March 2014 • Adar II 5774 (:‫אין התורה נקנית אלא בחבורה )ברכות סג‬ Volume 48 • Number 1

CJF: Making a Difference Page 10

A Charge to the Semikhah Graduates Page 19

In This Issue
Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary
Richard M. Joel Page 3 News
Remembering Rabbi Lifschitz zt’l, Rabbi Blech’s 80th Birthday, and more.



Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm Joel M. Schrieber


Page 13 Upcoming Events

Pre-Chag HaSemikhah Events for RIETS Alumni and the Community

Rabbi Menachem Penner

Rabbi Kenneth Brander


Rabbi Zevulun Charlop Rabbi Robert Hirt

Page 15 In Pictures

Chanukah on campus, YU Student Medical Ethics Conference, RIETS opening shiur, Rebbetzin’s Yarchei Kallah, Pre-Tu B’Shvat Mishmar in Israel and more


A S S O C I AT E D E A N , C E N T E R F O R T H E J E W I S H F U T U R E

Rabbi Yaakov Glasser

Rabbi Chaim Bronstein

Page 18 Letter to Musmakhim
Rabbi Kenneth Brander

Page 23 From the Dean’s Office
An Interview with Rabbi Menachem Penner


Rabbi Adam Berner • Rabbi Binyamin Blau Rabbi Kenneth Hain • Rabbi Elazar Muskin Rabbi Moshe Neiss • Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Rybak Rabbi Shmuel Silber • Rabbi Perry Tirschwell Rabbi Elchanan Weinbach • Rabbi Howard Zack Rabbi Eliezer Zwickler

Page 19 Divrei Chizuk

A Charge to the Semikhah Graduates By Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff

Page 27 Recently Published Books Page 28 Life-Cycle Events



Editorial Policies
• • • • CHAVRUSA will consider articles and letters for publication. Books authored by musmakhim that are reviewed by musmakhim will be considered for publication as well. Obituaries about and authored by musmakhim will be considered for publication. CHAVRUSA aims to maintain the Hebrew pronunciation style of the author of the article. Transliterations follow the author’s preference i.e. academic, Ashkenazic, modern Hebrew or the like. While we will remain consistent within articles, each author will be afforded to transliterate within his comfort level. CHAVRUSA reserves the right to edit articles received for publication, and will make every effort to show a draft form to the author prior to publication. Contributions may be sent to chavrusamagazine@yu.edu. In addition to CHAVRUSA magazine, articles and divrei Torah may also be submitted for publication in the weekly Rabbinic Alumni e-newsletter. Please e-mail them to rabbinicalumni@yu.edu.

E D I T O R - I N - C H I E F, C H AV R U S A

Rabbi Levi Mostofsky Rabbi Aryeh Czarka
E D I T O R , C H AV R U S A


Ms. Keren Simon

• • •

G R A P H I C S A N D L AYO U T, C H AV R U S A CHAVRUSA is published by the Rabbinic Alumni of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, through the office of Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future. Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future serves as the community service arm of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS). It continues the work of the Max Stern Division of Communal Services which, for over 60 years, has served as one of the premier service organizations for the Jewish community. 5 0 0 W e s t 1 8 5 t h S t . S u i t e 41 3 • N e w Yo r k , N Y 10 0 3 3 21 2 - 9 6 0 - 5 4 0 0 e x t . 6 3 4 6 c h a v r u s a m a g a z i n e @ y u . e d u • w w w. y u . e d u / c j f Editorial contributions and submissions to CHAVRUSA are welcome. This publication accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs. All submissions are subject to editing and are used at the editor’s discretion. Opinions expressed in this publication do not reflect official Seminary and/or University policy.

Rabbi Robert Shur

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Remembering Rabbi Dovid Lifschitz zt’l

Rabbi Blech Honored at 80th Birthday Celebration
Rabbi Benjamin Blech, associate professor of Talmud at Yeshiva University, was honored at a celebration of his 80th birthday on October 30. The event commemorated Rabbi Blech’s 47 years of teaching at the Yeshiva and included remarks by President Richard M. Joel, Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter and Dr. Jonathan Kusznitz in addition to Rabbi Blech. At the ceremony, Rabbi Blech was also presented with an award in recognition of his years of service by Acting Dean of RIETS, Rabbi Menachem Penner. “Rabbi Blech has the capacity in his writing and teaching to speak with such clarity and insight that people of different backgrounds can take profound lessons from him at their own level,” said President Joel. “On behalf of all of us at YU, thank you for your enlightenment to the world. What we do today is celebrate, G-d willing, the first twothirds of your life.” n

On Sunday, June 16, 2013, RIETS and RIETS Rabbinic Alumni hosted almost 300 people to commemorate the 20th yahrtzeit of one of the pillars of the Yeshiva: Rav Dovid Lifschitz, zt’l. The program was held in the Harry Fischel Beit Midrash, referred to as “admas kodesh,” hallowed ground, which Reb Dovid graced for almost 50 years from his seat at the mizrach wall, and where so many talmidim have studied over the years. The majority of the attendees were talmidim of “Reb Dovid,” as he was affectionately known. Also present were many of the Roshei HaYeshiva as well as members of the Lifschitz family from Cleveland. President Richard M. Joel delivered greetings, and Rabbi Zevulun Charlop (‘54R), dean emeritus of RIETS, Rabbi Yitzchok Cohen (‘65R), Rabbi Benjamin Yudin (‘69R) and Rabbi Moshe Weinberger (‘83R) recounted their fond memories and experiences both during their days as talmidim as well as during the many years since. Rabbi Ari Waxman (‘90R), r’am at Yeshivat Shaalvim, RIETS musmakh and grandson of Reb Dovid, closed the program reflecting on the close familial connection with the Yeshiva. A number of speakers reminisced about their years with Reb Dovid, as well as his rich history as a Rosh Yeshiva at RIETS, his years as Suvalker Rav in Europe and the long-time president of Ezras Torah, one of the oldest Jewish charities. The common theme, in addition to Reb Dovid’s lomdus and Torah mastery, was his warmth, presence and charisma as well as his ongoing concern for the welfare of his many, many talmidim long after they left his classroom. A rousing rendition of his signature nigun, “Tzavey!” brought the event to a close. n

Rabbi Benjamin Blech is presented with an award by RIETS Acting Dean Rabbi Menachem Penner

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Upholding the Art of Chazanut
Once a week for the past seven years, New York State Supreme Court Justice Martin Schulman has made the trip from his courthouse chambers in Jamaica, Queens to Yeshiva University’s Philip and Sarah Belz School of Jewish Music on YU’s Washington Heights Wilf Campus. Joined in a classroom by students who run the gamut from undergraduates and aspiring rabbis to doctors, lawyers, security guards and bus drivers, Schulman studies nusach ha-tefillah and the theories, music and techniques of chazanut, a critical Jewish skill that is fast being forgotten. But it’s not just about singing: at its core, chazanut is about channeling the voice of a community. That skill is the main emphasis at Belz, a division of RIETS. Traditionally, cantors have played a central role in synagogue life, where their responsibilities often included much more than the soulful and resonant chanting of prayer services in accordance with communal custom for which they are usually known, such as teaching children to read Hebrew or acting as a scribe. In recent decades, however, their presence in shuls across the United States has become increasingly rare, often limited to conducting services at special times such as the upcoming High Holidays, as fewer and fewer communities have the resources to employ a cantor full time. With this change, the art of chazanut, its history and its customs are at risk of being lost to time, as fewer and fewer people are trained for the role. “Belz seeks to preserve Jewish musical tradition and counter the shortage of professionally educated cantors and ba’alei tefillah by providing courses in every aspect of Jewish prayer and music to prepare students to serve communities across the world,” said Cantor Bernard Beer, the school’s director

Cantor Joseph Malovany provides instruction to Judge Martin Schulman

since 1985. “Its holistic curriculum includes not only courses in nusach hatefilla and chazanut, but also in biblical cantillation, shofar blowing, choral and instrumental ensemble, congregational singing and group leading—all designed to give cantors a full appreciation for their role in their communities and all the skills they need to fulfill it.” Over the last few years, however, cantors and rabbis in training have been joined at the Belz school by another kind of student—the layman, like Schulman, seeking to keep the cantorial tradition alive. “In any classroom, we have students who take our courses because they want to go into the field, undergraduates or semikha students looking to round out their education, and also the baaleh batim who want to contribute to the shul davening,” said Beer. “They may come to us because they want to be able to daven properly for the amud for their parents’ yahrtzeits or even just to know a basic mincha, maariv or shacharit, and they usually end up taking it very seriously.” According to Beer, there’s a good reason even professionals not interested in a cantorial career are coming to Belz

to get grounded in the basics: there’s no other place to learn it. “In the old days, people knew how to daven just by coming to the synagogue and listening to the baalei tefillah,” he said. “That generation has dwindled and gone. People don’t have that knowledge anymore.” That’s one of the reasons Schulman began attending classes at Belz seven years ago. “A lot of people who learn in so much depth about everything else in Judaism don’t know basic nusach anymore,” he said. “But I believe tefillah has to be done in a specific way. The nusach that we’ve inherited conveys not only the spirit of the particular prayers but also of the day on which they’re said.” Zachary Bienenfeld, a recent Yeshiva College graduate now working as a technology analyst at JP Morgan Chase, agreed. As a student, he began taking classes at Belz not with a cantorial career in mind, but with the goal of being able to better lead prayer services. Bienenfeld so enjoyed the classes he took as an undergraduate that he is continuing them this semester, post-graduation. He has also begun leading High Holidays services in the Fleetwood Synagogue in Mount Vernon, NY, where he follows

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the Belz nusach to the note. “The nusach replicates the European style of davening and hearing it takes you back to the roots of your Jewish identity in Europe,” he said. “Belz is the only school in America that teaches it—that teaches the musical component which most people really don’t know about.” That European style isn’t the only one offered at Belz. Students can also take Sephardic tefillah, classes that samples different styles of davening from around the world, and a course about the history of Jewish music and prayer. According to Cantor Beer, that history has undergone a sea change over the last century. “A cantor prays on behalf of the congregation—his goal is to bring their prayers to heaven on the wings of his song,” Beer said. “But the responsibility now is also to inspire the people, to get them to sing along.” He believes that trend began 40 to 50 years ago, when individual participation became more important to communities; before that, many shuls had choirs that sang along instead. Rabbi David Schwezoff, a native of Budapest, Hungary, takes the responsibility to move others with his davening especially seriously. “Even during my high school years I was asked to daven for the amud quite frequently, since not many people in my community knew how to do it,” he said. “But when I do something, I want to do it my best.” Schwezoff initially came to the United States to study at Yeshiva Shaarei Torah in Rockland County, NY, but he was also searching for a place to learn nusach and real cantorial techniques to take back to his shul in Hungary. When he discovered Belz, he was ecstatic. “What’s wonderful about the Belz school is that anyone can give you a CD at a Jewish bookstore about nusach, any cantor could record davening for you, but to get the spirit and understanding of how to stand there in front of Hashem and have wonderful people who want you to help them push through the gates to Hashem and become more involved in the davening—that’s what Belz teaches you,” Schwezoff said. “They impress upon you what it means to be a shaliach tzibor, how someone in that role must feel and behave, understanding the meaning and background of the prayer.” Schwezoff is now a full-time cantor in one of the largest communities in Budapest, where his duties include everything from teaching young children to read Hebrew to translating new siddurim and machzorim into Hungarian. Schwezoff also recently launched a European Cantors Association, where he is an executive member. “[Distinguished Professor of Liturgical Music] Cantor Joseph Malovany came to the launch of our organization and gave a few classes,” he recalled. “Even though it was a few

