New Dean Sets Course for Growth at Sy Syms
Michael Ginzberg, Management Information Expert, Excited for Opportunities Ahead


Dr. Michael Ginzberg appointed after national search.

r. Michael Ginzberg, a nationally prominent expert and prolific author on management information systems and the international aspects of business, was appointed dean of Sy Syms School of Business in the summer. Dr. Ginzberg helped build both the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics and Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management into world-class institutions. “Through its commitment to excellence, creativity, and collaboration, Sy Syms School of Business plays an integral role in our mission of upholding and promoting the ideals of Torah Umadda [the confluence of Torah and secular knowledge],” said President Richard M. Joel in his announcement

of the appointment. “In Dean Michael Ginzberg, we have not only an educator of rigor and experience, but someone who both respects that mission and who knows the value of dreams.” Morton Lowengrub, PhD, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, said the new dean was appointed following an exhaustive and rigorous national search. “Dr. Ginzberg’s outstanding amalgam of skills, creative vision, and dynamic leadership abilities will serve us well as we move forward on securing the school of business’ position among the top echelon of undergraduate business schools in the United States.” Dr. Ginzberg served from 2000 to 2006 as dean of the University of Delaware’s Lerner College where he was also the Chaplin Tyler Professor of Business. Since 2006 he served as a pro

bono special consultant to the president of Tulane University in New Orleans, helping develop a strategy and implementation plan for a new school of science and engineering. He said he is excited about coming to Sy Syms because of its “commitment to preparing students not just for the challenges of today’s business world but also to be industry leaders of unquestionable ethics.” “Because of the school’s dual curriculum, combining a comprehensive business education with the strongest undergraduate Jewish studies program in the country,” Dr. Ginzberg said, “Syms students are imbued with the skills and values necessary to make significant contributions in their professional pursuits, their communities, and continued on page 4

Campus Building Boom


fter a summer of hammering and drilling, building, painting, and carpeting, Yeshiva University’s undergraduate and graduate schools now boast many new high-quality facilities. The university’s Office of Planning, Design and Construction oversaw the renovation and construction of 42 projects on various campuses, some of which are continuing during the fall semester, said Jeffrey Rosengarten, vice president for administrative services. “The lion’s share of the work we have done this summer will benefit academics and student life,” Mr. Rosengarten said. “It is a major step toward the modernization of all the university’s campuses.”

245 LEXINGTON AVENUE The Lea and Leon Eisenberg Beit Midrash at Stern College for Women opened this semester on the seventh floor of 245 Lexington Avenue. The glassenclosed room seats up to 120 people and is three times larger than the previous beit midrash (study hall). It features a uniquely designed aron kodesh (holy ark) and many elegant architectural touches, and will be dedicated at an event in October. Look out for more information about the new space in YU Today later this year. The front entranceway and first floor of the building have been completely revamped. An elegant glass and steel façade rising from ground level to the third floor includes a covered portico where stu-

Tips For First-Timers on Campus
Returning students have more than just words of welcome for new students—they also have helpful hints for balancing their workload with getting the
Stern College constructed a new façade at 245 Lexington Avenue in the summer. dents can gather. Inside, the expanded lobby gives students and visitors more space to congregate. The space formerly occupied by the dean’s offices to the right of the lobby has been converted into two large adjoining classrooms, which also function as flexible meeting rooms that can be converted into one large space. The transparent glass walls looking onto the lobby can be electronically adjusted to become opaque when the rooms are being used for classes. continued on page 3

most out of college life. YU Today asked a group of them to share their advice on everything from extra-curricular activities to spending Shabbat on campus. Turn to pages 4, 9, and 10 to see what they say.


GIRL POWER Women’s Athletics Doubles Sports Offerings Page 4

RENAISSANCE MAN Dr. Jacob Wisse Revitalizes Art History at Stern Page 5

SUMMER TRAVELS Learning in Japan, Italy, Israel, and Beyond Page 6–7

INNOCENCE MILESTONE Innocence Project at Cardozo Exonerates 205th Client Page 10


2 YUToday

September 2007

YU Adds Eight Tenure-Track Faculty


n keeping with Yeshiva University’s strategic plan to increase the number of tenure-track professors, eight full professors join a growing roster of distinguished scholars this fall. Two are full members of the undergraduate faculty, two join the Jewish studies faculty at both Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies and Yeshiva College, and four are graduate faculty.

many years, now joins the undergraduate and graduate faculties as a full-time professor. Dr. Eichler is a noted scholar who taught at the University of Pennsylvania for more than 40 years and curated the Babylonian Tablet Collection at their Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. His expertise in biblical and ancient Near East studies is augmented by his knowledge of Jewish law, which he taught at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

international reputation as a teacher and scholar, Dr. Berger will play a major role in building a premier faculty in Jewish studies,” Dr. Lowengrub said. Anthony Sebok–Professor of Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Previously a professor at Brooklyn Law School, Dr. Sebok is a specialist in tort law and legal philosophy with a focus on punitive damages and the role that the US liability system plays in resolving political disputes. “Tony Sebok is a strong contributor in both teaching and research at Cardozo,” said Dr. Lowengrub. The author of numerous articles about mass restitution litigation, jurisprudence, and the differences between European and American tort systems, Dr. Sebok is frequently quoted by the national media on timely legal issues. A Yale and Princeton graduate (for his JD and PhD respectively), he is the author of Legal Positivism in American Jurisprudence and co-editor of Philosophy of Law: A Collection of Essays. Michelle Adams–Professor of Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Prof. Adams joins the Cardozo faculty from Harvard Law School. After receiving her JD from the City University of New York, she clerked for Magistrate Judge James C. Francis, IV of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and then practiced law as a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society, Civil Appeals and

Michelle Adams Law Reform Unit in New York. In 1993, Prof. Adams was named the Charles Hamilton Houston Fellow at Harvard Law School. She writes in the areas of affirmative action, race and sex discrimination, and housing law. “In her year at Cardozo as visiting professor, she received enthusiastic reviews from her students as well as her colleagues,” said Dr. Lowengrub. Reverend Frederick J. Streets–Carl and Dorothy Bennet Professor of Pastoral Counseling, Wurzweiler School of Social Work Rev. Frederick J. Streets joins the Wurzweiler faculty following his service as chaplain of Yale University and senior pastor of the University Church at Yale, positions he has held since 1992 and which he was

Adam Newton–Chairman, English Department, Yeshiva College Dr. Newton, who was the youngest professor appointed to an endowed chair at the University of Texas in Austin, is “a stellar addition to the college’s faculty,” said Morton Lowengrub, PhD, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. In addition to numerous essays, the Harvard doctoral graduate has published four books with major university presses over the past 10 years including Narrative Ethics, which was awarded the Harvard University Press Thomas J. Wilson Prize. Dr. Newton also directed the Jewish Studies Program at UT Austin. Among his research interests are 20th-century American literature, popular culture, and contemporary fiction. Barry Eichler–Professor of Biblical and Ancient Near East Studies, Yeshiva College and Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies Dr. Eichler, a visiting professor at Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies for

the first African American and Baptist to hold. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Yale University and master’s and doctoral degrees in social work from Wurzweiler. As a consultant to the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma, Rev. Streets helped implement a model for the psychiatric and pastoral care of Bosnian citizens traumatized by war. He also traveled to Colombia to promote peace-making and to Argentina to help foster a greater understanding of the nonprofit sector’s relationship to higher education. Dr. Lowengrub commented, “Rev. Dr. Streets will significantly add to the social work school’s ever-broadening base in the national and international arenas.” continued on page 9

