I had a passion for interior design early on,
despite first going into accounting, said Zwebner. Later on, some time after she
had forged a successful career as an interior designer with her own firm and line
of custom furniture, Zwebner ran into her former kindergarten teacher. When

Zwebner told her what she did for a living, her teacher smiled and said, Thats
fitting, considering you were always so eager to help me decorate the bulletin
board in kindergarten.
But before her design career began in earnest and after she had finished furnishing her dollhouse, Zwebner chose to attend Sy Syms School of Business
because she wanted to further her Jewish education and obtain an excellent

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background in business. She pursued a degree in accounting and also nurtured


her deep interest in the arts by taking many art history courses.
After graduating, Zwebner accepted a job with Ernst & Young but quickly
became disenchanted with accounting. I wanted to be around art, she said.
Unsure how to proceed, she decided to take more classes in art history at various colleges and get her feet wet working in the art world by taking a job as an art
consultant at the Wentworth Gallery in Short Hills, New Jersey. There, she rose to
become a top salesperson for the gallery, and was later recruited to work for
renowned artist Peter Max. She then landed a position at Sothebys, where she
performed a variety of tasks in the art department and organized special events.
I absolutely loved working at Sothebys, but wanted to further my career,
said Zwebner. After briefly considering a PhD in art history, Zwebner spoke to a
professor in the field who suggested she use her varied skills and combine her
talents for art and business into a career as an interior designer and architect.
Zwebner took evening classes in subjects including mechanical drawing, engineering and drafting, and began her design career by working for a local cabinet
showroom where she designed kitchens and libraries and supervised other projects. She was hooked on seeing her designs come to fruition and wanted an even
more active role in the process.
In 1996, she founded her own firm, Felicia Zwebner Designs (FZ Designs). It
quickly became an in-demand design house focusing on commercial, hospitality
and residential projects. In 2011, Zwebner added to her portfolio by creating her
own line of custom furniture, FZ Collection. Since the lines inception, it has
been featured in publications including the Wall Street Journal and the New York
Times, and can be found in commercial buildings, hotels and boutique residences
throughout the United States and Europe.
Though theres no typical workday for Zwebner, one usually includes meetings, showroom visits and client consultations. As my career has grown, I have
learned to really dedicate my hours and put each one to good use, said Zwebner.
There are so many ways to concentrate time, and Im always considering what
lies ahead and planning accordingly. Thats the biggest reason why Im able to
succeed in both my home and business life.
Zwebner recently completed an installation at Guardian Realtys boutique
residence building, The Premier. Located just outside of Washington D.C., it features a lobby, sales office, lounge, rooftop terrace and model apartments, all
designed by Zwebner, who also utilized FZ Collection to create new pieces just
for The Premier. Im particularly proud of this project because it entailed conception of design through the completion, said Zwebner. Its a great feeling to
be so closely involved in the entire process. Currently, Zwebner is working on
furnishing a line of cruise ships for the Royal Caribbean International cruise line.
Despite her busy schedule, Zwebner is actively involved with charitable
organizations, such as Sundara and the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, and regularly
donates her design services pro bono to her local community of Teaneck. She is
involved with EMUNAH of America and was an honoree at its 2013 Empowering
Women Luncheon. Last year, she participated in Stern College for Womens
annual fund-raising event, The Skys the Limit, which took place at the ultraluxury residence One57 in Manhattan, and, naturally, featured Zwebners dcor.
Thinking back to the way her career unfolded and her true passion emerged,
Zwebner said, Anything I did on the path to choosing a career has been
instrumental in helping me, whether it was my business and art history education at Sy Syms or my experience in the business world. I consider everything a
stepping stone.
Zwebner is married to Marc Zwebner, director of marketing at Third Point.
They have four children: Jordan, 18, Evan, 15, Jake, 12, and Raquel, 9.
JUDITH KAPLAN 03S: PRODUCT DEVELOPER AT RALPH LAUREN

Art has always been a big part of my life, said Judith Kaplan 03S, product developer for Ralph Lauren. Theres a comfort and freedom in making an idea or
vision a reality.
Kaplan grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and her passion for art came at an
early age. She loved the theater and aspired to pursue a career in set design. At 16,
she interned at the Lucy Moses School for Music and Dances Summer Musical
Theater Workshop and was eventually promoted to assistant set designer.
I love set design because you get to create an entire temporary world that is
completely tangible, said Kaplan. When it came time to decide where to attend
college, Stern College for Women was her top choice because of its art program,
where she was able to major in art, attend classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology and complete a BA. Most art schools only issue BFAs, and I didnt want to
miss out on the opportunity to study really cool subjects that arent offered in a
strictly art school, she said.
Kaplan spent her years at Stern on track toward a career in set design and
helped design and construct the scenery for several Stern productions, including
Nine Girls in 1999 and The Mouse Trap in 2000. I loved working with Professor

