View from YU May 2023

2023 MAY

Valedictorians 2023

Torat Chaim / Live Your Values

After opening remarks from President Berman and Rabbi Michael Rosensweig, members and Fellows of the Kollel presented Torah perspectives on range of topics from medical advances to cryptocurrency.

Yom Ha’Shoah (April 18) Honoring the memory of all those who perished in the Holocaust, YU’s Yom Ha’Shoah program was a moving commem-

oration filled with reflection and hope. A packed audience at Lamport Auditorium listened intently as Stephanie Butnick from

Tablet interviewed Emil Fish, founder

of the Emil A. and Jenny Fish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, who shared his inspiring story of survival. Following the interview, six yahrzeit candles were lit, symbolizing the 6 million who died. The evening concluded with President Berman leading the audience in a recitation of Kel Maleh . READ MORE RIETS Presents Kollel Elyon Conference On April 30, the Bella and Harry Wexner Kollel Elyon, an intensive four-year learning program at RIETS that trains the next generation of rabbinic leaders, hosted its second annual conference. Titled “Torah Views: Science, Scholarship and Society,” the event explored the intersection of high-level Torah learning with issues of communal and philosophical significance.

Yom HaZikaron & Yom Ha’atzmaut (April 24 – 26)

Hundreds attended a Tekes Ma’avar ceremony at Lamport Auditorium for Yom HaZikaron commemorations and Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations. Speakers included President Berman, Rabbi Meir Goldwicht, YU’s very own IDF veteran students, and Ohal Tal, a member of the Israeli Knesset. Festivities included a celebratory Maariv [evening prayer], dancing and an Israeli-themed dinner at the athletics center. The following day, celebrations continued at Tenzer Gardens with food, fun and a musical performance by Zusha. READ MORE

Torat Tzion / Bring Redemption

YU Makes History in Dubai On May 3, YU launched an historic conference at the Crossroads of Civilizations Museum in Dubai, which generated significant positive media attention. Presented in partnership with the Bernard Revel Graduate School, Rabbi Arthur Schneier Program for International Affairs and the Straus Center, the symposium, titled “Interacting Philosophies, Shared Friendships,” strengthened ties between YU and the UAE and fostered dialogue between Jews and Muslims in the Middle East. The connection began in April 2021 when President Berman gave a keynote address at the Museum’s Holocaust commemoration, the first of its kind in an Arab country. READ MORE

YU’s Rabbi Dr. Stuart Halpern, senior adviser to the provost and deputy director of the Straus Center, helped coordinate the conference

Torat Chesed / Act with Compassion

Innovation Lab Supports Local Businesses YU Innovation Lab launched “B”usiness HIVE in the Heights on April 27 at the Sky Café to aid small businesses in upper Manhattan. The initiative’s first event offered pro bono consulting, attracting over 20 businesses, four of which will become partner clients of the Lab’s acceleration consultancy. Univision aired a story on this new initiative. READ MORE

Stomp Out the Stigma Active Minds and the YU Counseling Center organized the annual Stomp Out the Stigma event on April 19 at Lamport Auditorium. The program aims to destigmatize mental illness and featured three YU undergrads who have bravely overcome mental health challenges. With over 400 attendees, the program remains one of the most inspiring and powerful events on campus, emphasizing compassion and unity. READ MORE

President Berman (front row center) with “B”usiness HIVE organizers and participants

Torat Emet / Seek Truth

Maimonides Comes to the YU Museum Yeshiva University Museum’s exhibition, “The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries,” opened on May 9 and showcases the life and influence of the great Jewish scholar. The exhibition includes an unprecedented array of Maimonides’ manuscripts and documents, some written in his own hand and some never before seen by the public. The most impressive collection of Maimonides

artifacts ever to be displayed together, “The Golden Path” runs through December 31 at the YU Museum, located at the Center for Jewish History at 15 West 16th Street, and is free and open to the public Sundays through Thursdays. READ MORE

YU IN THE NEWS During the month of April, the University made head- lines across media: n CBS News and more than 200 of its affiliated TV and radio stations covered the migraine prevention research of Dr. Elizabeth Seng, an associate professor of psychology at Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology. READ MORE

n NBC interviewed Dr. Shay Pilnik, director of the Emil A. and Jenny Fish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, on the importance of Holocaust education. n Tablet published a glowing review of President Berman’s new book, The Final Exam: Letters to Our Students . READ MORE

n Univision covered the YU Innovation Lab’s “B”usiness HIVE in the Heights event, part of a new initiative to support business owners in upper Manhattan. READ MORE n The Times of Israel , UAE Times , Religion News Service and other outlets, including i24 News and JNS, covered the YU conference, “Interacting Philosophies, Shared Friend- ships,” in Dubai. READ MORE

Torat Adam / Discover Your Potential

Are You a Leader? The Learn to Lead program of the Sacks-Herenstein Center received a resounding “Yes!” from 60 YU undergrads who completed the four-part workshop series on May 7 and received a certificate of completion. The brand-new program addresses risk-taking, networking and mentorship while cultivating and training future leaders. The series, open to all YU undergrads, will make a comeback next year.