Dr. David Berger David Berger–Professor of Medieval Jewish History, Yeshiva College and Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies David Berger ‘64Y, R, a worldrenowned scholar in medieval Jewish history and a long-time visiting professor at Revel Graduate School, was hired full-time in the spring. He was previously the Broeklundian Professor of History at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Among Dr. Berger’s many publications are The Rebbe, the Messiah, and the Scandal of Orhodox Indifference. “With his

Rev. Frederick J. Streets


YESHIVA UNIVERSITY Morry Weiss, Chairman YU Board of Trustees Richard M. Joel President

CHECK OUT YESHIVA UNIVERSITY'S ONLINE STORE > Now 45% off < > yu.awards.com <

Dr. Norman Lamm Chancellor Georgia B. Pollak Vice President for University Communications and Public Affairs
Joshua L. Muss, Chairman, Board of Directors, Yeshiva College; Marjorie Diener Blenden, Chairman, Board of Directors, Stern College for Women; Bernard L. Madoff, Chairman, Board of Directors, Sy Syms School of Business; Ira M. Millstein, Chairperson, Board of Overseers, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Kathryn O. Greenberg, Chairman, Board of Directors, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law; Robert Schwalbe, Chair, Board of Governors, Wurzweiler School of Social Work; Mordecai D. Katz, Chairman, Board of Directors, Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies; Katherine Sachs, Chair, Board of Governors, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology; Moshael J. Straus, Chairman, Board of Directors, Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration; Julius Berman, Chairman, Board of Trustees, (affiliate) Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary; Erica Jesselson, Chairperson, Board of Directors, (affiliate) Yeshiva University Museum. Board listings as of January 1, 2007.

YESHIVA UNIVERSITY TODAY Valerie Peters Editor-In-Chief Kelly Berman Editor Boris Volunuev Designer Stacey Billups, Elsa Brenner, Paulette Crowther, Enrique Cubillo, Susan Davis, Steve Eichinger, Marcy Frank, June Glazer, Norman Goldberg, Lois Goldrich, Andrea Kahn, Toni Kamins, Celia Regan, Peter Robertson, Arlene Schulman, Hedy Shulman, V. Jane Windsor Contributors spider.mc.yu.edu/news/in_print/publications.cfm

Men’s and women’s tees, polos, and hoodies • Baby bibs, book bags, and coffee mugs Plus other Yeshiva University items for men, women, and children

Yeshiva University Today is published every two months during the academic year by the Yeshiva University Department of Communications and Public Affairs, 401 Furst Hall, 500 West 185th St., New York, NY 10033-3201 (212-960-5285). It is distributed free on campus to faculty, staff, students, alumni, and donors. © Yeshiva University 2007

September 2007

YUToday 3

Building Boom,
continued from p. 1

CLASSROOM MODERNIZATIONS Multimedia systems have been installed in 22 classrooms at the Israel Henry Beren Campus, matching work that was recently completed at the Wilf Campus, so that virtually every undergraduate classroom now has high-quality PC and DVD projection systems.

FURST HALL A welcoming new Office of Admissions greets prospective and current students and their families on the first floor of Furst Hall this semester. The suite includes the office of Hillel Davis, PhD, vice president for university life. Under-utilized areas on the Furst Hall lower level, previous-

Stern’s new beit midrash was designed in consultation with students.

New glass façade at 245 Lexington Avenue. NEW DORMITORY AT STERN A new building has been added to the Beren Campus, reinforcing Stern College’s presence as a major educational institution in midtown Manhattan. About 130 students can be housed at the modern and luxurious dormitory at 150 East 35th Street. The facility features lounges and exercise facilities, and each unit includes a beautiful kitchen with marble countertops. BELFER HALL A little-known space in Belfer Hall, the concourse below the basement now hosts an extensive suite of state-of-the-art laboratories for psychology, physics, and computer research at Yeshiva College. The psychology department’s suite includes an observation and subject lab with a one-way mirror, faculty offices, and a comfortable lounge and pantry for students’ and faculty use. The floor also features modern physics labs with a group work area, a suite of four advanced computer research labs with a dedicated server room, and two large computer teaching labs. Large biochemistry and microbiology labs, a dedicated student research facility, and a biology prep room on the 14th floor were completed for the 2007–08 school year.

Stern’s new dorm.

The YC psychology department boasts a comfortable lounge area for faculty and students. GOTTESMAN LIBRARY Scheduled for completion by year’s end, the former space occupied by the YU Museum on the first floor of the Mendel Gottesman Library will be converted into a multi-functional event space. Primarily a student lounge, it will also serve as an auditorium accommodating up to 400 people, and an elegant banquet/dining facility for special events. A series of split levels will define the different areas and allow for flexible use. A new entrance to the library, the Nagel Family Atrium, will be built on West 185th Street. Constructed of glass, it will complement the older brick structure of the library and echo the modern façade of the adjoining Glueck Center when it is finished. I

Observation lab in psychology department at Yeshiva College. ly a practice area for the fencing team, were renovated into about 40 work spaces for staff officesp. Fencing practice will now take place in Zysman Hall. Other staff offices in Furst Hall have been revamped, including Communications and Public Affairs on the fourth floor, and the Chancellor’s suite on the fifth floor. The Office of Alumni and Community Affairs, which has grown rapidly over the past two years, will also occupy part of that floor when work is completed in the fall. GLUECK CENTER Construction has begun on the Jacob and Dreizel Glueck Center for Jewish Study, the first building to be constructed on the Wilf Campus in over 20 years. Over the summer the site was excavated and the foundation laid. Structural work has begun with completion scheduled for 2008. The center will house a two-storey, 470-seat beit midrash—the largest at YU—two spacious lecture halls, 50 faculty offices, nine classrooms, and facilities for seminars and conferences.

President Richard M. Joel checks in on the progress at the Glueck Center building site with foreman John Stancati.

4 YUToday

September 2007


Women’s Athletics Doubles Number of Sports Offered
Basketball Coach Appointed Assistant Athletics Director


emale athletes at Yeshiva University are about to score big. Over the next two years, women’s athletics will add soccer, cross country, and volleyball to its lineup, reaching NCAA status for the first time and achieving full membership in the Skyline Conference—the New York City conference that competes in the NCAA’s Division III. “This is very exciting news,” said Joe Bednarsh, the university’s director of athletics. “We’ve doubled the number of varsity sports on the women’s side, and competing in the Skyline Conference allows our studentathletes the opportunity to com-

pete against an upgraded schedule.” The developments will allow the university’s athletes to have a superior experience on and off the playing field, he added. “Building new programs is a lofty challenge, but I believe we have the support from the YU community to make this initiative a successful one,” he said. The women’s program will be overseen by Esther Goldfeder, the new assistant athletics director. The former director of athletics at the Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls, Goldfeder joined YU four years ago as assistant women’s basketball coach. In hiring Goldfeder, Bednarsh

believes the infrastructure will be in place to allow for a successful building of the women’s programs during what is in many ways a new era for the Maccabees. “Esther is an experienced athletics administrator who has developed fantastic ties to our community as an assistant coach,” Bednarsh said. “She has the patience and determination to oversee the development of a women’s athletics program that our entire community will continue to be proud of.” After competing as a club program in 2006, women’s soccer will begin varsity play dur-

Assistant athletics director, Esther Goldfeder (far right). ing the upcoming season with coaching by Jack Thelusma, former men’s head soccer coach. Women’s cross country and volleyball will operate as club programs during the fall of 2007. Cross country will be coached by Stanley Watson, Yeshiva College’s assistant athletic director and director of intramural athletics, and volleyball by Roxanne Prendergast, a 2006 team captain for Mount Saint Vincent who led her team to winning records during three of her four college seasons. I