Susan Gardner in the art annex, said Kaplan. It was such a refuge for art students; we all collaborated and were able to flesh out our talents and creativity in
that space.
During the interview process at New York Universitys Tisch School of the
Arts, where she hoped to pursue a graduate degree, Kaplan realized that it would
be impossible to work on larger stages in New York City and manage to live a Shabbat-observant lifestyle, a priority for her. She spent the next few months exploring
various fields in which she could apply her talents in the arts until a friend suggested she consider a position in the fashion industry. Kaplan worked as the executive assistant to the head of production at a small childrens clothing company;
after a month, she was given the opportunity to work in product development.
This job was for a mass market company, so it was different than the usual
fashion industry one sees on TV and in the movies, said Kaplan. It was a lot of
work, but I feel extremely blessed because everything came very naturally to me.
That comfort level changed, said Kaplan, when she interned at Zac Posen in
the womenswear department. I finally experienced some of the stereotypes that
fashion has to offer, she said. But despite all the unique personalities, the high
stress and the complete lack of sleep, it was amazing. I loved being in the studio
creating garments.
Her experience at Zac Posen led to a position at Ralph Lauren in 2009 in boys
knits, where she launched an activewear line and was promoted to product manager of the girls wovens department last year.
Kaplan and her team transform a garment from a sketch on a piece of paper
to the product you see hanging in stores, in a way that both represents Ralph Laurens brand and is marketable and profitable for the company. She spends her days
working creatively with various partners: fabric and trim experts, factories, merchandisers, planners and designers. Kaplan coordinates all of their work to make
each item of clothing that Ralph Lauren releases. Its a labor-intensive and pains-

taking process as each and every detail needs to be worked out to properly reflect
the quality and the vision of the brand.
Today, she is a senior product manager who develops girls wovens, accessories and special projects including the U.S. Open, Wimbledon, Pink Pony Fund and
the Olympics. My first Olympic season was the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi,
and all the garments were made 100 percent in the United States, said Kaplan.
What I love about being a product developer is that I am still taking ideas and converting them into reality, but instead of the temporary world that I would create as
a set designer, I am creating the clothes that people live their lives in.
Kaplan recently returned from Hong Kong, where she was on business
reviewing prototypes for the fall 2015 line with the design team and beginning to
negotiate prices with Ralph Lauren vendors. I get to straddle the business and
creative sides of fashion, she explained. I work with our designers and our vendors each day, and theres never a dull moment.
Kaplan lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and, in addition to being
active at her shul, The Jewish Center, she makes time to give back to YU.
I have been really honored to speak on various panels at Stern about careers
and give professional advice, and I love being a mentor since Ive benefited many
times from the mentorship of others, said Kaplan. I was once a Stern student
embarking on figuring out the rest of my life, and Im grateful Ive been successful at finding a career in which I thrive and that I love. If I can help even one student just by giving a few hours of my time, then I will have become truly
successful. n

CHECK OUT WHAT ALUMNI EVENTS ARE HAPPENING ON CAMPUS AND AROUND THE WORLD AT WWW.YU.EDU/ALUMNIEVENTS

ALUMNITODAY 5

ALUMNI IN ACTION
YU WALL STREET GROUP PRESENTS DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES IN FINANCIAL SERVICES (OCT. 23, 2014)

The Yeshiva University Wall Street Group hosted a discussion on Disruptive Technologies in Financial Services at Dentons, a global law firm. Bruce Taragin 89YC moderated the panel
on financial technology, which was attended by over 100 alumni and friends of YU who work in the finance and technology sectors.

m Ezra Lightman 95SB, Bruce Taragin 89SB, Yeshiva University Wall Street Group Co-Chair
Lawrence Askowitz 87YC, and Moshe Orenbuch 84YC

m Guests enjoy a panel discussion on financial technology

m Michael Schrieber 89SB, Bruce Taragin 89SB, and Steven Teichman 89YC

m Lawrence Askowitz 87YC

o Panelists Brandon Wright,


Cognical; Jeff Stewart,
Lenddo; Max Gasner,
One Financial Holdings;
Avi Turgeman, BioCatch;
Shawn Melamed,
Morgan Stanley;
and moderator
Bruce Taragin 89SB

NAHSHON SOCIETY MEETS AT YU MUSEUM (OCT. 29, 2014)

The Nahshon Society convened for its annual fall meeting at the Yeshiva University
Museum. Museum Director Jacob Wisse led the group on a guided tour of the museums
newest exhibit, Modeling the Synagogue: From Dura to Touro. Following the tour,
Nahshon Society members met with President Richard M. Joel, who held a special town
hall meeting and engaged in conversation about YU.