Yeshiva College graduate Zachary Bienenfeld continues his studies at Belz

Rabbi David Schwezoff and Cantor Bernard Beer

years after we’d studied together, he remembered the way I davened so well that he was able to come up to me and say, ‘I think you should sing this piece for the group and show them how you worked on it in Belz. It is a very personal school that way—they really know what fits you best and always seek your professional and spiritual growth.” In Schulman’s case, that meant adapting a special niggun passed on from Malovany’s own teacher, Shlomo Ravitch, which Schulman uses to daven Shabbat Mussaf for his mother’s yahrtzeit each year. “Instead of just using the general nusach, I’m able to incorporate certain things from my Belz classes to make the davening meaningful,” he said. He also enjoys the diversity of his fellow classmates: “I may be a judge and 65 years old, but the camaraderie in the class, the mix of professionals like me and the college-age students who are there, really brings me back to my own college experience.” At the end of the day, however, they’re all there for the same reason. “When people walk into a synagogue they expect to hear a certain sound, and that sound is an aura that envelopes them in a particular holiday, event or prayer,” said Cantor Sherwood Goffin, outreach coordinator at Belz. “Our job here is to uphold the musical heritage of our synagogue and our people.” n

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Sephardic Community Thrives on Campus
The Sephardic Studies Program at YU, co-founded by Dr. Herbert C. Dobrinsky (‘57R), YU vice president of university affairs, started out with just seven students in 1964 and has steadily flourished and expanded over the last five decades. Today, the Sephardic Community Program (SCP) boasts more than 300 undergraduate men and women and serves an additional 100 graduate students, including a dozen rabbinical students. At the time, “we didn’t feel satisfied that the Sephardic students who came to YU left with the necessary skills and didn’t benefit to the maximum in terms of learning about their own traditions,” said Dobrinsky. That is no longer the case. “The Sephardic world is multifaceted and YU is the only place in North America that has such diversity of Sephardic students and makes a concerted effort to educate them in both secular and Jewish studies, while giving special appreciation to their Sephardic heritage,” said Rabbi Moshe Tessone (‘05R), the program’s director since 2001 and a faculty member at YU and its Philip and Sarah Belz School of Jewish Music. “This began with Dr. Dobrinsky’s vision nearly a half century ago and now we have an opportunity to do better than we’ve ever done before.” Over the last few years, demographics have evolved, with a dramatic increase in the number of Sephardic students attending Orthodox day schools that serve as primary feeders to YU. “The synergies are potentially explosive as the number of Sephardic students at YU grows,” said Rabbi Tessone. “There was a sense that these incoming Sephardic students needed to feel as if they had a home at YU, where they would be able to grow not just academically, but also on a religious, cultural and spiritual level. We want to attract them to YU—students who we train to become future leaders of the Sephardic world—and give them the feeling that they could have a great experience here at Yeshiva.” To augment these efforts, Rabbi Simon Basalely (‘10R) was recently appointed as the Edmond J. Safra Sgan Mashgiach for the Sephardic campus community at YU, a newly established position. He serves as a role model and mentor for students, running minyanim in the Sephardic Beit Midrash and coordinating Shabbat events, Torah lectures and other programs that enhance and lend warmth to the religious and

Rabbi Eliyahu Ben Haim, Rosh Yeshiva, RIETS

Rabbi Simon Basalely, the Edmond J. Safra Sgan Mashgiach for the Sephardic community, learns with students in the Sephardic Beit Midrash

cultural environment of the Sephardic community. “I feel privileged to work with a group of such wonderful, energetic students, aspiring to learn and to take advantage of the opportunities to further connect with their heritage,” said Rabbi Basalely, a graduate of Yeshiva College, Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, RIETS and the Beren Kollel Elyon. “We are planning an on-campus Shabbaton for students to spend Shabbat together enjoying Sephardic foods and singing Sephardic pizmonim immersed in the Sephardic liturgical tradition, while at the same time, spending Shabbat in their Yeshiva.” Rabbi Basalely is already making a positive impact in his new role. “Rabbi Basalely is the person who students can turn to after classroom hours, to help give them the spiritual and religious guidance, that they need beyond academics,” said Rabbi Tessone said. “He is there for students in the capacity of a campus

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rabbi to provide hashgacha ruchanit on an ongoing basis. Our goal is to make the Sephardic Beit Midrash a warm spiritual haven right here on campus.” For Charles Saka, a sophomore at the Sy Syms School of Business majoring in business management, some highlights of the SCP include the weekly Sephardic Pizmonim Club and his daily shiur with Rabbi Eliyahu Ben Haim, Sephardic Rosh Yeshiva Chairholder of the Maxwell R. Maybaum Chair in Talmud and Sephardic Halakhic Codes. “Rabbi Tessone has elevated the Sephardic life on campus with his weekly course in Sephardic hazzanut,” said Saka. “Rabbi Basalely has also been a great source of daily inspiration and spirituality with our minyanim and his divrei Torah

Sephardic Community Program celebrated the dedication of a new Sefer Torah, donated by Mr. Benjamin M. Aminoff in memory of his nephew Mr. Sam Aminoff a”h

and nightly shiurim in the Sephardic Bet Midrash.” n

RIETS Musmakh Rabbi Ephraim Meth Celebrates Siyum HaShas at YU
The new semester is underway at Yeshiva University—and it began with the celebration of a milestone in Torah learning. Rabbi Ephraim Meth, a 2012 graduate of YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary who continues his studies in the beit midrash as a RIETS Kollel Fellow, shared his most recent completion of Shas with the entire YU community at a siyum in the beit midrash of the Jacob and Dreizel Glueck Center for Jewish Studies on January 22. Rabbi Meth has led a daf yomi shiur as well as other shiurim at YU and also authored three seforim on Talmudic topics. He chose to celebrate his accomplishment at YU because of the role the Yeshiva here has comprised in his learning growth and development. “I wanted to show other students how far you can come at Yeshiva,” he said. “I don’t think you get the warmth, the expertise and the availability of such great Roshei Yeshiva and chaveirim anywhere else. This is a wonderful place to learn and I grew a tremendous amount here.” Especially influential to Rabbi Meth’s learning have been Rabbi Michael Rosensweig, Rosh Yeshiva and Nathan and Perel Schupf Chair of Talmud at RIETS, and Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Rosh Yeshiva at RIETS. “I owe a lot to them in terms of my methodology and curriculum—they were formational,” said Rabbi Meth. “On behalf of the entire Yeshiva, I want to thank Rabbi Meth for setting the tone for this new zman” said Rabbi Menachem Penner, acting dean of RIETS, who spoke at the siyum. “There are no greater accomplishments than accomplishments in Torah learning. This is a testament to learning for learning’s sake. And while it is wonderful to be able to celebrate a siyum at the end of a

Rabbi Ephraim Meth

semester, it is even more special to be able to do so at the beginning when the accomplishments of one talmid can help inspire so many others.” n

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Educating the Educators
Rabbi Matan Wexler (‘10R), a sixth-grade teacher at the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County, believes that a great educator is never done learning. “My goal is to make a difference in Jewish education, and I’m constantly looking for ways to grow and improve my craft, so I can have a positive impact on my students,” he said. With four years of classroom experience under his belt, Wexler was eager to learn of his acceptance to the Legacy Heritage YUTeach Fellowship, a program from Yeshiva University’s Institute for University-School Partnership (YU School Partnership), geared toward Judaic studies educators who have been teaching for at least two years and are looking to advance through unique professional development opportunities. “It seemed like an ideal way to meet other teachers, see their perspectives and learn how they grapple with similar teaching challenges, while also gaining new skills and techniques to enhance my own teaching,” said Wexler. And so far, he’s been right. At the end of June, Wexler, a graduate of YU’s Sy Syms School of Business, RIETS and the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, joined 13 other teachers at the Glen Cove Mansion on Long Island for a two-day conference hosted for the Fellows by the YU School Partnership. The inaugural cohort includes educators of varying backgrounds and experience who teach at over a dozen Jewish day schools and high schools in eight states around the county, and were each nominated for the fellowship by an administrator from their respective schools. “In selecting our Fellows, we were looking for teachers who are already successful and want to excel,

with a disposition to growth and an ability to reflect,” said Shira Heller, program administrator at the YUSchool Partnership and coordinator of the fellowship. Most schools offer professional development to their teachers, but may lack the resources to provide long-term study opportunities. “Teachers want to grow and are eager to participate in a forum to talk about their work,” said Heller. “The fellowship is designed to give teachers the opportunity to do indepth learning on a topic of their choice, develop a cohort of like-minded teachers and create a supportive network of people dedicated to both their own growth and facilitating the growth of their peers.” During the year, Fellows will complete classes online, taught and facilitated by experts in the field. They can choose to enroll in either a 30-week certificate program or a series of shorter modules on varied topics, including differentiated instruction, blended learning, educational technology and behavior support.

The June conference allowed the Fellows to meet and bond over collaborative activities and discussions. “Learning from peers who are in the trenches with you is invaluable,” said Rabbi Avrohom Drandoff, a teacher at Columbus Torah Academy in Columbus, Ohio, who has a master’s degree in school counseling from Johns Hopkins University. In the past, Drandoff participated in the YU Lead Leadership Development program, and was anticipating a similarly positive experience this time around. “I learned an enormous amount and my hope for the YUTeach Fellowship is to have the unique opportunity to compare notes with fellow teachers who are equally as ambitious and driven as I am to raise the bar of Judaic studies throughout the country.” Dr. John D’Auria, a former school superintendent and current president of Teachers21, delivered the conference’s keynote address, “Developing a Growth Mindset,” an interactive discussion about teaching children to develop resilience

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when facing a challenge. One activity required the Fellows to work together in small groups to design a model lesson. Another component of the program was a discussion of dilemmas of practice—a teaching challenge one has encountered—which the Fellows submitted before the conference and later presented to the cohort to receive suggestions on how to best resolve the issue. “I am blown away by how much I was able to take in during our time together,” said Fellow Jaclyn Sova, an alumna of Stern College for Women and Azrieli, who teaches at the Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls in Hewlett Bay Park, NY. “Being able to plan lessons with teachers I barely knew and working through dilemmas with people I just met was an incredible learning experience for me. Even now, days after, I am still thinking about some of the issues raised during our time together.” Other Fellows appreciated the support they received when sharing their teaching challenges. “There was a real sense of camaraderie among the Fellows, stemming from our mutual desire to grow as teachers, and I gained a lot of chizuk from knowing that I am not alone in many of my struggles,” said Liora Wittlin, a Stern graduate who now teaches at the Margolin Hebrew Academy in Memphis, Tenn. In addition to the June meeting, the Fellows will convene two more times during the year; in March and once again in June. They will also participate in Google Hangout group discussions, where they will continue to help each other work through their dilemmas of practice. Other parts of the program will allow Fellows to observe other teachers throughout the year and to record and watch videos of themselves teaching. “After completing the program, Fellows will be poised to serve as teacher leaders—prepared to impact the field and act as catalysts of innovation and progress within their schools,” said Heller. “The fellowship paves the way for teachers to cultivate their own vision of educational excellence and gives them the framework and support to actualize that vision.” n

RIETS Launches Multi-Volume Series on Jewish Philosophy
RIETS launches its hashkafah series with the publication of Rabbi J. David Bleich’s work, The Philosophical Quest of Philosophy, Ethics, Law and Halakhah, a collection of essays on a variety of topics relating to Jewish philosophical thought. In the author’s preface, Rabbi Bleich, who serves as a Rosh Yeshiva and the Rosh Kollel Le-Hora’ah at RIETS, professor of law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and Herbert and Florence Tenzer Professor of Law and Ethics at Yeshiva University, explains that the essays run the gamut, highlighting the different value-driven principles of faith that define the essence of Jewish belief, philosophical concepts reflected in the halachic system, Jewish responsibilities in a non-Jewish society as well as ethical values as they relate to resolution of societal problems. “Rabbi Bleich is recognized as an international authority in both Jewish law and Jewish thought, and our students are privileged to be the beneficiaries of his wisdom and erudition,” said Rabbi Yona Reiss (‘02R), RIETS Rosh Yeshiva, director of the RIETS Press and Av Beth Din of the Chicago Rabbinical Council. “We are exceedingly grateful to Rabbi Bleich for sharing his first-rate scholarship in Jewish philosophy with the broader community. It is our hope that his clear and cogent manner of presentation will edify scholars and laypeople alike.” The RIETS Hashkafah Series includes several volumes authored by RIETS Roshei Yeshiva that will present detailed and sophisticated analysis and elucidation of the principles of Jewish belief. “The practice of Judaism is premised upon its foundational creeds, and the belief system of Judaism is given an