New CIO Reorganizes MIS
ess than six months after being appointed vice president for information technology and chief information officer, Marc Milstein has reorganized the Management Information Service (MIS) department to bring greater cohesion and improve service across the graduate and undergraduate campuses. Marc Milstein Milstein’s first step was to change MIS’s name to Information Technology Services (ITS) to reflect YU’s move toward improved organization for all the university’s technological services. Overall, Milstein’s goal is to transform IT into a vital, integral part of university life. To implement these changes, Milstein hired three departmental directors, two of whom come from within YU, to form the nucleus of the Office of the Chief Information Officer. Tom Oleszczuk, PhD, is director of academic services, which includes technical support for academic computing and the Web, as well as oversight of the Help Desk. Robert Lummis, PhD, is director of information technology and security and retains his previous title of assistant dean for information technology at Einstein. Dr. Lummis is responsible for university-wide networks, security administration and e-mail services, as well as supporting all university-wide clinical and academic research. Terry Every has been hired as director for central and administrative systems, overseeing computer operations, servers, financial applications support, and the Student Information System (Banner). Arthur Myers, previously the director of MIS, now assists Milstein with the organizational transition and leads major projects initiated by his office. In the short-term, Milstein plans to dramatically expand bandwidth, upgrade network hardware, and provide more rapid resolution of problems and better customer service. Over the long term, the department plans to integrate IT into the curriculum and campus life, by offering ubiquitous wireless and Web access to university services. New technology, such as notebooks and handhelds, will be introduced more widely, and technology will be more widely supported across platforms including Apple Macs and Linux. I

New Sy Syms Dean,
continued from p. 1 society at large.” Dr. Ginzberg was also attracted to the deanship because it provides an ideal opportunity to build the school, which he said has “enormous potential.” He will focus in the immediate future on securing accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, enhancing existing undergraduate programs, establishing a comprehensive honors program, and exploring the introduction of selective graduate programs. Dr. Ginzberg has an impressive record in accomplishing such goals at other institutions. At the University of Delaware, his tenure as the Lerner College dean was highlighted by the establishment of the John Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance, securing the endowment to name the school, and introducing graduate programs in the management of systems and technology and organizational change. He was also awarded $10 million from the US Agency for International Development to develop a graduate school of business in Sarajevo. Prior to that deanship, Dr. Ginzberg served as a professor and associate dean of the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve for over 15 years where he built the information systems department into one of the nation’s top information systems research departments focusing on behavioral and organizational issues. He also established the Center for Management of Science and Technology, an interdisciplinary center for research and teaching; exchange programs with business schools in several European and Latin American countries; and an MBA program in partnership with the International Management Center in Budapest. Dr. Ginzberg, who has also held faculty positions at Columbia and New York University, earned his doctorate in management in 1975 from the Alfred P. Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his MBA in economic analysis is from Iona College. A native of Cincinnati who grew up in South Florida and Westchester County, NY, Dr. Ginzberg has held leadership positions in various professional organizations including: the Executive Committee of the International Conference on Information Systems; the Society for Information Management (Northeast Ohio Chapter); the International Management Center, the Sarajevo Graduate School of Business; and Beta Alpha Psi, the honorary society for accounting and financial information professionals. He is a fellow of the


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Association for Information Systems. He is the author and/or editor of more than 50 articles and books on information systems development and management, information technology strategy, and organizational change, and the recipient of a number of major grants. In his Jewish community leadership, Dr. Ginzberg has served on the board of the Jewish Federation of Delaware; Congregation Beth Shalom in Wilmington, DE; Hillel at the University of Delaware; Bellefaire Jewish Children’s Bureau; and Congregation Bethaynu in Ohio. I

I urge students to check

September 2007

YUToday 5

Faculty Profile: Jacob Wisse, PhD

Picturing the Renaissance


torytelling is in Jacob Wisse’s genes. As associate professor of art history at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, Dr. Wisse weaves connections between works of art to reveal a narrative about their relation to society. This preoccupation with telling stories runs deep in his mother’s side of the family, who settled in Montreal in 1940 after leaving Poland and fleeing Romania as the Russian army advanced. “My grandmother would create elaborate stories about the paintings hanging in her dining room,” Dr. Wisse says. “How factual these stories were, no one really knew. Some of the paintings were painted after the war, yet she created stories around them that related to her life before the war. There was something quite mesmerizing about that.” His teaching and research— his special area of interest is Renaissance art of northern Europe—are driven by a latent enthusiasm for “seeing things in their original creative and social context.” It is an approach that has won him much popularity among students—he was named the Lillian F. and William L. Silber Professor of the Year at the end of the 2005–06 academic year, his first at YU. “Dr. Wisse brings an infectious love of learning to the classroom and a respect for his students that is obvious to them,” says Karen Bacon, PhD, The Dr. Monique C. Katz Dean of Stern. “He encourages them to take risks in their interpretation of art or to venture into areas of study that are new to them.” EXPANDING ART HISTORY The only full-time member of Stern’s art history department, his success at developing the curriculum and his rapport with students have become the impetus for “invigorating and expanding the art history department,” says Dean Bacon. The school is searching for another full-time professor to be appointed next year. The young Jacob grew up in Montreal in a traditional Jewish home with rich cultural interests—“a kind of Yiddish mafia,” he says. His parents— his father, Leonard, is a lawyer and his mother, Ruth, a prominent professor of Yiddish and comparative literature at Harvard University—grew up in vibrant Yiddish-speaking environments steeped in music, theater and the arts.

As a child, he was encouraged to explore all of his interests. After initially setting course for a career in medicine, “which was what a lot of good Jewish kids aimed to do,” he realized he had “little talent for calculus and organic chemistry.” At the same time, the humanities courses he was taking at junior college (Quebec’s twoyear program bridging high school and university) were drawing him further in. WAYS OF SEEING A course on “The Artist in Society” introduced him to the British art critic and historian John Berger, whose book, Ways of Seeing—based on the 1970s BBC television series of the same name—became a canonical text on art criticism and cultural studies. “Berger focused on the role of the artist as an agent who has a substantial impact on society while at the same time being worked upon by social forces,” says Dr. Wisse, who pre-

His doctoral research in art history at NYU, completed in 1999, forms the basis of a book, City Painters in the Burgundian Netherlands, to be published by Brepols Press in winter 2008. The book is based on extensive research in the 15th-century municipal archives of major centers in the southern Netherlands, or present-day Belgium. “It is the first study to investigate the role and work of civic artists in northern Europe during the Renaissance period,” says Dr. Wisse about the two distinct municipal roles that developed for artists in the 15th century—that of “city-master painters,” who were hired to organize and decorate civic processions, and “city painters,” whose job it was to adorn public buildings with artwork of extraordinary beauty. ART IN THE CITY “Both positions were shaped directly under the influence of civic pride and competition— each city wanting to outdo the

Dr. Jacob Wisse will publish “City Painters in the Burgundian Netherlands” in 2008. He is also writing an essay on the 15th-century south Netherlandish artist Rogier van der Weyden for an exhibition in Louvain, Belgium in 2009. MUSEUM VISITS Visits to museums are so integral to Dr. Wisse’s teaching that he has designed courses around particular exhibits, including “Age of Rembrandt” this fall at the Metropolitan Museum. “The fact that you can take the subway and be up at the Met or the Museum of Modern Art in a short time is a great advantage of Stern’s location in midtown Manhattan,” says the professor, a consummate urbanite who has lived in New York City for 17 years. Students had a wonderful opportunity to see works firsthand during a summer honor’s course on the architecture and art of the Medici period, taught in Florence. “I felt I could see my own reactions at seeing artworks for the first time through their eyes,” he says of the group. (See story on page 6.) Dr. Wisse’s background in civic—rather than iconographic—art of the Renaissance and his own schooling in Jewish tradition make him a natural fit to guide Modern Orthodox students through a period that forms the backbone of Western culture. I