m Jack Sztrigler 14YC (center)

m President Joel
addresses members of
the Nahshon Society at
the YU Museum
k Daniel Danesh 13YC

m Adena Kleiner 14S

6 ALUMNITODAY

SUPPORT THE ANNUAL FUND AT WWW.YU.EDU/ONLINEGIVING

YU WALL STREET GROUP WELCOMES JAMES TISCH (NOV. 20, 2014)

The Yeshiva University Wall Street Group hosted a conversation with James Tisch, president and CEO of Loews Corporation, and Tom Nides, vice chairman of Morgan Stanley.
Over 120 alumni and friends of YU attended the event, held at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.

m Robin Muss with her father YU Trustee Josh Muss 58YUHS, 62YC

m Tom Nides, Malcolm Hoenlein, Lawrence Askowitz 87YC, and Meir Lewis 94YUHS, 98YC

m Guests enjoyed the panel conversation with James Tisch and Tom Nides

m Aaron Safier 05SB, Reuben Askowitz, and Daniel Dicker

Suzy Schwartz To Lead


Alumni Affairs and Annual Giving

uzy (Greenman) Schwartz 84S


has been appointed assistant
vice president of Alumni Affairs
and Annual Giving in Yeshiva Universitys Office of Institutional Advancement. Schwartz is a graduate of Stern
College for Women and received her
MBA from Baruch College. She has
extensive experience working in the
fields of communications and advertising. Schwartz joined the YU team in
2010 as assistant dean of the Center for
the Jewish Future, where she worked
until early 2014, and is eager to take on
this new role in the alumni office.
Im excited about the opportunity,
together with a very talented team of
professionals, to tap into a network
of passionate and committed alumni,
she said. The YU network extends to

every corner of the world, where our


alumni are accomplished professionals who lead vibrant lives as community builders. Im looking forward to
engaging our alumni by bringing the
scholarship and creativity of todays
Yeshiva University to them and in turn
tapping our alumni to offer their wisdom and experience for the benefit of
our current students. The YU alumni
network is a powerful engine that fuels
personal, communal and professional
connections.
Schwartz lives in Teaneck, New
Jersey. She and her husband, Will, have
four children, several of whom are YU
graduates or current students. She
loves to explore the world and has traveled to six of the seven continents, both
for leisure and work-related trips. n

Alumni Show Support


on #GivingTuesday
On December 2, more than 110
alumni, parents and friends joined
the #GivingTuesday movement
and made gifts to Yeshiva University of nearly $60,000.
Parents, alumni and friends of
Yeshiva University High Schools
participated in the #GivingTuesday campaign as well by supporting the high schools with gifts of
more than $30,000.
YU is also grateful to undergraduate students who took
part in this important initiative.
Through the efforts of Students
Helping Students and the Senior
Class of 2015 Gift Campaign,
66 students made gifts of close
to $850.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER ON AUTO AND HOME INSURANCE FROM LIBERTY MUTUAL


Liberty Mutual offers special savings to Yeshiva University alumni on auto and home insurance.*
Find out more about Liberty Mutual Auto and Home Insurance. Or call 855.948.6267 for a free quote.
*Discounts and savings are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state.
Certain discounts apply to specific coverages only. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually
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ALUMNITODAY 7

ALUMNITODAY
Former Maccabee Aces Role as Tennis Coach

he has served as head coach of Yeshiva


University womens tennis team since
2009 and was named the womens tennis Skyline Conference Coach of the Year for
the 2014 season, but Naomi Kaszovitz 87S,
90C first became involved in YU athletics as
a student-athlete.
Kaszovitz attended Stern College for
Women because it was the natural next step
for her, she said. I say I majored in both
marketing and friends, because as much as I
enjoyed taking business, economics and PR
classes for my shaped major, I also had great
times in the classroom and the dorms with my
friends, with whom I remain very close today.
While she excelled in the classroom,
Kaszovitz also excelled on the court. She
played on Sterns basketball teamwhere
she was honored as MVP in 1986for three
years and on the tennis team for two years.
Naomi Kaszovitz 87S, 90C
Bonding with fellow teammates was fun and
playing teams that outsized us was challenging, but a great experience,
she recalled.
Kaszovitz also worked part time for YUs Office of Admissions and
served as corresponding secretary of Student Council. After Stern, she
attended Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and went to work at the
Queens Family Court to prosecute cases involving child abuse and neglect,
which she described as heartbreaking work, yet rewarding.
I did that for five years and then, after the birth of my third child in 1995,
decided to transition into the insurance family business with my father and
brother, Kaszovitz said. Today, she still works at the Rampart Group in Lake
Success, New York. She also remains an active tennis player, is a member of
the United States Tennis Association and participated in competitive leagues
around the tri-state area with several first-place finishes.
In 2009, Kaszovitzs friend and former Stern roommate, Felicia Feder
Bernstein 87S, saw a posting for a tennis coach at YU. She immediately notified Kaszovitz, who applied for the job.
During the interview, I could see Naomis passion for YU and womens
athletics, said Joe Bednarsh, director of athletics. Its always special to
have a former YU student-athlete come back to coach a team and even more
special when its a two-sport athlete, like Naomi. She understands everything our students have to deal with in the classroom, on the court and in
their communities; she went through it herself. I am proud to have her working with our young women and representing the University.
For Kaszovitz, its interesting to be on the other side of the athletics scene

Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg

at Stern. The program has really changed


since I was a student, she said. We practiced
once a week and generally, we didnt have the
most systematic program. But athletics has
become so much more intense. We practice
nearly every night now, with matches on Fridays and Sundays, which means that everyone
who participates is fully dedicated.
This past yearher fifth as tennis coach
Kaszovitz has enjoyed being at the helm of a
more seasoned group of veteran players who
took the team to the playoffs last season. The
team finished 7-4 overall and 4-2 in the Skyline Conference regular season play. The
Maccabees finished third place in the regular
season to qualify for the Skyline Conference
playoffs for the first time in over a decade.
This year is also the first that Kaszovitz
doesnt have any assistant coaches, which
makes her recent honor as the womens tennis Skyline Conference Coach of the Year that
much more impressive. The honor was very gratifying, if unexpected, and I
was humbled to receive it from my fellow coaches, she said.
For Kaszovitz, the opportunity to coach the Stern tennis team is a perfect
way to meld two of her great passions: athletics and Yeshiva University.
Im proud to convey the message of Torah Umadda to todays students. I
emphasize that we are role models on and off the court and must behave with
respect in sports and in everything else, and to always be a Kiddush Hashem
[sanctification of Gods name], she said.
Kaszovitz is also grateful for the opportunity to give back to her alma
mater. YU continues to provide so much to me, my family and the Jewish
community at large with its extensive programming and outreach, she said.
Kaszovitz credits her four children and husband, David, for his support as well as her mother, Beverly Skolnick, who is her tennis partner and
biggest fan.
In addition to coaching tennis at YU, Kaszovitz was a childrens tennis
coach at Camp Lavi for 12 years. Last summer, she ran the tennis program at
Camp Kaylie for Girls. Kaszovitz is also involved in communal organizations
such as the Young Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhurst, i-Shine of Chai Lifeline,
Bikur Cholim and the UJA Federation.
When it comes to balancing everything on and off the court, Kaszovitz
finds inspiration in her student-athletes. Its all about time management; I
learned it as an athlete, and Im still learning it from my students today. They
are extremely dedicated and its been great getting to know them and having
an influence on the next generation. n

Continued from Page 1

Much more than we give the kids, they give us, emphasized Goldberg.
Theyre like little lights that imbue within us a tremendous sense of spirit of
love and life, and its a privilege to be able to teach them to take control of their
illness and blow out the darkness and bring in the light. Through the program, the children also take what theyve learned and empower themselves
by teaching other youths and adults experiencing sickness, pain or stress. Our
catchphrase is Power, Peace, Purpose. Through martial arts, the kids find
their inner power, the focused breathing techniques bring them peace, and
through teaching others, they find great purpose.
Goldberg said its a challenge to know that what the organization does
is so simple and effective, and to also know that there are still so many other
children out there in pain who have yet to learn of the techniques Kids Kicking Cancer offers.
Its frustrating to know that there are children out there suffering and
not to have more of the necessary platforms to be able to reach them. We have
4,000 likes on our Facebook page, but we want a million, said Goldberg. We
post pictures of the kids learning martial arts and at their ceremonies, and its
so powerful for them to know they have people watching them and supporting them from all over the world.
Fondly known as Rabbi G by the thousands of children his organization has helped over the years, Goldberg is currently writing a book titled A
field to devote more time and energy to the organization. Since then, the pro- Perfect God Created an Imperfect World Perfectly that will include 30 life
lessons to learn from kids with cancer.
gram has also expanded to include children facing pain from any other illness
Goldberg is married to Ruthie and they have two children, Meir and
or chronic condition. Goldberg, now rabbi emeritus, still gives the Daf Yomi
Ruchie, and eight grandchildren. n
shiur [daily Talmud class] at the shul and maintains set times of learning.
k To learn more, visit www.kidskickingcancer.org

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ALUMNITODAY 8

YUTODAY
Hanukkah Convocation

Continued from Page 1

University Museum, among other major


programs and affiliates.
Zucker is chair and chief executive
officer of the InterTech Group, a global
holding company with investments in a
wide array of industries, including aerospace, advanced chemicals, financial services, consumer products, sports teams
and arenas, location-based entertainment, real estate and alternative energy.
A former elementary school teacher for
over a decade, Zucker remains a staunch
advocate of advancing education. She is a
supporter of YUs Center for the Jewish
Future and, in 2013, participated in YUs
ChampionsGate conference in Florida,