YU Hackathon Returns Over 40 YU tech-savvy undergrads convened on April 30 at Furst Hall for an exhilarating all-day hackathon where they used their coding finesse to tackle the field of finance. The first-place winning project was the SEC Filing Analyzer, an application that automates anomaly detection in companies’ financial information from their SEC quarterly filings. The app fetches and analyzes data from the SEC EDGAR database, comparing new filings to previous data to find unusual movements in crucial financial metrics. Cross River generously sponsored this year’s event.


Valedictorians Nine undergraduate students were named valedictorians in 2023. These impressive young men and women not only made their mark as scholars but have actively contributed to campus life from captaining the men’s soccer team and tutoring at the Writing Center to running the Medical Ethics Society and serving as the arts and cultural editor of The Observer . READ MORE

(l-r): Elisheva Hirsch, Stern College for Women; Tehila (Kornwasser) Mermelstein, Rebecca Ivry Department of Jewish Studies, Stern College for Women; Leah Schewitz, Sy Syms School of Business (l-r): Josh Hirt, Sy Syms School of Business; Natan Ehrenreich, Isaac Breuer College of Hebraic Studies; Elad Jeselsohn, Mazer Yeshiva Program; Jonah Tripp, Yeshiva College; Jeremy Klein, Irving I. Stone Beis Medrash Program; Jess Rom, James Striar School of General Jewish Studies



nological shield that protects Israel—will be YU’s keynote speaker and receive YU’s Presidential Medallion; Emil A. Fish, a Holocaust survivor and founder and benefactor of the Emil A. and Jenny Fish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, will receive an honorary doctorate. Over 1,700 students from Yeshiva College, Stern College for Women, Syms School of Business and graduate programs will receive degrees. READ MORE

YU’s 92nd Annual Commencement Ceremony will be held on Tuesday, May 23, at 2 p.m. at the legendary Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The program will honor Jewish identity by commemorating the Holocaust and Israel’s 75th anniversary. Two individuals will be recognized for their representation of Jewish people on the world stage. Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Dr. Daniel Gold, inventor of the revolutionary Iron Dome—the tech-


Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology Thursday, May 18, Noon Lamport Auditorium • Speaker: Dr. Alice D. Domar, Chief Compassion Officer and Director of Research, Inception Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, part-time, Harvard Medical School Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies Sunday, May 21, Noon Sky Cafe, Belfer Hall • Speakers: Rabbi Dr. Itamar Rosensweig ’22R; Dr. Jonathan Dauber, Director of PhD Program, Revel Albert Einstein College of Medicine Wednesday, May 24, 3 p.m. David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center • Speaker: Robert W. Marion, ’79E, MD, Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, Albert Einstein College of Medicine Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Monday, June 5, 3 p.m. David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center • Speaker: Hon. Joseph A. Greenaway, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration Wednesday, May 10, 7 p.m. Weissberg Commons • Speaker: Rabbi Yaakov Glasser, Managing Director of Communal Engagement at the Orthodox Union Katz School of Science and Health Monday, May 15, 11 a.m. Weissberg Commons • Speakers: Dr. Rafael Reyes, Director of Graduate Student Life & Community Engagement, Katz School; Humayra Kausar, M.S. in Data Analytics and Visualization ’22K; Julie Gurgova, Occupational Therapy Doctorate ’23K Wurzweiler School of Social Work Tuesday, May 16, 1 p.m. Lamport Auditorium • Speaker: Jay S. Schachne MD, FACC, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Warren Alpert School of Medicine, Brown University

AND Thursday, July 20, 1 p.m. Lamport Auditorium

• Speaker: William Fletcher, LCSW, Deputy Commissioner, Division of Child Protection, NYC Administration for Children’s Services Graduate Program in Advanced Talmudic Studies for Women Wednesday, May 17, 10 a.m. Stern College for Women, Beit Midrash • Speakers: Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman; Shoshana Schechter, Associate Dean of Torah Studies and Spiritual Life

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