“ It is the role of the teacher to link single images to the moment when they were created.”
viously taught at Adelphi University, The Cooper Union, and The Pratt Institute. He was seduced by the idea that individual artists and the “distinct, unpredictable, and wondrous” works and styles they create are not only molded by the times they live in, but also have an impact on society by confirming, challenging, or simply informing people’s perceptions of the world. “One of the things that appealed to me when I first sat in art history classes at McGill University is that you are studying single images often generations removed from the original and it is the role of the teacher to link them to the moment when they were created and string them together into some kind of cinematic form,” Dr. Wisse says about his undergraduate studies in Canada. He applied these theories about looking at art to his master’s studies at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, followed by an internship in the Paintings Conservation Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that earned him a Curatorial Studies Certificate. other with the beauty and scale of its public art.” He was initially attracted to the paintings of northern European Renaissance artists such as Hugo van der Goes by the brilliant and resonant use of color and heightened expression that distinguishes them from their Italian counterparts. Dr. Wisse has given gallery talks on early Netherlandish art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and contributed to a timeline of art history for the museum’s Website, writing entries on topics such as Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Albrecht Dürer, the Reformation, and 16th - and 17thcentury art of Prague. A number of projects have arisen from his PhD research. He is writing catalogue entries on Netherlandish and German paintings in the former collection of Jacques Goudstikker, a Jewish art dealer who amassed one of the most important collections of old master paintings in Amsterdam before World War II. Works from the collection will be shown at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, next summer before traveling to other museums, including Yad Vashem in Israel.

yeshiva university



Sunday, December 9, 2007
The Waldorf=Astoria New York City Convocation 5:30 pm • Dinner 7 pm Please Save the Date For information call 212-960-5388 e-mail alevin1@yu.edu

6 YUToday

September 2007

Summer Activities Bring Learning to Life
Honors Courses Take Students to Distant Climes


or students in Stern College for Women’s S. Daniel Abraham Israel Honors Program and Yeshiva College’s Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program, the summer is an opportunity to breathe in the air of a different type of learning, one which exposes them to another culture. Fifteen Stern College students explored Renaissance art and architecture as part of “Art and Experience in Medici Florence,” an honors course taught in Florence by Jacob Wisse, PhD, associate professor of art history at Stern (see profile on page 5). “You could see the impact that the scale and craftsman-

ship of the art and architecture had on them,” said Dr. Wisse. Elisa Abramowitz said she was awestruck by Michelangelo’s David, which she had anticipated seeing for the whole trip. “I was completely unprepared for how impressive the sculpture looked up close,” she said. Highlights included visits to the former convent of San Apollonia, the monastery of San Marco, the Uffizi, the Accademia, and Pisa. The students traveled to Siena, where they visited the synagogue and toured the Jewish ghetto. They also attended Shabbat services at a synagogue in Florence. Dr. Wisse hopes to offer the course regularly.

Japan was the destination for a group of 16 Yeshiva College students who took courses in Japanese culture, banking, and business with Dr. Mara Miller and Dr. Elias Grivoyannis. The students toured Tokyo and Kyoto with stops at art museums, banks, the Nikkei Stock Exchange, public gardens, a Yomiuri Giants baseball game, and a sumo wrestling club. “We observed and interacted with a culture totally different from what we are used to,” said Joshua Jay, a junior. “Meeting with Japanese bank officials and attending a kabuki theater bring the educational process to a whole new level,” Jay said.

Students made their final presentations in front of the Duomo. The students maintained a daily Torah study program, taught by RIETS Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi David Horwitz, who also took on the role of supervising kashrus (dietary laws) and davening (prayer). Daniel Aronhime, another junior, was particularly inspired by Kyoto, “a gorgeous city filled with shrines and gardens,” reflecting, he said, “both simplicity and self-control.” The honors programs also co-sponsored “Archaeology of Israel” and “Judaism Under Greece and Rome,” courses that were part of the YU Summer Israel Experience (see below) in July. I

Helping Needy Teens in the Negev


or Rebecca Halpern, working with teenagers in Yerucham in the Negev made the summer of 2007 one she will always remember. “It felt so good for me to help the teens,” the Stern College for Women student said. “Every morning they would come in with a smile and hug.” Halpern, 20, was one of five female and three male undergraduates from Yeshiva College who spent July working as

part of a community service project, the Zusman Family Counterpoint Israel Program, run by YU’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF). They ran a three-week summer camp for 35 local teens, who are not religious and come from poor socioeconomic backgrounds. They have little exposure to extracurricular activities such as dance, art, and sports lessons, many of which they experienced for the first time at the camp.

Campgoers work on their English skills.

“The students created and facilitated educational workshops and fun activities for the campers,” said Aliza Abrams, program director for the CJF’s Department of Community Initiatives. The YU students also ran programs that explored issues such as peer pressure, low selfesteem, and setting goals with the campgoers. According to Shuki Taylor, CJF’s director of Israel programs and operations, the children’s parents saw a marked difference in their children when the program ended. One boy who had a severe stutter excelled in art activities. “At the closing event, we gave him two awards,” Taylor said. “His mother said that the camp was a miracle: it changed her son. He had never won an award. She had never seen him so motivated.” Abrams summed up the camp’s impact: “The level of commitment shown by our students made this summer a life-changing experience for the Israeli campers as well as for the students themselves.” I


ISRAEL AS A GATEWAY TO JEWISH STUDIES… wenty-four students with a limited background in Jewish studies explored Israel and learned Torah with some of YU’s top faculty as part of the Jerry and Mary Swartz July in Jerusalem program, run by YU’s Mechinah and Basic Jewish Studies programs. For many students, it was their first time engaging Volunteering at a greenhouse. in learning Talmud in a classical yeshiva setting. The group, who came from YU and other universities across North America, toured holy sites and volunteered in soup kitchens, a children’s home, and a greenhouse. … AND AS A CLASSROOM FOR HANDS-ON LEARNERS Students of archaeology helped excavate a household shrine from the time of the Philistines at the biblical city of Gat (Tell es-Safi) while on the Yeshiva University Summer Israel Experience in July. While some students conducted archaeological fieldwork with Dr. Jill Katz, lecturer in archaeology and anthropology, others learned Touring synagogue ruins. about classical Jewish history with Steven Fine, PhD, professor of Jewish history, and a group of interns worked in businesses and not-for-profits in Jerusalem. The for-credit courses used the land and resources of Israel to bring to life the Jewish past and present. I

September 2007

YUToday 7

Summer Torah Study Program a First for Women


hile summer Torah learning programs for men are available in many Jewish communities throughout the New York tri-state area, women seeking advanced study programs have been frustrated by a lack of similar opportunities—until now. For four weeks in July, Yeshiva University offered an unprecedented program of in-depth Torah study for girls and women of all ages from Bergen County, NJ, and beyond as part of the Teaneck Beit Midrash Summer Project. The communal-learning component project, which was cosponsored by YU’s Center for

the Jewish Future (CJF) and Graduate Program in Advanced Talmudic Studies (GPATS), attracted some 160 women to the weekly classes at Maayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls. “I am not on a particularly high level of learning, yet I make time in my work schedule to hear Rebbetzin Smadar Rosensweig. She makes the class accessible to everyone,” said Miriam Salomon ’77S about one of the program teachers, who was appointed professor of Bible at Stern College for Women this year. Also teaching in the communal learning program are: Rachel Friedman ’95 BR; Elana