(Standing) Moshael Straus, dinner chair; President Richard M. Joel; President George W. Bush;
and Dr. Henry Kressel, chairman of the YU Board of Trustees. (Seated) Honorees Michael Gamson;
Anita Zucker; Judith Weiss; and Felix Glaubach, convocation chair

Eight Points of Light were honored for their contributions to YU. Learn more about them at
yu.edu/pointsoflight

where she delivered a lecture about tikkun olam, repairing the world.
During the dinner, President Joel
paid tribute to eight Points of Lightstu-

Faith and Reason

dents, faculty and alumni who exemplify


the mission of Yeshiva Universityinviting each one to light a candle on a large
menorah.

of Medicines Dr. Chelsea McGuire; Willie Roth 10YC, 14BR; Shoshana Schechter, assistant professor of Bible at Stern
College, and Stern student Amanda Esraelian, in honor of the Mechina Pathways Program; Ike Sultan 14YC, 17R,
17A, creator of Halachipedia; and students Sam Weinstein, Amalia Weinberg
and Devora Schloss, in recognition of the
Counterpoint Israel program.
The convocation and dinner, the
Universitys main annual fundraising
event, raised more than $4.2 million. n

Though much emphasis is often placed


on analyzing which actions qualify as
acts of faith and how, it is less common
to spend time discussing what faith is. I
think understanding the premise behind
ones religion and not just the details
can deeply enhance ones Jewish life.
The Straus fellowship is an important
program that creates a community of
students ready to honestly analyze basic
religious principles through exposure to
different philosophical works.
For semicha students in Shabtais
RIETS seminar, Jewish Perspectives in
Bioethics, that analysis is critical not only
because it helps crystallize their own
ideological beliefs, but also because it
prepares them as future spiritual guides
to help congregants navigate complex
and often emotionally fraught decisions
about modern medicine and Jewish values. The seminar is important because
it exposes our future rabbinic leaders to
significant advances and discoveries in
science and medicine that have important and wide-ranging intersections with
Jewish law and thought, said Shabtai.
We are looking at issues from their broad
perspectives, with a focus on the larger
issues that they raise as well as analyzing bioethical approaches to these same
questions and issues.
The Straus Center also hosts public events and lectures throughout the

year to create and help maintain a sustained, engaged intellectual Jewish community, said Dr. Stu Halpern, assistant
director of the Straus Center. The idea
behind these public events is to enliven
our appreciation for Western thought by
looking at these topics through the prism
of Torah and bringing in public intellectuals and politicians to speak who have
wrestled with these issues. Weve hosted
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
and YU alumnus and prominent lawyer
Nathan Lewin wrestling with the issue
of church and state as well as Senator
Cory Booker discussing the role of faith
in the public square.
In addition, the Straus Center announced the creation of a Tikvah Fellowship to support a postdoctoral fellow
whose work relates to Torah and Western thought while he or she spends one to
three years teaching and doing research
at YU and serving as a resident scholar at
the Straus Center.
Through this generous gift by
the Tikvah Fund, we will be able to attract to Yeshiva a gifted future academic
star who will be at the heart of all of the
Straus Centers intellectual activities and
play a strong role in fulfilling our most
cherished charge: the teaching of students, said Rabbi Soloveichik. n

Continued from Page 1

Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks was one of many prominent speakers hosted by the Straus Center

Lewis, said Segal. We also had four


guest lecturers, all prominent intellectual historians, who offered us some
historical perspective on how the issue
of faith and reason was conceptualized,
if at all, by Jews in various periods. Its a
great opportunity because it encourages
thinking deeply about faith and enables
students to do so together with an intellectually curious and religiously committed group of peers.
For sophomore Noam Safier, the
fellowship has been a grounding ex-

The lesson of Hanukkah is that the


Jewish people must cast the light of our
values onto the world, President Joel explained. Tonight, we publicize the lights
that represent the past, present and future of Yeshiva University.
The Points of Light included Kayla
Applebaum, a student at Stern College;
Dr. Susan Bendor, longtime professor
at Wurzweiler School of Social Work;
Toby Golick, director of clinical legal
education at Cardozo and the founding
director of Cardozos Bet Tzedek Legal
Services Clinic; Albert Einstein College

perience. Judaism is a beautiful and


meaningful religious system, he said.
However, it can also be obscure and incredibly esoteric, especially when considering God. I believe that by tackling
the issues that Jewish philosophy does, it
allows us to take an intellectual approach
to this system that can sometimes be so
foreign to us.
Miriam Pearl Klahr, another Straus
Fellow, agreed. As a Modern Orthodox
Jew, living a life of faith lies at the core
of my day to day activities, she said.