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audible voice through the observance of the commandments of the Torah. It is a fitting expression of Yeshiva University’s mission that with the inauguration of this new series, we now present multi-volume expressions of studies of both realms in tandem,” said Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman (‘98R), executive editor of the RIETS Press. The RIETS Hashkafah Series is the newest addition to the growing list of innovative and substantial joint projects undertaken by Yeshiva University and Koren Publishers Jerusalem. Over the last three years, the partnership has released a 20th anniversary edition of Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm’s (‘51R) masterwork, Torah Umadda; the first volume of Rabbi Lamm’s Derashot LeDorot series; a multi-volume set on topics of contemporary Jewish law, authored by Yeshiva University’s Roshei Yeshiva; and two volumes of the Mitokh Ha-Ohel series, a collection of original essays on the parashiyot and haftarot authored by rabbis and professors from every division of Yeshiva University. The next volume of the contemporary Jewish law series is due out in early 2014, and additional volumes of the RIETS Hashkafah Series are scheduled to follow in late 2014. n

Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future: Making a Difference in the Community
Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future supports rabbinic leaders with an array of conferences, seminars and online programming. Our online platform, rabbanan.org serves nearly 1,300 rabbis around the world, providing a wealth of resources for drashot, shiurim and to more effectively lead their communities. Recently, 35 rabbis from around the country attended our Yarchei Kallah which was hosted in Miami Beach. In November, over 100 rebbetzins participated in this year’s Rebbetzin Esther Rosenblatt Yarchei Kallah. In addition to continuing education and support for the rabbinate, Center for the Jewish Future programs around the country and the world promote leadership development and community engagement. These programs range from working with underprivileged youth in Israel, to rebuilding homes in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, to engaging lay leaders throughout the country to help strengthen their shuls, schools and communities. At Counterpoint Winter Camp ( January ’14), 38 students spent their winter break running English and art programming in development towns

Winter Service Mission 2012, Kharkov, Ukraine

Jewish Life Coast-to-Coast, 2014

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in the Negev. Having just completed its ninth year, Counterpoint Israel has grown to include four schools, working in conjunction with local Israeli municipalities and the Israeli Ministry of Education to increase self-esteem and teach English language to 850 underprivileged youth. Working in the Ukraine with students ages 16 to 26, the Service Learning Mission emphasized the importance of what it means to be Jewish in the 21st century. This program ( January ’14), made up of 20 YU students, imparted a first-hand understanding of the welfare challenges and identity struggles facing the Jewish community of Kharkov, Ukraine following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Closer to home, 20 YU students participated in the Sandy Relief Mission ( January ’14) with NECHAMA, a disaster relief organization, in a four-day mission to Long Island rebuilding homes. Jewish Life Coast-to-Coast ( January ’14) assisted students in developing their own educational philosophy. During this program, 24 students traveled to Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo and Detroit for 10 days to learn about Jewish communal work, rabbinic leadership and education. The students ran educational programs in the local day schools and interacted with community klei and lay kodesh. The experience was transformative and informative, and many of these students have decided to now pursue careers in avodat hakodesh. Approximately 300 students traveled

to 60 communities across North America to participate in the Schreiber Torah Tours this past Simchat Torah, bringing Torah learning and joyful spirit to small communities; nearly the same number of students will be sent on Torah Tours to many of these communities for Shavuot. In the summer of 2014, approximately 30 students will participate in Summer Learning and Internship Programs across the country, where they will take part in a variety of internships during the day and infuse their respective Jewish communities with Torah learning at night. The communities provide internship opportunities in venues ranging from prestigious medical facilities to business technology companies. The 27 semikha students in our School Kollel Fellowship spend a year immersed in a paid fellowship opportunity utilizing YU’s partnership with local Jewish schools, exploring the field of Jewish education. By giving students a true classroom experience, complete with mentorship from both the

school and YU, they can quickly build insight and experience to propel their careers forward as Jewish educators. Two hundred participants attended the Medical Ethics Society Conference in October 2013. The Medical Ethics Society is a student organization mentored and incubated in the CJF. And finally, the Community Leadership Initiative (CLI), now in its second year, engages 17 talented lay leaders from nine Midwestern cities including Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, Kansas City, KS, Milwaukee and Omaha, who will be engaging in intense leadership development and training over a sixmonth period. The group meets at YU for two days in the winter and two days in the spring, while meeting virtually each week in an online environment and applying their skills to strengthen their local shuls, schools and communities. n To learn more about these programs, visit: www.yu.edu/cjf.

“The Yarchei Kallah was an incredible experience that allowed us to reconnect with Rebbeim and Chaverim, learn from one another and re-energize ourselves. We are blessed to have a Yeshiva, Rebbeim and mentors who stand by our side and are there to support us when we are out in the field.” Rabbi Jay Weinstein (‘09R)
Rabbi, Young Israel of East Brunswick

C H AV R U S A • A D A R I I 57 74


Yeshiva University-RIETS acknowledge the members of the Elef L’Mateh Society
Rabbi Elliot Aberbach
Lakewood, NJ Denver, CO

Rabbi Adam Felsenthal
New York, NY Brooklyn, NY

Rabbi Fred Hyman
New Haven, CT Stamford, CT Edison, NJ

Rabbi Abraham Lieberman
Los Angeles, CA

Rabbi Irwin Peyser z”l
Atlantic Beach, NY Teaneck, NJ

Rabbi Yechiel Shaffer
New York, NY Dewitt, NY

Rabbi Daniel Alter Rabbi Hayyim Angel
New York, NY

Rabbi Jay Fenster Rabbi David Fine
Modiin, Israel

Rabbi David Israel Rabbi Gedaliah Jaffe Rabbi Avery Joel
Cleveland, OH Montreal, QC

Rabbi Meir Lipschitz
Stony Brook, NY Bronx, NY

Rabbi Yale Port Rabbi Adir Posy
Beverly Hills, CA Brooklyn, NY Passaic, NJ

Rabbi Evan Shore Rabbi Andrew Sicklick
Woodmere, NY

Rabbi Eytan London Rabbi Haskel Lookstein
New York, NY Riverdale, NY Newport, RI

Rabbi Hyman Arbesfeld
Kew Gardens, NY New York, NY

Rabbi Joel Finkelstein
Memphis, TN

Rabbi Mark Press Rabbi Daniel Price Rabbi Myron Rakowitz
Brooklyn, NY Chicago, IL Efrat, Israel

Rabbi Danny Shulman
Philadelphia, PA New York, NY

Rabbi Elli Ausubel Rabbi Shalom Baum
New Milford, NJ New York, NY Hillcrest, NY

Rabbi Daniel Friedman
Edmonton, Canada Belle Habor, NY Houston, TX

Rabbi Howard Joseph Rabbi Josh Joseph
Lawrence, NY

Rabbi Asher Lopatin Rabbi Marc Mandel Rabbi Abraham Mann
New York, NY

Rabbi Nisson E. Shulman Rabbi Shmuel Silber
Baltimore, MD Bergenfield, NJ

Rabbi Aaron Fruchter Rabbi Barry Gelman Rabbi Gershon C. Gewirtz
Brookline, MA

Rabbi Eitan Bendavid Rabbi Julius Berman Rabbi Adam Berner
New Milford, NJ Cleveland, OH Teaneck, NJ

Rabbi Peter Kahn
Brookline, MA Lawrence, NY

Rabbi Yona Reiss Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Rabbi Ari Rockoff
West Hempstead, NY Overland Park, KS Jerusalem, Israel

Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky Rabbi Chaim Strauchler
Toronto, Canada

Rabbi Milton Kain Rabbi Alan Kalinsky
Los Angeles, CA

Rabbi Leonard Matanky
West Rogers Park, IL Lido Beach, NY

Rabbi Yaakov Gibber
Boca Raton, FL Passaic, NJ

Rabbi Daniel Mehlman

Rabbi Lawrence Teitelman
New Hyde Park, NY Monsey, NY Teaneck, NJ

Rabbi Binyamin Blau Rabbi Kenneth Brander Rabbi Aaron Brody
Flushing, NY Atlanta, GA

Rabbi Yaakov Glasser Rabbi Ozer Glickman
Teaneck, NJ

Rabbi Daniel Rockoff Rabbi Walter Rosenbaum Rabbi Yitzchak Rosenblum

Rabbi Moshe D. Tendler Rabbi Perry Tirschwell Rabbi Kalman Topp
Beverly Hills, CA Flushing, NY

Rabbi Efrem Goldberg
Boca Raton, FL Baltimore, MD Englewood, NJ

Rabbi Michael Broyde Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald
New York, NY Bronx, NY

Rabbi Shraga Goldenhersh Rabbi Shmuel Goldin Rabbi Marvin H. Goldman
Silver Spring, MD Jerusalem, Israel New York, NY New York, NY Omaha, NE

West Hempstead, NY

Rabbi Martin Rosenfeld
Fair Lawn, NJ

Rabbi Daniel Turkel Rabbi Norman Avinoam Walles
Brooklyn, NY

Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel

Rabbi Azriel Rosner Rabbi Sol Roth
New York, NY Passaic, NJ

Rabbi Zevulun Charlop Rabbi Abraham Cooper
Los Angeles, CA Oakland, CA

Rabbi Elchanan Weinbach
Philadelphia, PA

Rabbi Aaron Goldscheider Rabbi Sheldon Goldsmith Rabbi Meir Goldwicht Rabbi Jonathan Gross Rabbi Kenneth Hain
Lawrence, NY

Rabbi Shlomo Rybak Rabbi Benjamin Samuels
Newton, MA

Rabbi Jay Weinstein
East Brunswick, NJ Plainview, NY Passiac, NJ

Rabbi Judah Dardik Rabbi Michael Davies
Charleston, SC Hollywood, FL Riverdale, NY Merrick, NY

Rabbi Elie Weissman Rabbi Yaakov Werblowsky Rabbi David Wilensky
Allentown, PA

Rabbi Mark Karasick
Teaneck, NJ Passaic, NJ

Rabbi Gary Menchel
West Hempstead, NY Passaic, NJ

Rabbi Hershel Schachter
New York, NY

Rabbi Edward Davis Rabbi Herbert Dobrinsky Rabbi Ira Ebbin Rabbi Simon Eckstein
Jerusalem, Israel Skokie, IL

Rabbi Zev Karpel Rabbi Aaron R. Katz
Chicago, IL

Rabbi Yaakov Mintz Rabbi Shalom Morris
New York, NY

Rabbi Herschel Schacter z”l
Riverdale, NY Teaneck, NJ

Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld
Flushing, NY

Rabbi Shimon Wolf
Kew Gardens, NY Columbus, OH

Rabbi Neil Hecht
Brookline, MA

Rabbi Yaakov Kermaier
New York, NY

Rabbi Jonathan Morgenstern
Scarsdale, NY

Rabbi Howard Zack Rabbi Eliezer Zwickler
West Orange, NJ

Rabbi Seth Zvi Herman
Mevaseret Zion, Israel New York, NY

Rabbi Barry Kislowicz
Cleveland, OH Flushing, NY

Rabbi Elazar Muskin
Los Angeles, CA Riverdale, NY Hong Kong

Rabbi Max N. Schreier
Brooklyn, NY

Rabbi Zvi Engel Rabbi Reuven Escott
Bergenfield, NJ

Rabbi Basil Herring Rabbi Shlomo Hochberg
Jamaica Estates, NY Brooklyn, NY

Rabbi Isaiah Koenigsberg Rabbi Jonah Kupietzky
New York, NY New York, NY Austin, TX