Stein Hain, the William Fischman Resident Scholar at the Jewish Center in Manhattan and a GPATS senior fellow last year; Rabbi Moshe Kahn ’72Y, R, who teaches at Stern College and in the GPATS program; and Rabbi Shmuel Hain YH, ’98Y, R, the GPATS director and head of the Teaneck project. Twelve women—six of whom study in GPATS—learn in the school’s beit midrash (study hall) daily under the guidance of Rabbi Hain and with young girls in the Teaneck community in the afternoons and evenings. “Every girl who comes to learn in Maayanot’s beit midrash

GPATS students learn with girls from the Teaneck community. encounters a potential role model,” said Rabbi Hain. “We want young women and girls to see women who take their Jewish studies seriously.” Said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, CJF dean, “Through their interactions with women from the tri-state area, our students build and cultivate community while at the same time grow in their Torah knowledge and spirit of leadership to Klal Yisrael [the people of Israel].” I

Budding Scientists Conduct Research

Finding the Fun in Physics


here was little summer vacation for 12 undergraduates who conducted research with top scientific scholars at Albert Einstein College of Medicine instead of taking time off. The eight students in the Roth Scholars Program and the four students in the University Summer Research Scholars Program were paired with scientists at Einstein to gain experience doing cutting-edge scientific research, said Barry Potvin, PhD, professor of biology at Yeshiva College. Sarah Guigui, of Marseille, France, a student

at Stern College for Women, worked in the lab of Anne Bresnick, PhD, an associate professor of biochemistry who studies the molecular mechanisms regulating cell motility and cell division. “This experience has made me realize that research is a viable option within my medical career goals,” the biochemistry major said. A few of the students continue their research at Einstein or participate in similar work at labs closer to campus once the summer is over. The Roth Scholars Program is sponsored by the Ernst and Hedwig Roth Institute of Bio-

L–R: Eliyah Neiman, Dovid Skversky, Elie Wolfe, and Eli Lansey.


Undergraduate researchers at Einstein this summer were: Back row (L–R): Sarah Guigui, Abby Atlas, Nilly Brodt, Jonathan Hefter, Ashrei Bayewitz, Matthew Cherney. Front row (L–R): Shifra Liba Klein, Rachel Yamnick, Chani Schonbrun, Aaron Etra, David Levine (Alexander Raytman is not pictured).

hile physics involves a lot of abstract and complicated mathematical concepts, “there are basic principles that even kids can understand,” said Eli Lansey ’07Y, one of a group of physics students who taught a class to public school students this June. Thanks to a Marsh White Outreach Award from the Society of Physics Students, which supports projects promoting interest in physics among students and the general public, four members of the Yeshiva University Physics and Engineering Club (YUPEC) gave demonstrations on light refraction, lasers, magnetism, and conservation of energy to about 100 fifth- and sixth-grade students at Junior High School 143 in Washington Heights. “It got the children excited about physics, and showed us how science is being taught in public schools,” said Lansey, who was joined by YUPEC president Dovid Skversky, senior Eliyahu Neiman, and Elie Wolfe ’06Y. “One fifth-grade class was so interested in our demonstration that many stayed during their lunch break to play with the balls and electro-magnets,” said Skversky. Skversky said he hoped to return to the school and broaden their outreach in the coming year. I

Yeshiva University expanded the walls of its beit midrash (study hall) this summer to give various Orthodox communities across North America a taste of the warmth and wisdom of YU rabbis and students. The Summer Kollel Program, organized by the Center for the Jewish Future, included visits to Toronto; Denver; Atlanta; Chicago; Beverley Hills; Queens, NY; and Passaic and Teaneck, NJ, during July and August. The YU scholars offered an open atmosphere of Torah learning, with shiurim (lectures), chavruta (partner-style) learning, youth activities, and Shabbat events in each community they visited. The program gives young rabbis an opportunity to run a kollel (Torah study institute), interact with Jewish youth, and learn leadership skills. It also exposes them to a wide array of Jewish communities. The Toronto kollel included a fiveweek stay in five communities across Hamilton and the greater Toronto area, where the YU scholars made a significant impact. At right, Rabbi Jeff Turtel (far right), a recent fellow of the YU RIETS Kollel, studies with community members from Congregation Shaarei Tefillah in Toronto. I

8 YUToday

September 2007

Meet This Year’s Presidential Fellows


ome students just can’t get enough of their Yeshiva University experience. Fourteen top academic graduates have chosen to remain at YU for one more year as Presidential Fellows to build their professional skills while assisting in administrative and service roles. Established by President Richard M. Joel, and now in its fourth year, the Presidential Fellowship in University and Community Leadership is part of a broader effort to both train top graduates and expand the university’s service to the Jewish community.

“The program has motivated its participants to reflect on the positive experiences they have had at Yeshiva University and examine the opportunities in the Jewish community––both for laypeople and professionals—in light of their interests and skills,” said President Joel. “The fellowship inspires them to reach for the nobility and responsibility that comes with leadership.” Presidential Fellows were chosen after an intensive screening process based on academic performance, campus leadership, and involvement with the Jewish community. For the

duration of a year, each fellow works with a senior administrator within their assigned department who acts as a mentor and solicits their feedback as former students. “I am taking this year to gain new skills while building upon my strengths as a leader,” said Shari Shanin ’07S of Monsey, NY, who works in the Fanya Gottesfeld Heller Division of Doctoral Studies at Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration. “I am also excited to invest myself in the institution that invested so much in me,” she said.

Some of this year’s Presidential Fellows are considering careers in Jewish communal service and see their participation as a good way to test the waters. Others will use their new skills and experiences as future lay leaders in the Jewish community. Jenni Richton ’07S of Miami Beach, FL, envisions working in a Jewish organization or in the academic world, so her fellowship in the university’s Center for the Jewish Future is “the perfect place for me to gain experience,” she said. The program is directed by Rabbi Josh Joseph, chief of staff

2007–2008 Presidential Fellows: (Back row, L–R) Shari Shanin (Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education’s Fanya Gottesfeld Heller Division of Doctoral Studies); Zev Koller (Office of the Vice President for University Life); Jonathan Frankel (Center for the Jewish Future); Noam Joel (Human Resources); Adam Altman (Office of Administrative Services); Rafi Edelman (Office of Student Affairs); Marc Fein (Office of the President); Raffi Rosenzwieg (Communications and Public Affairs); Tiferet Unterman (Dean’s Office at Wurzweiler School of Social Work); (Front row, L–R): Michal Kalinsky (Center for the Jewish Future); Sara Menchel (Office of Admissions); Jenny Steinberg (Office of Admissions); Lauren Pietruszka (Dean’s Office at Stern College); Jenni Richton (Center for the Jewish Future).

in the Office of the President, and administered by Elysia Stein ’05S. Throughout the year, the fellows attend a graduate-level weekly leadership seminar covering key topics in university administration and Jewish communal leadership. “My experience exposed me to fields I had little experience with,” said Barrie Zigman ’06S, who worked in the Department of Communications and Public Affairs as a Presidential Fellow in 2006–07. “The supportive environment enabled me to focus on developing skills instead of spending the first several months learning company basics. That was a tremendous advantage in making the transition from student to professional. “I feel much better equipped to face the working world now than I did when I first graduated,” Zigman said. The fellowship cements participants’ ties to their alma mater, often leading to more permanent work for them within the university’s administration. Eli Hagler, also a fellow in 2006–07, was appointed assistant director of undergraduate admissions this summer. “The fellowship added so much to my already invaluable experience as a student here. I applaud President Joel for implementing the idea of taking new graduates and providing them with solid work experience at the university,” Hagler said. I