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k Learn more at yu.edu/straus

WINTER 2015 W W W.YU.EDU/NEWS

FOCUS | ON FACULTY
YUTODAY

Faculty Recognized for Outstanding Achievements

Dr. Steven Fine

n recognition of their outstanding


achievements, Yeshiva University recently honored two faculty members
at Stern College for Women and one at
Yeshiva College.
At Stern College, Dr. Marina Holz
was named the Doris and Ira Kukin Chair
in Biology and Dr. David Shatz was appointed University Professor of Philosophy, Ethics and Religious Thought.
At Yeshiva College, Dr. Steven Fine was
named the Dean Pinkhos Churgin Chair
in Jewish History.
Each of these individuals is a leader
and an innovator whose work advances
education and research at Yeshiva University, said Dr. Selma Botman, vice president for academic affairs and provost.
We recognize their accomplishments
with the highest honors the University
bestows: named chairs and a University
professorship. Marina, David and Steve
represent for students and their col-

Dr. Marina Holz

Dr. David Shatz

leagues what is worthy and noble about


the life of the mind. The advances they
have made in science and the humanities come through dedicated and tireless
work, relentless focus and the joy that
new knowledge brings.
Holzs work focuses on the study
of the molecular mechanisms that contribute to carcinogenesis in hormonedependent breast cancer, in addition
to other tumor syndromes. She is currently searching for new approaches to
the treatment of triple-negative breast
cancer.
I am glad that the University recognizes that thriving research programs
tremendously benefit the undergraduate students, who can get experience
engaging in hands-on research, utilizing state-of-the-art instrumentation and
enhancing the theoretical knowledge
obtained in the classroom, said Holz.
Shatzs recent work includes pub-

lications and delivered papers on the


intertwined issues of religious diversity,
fanaticism and religious humility. Most
recently, he contributed an essay on religious Zionism to a forthcoming volume
on messianism from Indiana University
Press. Shatz is also completing papers
focusing on the problem of evil and on
philosophies of the mitzvot [commandments] in the modern period. In addition,
he has begun work on a book systematizing Jewish philosophy.
I am deeply grateful for this honor,
he said. On the one hand, it feels like
the culmination of a career. On the other
hand its energizing and will inspire me to
move forward into new areas of research
and teaching.
The strength of the Stern College faculty resides in the model of the
teacher/scholar, individuals committed
to educating the next generation while simultaneously expanding the boundaries

Yair Shahak, Hebrew instructor at Yeshiva


College, was crowned the winner of the 2014
United States National Bible Contest for Adults
on November 30 in New York City. Shahak
10YC, 11BR, a current student at the Belz
School of Jewish Music, persevered against 12
challengers to claim first place and the opportunity to represent the United States at the International Chidon HaTanach (Bible Contest)
for Adults in Jerusalem. Several other members
of the YU family competed, including Adina
Brizel 06YUHS, 10S, 12A, 15BR and Samuel
H. Wang Yeshiva University High School for
Girls faculty member Leah Segal 08S.

Dr. Ari Mermelstein, assistant professor of Bible at Yeshiva College, published Creation, Covenant, and the Beginnings of Judaism: Reconceiving Historical Time in the
Second Temple Period (JSJ Supplements 168; Leiden: Brill, 2015), a book on the relationship between time and history in the Second Temple period.

of knowledge through their research and


writings, said Dr. Karen Bacon, the Dr.
Monique C. Katz Dean of Stern College.
Dr. David Shatz and Dr. Marina Holz
represent precisely this model, and their
national reputations attest to the breadth,
quality and originality of their work.
Fine is working on a digital restoration of the Arch of Titus, following his
teams 2012 discovery of the original yellow pigment used to color the Archs menorah nearly 2,000 years ago. He is also
working on a history of the menorah,
which will be published by Harvard University Press, and will soon complete a
fellowship at the Getty Research Institute
in Los Angeles, California.
A sign of a healthy researchfocused academic community is the
way it respects and honors its members,
beginning with teaching assistants
and lecturers and continuing up the
academic ladder, said Fine. Students
can feel the vibrancy of YUs researchcentered faculty and that is really essential to their own development.
He added, Long before I came to
YU, I studied the works of the impeccable
scholar Pinkhos Churgin. I am happy that
the chair honors his memory.
Professor Fines distinguished publications, which help to provide a unique
context for the study of classical Jewish
texts and institutions in late antiquity, are
prime examples of the enriching insights
offered by academic Jewish study, said
Dr. Barry Eichler, dean of Yeshiva College.
He continues Dr. Churgins passionate
commitment to Jewish education and the
building of Yeshiva University. n

Dr. Linda Shires, David and Ruth Gottesman Professor of English and chair of the English department at Stern College for Women, has two essays forthcoming on self-illustrated literary works of Thomas Hardy and Rudyard Kipling. One will appear in Studies
in English Literature and the other will be published in the annual Childrens Literature.