Rabbi Moshe Neiss Rabbi Asher Oser Rabbi Marvin B. Pachino
Jerusalem, Israel Holliswood, NY

Highland Park, NJ

Rabbi Ronald Schwarzberg

Anonymous Anonymous Anonymous Anonymous

Rabbi Elie Farkas
Sydney, Australia Yonkers, NY

Rabbi Jacob Hoenig Rabbi Barry Holzer
Woodmere, NY Flushing, NY

Rabbi Norman Lamm Rabbi Eliezer Langer Rabbi Zalman Levine
Teaneck, NJ

Rabbi Ari Segal
Los Angeles, CA Newton, MA

Rabbi Tobias Feinerman Rabbi Arnold Feldman
Philadelphia, PA

Rabbi Gershon Segal Rabbi Sion Setton
New York, NY

Rabbi Menachem Penner

Rabbi Emanuel Holzer

As of 3/7/2014

Rabbinic Alumni Celebrate the Chag HaSemikhah

Chag HaSemikhah Convocation
Sunday, March 23, 2014 | Noon | ‫כ“ה אדר ב תשע“ד‬
yu.edu/chag Pre-Chag HaSemikhah Chomer LiDrush Conference Call Thursday, March 6, 2014 • 12:00 p.m. “The Impact & Importance of Talmud Torah, Our Yeshiva and Our Musmakhim” Presenters: Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff & Rabbi Menachem Penner Special Lecture for all Rabbinic Alumni Wednesday, March 19, 2014 • 8 p.m. Shenk Shul (560 West 185th Street, New York, NY 10033) “Rabbinic Leadership in the 21st Century” Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Kressel and Ephrat Family University Professor of Jewish Thought, Yeshiva University Celebrating the 30th and 40th Chag HaSemikhah Anniversary Groups Wednesday, March 19, 2014 • 6:30 p.m. Celebrating the 50th Chag HaSemikhah Anniversary Group Sunday, March 23, 2014 • 10:00 a.m.

‫חג הסמיכה תשע“ד‬

Make a gift of $1,000 to help reach a goal of $360,000 by the upcoming Chag HaSemikhah. To join the Elef L’Mateh Society, please email Eleftorah@yu.edu or call 646.592.4022. www.yutorah.org/elef
C H AV R U S A • A D A R I I 57 74


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C H AV R U S A • A D A R I I 57 74


In Pictures

Chanukah 5774

Leil Iyun


C H AV R U S A • A D A R I I 57 74


In Pictures

RIETS Opening Shiur
August 26, 2013 • ‫כ‘ אלול תשע“ג‬

Medical Ethics Society Annual Conference
October 20, 2013 • ‫טז‘ חשון תשע“ד‬

Rebbetzin’s Yarchei Kallah
November 11-12, 2013 • ‫ח‘ כסלו – ט‘ כסלו תשע“ד‬

C H AV R U S A • A D A R I I 57 74


In Pictures

Tribute to Rav Ovadia Yosef zt’l
November 24, 2013 • ‫כ“א כסלו תשע“ד‬

Pre- Tu B’shvat Mishmar with Rabbi Moshe Weinberger (’83R)
Israel • January 9, 2014 • ‫ח‘ שבט תשע“ד‬

Rabbi’s Yarchei Kallah

February 17- 19, 2014 • ‫י“ז – י“ט אדר א‘ תשע“ד‬

C H AV R U S A • A D A R I I 57 74


Letter to Musmakhim
Distinguished Rabbinic Alumni: As we celebrate the Chag HaSemikhah I thought it appropriate to address the newest chaveirim of RIETS Rabbinic Alumni, with a message I believe is relevant for all of us. Byedidut, Rabbi Kenneth Brander (‘86R) Vice President for University and Community Life David Mitzner Dean, Center for the Jewish Future Yeshiva University
s you mark this very auspicious occasion of your receiving your semichah, I would like to wish you a mazal tov on behalf of all of us at RIETS and Yeshiva University. This year the Yeshiva is studying Mesechet Shabbat. The Gemara discusses the idea of carrying between the reshut hayachid and the reshut ha-rabim. A concept that emanates from this sugya is that the private and the public domains represent two different spheres, and the prohibition of carrying from one to the other involves treating them as one domain. As you begin your personal journey as leaders, I invite you to recognize that there are both private and public domains in community life. It will be your responsibility as a community leader— whether as rav of a shul, head of a school, chaplain in a hospital or the army, or as a lay leader—to negotiate and navigate


between these two separate provinces. You will be spending much time in the domain of the reshut ha-yachid. Within the parameters of halacha, we must be accommodating to the individual who is in crisis or searching for a personal spiritual experience. And, sometimes in order to insure the individual’s personal need, we need to make accommodations for the particular family or individual. This is necessary in order to effectuate meaningful and appropriate change for particular members of your community. Yet while being accommodating in the private domain, there is another domain in which the community leader must regularly engage: the public domain. In this sphere, you will be called upon to insure community standards that model fidelity to our mesorah and integrity to ethics. Leaders must communicate, through a consistent “body language,” an

embrace of halachic and ethical norms and mores. While this paradigm may seem contradictory, it is actually the dialectic posture that is the sine qua non of rabbinic leadership. You are entering a world that prefers black and white to grey, texture and color; an Orthodox community that sometimes may minimize the need to be sensitive in the private domain or is sometimes no longer committed to the ideals of normative mesorah. May each of you be blessed to engage in the leadership roles afforded to you with nuance and balance. Please always know that we at the Yeshiva, your rabbeim and community professionals, will be available to help you. We wish you much hatzlachah in your future endeavors. n

C H AV R U S A • A D A R I I 57 74


Divrei Chizuk
they assisted in the establishment of the Jerusalem branch of the Mir Yeshiva. The majority emigrated from Shanghai to the United States, where they served as the nucleus for the Brooklyn branch of Mir. Formally known as Mirrer Yeshiva Central Institute, it began to function in 1946. After their initial adjustment to the American reality, many of the older students began to seek employment. Most accepted appointments to the faculties of the Jewish day schools, which were also referred to as yeshivot ketanot (junior yeshivot). This educational system was now entering a period of rapid expansion with the onset of the renaissance of Torah Judaism on the post-World War II American scene. Two Mirrer émigrés reached Yeshiva Salanter. Rabbi Gershon Yankelewitz was my seventh-grade rebbe during the school year 1949-1950, while Rabbi Henoch Fishman was my rebbe for the eighth grade the next year. Both Rabbis Fishman and Yankelewitz were

A Charge to the Semikha Graduates
Rabbi Dr. Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff (‘61R)
Professor of Rabbinic Literature, Yeshiva University’s Caroline and Joseph S. Gruss Institute in Jerusalem

here is no more sacred calling in life than that of a rabbi. Whether he is a pulpit spiritual leader or a rebbe in the classroom setting, the future of the Torah people is enhanced by his accomplishments. The Beit ha-Levi, Rabbi Yosef Dovber Soloveichik, declared in the introduction to his volume of responsa literature that the Torah student is sanctified by his studies. Parchment becomes holy when the “written Torah” is inscribed upon it. Similarly, the student of the Oral Law is sanctified by its study. His very being is transformed into an expression of holiness. This spark of sanctity must be kindled in our students, disciples and congregants. In his eulogy for Rabbi Chaim Heller, my rebbe muvhak, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik questioned the formulation of a prayer which we recite three times a day. In the shemoneh esreh amidah we beseech the Almighty’s compassion for “the righteous, the pious, the elders of Your people the house of Israel, and the remnant of their scholars.” The Rav asked why only the fourth noun


is proceeded by an adjective, “The remnant of their scholars”? Why does the blessing stress the remnant of the generation of yesteryear? It would have been sufficient to simply state “and the scholars”! The Rav explained that the transmission of Torah and Tradition is linked to the intermingling of the generations. At all times there are Jews who strive to be righteous, pious, and elders. They will only attain these noble goals if they can study and observe the Torah gestalt of the previous era. This will link them to the “chain of tradition.” Only through the guidance of the “remnant of scholars” will they succeed in their quests. I recall my own life experience with this unique “remnant.” In a recent publication, I described this encounter as a Bronx youngster studying at Yeshiva Salanter when it converged with the “Shanghai remnant” after World War II. With the cessation of hostilities and the conclusion of war, the Mirrer disciples now confronted the vexing decision of where to emigrate. A basic core chose to join the emerging State of Israel where

At all times there are Jews who strive to be righteous, pious, and elders. They will only attain these noble goals if they can study and observe the Torah gestalt of the previous era. This will link them to the “chain of tradition.”

The author would like to express gratitude to Mrs. Cheri Levy, Student Liaison, S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program and the RIETS Israel Kollel, for help in preparing the manuscript for publication. 19

C H AV R U S A • A D A R I I 57 74

Divrei Chizuk

subsequently to join the Talmudic faculty of Yeshiva University. The Salanter youngsters now came face-to-face with representatives of the Lithuanian Torah world. We did not speak the same language and our frames of reference were wildly dissimilar. English was our lingua franca, while our mentors continued to communicate in the Yiddish tongue. We were masters of baseball lore, while our new teachers had never even seen the inside of Yankee Stadium. Yet our hearts and souls met. We sensed the breath of the eternal Jewish saga in their manner and lifestyle. Perhaps the Mirrer graduates also saw beyond our American veneer. They discerned that our souls were seeking sanctity and commitment to our people and heritage. We were aware that our teachers had survived the war and were from Shanghai. At times our youthful minds were confused as to their true origins. Was the town of Mir also in China? Our playful imaginations were convinced that they even resembled Chinamen in their facial characteristics. What was certain was that these faculty members were vastly different from all our previous educators. The Mirrer were pious rabbinical scholars whose entire beings were permeated with the spirit of the Lithuanian Torah civilization. Our relationships went beyond the classroom. Rabbi Henoch Fishman resided in the Bronx near the yeshiva. Many times I walked over to his home in time for dessert at the conclusion of the Friday night meal. I soon noticed that my teacher never finished the last morsel of his wife’s delicious cake. I deduced that this was intentional and not simply by chance. I finally got up the nerve to ask Rabbi Fishman why he never completely ate his dessert. His answer transported me into a new world of nobility of character. Mir Yeshiva followed the teachings of

the Mussar movement, which stressed personal character development and faultlessness. A sincere yeshiva student must be the master of his appetites and desires. One of the tangible methods of perfecting this mindset was to hone the proficiency to pass over the last mouthful of sweet desserts. My rebbe and mentor had internalized these teachings and was the embodiment of the Lithuanian Mussar movement. His impact on me was incalculable. His conduct revealed a majestic world to a Bronx boy who previously knew only the aspirations and visions of the American dream. While I subsequently continued to finish my desserts, I have never forgotten the symbolism and message inherent in Rabbi Fishman’s actions. The Mirrer teachers also added a new breadth of view to our Talmudic studies. The latter was now the dominant portion of our Judaic studies. It was no longer just another subject but rather the essence and crux of our curriculum. It was infused with spirituality and not just academic scholarship. Our rebbeim tantalized us with anecdotes about the town of Mir and its inhabitants. We could hardly believe their description of the Mir synagogues being as crowded on a simple Wednesday night for evening Ma’ariv prayer as on Yom Kippur eve for the Kol Nidrei service. As American youngsters we could hardly believe our ears, since we could only identify with our empty shuls during the week and mob scenes on the High Holy Days. Decades later I finally unquestionably accepted this description of Mir since I encountered the identical situation in Jerusalem. Almost everyone in the Holy City who recited the Kol Nidrei prayer also participated in the daily Ma’ariv services. Another unique characteristic of my Mirrer mentors was their intellectual