New Undergrad Curricula Will Better Meet Students’ Needs


eshiva College students this fall will begin reaping the rewards of a comprehensive curriculum review that Dr. David Srolovitz initiated shortly after his appointment as the college’s dean last summer. Over the past year, a steering committee held focus sessions with faculty, surveyed students, and consulted with other universities to elicit input. Committee members also spoke with several roshei yeshiva [professors of Talmud], members of the the college’s board, President Richard M. Joel, and the office of admissions. “We don’t want to take the old curriculum and tweak around the edges,” Dr. Srolovitz said. “We’re saying to each of the people we speak to, ‘If we gave you a blank slate to design the perfect curriculum,

what would it look like?’” The process has begun to yield results. The first changes will address the transition of first-year-on-campus students, the structure of majors, and the overall requirements for

in American History,” and “Sense of Music: The Concerto”—will be intellectually stimulating and will forge closer ties among students. “The transition from yeshiva in Israel to life on campus can

“If we gave you a blank slate to design the perfect curriculum, what would it look like?”
general education. Three sections of a first-year seminar are being piloted for students returning from the Israel. Structured around a theme, the seminars—“Understanding Technology,” “Immigrant and Ethnic Experience be difficult for students,” Dr. Joanne Jacobson, associate dean for academic affairs, said. “These seminars will provide a threshold to help students cross over into a different world.” The seminars—which will

include a partnered writing section taught by writing instructors—will include excursions into New York City. For the past two years, Stern College for Women’s curriculum review committee has been exploring changes to the school’s liberal arts and science graduation requirements with a view to a simultaneous rollout when all the pieces are in place. This year, the committee plans to present the faculty with its model of a proposed new curriculum. “The curriculum review is part of Stern’s strategic plan, which builds for the future,” said Karen Bacon, PhD, The Dr. Monique C. Katz Dean at Stern. “We’re thinking of outcomes—the skills students will need after graduating. How will they solve problems? What will they need to think critically about science, technology, international

affairs? Which experiences will sensitize them to appreciate the cultural richness of America and world civilizations? We’d like to help them develop skills to meet these challenges.” While the committee is still reflecting on possible changes, Dean Bacon said it is clear that the new curriculum will include an intensified and creative emphasis on both writing skills and quantitative analysis. The committee is also considering changing Stern College’s science requirement from separate courses in chemistry, biology, and physics to a problem-based, interdisciplinary approach for students not majoring in the sciences. Also under consideration for all students are foundational courses that will approach a topic using the different perspectives and methodologies

September 2007

YUToday 9


Philosophy Scholar to Head Honors Program
Dr. Otteson is initially devoting himself to directing the honors program, said Joanne Jacobson, PhD, associate dean for academic affairs at Yeshiva College. He also has a joint appointment in the philosophy and economics departments, where he will teach later in the year. A highly regarded philosophy scholar specializing in the work of political economist Adam Smith, Dr. Otteson received his PhD from the University of Chicago. He has published two books with Cambridge University Press, one of which—Adam Smith’s Marketplace of Life—was named Outstanding Academic Title in 2003 by the American Library Association. A new book, Adam Smith, is forthcoming from Continuum Press. He has held teaching and research fellowships at the University of Edinburgh, the University of Aberdeen, and Bowling Green State University. “Dr. Otteson is a strong contributor to our research and teaching profile,” Morton Lowengrub, PhD, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs, said. “He is a key appointment in our ambitious initiative to strengthen the quality of our faculty.” Dr. Otteson has taught at the University of Alabama since 1997, chairing the philosophy department since 2005. He specializes in the history of modern philosophy, political philosophy, and ethics. He is looking forward to enhancing the honors program so that it reaches its full potential, he said. “Yeshiva University is dedicated to providing the country’s best overall education to students interested in both aspects of its Torah Umadda [the confluence of Torah and secular knowledge] mission, and the honors program will play a central role in helping YU to reach its highest potential,” Dr. Otteson said. He will build on the work of Will Lee, PhD, program director for the past six years. Department heads and program chairpeople at the college are limited to serving two three-year terms. “Dr. Lee did a tremendous job shepherding the students in the honors program,” said David Srolovitz, PhD, dean of Yeshiva College. “We are happy that we are continuing to benefit from his expertise as associate professor of English.” I

Dr. James Otteson ames Otteson, PhD, chair of the department of philosophy at the University of Alabama, takes the reins at the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program at Yeshiva College this fall.


Three Recent Grads Are Wexner Fellows

TWO NEW VICE PRESIDENTS Georgia Pollak (left) has been named vice president for communications and public affairs and Jeffrey Rosengarten (below) as vice president for administrative services. Both serve on the President’s Cabinet and report directly to President Richard M. Joel. “Georgia Pollak has led a professional team through a period of renewal,” President Joel said. “She continues to bring her formidable management and communications skills to this vital leadership task.” Mr. Rosengarten has been part of the university administration for more than 33 years in positions at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and on both Manhattan campuses. His responsibilities span campus planning; design and construction; and operations, which includes administrative responsibility for major campus service departments such as facilities management, security, food services, and mail and production services. I


hree YU alumni are among the 20 outstanding young graduates chosen this year for Wexner Foundation Grauate Study Fellowships. The fellowship program was established by Jewish philanthropists Leslie and Abigail Wexner to encourage promising candidates to meet the challenges of professional Jewish leadership in North America. Moshe Goldfeder ’07Y, Sharon Weiss ’03S, AG, and Avi Narrow-Tilonsky ’06Y have been awarded the prestigious fellowships, which provide a stipend for students toward

graduate studies in Jewish education, Jewish communal leadership, the rabbinate, the cantorate, and Jewish studies. Goldfeder enters the semikhah [ordination] program at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) this fall as well as Fordham University Law School as a firstyear law student; Weiss begins doctoral studies in education and Jewish studies at New York University; and NarrowTilonsky, a Presidential Fellow at the Center for the Jewish Future last year, enters RIETS as well as Baruch College-The City University of New York to study for a master’s in public

administration. Eitan Ben-David, a graduate of Columbia University, also won a fellowship to study at RIETS and NYU. The Wexner Foundation was established in 1984 by businessman Leslie Wexner, who founded The Limited, Inc. (now Limited Brands). Alumni of its programs serve in leadership roles throughout the Jewish community and benefit from an extensive network of nearly 2,000 North American and Israeli leaders. Goldfeder said, “I am honored at the responsibility before me—to realize my dreams and to represent YU and its dreams

YU Adds Faculty
continued from p. 2 Jeffrey Glanz–Professor of Jewish Education; Stanley and Raine Silverstein Professor of Professional Ethics, Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration Prior to joining the YU faculty, Dr. Glanz served as dean of graduate studies and chairman of education at Wagner College in Staten Island. A doctoral graduate of Teachers College, Columbia University, he is the author of nine books on various educational topics and co-author of Supervision That Improves Teaching and Supervision in Practice. “With Dr. Glanz’s national and international reputation and his remarkable research productivity,

he will be instrumental in Azrieli’s efforts to reach out to Modern Orthodox day schools,” Dr. Lowengrub said. Other faculty who are joining YU this year are: YESHIVA COLLEGE Silke Aisenbrey, Assistant Professor of Sociology Anna-Lisa Cohen, Assistant Professor of Psychology Bruno Galantucci, Assistant Professor of Psychology Marc Garcelon, Associate Professor of Sociology Joshua Karlip, Assistant Professor of Jewish History Joan Mazelis, Assistant Professor of Sociology Rachel Mesch, Assistant Professor of Modern Languages Jess Olson, Assistant Professor of Jewish History