Dr. Jesse Itzkowitz, assistant professor


of marketing at Sy Syms School of Business, conducted a study which found that
stocks that appear earlier in the alphabet
trade more frequently and at higher valuations than those that appear later. This is
because individual investors tend to settle
on an acceptable option as soon as they
find one, instead of evaluating all options
based on rigorous analysis in search of the
absolute best choice. Itzkowitz collaborated on the study with his wife, Jennifer
Itzkowitz, assistant professor of finance at Seton Hall Universitys Stillman School of
Business, and her colleague, Scott Rothbort, chief market strategist at Stillman.
k Read more about their findings at yu.edu/abcinvesting

Dr. Seamus OMalley, lecturer in the English department at


Stern College for Women, published Making History New:
Modernism and Historical Narrative (Oxford University
Press, 2014), which explores how the modernism movements literature not only engaged with history but also
transformed traditional approaches to its telling in unique
ways.

Four Yeshiva University faculty members presented at The Jewish Community


Confronts Violence and Abuse, an international conference in Jerusalem, Israel, held
in December. Presenters included Rabbi Yosef Blau, senior Mashgiach Ruchani; Dr.
Chaim Nissel, dean of students; Dr. Rona Novick, dean of Azrieli Graduate School
of Jewish Education and Administration; and Dr. David Pelcovitz, Gwendolyn and
Joseph Straus Chair in Jewish Education. The conference was organized by Tahel
Crisis Center for Religious Women and Children, an Israeli nonprofit organization,
and cosponsored by Yeshiva University in Israel.

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p
Former National Basketball Association (NBA) commissioner David Stern
addressed a crowd of more than 200 students at Yeshiva Universitys Max Stern Athletic
Center in November. At an event organized by YUs Sports Management Club, Stern
reflected on his three-decade tenure as commissioner, which ended last February, and
how he transformed the NBA from a sports league into a global brand. n

p
Journalist and best-selling author Claire Shipman came to YU to discuss her latest book, The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-AssuranceWhat Women
Should Know, coauthored by Katty Kay, which deconstructs the elusive and essential qualities of confidence often lacking or misunderstood by women. The lecture was
given in November at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, as part of the Dr. Marcia
Robbins-Wilf Scholar-in-Residence Program at Stern College for Women. n

t
Former U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman delivered his first address as a member of the YU faculty in October. He spoke
to hundreds of students, faculty and staff
in a lecture titled Judaism and Public Service. Lieberman reflected on his life in
politics and his many accomplishments,
and spoke about how his Jewish values
informed his work. The lecture, the first of
a three-part series, inaugurated Liebermans role as the Joseph Lieberman Chair
in Public Policy and Public Service at YU, a
position made possible through a gift from
University benefactors Ira and Ingeborg
Rennert. n

p
Rabbi Shlomo Amar (left), the Sephardic chief rabbi of Jerusalem, visited the Wilf
Campus in November. He met with Roshei Yeshiva, faculty and students and shared
inspiring words of Torah. n

t
Wurzweiler School of Social Work
hosted the Joanna Mellor Annual Gerontology Conference in November, titled
Reframing Psychosocial Care for Elders,
Caregivers and Serious Illness: A
Response to Evolving Health Systems.
The keynote address, Building a Care
System to Rely Upon When Frail in Old
Age, was delivered by Dr. Joanne Lynn
(pictured), an internationally renowned
physician, geriatrician and policy maker as
well as director of the Center for Elder
Care and Advanced Illness at the Altarum
Institute in Washington, D.C. n

p
The Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought
presented a conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George Will (left) and
New York Universitys President John Sexton (right) on Baseball, Tradition and God
in December at Shenk Community Shul. The talk was moderated by Rabbi Dr. Meir
Soloveichik (center), director of the Straus Center. n

p
Putting on a Good Show: The Stern College Dramatics Society performed The Sound of Music in November, and the Yeshiva College Dramatics Society presented several
performances of A Few Good Men in December. n

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Gottesman Library to Get a Makeover


The architectural firm ROART developed the designs in coordination with
Robert Salpeter, the Universitys director
of planning, design and construction. The
designs were then vetted by the library
professionals and University leadership.
In October, R&S Construction was chosen to complete the project.
The renovations are scheduled to

The library renovations will feature new floor-to-ceiling windows

he Mendel Gottesman Library, research center and student hub at


Yeshiva Universitys Wilf campus,
will soon undergo a major renovation.
Thanks to a generous donation from
David S. Gottesman, former chairman of
the YU Board of Trustees, and his wife,
Ruth, the library is receiving a complete
overhaul that will see the ground level
through the fourth floor revamped. Gottesman, a grandson of Mendel Gottesman, also participated in the planning and
design of the library.
The library was completed in 1969
and has really terrific features, but modes

of study and learning have


changed significantly since
then, said Dean of Libraries
Pearl Berger. The planned
renovation is focused on our
students, with the aim of creating library environments
Additional workspaces will accommodate more students
that support their needs.
begin in early 2015 and are expected to
Times have changed, but the facility
take up to two years. Although signifihas essentially remained the same, said
cant changes will be made, most of the
Vice President for Administrative Serbuilding will remain accessible during
vices Jeffrey Rosengarten. We knew that
this period.
as a leading academic research instituHighlights of the renovation will intion, we needed to focus on updating the
clude the creation of an information comlibrary to meet 21st-century demands.