Rabbi Henoch Fishman zt”l

We were masters of baseball lore, while our new teachers had never even seen the inside of Yankee Stadium. Yet our hearts and souls met. We sensed the breath of the eternal Jewish saga in their manner and lifestyle.
honesty. Our graduation from Salanter was preceded by the class ordering a uniform autograph album with the Salanter logo on the cover. Each student garnered greetings from his

C H AV R U S A • A D A R I I 57 74


Divrei Chizuk
friends, classmates and teachers. Most recorded an inane but sweet-sounding message. This was not possible for Rabbi Fishman. I probably had expressed a haughty attitude due to some high grade I achieved. He left me with a message that is as valid today as when my rebbe penned it on January 15, 1951. He wrote: “Remember the words of our sages in Ethics of the Fathers (3:9) that anyone whose wisdom precedes his fear of sin, his wisdom will not endure.” (Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff, From Washington Avenue to Washington Street [Jerusalem: Gefen Publishing House and OU Press, 2011], pp.29-31.) Our Mirrer faculty members were truly the “remnant” that survived. They enhanced our association with the immediate past of the Jewish saga. Likewise, as rabbis, teachers and educators, we must strive to inspire our contemporaries with the ongoing Torah way of life. With the approach of the 2014 Chag HaSemikhah, it is appropriate that we recall the initial such event at the Yeshiva. Ninety-five years ago, Rabbi Dr. Bernard Revel had succeeded in reorganizing the nascent Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. The remnant of Eastern Europe had finally become a force on the American scene. Thus was this Chag HaSemikhah described: On March 23, 1919, the twentythird anniversary of the death of Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Spektor, Revel led the Yeshiva in celebration of the granting of rabbinical ordination, semicha, to the first five graduates trained entirely under the new program of study. Up to that time the students ordained at the Yeshiva had received the greater part of their rabbinic training in European yeshivot. These were the first graduates who had actually received their basic Talmudic education at the Yeshiva. The press called attention to the “reorganized Yeshiva” where “for the first time in the history of American Jewry the semicha had been conferred upon American rabbinical students.” The Judisches Tageblatt declared: “From out of America shall go forth Torah,” as Judah Damesek, Sol B. Freedman, Moses Fuhrman, Mordecai Hirschsprung , and Aryeh Ralbag were ordained. Particular attention centered on Freedman, for he had previously received the L.L.B. and M.A. degrees and was the first Americanborn graduate of the Yeshiva. An Orthodox monthly, The Jewish Forum of New York, stated editorially that the new rabbis, “equipped with a vast and intimate knowledge of the Torah in its broadest connotation, and possessed of a real modern education,” would succeed with both the un-Americanized and the already Americanized Jews. They were not only “Orthodox rabbis in the full meaning of the term, but American rabbis as well.” They were the type of rabbis, who, while thoroughly American would not embark upon compromise, nor would they seek to create a code of their own. The editorial concluded by declaring that the graduation “is an event of more than local and temporal significance. It is an important historical event in the life of our people in this country.” Revel sat at the head of the crowd which filled every seat and overflowed into the aisles of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue of New York for the semicha convocation. Here they listened to addresses by Rabbis Moses Margolies and Shalom Jaffe, the president and vice–president of the Agudat Harabanim, whose committee joined with the Yeshiva in ordaining the graduates. Talks were also delivered by Dr. Phillip Klein, spiritual leader of New York’s Hungarian Oheb Zedek Congregation, Dr. Henry Pereira Mendes of the host synagogue, and Mordecai Hirschsprung , the valedictorian. Revel was the center of attention as the reorganized Yeshiva offered its “firstfruits” to America Jewry. On Purim, March 16, a week before the public convocation, he invited the five graduates to his home for the Purim seudah. Around the beautifully set table and lavish repast prepared by his wife, Revel enthusiastically led his pupils in song and dance. Arm in arm, they circled the table singing the refrain from the Sabbath liturgy: “Vtaher…Libenu— Purify our hearts to serve Thee sincerely.” (Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff, Bernard Revel: Builder of American Jewish Orthodoxy, Third Edition, [Jerusalem: Feldheim Publishers, 2000] pp. 51-52.) While we celebrate the next milestone in the annals of the Yeshiva, it is incumbent upon us to emulate our forebears. Following the miracle of Purim, the Bible stated that “they confirmed and accepted” (Esther 9:27). Our sages explain that the Jewish nation confirmed what they had long ago accepted at Mount Sinai (Shevuot, 39a). Similarly we must intensify our dedication and commitment in our eternal march before the Almighty and humankind. n

C H AV R U S A • A D A R I I 57 74


The Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies
invites you to a book signing and lecture

Bernard Revel: Builder of American Orthodoxy
by Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff

Rabbi Rakeffet is professor of rabbinic literature at Yeshiva University’s Caroline and Joseph S. Gruss Institute in Jerusalem. He is a noted scholar, author and teacher who has taught thousands of students in more than a half-century of teaching. His published volumes include The Silver Era: Rabbi Eliezer Silver and His Generation (1982) and The Rav: The World of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, 2 volumes (1999). His book, Bernard Revel: Builder of American Orthodoxy, which emerged out of his doctoral dissertation at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, has been re-issued by the OU Press with a new introduction by Mordecai D. Katz, Esq., chairman of the Revel Board of Overseers. It is a fascinating chronicle of an immigrant Talmudic scholar who set forth a vision for a combined American college and yeshiva education that would mold multiple generations of rabbinic leaders and an observant Jewry capable of interacting with society at large.

Please join us in celebrating this event with a lecture and book signing by the author.

Sunday, May 4, 2014
9:30 a.m. David H. Zysman Hall Lamport Auditorium 2540 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY 10033 Parking available in the YU lot (E) on Amsterdam Avenue and 183rd Street
This event, sponsored by the Dr. Monique and Mordecai D. Katz Endowed Lecture Fund, is presented in cooperation with the Center for the Jewish Future’s Abraham Arbesfeld Kollel Yom Rishon and its Millie Arbesfeld Midreshet Yom Rishon. Additional sponsorships for this event are available. For information, please email Rabbi Ari Rockoff at rockoff@yu.edu or call 212.960.5400, ext. 6168. Support from generous sponsors will enable Revel to initiate programs that promote Jewish scholarship and underscore its relevance for the broader Jewish community.



From the Dean’s Office

An Interview with Rabbi Menachem Penner (‘95R)

Rabbi Menachem Penner is acting dean of RIETS and the Men’s Undergraduate Torah Studies programs at Yeshiva University. Rabbi Penner also serves as the spiritual leader of the Young Israel of Holliswood in Queens, a position he has proudly held since 1996. Rabbi Penner received his semikha from RIETS in 1994 and his BA from Yeshiva College in 1991. The parent of a child with special needs, he speaks across the country on issues of children with disabilities. CHAVRUSA: Tell us about your professional background, and what specific experiences helped you prepare for this new role? I’ve been working with the wonderful talmidim at RIETS for 12 years. I came to YU to provide professional advisement to semikha students and to develop a topnotch professional training program. As the years went on I became more involved in the semikha program itself—and eventually became involved in the yeshiva as a whole. I had the honor of serving for five years with Rabbi Yona Reiss ‘02R in various capacities, including associate dean. I now serve as the acting dean of RIETS. For the past 18 years I have also served my special kehillah in Queens— the Young Israel of Holliswood. Previously, I held the positions of assistant rabbi and then acting rabbi of the Lincoln Square Synagogue in Manhattan. I founded an on-campus learning program at Queens College called “Ateret” for young women on secular college campuses and I’ve taught formally in a number of different venues including various high schools in the New York area. I think that a lot of these experiences have helped guide me as I assume my new role at Yeshiva. Both communities that I’ve worked with, Lincoln Square Synagogue and Holliswood, Queens, are truly exceptional kehillot that are focused on spiritual growth and the centrality of Talmud Torah. In both shuls I’ve been blessed with a membership that is growth-oriented and Jews who wanted to develop a substantive relationship with the Rebono shel Olam. I have, through them, been given a chance to understand what can be done in our communities. One of the most important things that you learn from the community rabbinate is that any organization or institution comes down to the individuals who make up that entity. YU/RIETS is a community, and is not just a school. A school operates during certain hours of the day. But the Yeshiva is 24/7—and includes Shabbatot, very late nights, learning times and down times. And

Rabbi Menachem Penner (‘95R) this community, like all communities, includes individuals with very different needs. I think that in many ways the Yeshiva is like a very big “shul,” with a huge membership, a phenomenal level of Talmud Torah and real people with real challenges and real successes. Before I entered the pulpit rabbinate, I created programs for NCSY and I think that many of the experiences I had in NCSY are relevant in trying to inspire individuals at the college and post-

C H AV R U S A • A D A R I I 57 74

college levels. Obviously the methods are somewhat different when working within an educational setting and not in an experiential setting and with adults rather than school-age children. That said, an emphasis on ruchniyut is important in every Jewish setting, and certainly in our Yeshiva. Teaching students on the high school and college level has also helped me understand where our talmidim are coming from. Most importantly, I think that my experiences at YU over the past decade and on other college campuses have helped me understand how critical the years are between returning from Israel and leaving the college setting. The reality is that many of the students will make some of the biggest decisions of their lives, and truly develop who they are going to be, in the years between their years in Israel and their graduation from college. Many of the decisions that are going to steer a person’s life are made between the ages of 19 and 22— and certainly, for those who continue to learn for semikha—between 19 and 25. Our goal at Yeshiva is to help mold our talmidim and our future rabbanim during the most important years of their development. CHAVRUSA: Where do you draw inspiration from and what excites you about this new role? That is a pretty easy question to answer. I draw my inspiration from watching the talmidim— watching them succeed, watching them grow, watching them sing at a tish and then return to the beit midrash, watching them securing positions in communities. I am driven to see the Yeshiva succeed; that is what keeps me going. It is the best thanks that anyone can really get in any position; to see hatzlachah in the institution they work for. CHAVRUSA: How do your wife and children feel about your new position? My wife Adeena, (née Schonbach SC ‘90), and family are, understandably, a little wary about how much responsibility my new role entails. They know that I tend to give positions like these my heart and soul. But they are excited as well. There are few similar opportunities to help the Jewish community of the Diaspora so significantly. They also like the fact that we are even more connected to Yeshiva life. Whether that means I personally get to spend a little more time with my older children (Elisheva is in Stern College, and my boys will be coming—at some point—back from Israel to learn at YU) or that we join the talmidim for beautiful Shabbatot at YU, or it means that my rebbeim, Roshei Yeshiva and mashgichim have now become, in a way, my colleagues, the greater kesher to Yeshiva is one that enhances our lives on many levels. CHAVRUSA: What memories do you have of your time studying in RIETS, and how is RIETS different now than when you were a talmid here? RIETS is a much different Yeshiva then the one I remember. Baruch Hashem, the Roshei Yeshiva that I had the zechut to learn with are still teaching and have robust shiurim. However, the intensity of the batei midrash is altogether different. There has, Baruch Hashem, been tremendous growth in terms of Torah study and in the number of serious fellows that are in the Yeshiva. There have also been significant changes in the professional training for the future rabbanim. I left the Yeshiva with very little knowledge of what I was about to see in the community. The level of training the talmidim receive

“One of the transformative elements of my years in RIETS was the quality of my peers. At times, I would scan the beit midrash and marvel at the collective potential power of the RIETS students due to their embodiment of scholarship, idealism, piety and activism. I feel truly blessed to be part of such a group.”
Rabbi Yosef Bronstein (‘12R)
Instructor of Jewish Philosophy, Issac Breuer College of Hebraic Studies, Wexner Kollel Elyon Fellow and doctoral candidate in Talmudic studies at Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies

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today, in terms of pastoral psychology, public speaking, practical rabbinics and more, is truly extraordinary. They get to experience community challenges first hand—through field visits, role playing with peers and professional actors—and they are able to receive advice from greats in the field, such as Dr. David Pelcovitz and Dr. Norman Blumenthal. They learn to speak—to really speak well—and to deliver insightful messages. They discuss the issues on the minds of their future students and baalei batim. The rabbi who comes from the Yeshiva today is in a different place, qualitatively, than the rabbi who left Yeshiva in my time. We are also excited that almost all of the fellows who who are going into chinuch are studying for degrees from the Azrieli Graduate School. We are also very excited that Rabbi Neal Turk is now directing the program and giving so much of his time and expertise to the talmidim. There is just a different level of preparation for the field. CHAVRUSA: How do you see the Yeshiva developing over the next period? I think that the diversity of our student body is our greatest challenge and our greatest opportunity and I hope that the Yeshiva will grow to meet the needs of the many different talmidim on our campus. We must have a Yeshiva that can speak to and can inspire many different young men at many different levels and with different paths of connecting to Hashem. We need to grow the Yeshiva at the highest levels of Torah Scholarship, molding talmidei chachamim of even greater stature who will serve as the great minds of tomorrow. To do that we need to allow more talmidim to learn here at the highest levels, and to continue to learn longer than perhaps they were able to learn before. We also need to attract more beginning students into the JSS program—from NCSY and from every corner of the world. At the same time, we need to provide for a growing segment of the Yeshiva that is returning from Israel with a lot of interest and excitement, but who need a lot of chizzuk and hadrachah while here in the Yeshiva. Officially we have four undergraduate Torah studies programs, a semikhah program and kollelim. But there are so many more opportunities within the Yeshiva. We have 1,300 young men studying Torah every day and we need to create a lot of experiences in the same Yeshiva campus for a lot of different neshamot. CHAVRUSA: What role do you see Rabbinic Alumni playing? What do you think needs to happen in the relationship between the Yeshiva and its alumni? I would love to see a much greater connection between the rabbinic alumni and the Yeshiva, on many levels. Certainly the Yeshiva continues to need all kinds of support—including financial support, which we need now more than ever. We need our alumni to spread the word in the communities about the terrific things going on at RIETS and to inspire young men from their communities to consider YU and, some day, semikhah and the rabbinate. But we would also like to involve the alumni in shaping the Yeshiva itself. We would like their input on what the Yeshiva can do, not just to serve them and their communities, but to serve the YU talmidim and potential talmidim of today. I believe that the alumni can make the Yeshiva of today a better institution. Finally, I would love to create a greater sense among the rabbinic alumni that when they are serving out in the field, they are in some way representing the Yeshiva and its mission. We have talented alumni, who are dedicated to serving the Ribbono shel Olam and are very much serving leshem Shamayim. That is terrific, and we wouldn’t want to stop that in any way. But can we also achieve things as a group? Can we share a mission and a real sense that we are reaching out together as RIETS to the Jewish community?

“My years at RIETS served as a crucible that molded my religious self. In and out of the beit midrash, I was inspired to take responsibility for my own life and for the future of the Jewish people.”
Rabbi Noah Cheses (‘11R)
Associate Rabbi and JLIC educator, Yale University

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CHAVRUSA: As the Chag HaSemikhah approaches, what do you see as the biggest challenges or opportunities facing today’s rabbanim in the Modern Orthodox community? I think that the greatest challenge that faces this generation of rabbis, whether they are going into education, the rabbinate, or will find themselves in a hospital setting, is finding the balance between being accepting, nonjudgmental, and open-minded, while being absolutely firm with issues that concern the mesorah. Achieving that balance is something our Yeshiva can do in a unique way— producing rabbanim who are, on the one hand, rooted in the classic mesorah of halakhah and minhag, and connected to poskim who are worldrenown, and, at the same time, rabbanim who can relate to the congregations or students or the patients that they are serving. That is a difficult task today. It requires humility, scholarship, and a certain amount of emotional intelligence that goes beyond practical halakhah or practical rabbinics. There are a lot of situations for which no faculty member can fully prepare our graduates, other than to give them a sense of how one approaches a difficult issue, whom one can speak to in challenging situations, and, not least important, how to react at the moments when difficult questions or challenges are posed to the rabbi. CHAVRUSA: What does the Chag HaSemikhah represent? How does it celebrate the spirit and the renewal of RIETS, and the new generation of musmakhim? The Chag HaSemikhah is one of the most exciting things we do at the Yeshiva. It is a day when our talmidim are honored for some of the greatest achievements possible: significant accomplishment in Torah study, the receiving of rabbinic ordination and the making of a lifetime commitment to help Klal Yisrael. We live in a community where it is not always glorious to be a rabbi. Yeshiva College and Sy Syms graduates are able to go into many professional fields, including some that may be more lucrative than the rabbinate and earn the respect of family and peers. The Chag HaSemikhah is a day where everything is put into a proper perspective. It is an “olam hafuch” where those who have devoted years to the study of Torah, those who have decided to devote their lives, in one way or another, to serving Klal Yisrael and teaching Torah, are the ones placed upon the pedestal. In that sense, it is one of the most beautiful days and exciting moments in the life of our community. When you look at the kochot of this group of musmakhim, these 200 new rabbis, you literally see the future of the Jewish community. It is a time when we are very proud of our Yeshiva, very proud of our students, and very excited about what they are, IY”H, going to accomplish. n

“During my time in RIETS, I spent years studying the necessary chomer and developing the pastoral skills that would be crucial to life in the rabbinate. Yet above all I accomplished, I appreciate the relationships that I developed during my years on campus with my rebbeim, peers and various mentors. Those relationships, which continue to guide and support me throughout my rabbinic career, have proven to be relationships for a lifetime.”
Rabbi Jeremy Donath (‘11R)
Rabbi, Congregation Darchei Noam of Fair Lawn; Community Coordinator, OHEL Regional Family Center of Northern New Jersey; Rebbe, Torah Academy of Bergen County (TABC)

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Recent Books

A Synagogue Companion Rabbi Hayyim Angel (‘95R)

The Philosophical Quest of Philosophy, Ethics, Law, and Halakhah Rabbi J. David Bleich

Letters to President Clinton Rabbi Menachem Genack (‘73R)

Echoes of EdenSefer B’midbar: Spies, Subversives, and other Scoundrels Rabbi Ari D. Kahn (‘86R)

Derashot Ledorot- A Commentary for the Ages: Exodus Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm (‘51R)

Torah, Chazal, and Science Rabbi Moshe Meiselman (‘70R)

The Biblical Outlook: Topics In Jewish Philosophy Rabbi Shlomo Polachek (‘71R)

Harry Fischel: The Pioneer of American Jewish Orthodoxy Rabbi Aaron Reichel (‘74R)

End the Madness: Guide to the Shidduch World Rabbi Chananya Weissman (‘06R)

Tovim Ha-Shenayim: A Study of the Role and Nature of Man and Woman Rabbi Chananya Weissman (‘06R)

The Laws of Cooking and Warming Food on Shabbat Rabbi Mordechai Willig (‘71R)

Rabbi Benjamin Yudin on the Parsha Rabbi Benjamin Yudin (‘69R)

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Life-Cycle Events

Mazal Tov

Rabbi Shimon ’76R and Sharon Altshul on the birth of a grandson, Yakir David, born to Rabbi Asher and Anat Altshul. RIETS student Sam and Yehudit Ash on the birth of a son. Rabbi Kenneth ’78R and Joanne Auman on the marriage of their daughter, Leni, to Donny Kazarnovsky. Rabbi Jeremy ’12R and Sarah Baran on the birth of a son, Akiva Shraga, and to grandparents, RIETS Administrator Rabbi Chaim ’72R and Brenda Bronstein. Rabbi Gary ’92R and Sheba Beitler on the marriage of their daughter, Batya, to Yitzy Simon. Rabbi Reu ’14R and Miriam Berman on the birth of a son, Aharon. RIETS student Rabbi Eliezer and Ilana Bercuson on the birth of a son. Rabbi Yaakov ’96R and Sara Blau on the birth of a son, Yehuda Shabbsai, and to the grandparents, Senior Mashgiach Ruchani Rabbi Yosef ’61R and Dr. Rivkah Blau. Rabbi Joseph ’11R and Leah Blumenthal on the birth of a son, Baruch Yaakov. Rabbi Yosef ’12R and Batya Bronstein on the birth of a son, Yehuda Ariel, and to grandparents, RIETS Administrator Rabbi Chaim ’72R and Brenda Bronstein, and Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Hershel and Chasida Reichman. Rabbi Noah ’11R and Sarah Cheses on the birth of a son, Netanel Moshe. Rabbi Aryeh ’12R and Brooke Czarka on the birth of a daughter, Shira Zahava. Rabbi Dr. Hillel ’75R and Rock (Eckstein) Davis on the marriage of their daughter, Nahva, to Isaac Maman.

Rabbi Boruch ’10R and Elise Danzger on the birth of a daughter. Rabbi Moshe ’09R and Ariela Davis on the birth of a son. Rabbi Ariel Diamond ’12R and Rivky Twersky on their marriage, and to parents, Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Mayer ’85R and Faige Twersky. Rabbi Jeremy ’11R and Shira Donath on the birth of a daughter, Yael Tova. Rabbi Shlomo ’04R and Shira Einhorn on the birth of a daughter. Rabbi Elie ’07R and Yael Farkas on the birth of a son, Yehuda Shalom. Rabbi Dovid ’06R and Hadassah Feinberg on the birth of a son, Refoel Alexander. RIETS student Yoni and Romema Fiener on the birth of a daughter, Ahuva.   Rabbi Yoni ’10R and Ariele Fox on the birth of a daughter, Sara Tehila. Rabbi Josh ’01R and Aviva Friedman on the birth of a daughter, Esther Liba. Rabbi Lippy ’69R and Maureen (Goldsmith) Friedman on the birth of a great grandson, Yoseph Tuvia Fishman, born to their grandson, Yedidya and Talia Fishman. Rabbi Mordechai ’11R and Shoshanna Gershon on the birth of a son, Yosef Shalom. Rabbi Yitzi ’13R and Shoshana Genack on the birth of a son, Avraham, and to grandparents, Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Menachem ’73R and Sarah Genack. Rabbi David ’86R and Shulamit Ginsburg on the marriage of their daughter, Avigayil Ginsburg, to Menachem Rapp.

Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Meir and Hilla Goldwicht on the birth of a grandson, Oriel Chaim, born to Rabbi Eitiel and Ariella Goldwicht. Rabbi Joshua ’09R and Rachelle Goller on the birth of a son. Rabbi Alan ’61R and Gala Greenspan on the marriage of their granddaughter, Temima Lehrman, to Binyamin Greenberg. Rabbi Yonah ’06R and Chava Gross on birth of a son. Rabbi Yakov ’12R and Devorah Grun on the birth of a son. Rabbi Harris ’63R and Judi Guedalia on the birth of a greatgrandson, born to Rabbi Eitan and Miriam Kupietsky. Rabbi Gary ’08R and Leba Guttenberg on the birth of twin boys, Yehuda and Yosef Shalom. Rabbi Shaye ’08R and Dina Guttenberg on the birth of a son, Shlomo Tzohar. Rabbi David ’10R and Ariella Hellman on the birth of a son. Rabbi Etan ’11R and Tamar Ehrenfeld on the birth of a daughter, Adira Nechama. Rabbi Alan ’76R and Sandy Kalinsky on the birth of a grandson, Ezra Yehoshua, born to Dr. Yoni and Michal Frankel. Rabbi Avi ’09R and Esti Kilimnick on birth of a daughter, Ahuva Chava, and to grandparents Rabbi Shaya and Nechie Kilimnick. Rabbi Jonathan ’02R and Chaya Krimsky on the birth of a son, Akiva Pesach. RIETS student Ben and Abby Kurzer on the birth of a son, Ahron Eliezer. Rosh HaYeshiva Emeritus Rabbi Dr. Norman ’51R  and Mindella Lamm on the marriage of their granddaughter, Peninah Lamm, to Eitan Kaplansky.