Francesco Ruscitti, Instructor of Economics Mehmet Sencicek, Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics JEWISH STUDIES Mark Dratch, Instructor of Judaic Studies and Jewish Philosophy STERN COLLEGE Chaya Gorsetman, Clinical Assistant Professor of Education Evan Mintzer, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Emil Prodan, Assistant Professor of Physics Elizabeth Radziszewski, Assistant Professor of Political Science Smadar Rosensweig, Clinical Assistant Professor of Bible

Lea Ferreira dos Santos, Assistant Professor of Physics SHARED Daniel Rynhold, Assistant Professor of Jewish Philosophy (YC, Revel) Timothy R. White, Assistant Professor of History (YC, SCW) SY SYMS Brian Maruffi, Clinical Professor of Management Aliza Rotenstein, Instructor of Accounting AZRIELI Rona Novick, Associate Professor of Jewish Education FERKAUF Greta Doctoroff, Assistant Professor of Psychology I

TIP # 2

The Metropolitan Experience at Stern College organizes fun trips in New York City—to Broadway shows, ice-skating, and the zoo. Try to do as many as you can.


psychology major Sacramento, CA

10 YUToday

September 2007


Innocence Project Passes 200th Milestone


Byron Halsey was exoneratred in July of murder and sexual assault.

ith new DNA tests proving that Byron Halsey did not commit the brutal sexual assault and murder of two young children in New Jersey for which he was convicted in 1988, the Innocence Project at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law won exoneration in July for its 205th client. Halsey narrowly escaped the death penalty at the time of his conviction, which was overturned in May. DNA testing on several key pieces of evidence used to convict Halsey indicated the guilt of another man, Cliff Hall, already in prison for several other

sex crimes in New Jersey and who testified against Halsey during his trial. Cardozo Professors Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, cofounders of the Innocence Project and codirectors of the national organization, said the exonerations “are the greatest data set ever on the causes of wrongful convictions in the United States and yet just the tip of the iceberg,” since so few cases involve evidence that can be subjected to DNA testing. The Innocence Project launched a month-long national campaign to address and prevent wrongful convictions after it won its 200th exoneration in April.

“The first 200 DNA exonerations have transformed the criminal justice system in this country. These exonerations provide irrefutable scientific proof of the causes of wrongful convictions, and they provide a roadmap for fixing the criminal justice system,” Professor Scheck said. A primary goal of the national campaign is to support the formation of innocence commissions, state entities that identify causes of wrongful convictions, and develop state reforms that can improve the criminal justice system. Six states already have such commissions, and seven more are currently considering leg-

Public Service Graduate Awarded Skadden Fellowship


ecent Cardozo graduate Sarah Hudson-Plush ’07C won a Skadden Fellowship to work in the field of public interest law, the second Skadden Fellow in Cardozo’s history. She is known for numerous leadership roles at Cardozo, especially the founding of Cardozo Youth Advocates, a law student organization that holds lawrelated sessions for teenagers at risk. She also served on the executive board of the Public Interest Law Students Association; trained and served as an advocate for the Courtroom Advocates Project of Cardozo Ad-

Sarah Hudson-Plush vocates for Battered Women; and volunteered for the Unemployment Action Center, Sanctuary for Families’ Uncontested Divorce Project, and the New York Civil Rights Coalitions’ Unlearning Stereotypes Program. Hudson-Plush also interned at Cardozo’s Bet Tzedek

Legal Services Clinic. Upon being informed of Hudson-Plush’s award, Dean David Rudenstine said, “Sarah is an outstanding student, was a compelling candidate for the Skadden Fellowship, and will do exemplary work. She has brought honor to herself and the law school, and I am thoroughly delighted and impressed by her accomplishments and successes.” The Skadden Fellowship Foundation, described by the Los Angeles Times as “a legal Peace Corps,” was established, according to the foundation’s Web site, in 1988 by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and annually provides two-

year fellowships to talented young lawyers so that they may pursue the practice of public interest law on a fulltime basis. Since graduating, HudsonPlush—who wanted to combine child welfare and education law—has worked at the Center for Family Representation (CFR)

in New York. For the fellowship application, she worked with CFR to develop an educational advocacy program for families, which she now runs. She helps parents obtain education services for their children, many of whom have been in the foster care system or are at risk of


Microbiologist Honored by Peers for Original Research

TIP # 3

Sunday, October 14, 2007 9:30 am – 5 pm Yeshiva University, Wilf Campus


Shabbat on campus is a good opportunity to spend time with friends who you don’t see during your hectic week and to make new ones.

Partners in Creation:
F E R T I L I T Y, M O D E R N M E D I C I N E , A N D J E W I S H L AW The Yeshiva University Student Medical Ethics Society and the Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future present the Fuld Family Conference on Halakhah and Fertility Medicine, the society’s second annual conference. Bringing together more than a dozen experts from across North America, Israel, and Great Britain, including Chief Rabbi of England Sir Jonathan Sacks, this full-day conference will provide participants with a background in the fundamental halakhic and ethical issues surrounding fertility, while exploring the latest in cutting-edge technology. Pre-registration required and is available at www.yu.edu/medicalethics


Accounting major Chicago, IL

iise-Anne Pirofski, MD, professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology, and Mitrani Professor of Biomedical Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. The honor recognizes Dr. Pirofski’s contributions to Dr. Liise-Anne Pirofski the field of microbiology. Specifically, Dr. Pirofski’s research has led to new insights into the immune response to Cryptococcus and Pneumococcus, microbes that cause meningitis and pneumonia. Her studies focus on the antibody and cellular responses that can protect against these organisms, with the ultimate goal of developing improved approaches to preventing and treating the diseases that they cause. Fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-reviewed process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced research in microbiology. Dr. Pirofski, who is also chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Einstein, has been a member of the Einstein faculty since 1988. She received her bachelor’s degree at the

September 2007

YUToday 11


Conference Probes Role of Psychology in Torture


o modern-day interrogation techniques violate human rights? If so, are these techniques effective? A conference celebrating Yeshiva University’s Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology’s 50th anniversary, “War, Torture, and Terror: The Role of Psychology,” explored these timely questions in June with three presentations by experts in the field. An audience of more than 100 psychology professionals, students, faculty, and media representatives gathered at the Geraldine Schottenstein Center on the Beren Campus to hear the keynote speakers talk about the role of psychologists in relation to such topical issues as the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prison. Shara Sand ’93F, PsyD, assistant clinical professor of psy-

chology at Ferkauf, set the stage with a discussion on the modern history of coercive interrogation. After defining the dual purpose of torture— “to instill fear and to inflict pain”—Dr. Sand described the development of torture experiments in the United States in the 20th century, specifically naming secret projects funded by the CIA and the Office of Naval Research. She also identified the forefathers of torture studies— Stanley Milgram, Donald Hebb, George Estabrooks, among others—and their association with government-sponsored psychological experiments. Michael Gelles ’87F, PsyD, a consultant based in Washington, DC, and former chief psychologist at the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, spoke about the professional and ethical aspects of psychol-

ogy in the global war on terror. He focused on the evolution of psychology during times of war and the function of psychologists vis-à-vis national security. Dr. Gelles discouraged the use of coercion in interrogation, saying, “We need to use a rapport-based approach with the goal of eliciting accurate information.” Leonard Rubenstein, JD, executive director of Physicians for Human Rights, explored the subject of psychologists’ complicity. He outlined the procedures the government uses to encourage psychologists to play a role in torture. These range from basic actions, such as making torture legal, to more complex mechanisms including creating euphemisms to persuade psychologists that it is “safe, ethical, and effective,” Rubenstein said.