mons area with over a dozen group study


and project rooms of varying sizes where
students and faculty can collaborate.
Large windows will be installed to allow
more natural light in and a number of different seating areas, additional carrels
and workspaces will be added to accommodate larger numbers of students. The
digital infrastructure will be upgraded
to ensure a high-speed pathway for current and future technology. Additionally,
there will be new bathrooms for men and
women, with handicapped accessible
features. The new design will also ensure
that the library staff will be more accessible to students in areas where more service is required.
When the renovations are complete, the library will become an even
more desirable place for students and
faculty to meet, conduct research and
study, said Dr. Selma Botman, provost
and vice president for academic affairs.
Just as a beit midrash [study hall] is the
centerpiece to Torah study, a library is
the centerpiece to academic study. Libraries deserve to be at the center of universities, and the Gottesman Library will
certainly secure its rightful place as a
focal point of the campus. n

Helping Rabbis Connect With Their Congregants

or Murray and Basheva Goldberg, of


Teaneck, New Jersey, a gift to support Yeshiva University was an opportunity to make a lasting impact on as
many people as possible. When the Goldbergs learned of the pastoral psychology
program at YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS),
where students studying for the rabbinate
learn how to best guide their congregants
and community members through both
celebratory and challenging times, they
knew theyd found their philanthropic
match.
By supporting the pastoral psychology program, were not only affecting the
men sitting in the classrooms at a specific
time, but were also positively impacting everyone those students will go on to
serve as rabbis, said Basheva Goldberg
65YUHS, 69S, who remembers her time
at YU fondly. We also feel confident that
these young men will take the message
of YUits hashkafah [outlook] of Torah
Umaddaand successfully give that message over to so many.
For many in the Jewish community,
their rabbi is the first person they turn to
when seeking guidance on meeting personal challenges or addressing questions
concerning faith, family and friends. The
pastoral psychology program at RIETS
explores some of the basic concepts,

Murray and Basheva Goldberg

principles and requisite skills for rabbis


who seek to be effective counselors and
educators. Topics include mental health
issues, domestic violence and substance
abuse. Training is also offered on how to
develop listening and communication
skills and how to apply the basic types of
psychotherapeutic approaches in a pastoral setting. Even students who are obtaining semicha [rabbinical ordination] but
are not planning to enter the rabbinate
are required to take courses in pastoral
psychology since the fundamentals from

these classes are beneficial to


myriad other professions.
The program is overseen
by Dr. David Pelcovitz, who
holds the Gwendolyn and
Joseph Straus Chair in Psychology and Jewish Education at the Azrieli Graduate
School of Jewish Education
and Administration.
The pastoral psychology program prepares rabbis
for what is increasingly becoming a crucial part of their
jobs: counseling community
members through marital
conflict, psychological difficulties, abuse and other
challenges with wisdom and
compassion, said Dr. Pelcovitz. I think its only fitting the Goldbergs, respected members of the Jewish
community, decided to support this particular program of YU, seeing as how
their two sons are both rabbinic leaders
who exemplify the best in pastoral excellence. Their sensitivity, care and empathy
to those in their Jewish communities are
what we hope to instill in the students of
the pastoral psychology program.
The Goldbergs are proud to support
YU, as they firmly believe in its mandate
to educate students in the best of Jewish

tradition and secular studies to inspire


them to lead meaningful, values-based
lives as Jews and professionals. Were
passionate about YU, as its Torah Umadda
philosophy is how we live our lives, said
Basheva Goldberg. Were happy to help
transmit that message to as many people
as possible.
The Goldbergs chose to dedicate the
program in memory of both their parentsRuth and Sam Aboff zl and Rosa
and Leo Goldberg zland gave it the
name Lev Ledaat, a discerning heart.
This name, based on a biblical phrase,
resonates with the Goldbergs, as theyve
seen in their own childrens professional
lives as rabbis and doctors how important
it is to help people by also using empathy
and compassion.
The Goldbergs have three children,
all of whom graduated from YU: Daniella Hellerstein 94S, a child life specialist who lives in Modiin, Israel; Rabbi
Efrem Goldberg 97YC, 99R, the senior
rabbi of Boca Raton Synagogue in Florida;
and Rabbi Dr. Judah Goldberg 96YUHS,
00YC, an emergency room physician at
Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem and a rabbi in the Advanced Program
in Talmud and Halacha in Migdal Oz of
Yeshivat Har Etzion. The Goldbergs also
have 17 grandchildren. n

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