Rosh HaYeshiva Emeritus Rabbi Dr. Norman ’51R and Mindella Lamm on the birth of a granddaughter, Sarit, born to RIETS student Ari and Shlomit Lamm. Rabbi Dr. Ely ’99R and Malka Landman on the birth of a daughter, Shalva Emunah. Rabbi Eliezer ’75R and Lucy Langer on the birth of a grandson, born to Baila and Naftali. Rabbi Aaron ’09R and Ayelet Leibtag on the birth of a son, Alexander Ziskind. Rabbi Meir ’10R and Jordy Lipschitz on the birth of a son, Shmuel Yitzchak. Rabbi Elchanan ’77R and Ruth Lipshitz on the birth of a granddaughter, Kamah, born to Elana and Elyasaf Shweka. Director Full-Day Yeshiva Program Rabbi Shmuel ’02R and Chani Maybruch on the birth of a son, Yaakov Simcha. Rabbi Gershon ’13R and Tzippy Meisel on the birth of a son. Rabbi Ephraim ’12R  and Tzivia Meth on the birth of a son, Elazar. Rabbi Philip ’10R and Arielle Moskowitz on the birth of a daughter, Esther Tehila. Rabbi Moshe ’75R and Vivian Neiss on the birth of a granddaughter, Dahlia Chaya, born to Alison and Jeremy Neiss. Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Yaakov ’79R and Peshie Neuburger on the birth of a grandson, Shlomo Tzvi, born to Bruria and Jackie Siegel, and to great-grandfather, Dean Emeritus and Special Advisor to the President on Yeshiva Affairs Rabbi Zevulun Charlop ’54R. Rabbi Meir ’90R and Dr. Esther Orlian the on birth of a granddaughter, Hod, and to great-grandparents, Rabbi Dr. J. Mitchell and Ethel (Chaya) Orlian.

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Life-Cycle Events
Rabbi Adir ’06R and Hindi Posy on the birth of a son. Rabbi Moshe ’69R and Chana Poupko on the birth of a granddaughter, Avital Rivka, born to Akiva and Shevy Poupko. Rabbi Yom Tov ’12R and Shira Priluck on the birth of a daughter. RIETS student Mordy and Temima Prus on the birth of a son. RIETS student Sam Reinstein and Hannah Dreyfus on their marraige. Rabbi Yitzchak ’62R and Judy Rosenbaum on the marriage their granddaughter, Shifra Rosenbaum, to Tzvi Pfeffer. Rabbi Dr. Bernhard ’74R and Charlene Rosenberg on the birth of a grandson, Asher Tzvi, born to Ilana and Joshua Merl. Rabbi Ariel ’14R and Jackie Rosensweig on the birth of a daughter, Rina Esther, and to grandparents, Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Michael ’80R and Smadar Rosensweig. RIETS student Itamar and Esti Rosensweig on the birth of a daughter, Ayelet Miriam, and to grandparents, Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Michael ’80R and Smadar Rosensweig. Rabbi Elie ’02R and Abigail Rothberger on the birth of a son, Yehuda Zalman, and to grandparents, Rabbi Joseph ’61R and Debbie Rothberger. Rabbi Rachmiel ’03R and Becky Rothberger on the birth of a daughter, Esther Chaya, and to grandparents, Rabbi Joseph ’61R and Debbie Rothberger. Rabbi Yehuda ’02R and Michelle Sarna on the birth of a son, Hillel Shafir. Rabbi Dovid ’14R and Miriam Schachter on the birth of a son, Moshe Pinchas. Rabbi Mordechai Schnaidman ’52R on the birth of a greatgrandson, born to Shoshana and Yaakov Silberman. Rabbi Ariel ’06R and Rebecca Schochet on the birth of a daughter, Batsheva Meira. RIETS student Elliot Schreier on his marriage to Rena Goldstein. Rabbi Tsvi ’12R and Tali Selengut on the birth of a son, Avraham David. Rabbi Sion Setton ’13R on his marriage to Mijal Bitton. Rabbi Aharon ’85R and Beverly Simkin on the birth of a granddaughter, Miriam Bracha Berlinger, born to Pini and Devorah Berlinger. Rabbi Zevi ’14R and Leora Spitz on the birth of a daughter. Rabbi Steven ’73R and Chana Stein on the birth of a grandson, Yehuda Mevaser Shalom, born to Eliana and Shlomo Lechiani. Rabbi Chaim ’06R and Avital Strauchler on the birth of a daughter. Rochel Sylvetsky, wife of the late Rabbi Dov Sylvetsky z”l ’62R on the birth of a granddaughter, born to Rabbi Avraham and Avital Sylvetsky. Rabbi Avraham Tanev ’09R on his marriage to Hilah Korin. RIETS student Yaakov and Racheli Taubes on the birth of a son, Yisrael David, and to grandparents, Rabbi Michael ’83R and Bassie Taubes.  Rabbi Yehuda ’10R and Dr. Ilana Turetsky on the birth of a son. Rabbi Ari ’90R and Sandy (Levitz) Waxman on the birth of a grandson, born to Rachel and Eliad Dennis, and to greatgrandparents, Rabbi Dr. Yisrael ’63R and Myra Levitz, and Prof. Chaim I. ’66R and Chaya Waxman. RIETS Mashpia Rabbi Moshe ’83R and Myrna Weinberger on the marriage of their daughter Chani to Sruly Perlow. Rabbi Akiva ’06R and Yael Willig on the birth of a daughter, Rachel, and to grandparents, Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Mordechai ’71R and Faygie Willig. Rabbi Avraham ’02R and Yocheved Willig on the birth of a son, Yosef, and to grandparents, Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Mordechai ’71R and Faygie Willig. Rabbi Yehuda ’06R and Ahuva Willig on the birth of a son, Yaakov, and to grandparents, Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Mordechai ’71R and Faygie Willig. Rabbi Joel ’86R and Donna Zeff on the birth of a grandson, born to Uri and Chana Lichtenstein-Biran. Rabbi Aron Meir ’07R and Rachel Zuckerman on the birth of a son. Beile (and Rabbi Robert ’76R) Block and Mindy (and Dr. David ’72R) Ribner on the passing of their mother, Shirley Ganz z”l. Chana Twersky Gellman on the passing of her husband, Rabbi Nehemia Gellman ’50R, z’”l. Rabbi Dr. Gershon C. Gewirtz ’72R on the passing of his mother, Sylvia Gewirtz z”l. Chanah Rivkah Ginsburg on the passing of her husband, Rabbi Louis Ginsburg ’48R, z”l. Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Ozer Glickman on the passing of his sister, Constance Weintraub z”l. Rabbi Philip Goldman ’56R on the passing of his wife, Phyllis Goldman z”l. Zelda (and Rabbi Sheldon ’71R Goldsmith) on the passing of her father, Seymour Kleiman z”l. Rabbi Eric S. Goldstein ’94R on the passing of his mother, Blanche Goldstein z”l. Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Meir Goldwicht on the passing of his mother, Yehudit Goldwicht z”l. Rabbi Irving H. Goodman ’55R on the passing of his wife, Lea Goodman z”l. Clare Green on the passing of her husband, Rabbi Dr. Leon Green ’58R, z”l. Rabbi Joel Grossman ’83R on the passing of his father, Arthur Grossman z”l. Rebbetzin Bella Grunblatt on the passing of her husband, Rabbi Joseph Grunblatt z”l. Rabbi Zvi Harari ’91R on the passing of his father, Alexander Gershon Harari z”l. Prof. Joel Hecker ’90R on the passing of his father, Harvey Hecker z”l. Rabbi Jonathan Horowitz on the passing of his father, Rabbi Naftali Horowitz z”l. Rabbi Ari Jacobs ’84R on the passing of his father, Al Jacobs z”l.


RIETS student Willie Balk on the passing of his mother, Sheila Balk z”l. Rabbi Manny Behar ’82R on the passing of his mother, Rivka Behar z”l. Rabbi Michael Bleicher ’10R on the passing of his brother, Ari Bleicher z”l. Rabbi Menachem Brick ’83R on the passing of his mother, Shirley Brick z”l. Aviva Cohen on the passing of her husband, Rabbi Eliezer Cohen ’72R, z”l, father of Rabbi Azaryah Moshe Cohen ’05R. Rabbi Aryeh ’12R and Brooke Czarka on the passing of their daughter, Batya Emunah z”l. Rabbi Edward Feigelman ’71R on the passing of his brother, Arnold Feigelman z”l. Rabbi Eliot Feldman ’75R on the passing of his father, David Feldman z”l. Rabbi Kalman Fogel ’90R on the passing of his mother, Renee Fogel z”l.

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Life-Cycle Events
Rabbi Howard S. Joseph ’64R on the passing of his mother, Miryam Joseph z”l, grandmother of YU Senior Vice President Rabbi Josh Joseph ’00R. Rabbi Jay Kimmel ’70R on the passing of his mother, Lillian Kimmel z”l. Seymour Kleiman on the passing of his father, Rabbi Sidney Kleiman ’36R, z”l. Emily Labaton on the passing of her husband, Rabbi Ezra Labaton ’74R, z”l. Menashe Levin, Rivka Yeres, Miriam Perlah and Yitzchak Levin on the passing of their father, Rabbi Shlomo Stanley Levin ’54R, z”l. Chaya Marcus on the passing of her husband, Rabbi Dr. Elihu Marcus ’56R, z”l, father of Rabbi Nachum ’86R (and Devora) Marcus, Yedida (and Amnon) Ginzburg, Rabbi David ’94R (and Marcy) Marcus, and Debbie (and Shlomi) Brietbard. Rabbi Jay H. Marcus ’71R on the passing of his mother, Lillian Marcus z”l. Rabbi Gilbert Marks ’78R on the passing of his father, Harold Marks z”l. Rabbi Eitan Mayer ’99R on the passing of his father, Benyomin Mayer z”l. Rabbi Meir Mitelman ’77R on the passing of his brother, Shelton Mitelman z”l. Peggy Mayer and David S. Movsky on the passing of their father, Rabbi Myron B. Movsky ’42R, z”l. Rabbi Marvin ’59R and Judy Pachino on the passing of their son, Rabbi Zev Meir Pachino z”l. Rabbi Yom Tov Priluck ’12R on the passing of his father, Ira Priluck z”l. Rabbi Shaya Richmond on the passing of his father, Jay Richmond z”l. Rabbi Yitzchak Rosenbaum ’62R, Rabbi Yehuda Rosenbaum ’78R, Chana (and Rabbi Dr. Zechariah ’62R) Senter, and Esther Scharf on the passing of their mother, Rosalind Rosenbaum z”l. Marilyn Roth on the passing of her husband, Rabbi Jacob Roth ’55R, z”l. Elissa Sable on the passing of her husband, Rabbi Dr. Jacob Sable ’56R z”l. Miriam Schiff on the passing of her husband, RIETS Board Member, Dr. Alvin Schiff z”l. Rabbi Menachem Schrader ’78R on the passing of his mother, Lillian Schrader z”l. Rabbi Allen Schwartz ’86R on the passing of his mother, Sarah Schwartz z”l. Gadi Segal on the passing of his brother, Rabbi Dan Segal ’02R, z”l. Minnie Smilchensky on the passing of her husband, Rabbi Joel N. Smilchensky ’56R, z”l. Rabbi Steven Stein ’73R on the passing of his mother, Shirley Stein z”l. Rabbi Asher Vale on the passing of his father Rabbi George Vale z”l. RIETS student Yoni Weinberg on the passing of his brother, Uri Weinberg z”l. Dr. Esther Wohlgelernter on the passing of her husband, Rabbi Dr. Maurice Wohlgelernter ’44R, z”l. Rabbi Daniel Yolkut ’02R on the passing of his father, Rabbi Menachem Yolkut z”l. Rabbi Sammy Zimmerman ’84R on the passing of his mother, Elaine Zimmerman z”l.