Dr. Shara Sand spoke about the history of torture. Workshops in the afternoon covered a broad range of topics including homophobic persecution, the resiliency of Holocaust survivors, the rape of African refugees in areas of conflict, and the depravity of war crimes. Diana Wall, a counselor at Howard University who traveled to the conference from Washington, DC, said, “I am interested in trauma and the effects of victims of trauma, and this conference helped me gain a broader understanding of these areas.” Ferkauf Graduate School plans to revisit the subject of trauma in conferences, workshops, and research papers in the near future. I



A New Generation of Healers


nne Scheiber, who left $22 million to fund a scholarship for deserving Stern College for Women students accepted into YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine, would be proud of the women who are benefiting from her generosity this year. “It’s an unimaginable dream not to have the burden of loans when pursuing your medical career,” said Shulamit Roditi-Kulak ’05S, from Newton, MA. “I’ve gotten so much help from Stern. I hope to be able to give something back.” Before coming to Stern, Roditi-Kulak spent a year in Israel in Sherut Leumi, a program of volunteer service, working at Shaare Tzedek Hospital. Her exposure there to the field of pediatric oncology set her on her present course. More recently, she worked on Einstein’s Institutional Review Board, which protects the rights of human subjects in research. “With the practice of medicine in so much flux, it is inspiring to know that so many Stern College women—who possess the intellectual skills to solve problems and the empathic skills to care for others—are entering the profession,” said Karen Bacon, PhD,

Study Ranks Social Work Faculty Top Ten in US

Scheiber Scholarship recipients: (L–R) Amanda Weiss, Ariella Nadler, Elisheva Levine, Yordanna Platt, Helen Nissim, Michelle Simpser, Shulamit Roditi-Kulak, Tehilla Stepansky, and Yelena Kozirovsky. The Dr. Monique C. Katz Dean of Stern. The scholarship was endowed by Anne Scheiber upon her death in 1995 and started distributing funds during the 2002–2003 school year. The amounts awarded, which are based upon financial need, range in value up to full tuition for all four years of medical school. Born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1893, Scheiber paid her way through law school, and found employment as a federal tax auditor. Throughout her 23-year career, she received superior performance reviews, but was never promoted, which she attributed to being Jewish and a woman. When she retired she devoted herself to investing in the stock market, where religion and gender didn’t matter. She had an acute understanding of the stock market and an uncanny ability in investing. “It’s unbelievably humbling to hear the story of Anne Scheiber and how she made her money, only to give it away to people she would never meet,” said Shulamit Roditi-Kulak. I

recent study shows that professors at Wurzweiler School of Social Work rank among the top 10 American colleges and universities for the number of scholarly works published between 1999 and 2003. The study, the results of which appear in the Journal of Social Service Research, examines six major, peer-reviewed journals in the field. It was conducted by Jan Ligon of Georgia State University, D. Lynn Jackson of University of Dr. Richard Caputo is one North Texas, and Bruce Thyer of Wurzweiler’s most prolific of Florida State University. professors. “Wurzweiler’s high position in these rankings in such prestigious and competitive social work journals is continued evidence of the enormous talent of our dedicated faculty,” said Sheldon R. Gelman, PhD, the Dorothy and David I. Schachne Dean of Wurzweiler. Their commitment to both teaching and scholarship is most deserving of this commendation.” Each professor from a social work school whose name appears as an author of an article in these journals was counted individually toward the total number of citations credited to that institution. Yeshiva ranked sixth out of 137 institutions for the total number of faculty citations published, ahead of such institutions as Boston and Fordham universities. The study replicates four previously published studies by some or all of its authors covering similar four-year periods beginning in 1979. Wurzweiler has risen significantly in the rankings, jumping from 25 in the 1994–1998 study and 32 in 1989–1993. I




Argentinean ‘Disappeared’ Reclaims the Light
Laura Murlender’s Artworks at YU Museum Exhibit Search for Hope and Reason amid Cruelty


rom the windows of her artist’s studio in Buenos Aires, Laura Murlender looks out at the world and remembers both the darkness and the light of the past. They are the continuing subjects of her work today. Murlender’s exhibit, “From Darkness to Light,” at the Yeshiva University Museum until Nov. 4, articulates her ongoing search for structure in the world as one of Argentina’s former “disappeareds.” A native of Buenos Aires, Murlender was abducted at the age of 19 in 1976 by Argentinean military government officials during that country’s Dirty War, the state-sponsored violence against rebellious citizens, including young Jewish activists like herself. Held in solitary confinement for 11 days, Murlender said she saw only darkness and experienced the torture of a cruel and irrational world. But by a strange twist of fate—a mistake, according to recently found documents— she was liberated, turned out

Murlender was abducted at age 19 by Argentina’s government. on the street in the middle of the night, and told not to turn her head as the car that carried her there sped away, leaving her alone, she recently recalled, “in the shadows of the night.” During a phone interview, the artist recalled those moments of darkness after her abduction, as she steadied her weakened and starving body and finally found a taxi to take her to her parents’ house. Her father was an active Jewish community leader and her grandparents had immigrated to Argentina from Hungary and Russia. Drawing on a long heritage of survival,

her parents put her on a plane to Israel, where Murlender said she slowly rebuilt herself physically and spiritually while living on a kibbutz. “It was like being in a cocoon,” she said. Later, she attended Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem and began her life’s work. “I find it especially meaningful that Israel, itself a victim of so many terror attacks, could provide such a healing and nurturing environment for a traumatized young artist,” said Sylvia A. Herskowitz, director of the YU Museum. Murlender eventually returned to Buenos Aires to be part of its growing movement toward democracy. The works on view at the YU Museum exhibit, sponsored in part by the Friends of Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, make use of different media and materials in oil paintings on canvas, mixed media works on paper, and photography. Her photographs of Israeli archaeological sites, for example, have been overlaid with paint and other

materials. The resulting canvases juxtapose the old with the new: ancient sites join the present among varying fields of space and color. Her work expresses the struggle between rational comprehension and irrational feeling as a balanced tension between grids, layers, textures, and colors. “In my work, I continue to focus on those main ideas of structure and trying to bring rationality into the dialogue through different media, texture, and color,” she said. “As a Jewish woman, I feel my story is not outside the realm of comprehension. And we have to remember, so as not to repeat history.” Murlender has had solo and group exhibitions in Europe and throughout North and South America. Her work is included in public collections such as the Museum of Contemporary Latin-American Art in La Plata, Argentina, and the Bass Museum of Art in Miami, as well as private collections all over the world. I

DONORS, ALUMNI, AND FRIENDS PROVIDED RECORD SUPPORT FOR YU DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 2006–07. Total philanthropic funds—that is, new gifts and pledges received between July 1, 2006 and June 30, 2007—totaled just under $160 million. The figure includes support for everything from student scholarships and faculty research, new chairs and initiatives, to major bricks and mortar projects on every YU campus. President Richard M. Joel noted, “Our year was inspired by the extraordinary beneficence of Ron Stanton,” the former YU board chairman (now chairman emeritus) whose $100 million pledge represents the largest gift ever for Jewish education in this country. “But the generosity of our donors at every level is what pushed us over our goal,” the President said. Additionally, YU achieved a recordbreaking cash total of $77.6 million in the 2006–07 fiscal year.

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