Rabbi D David Aaron, Rabbi Elie Abadie, Yehuda Leib Abberbock, Rafi Abraham, m Professor Abraham m S. Abraham, m Jed H H. Abraham, m Aaron Abramson, m Rabbi D David Abuchatzeira, N Nina J. Ackerman, m M Ms. M Malka Adatto, Rabbi Elchanan Adler, Rabbi Yosef Adler, Rabbi M Moshe Adler, Rabbi Aharon Adler, D Dana Adler, Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, AlHaTorah.org, H Judy Alkoby, Rabbi Jason Allen, Rabbi N Nisson Lippa Alpert, Shiri Alpert, Rabbi W William m Altshul, Alon Amar, m Rabbi Shlomo m Amar, m Professor Zohar Amar, m Joshua Amaru, m Claudia Esther Amzallag, C m Rabbi H Hayyim m Angel, Ashley Ansel, Shira Apfel, Rabbi H Howard Apfel, D Dr. Stuart Apfel, Pamela m Apfel, D Dr. Maryln Applebaum, M m Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, Rabbi Yosef Leib Arnest, Various Artists, D Dr. Adrienne Asch, Sam m Ash, Rabbi Pinchas Ashen, Rabbi D Dovid Asher, D Dr. Shawn Zelig Aster, Shayna Aster, Abigail Atlas, D Dr. G Gil Atzmon, m Rabbi Kenneth Auman, m Rabbi Avrohom m Ausband, Professor N Nathan Aviezer, Rabbi Shlomo m Aviner, C Chaim m Axelrod, D Dr. H Harvey Babich, Rabbi Elisha Bacon, D Dr. Joshua Bacon, D Dean Karen Bacon, Rabbi Asher Balanson, Rabbi H Hanan Balk, Rabbi Yehuda Balsam, m Rabbi Yisrael Balsim, m Rabbi M Moshe Bamberger, m Rabbi N Natan Bar-Haim, H m Yonah Bardos, D Dalia Barenboim, m Rabbi N Noah Baron, D Dr. Sara Barris, Rabbi Simon m Basalely, Rabbi Tzvi Basch, Rabbi Shalom m Baum, mD Dr. Steven Bayme, m Rabbi M Mordechai Becher, Rabbi Yosef G Gavriel Bechhofer, Katie Becker, Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh, C Cantor Bernard Be Beer, Yitzchak Editor Beis, Rabbi Binyomin m Beiser, Rabbi Eli Belizon, M Mrs. Rebecca Belizon, Rabbi Shmuel m Belkin, G Gurion Prime m M Minister D David Ben, Rabbi Eliyahu BenChaim, C mG Geulah Ben-David, D Eitan Ben-David, D Rabbi H Hanan Benayahu, Rebecca Benhaghnazar, D Diana Benmergui, m Rabbi M Moshe Benovitz, M Mr. Ronald Benun, Rabbi Simon m Benzaquen, D Dr. M Michael Berger, Rabbi D David Berger, Ari Berger, Rabbi G Gedalia Berger, D Dovi Bergman, m Rabbi M Moshe Bergman, m Rabbi O Ozer Bergman, m Rabbi Ari Bergmann, m Retter Aliza Berk, N Netanel Berko, D Dr. Jay R. Berkovitz, Rachel Berley, C Cantor M Moshe Berlove, Rabbi Todd Berman, m Rabbi Etan M Moshe Berman, m Rabbi Ari Berman, m Rabbi Saul Berman, m Reuven Berman, m Rabbi D Dr. Joshua Berman, m Rabbi Julius Berman, m Sara Bermish, m D Dr. M Moshe Bernstein, Ayelet Bersson, Rabbi Yedidya Berzon, Rabbi Azarya Berzon, Rabbi C Chananya Berzon, Rabbi Abraham m Besdin, M Mrs. Rachel Besser, Rabbi D Donny Besser, Rabbi Joseph Beyda, Rabbi Ezra Bick, Rabbi Jack Bieler, Rabbi Richard Bieler, Rabbi Jonathan Bienenfeld, Rabbi M Marvin Bienenfeld, Amanda m Bier, Rabbi Avi Billet, N Nun Rabbi Elchanan Bin, N Nun Rabbi Yoel Bin, M Mrs. M Malke Bina, Rabbi Aaron Bina, Rabbi G Gidon Binyamin, m Pnina Birman, m Kaganoff M Mrs. M Miriam m Birnbaum, m Rabbi Elichai Bitter, Rabbi M Mendel Blachman, m Rabbi Josh Blass, Rabbi Yitzchak Blau, Rabbi Binyamin m Blau, Rabbi Yonason Blau, D Dr. Rivkah Blau, Rabbi Yosef Blau, Rabbi Benjamin m Blech, Rabbi D Dr. J. 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Elinson, Rabbi H Hagay Elitzur, Rav haRoshi M Mordechai Eliyahu, M Mrs. Adina Ellis, Rabbi M Mickey Ellman, m Rabbi G Gil Elmaleh, m Rabbi Ya’akov Elman, m Rabbi Yonatan Emmett mm , Rabbi Zvi Engel, Shayna English, Sarah Epstein, M Mrs. C Cheryl Epstein, Tamar m Epstein, Rabbi Ephraim m Epstein, Rabbi M Moshe Erlbaum, m Rollhaus Sarah M Medved, Esty, Bracha Etengoff, Rabbi U Uri Etigson, D Dr. Immanuel mm Etkes, Rabbi Yitzchak Etshalom, m Special Events, D Deborah Farber, N Natan Farber, Rabbi Seth Farber, Rabbi M Moshe Faskowitz, Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Jennifer Fathy, Esti Feder, Ari Federgrun, Jessica Feig, Rabbi Aaron Feigenbaum, mM Mrs. Aviva Feiner, Rabbi Eytan Feiner, Rabbi M Moshe Feinstein, Rabbi Reuven Feinstein, D Dr. C Carl Feit, Rabbi Yaacov Feit, Rabbi M Meir Simcha m Feldblum, m Rabbi Yitzchak Feldheim, m Rabbi Shaul Feldman, m Rabbi D Daniel Z. Feldman, m Rabbi Jonathan Feldman, m Rebecca Feldman, m D Dr. Louis Feldman, m D Dr. Adam m Ferziger, Rabbi C Chaim m Feuerman, m Rabbi Rafi Feurstein, Professor Steven Fine, Rabbi D Daniel Fine, Rabbi Reuven Fink, Rabbi M Mordechai Finkelman, m D Dr. Yoel Finkelman, m Rabbi M Michael Finkelstein, Rabbi Jason Finkelstein, Rabbi Joel Finkelstein, Eitan Fiorino, M Meira Fireman, m Aliza Fireman, m Bernard J. Firestone, Jesse Fischbein, Rabbi D Dovi Fischer, Esther Fischer, Rabbi C Chonoch H Henoch Fishman, m Professor Sylvia Barack Fishman, m Secunda M Mrs. D Daphna Fishman, m Professor D David Flatto, Rabbi Tzvi Flaum, m M Ms. Elana Flaumenhaft m , Rabbi N Neil Fleischman, m Rabbi Yosef Fleischman, m Yishai Fleisher, Rabbi Aaron Fleksher, Rabbi Josh Flug, Rabbi D David Fohrman, m Rabbi Yoni Fox, D Daniel Fox, D Dr. Steven D D. Fraade, Rabbi N Netanel Frankenthal, Ilana Frankiel, Rabbi Ezra Frazer, Esther Frederick, Rabbi Avidan Freedman, m Rabbi Lavey Freedman, m Rabbi Binny Freedman, m Rabbi Zev Freidman, m Rabbi Barry Freundel, D Daniel Fridman, m Frida Fridman, m Rabbi Pesachya Fried, Rabbi Yosef Friedenson, M Michelle Friedman, m Allen Friedman, m Rabbi Asher Friedman, m Rabbi D David Friedman, m Rabbi G Gavriel Friedman, m D Dr. M Michelle Friedman, m Rabbi M Mordy Friedman, m D Dr. Richard Friedman, m Sarah Friedman, m Josh Friedman, m Rabbi M Moshe Aharon Friedman, m Adam m Friedmann, m Dr. D Michael Frogel, M M Michael Fruchter, Rabbi Yossi Fuchs, Yechiel Fuchs, Rabbi Ari Fuld, Rabbi D Dovid Fuld, Rabbi M Meir Fulda, Rabbi Yaakov Furman, m Rabbi M Milton Furst, Rabbi M Mallen G Galinsky, D Dr. Judah G Galinsky, Rabbi M Moshe G Ganz, Rabbi N Naftali G Ganzvi, Rabbi N Noah G Gardenschwartz, Reuven G Garret, Tova G Gavrilova, D Dr. D Dan G Geisler, Rabbi Eli G Gelernter, M Mrs. Yael G Gelernter, Rabbi D Dani G Gelertner, Rabbi Shaanan G Gelman, m D Dr. Sheldon G Gelman, m Rabbi Barry G Gelman, m M Moshe G Genack, Rabbi M Menachem mG Genack, Rabbi Yitzchak G Genack, Yitzy G Genack, Rabbi Shai G Gerson, Rabbi Shmuel m G Gerstenfeld, D Dr W Wiiliam mG Gewirtz, Rabbi Baruch G Gigi, Rabbi Yehuda G Gilad, M Mr. Alan G Gindi, Rabbi Yosef G Ginsberg, Rabbi Ari G Ginsberg, Rabbi Beinish G Ginsburg, M Ms. Leslie G Ginsparg, Rabbi D Daniel G Glanz, D Debra G Glasberg, Shifra G Glasner, D David G Glassberg, M Mrs. C Chana G Glatt, Rabbi D Dr Aaron G Glatt, Rabbi Ephraim mG Glatt, Rabbi O Ozer G Glickman, m Arielle G Glueck, C Cantor Sherwood G Goffi ffin, Rabbi Zev G Gold, Ronit G Gold, Michal G M Gold, Rabbi Yoni G Gold, Rabbi Zalman m N Nechemia m G Goldberg, Rabbi Efrem mG Goldberg, M Mrs. Basheva G Goldberg, N Noah G Goldberg, Rabbi N Nosson G Goldberg, Rabbi D Dr. Judah G Goldberg, Rabbi Zev G Goldberg, Rabbi C Chaim mG Goldberg, Rebbetzin Yocheved G Goldberg, M Michelle G Goldberg, M Mrs. Shayna G Goldberg, Rabbi Shraga Goldenhersh, M G Mrs. Yael G Goldfischer, Stephanie G Goldglantz, Rabbi Yechiel G Goldhaber, Rabbi Shmuel m G Goldin, Joshua L. 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Perl, Rabbi Yaacov Perlow, Leora Perlow, Rabbi Benny Pflanzer, Rabbi Eli Pielet, Rabbi U Uri Pilichowski, Rabbi Tuli Polak, Rabbi D Dale Polakoff, Rabbi Ephraim m Polakoff, D Dr. N Nehemia m Polen, Rabbi M Moshe Ahron Poleyeff, Jennifer Polin, Professor M Michla Pomerance, m Rabbi Zev Pomeratz, m Rabbi Adir Posy, Rabbi C Chaim m Poupko, Rabbi Yossi Prager, Rabbi Sinai Prebor, M Mrs. C Chana Prero, Rabbi Tani Prero, M Mrs. Zlata Press, Schwartz D Dr. Rebecca Press, Leyna Pressman, m Rabbi D David Pri-Chen, C Rabbi Baruch Price, M Mrs. N Nechama m Price, Rabbi Zev Prince, Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, Ari Pruzansky, Rabbi M Menachem m Raab, Alumni m RIETS Rabbinic, M Mrs D Deena Rabinovich, Abigail Rabinowitz, Rabbi Emmanuel mm Rackman, m Rabbi Ariel Rackovsky, Rabbi Yoel Rackovsky, Reena Radzyner, C Charles M M. 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