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WHAT FAMILIES ARE SAYING ABOUT YCT

L’chvod Rav Avi, Rabbi Lopatin, Rabbi Linzer, Rabbi Love, Rav Katz and the rest of the faculty and staff, Obviously, we are grateful that you have created a holy place of learning for both Chai and Tzachi. But do you realize the profound influence you have had and continue to have in our lives? Thank you for helping us to create an open orthodox home where Torah is observed consciously. Thank you for modeling for us how to live the Torah that we learn. Thank you for helping us to raise our children with the knowledge that they could question anything that did not make sense to them, and that that is a proper and healthy attitude to apply to all aspects of Torah living. It brings us tremendous comfort and gives us strength knowing that Yeshivat Chovevei Torah is here to inspire and guide all of us.

With heartfelt thanks,
Estelle and Harvey Posner
Parents of Chai Posner (YCT ’10) and Tzachi Posner (YCT ’17)

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In The Press PDF Print E-mail

Times of Israel, June 2013

Mesorah and Making Room: A Journey to Women's Spiritual Leadership

by Rabbi Avi Weiss

 

Huffington Post, April 2013

Reflections on the 70th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising 

by Rabbi Avi Weiss

 

Times of Israel, April 2013

Rabbi Dov Linzer, a Posek for the 21st Century

by Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

 

YU Commentator, December 2012

A Shiva in Newtown

by Gavriel Brown

 

The Jewish Journal, December 2012

A Chaplain’s calling: ‘It drew me in’

by Julie Gruenbaum Fax

 

The Jim Joseph Foundation, December 2012

Training Experiential Jewish Educators for an Evolving and Advancing Field

by Dawne Bear Novicoff

The Huffington Post, November 2012

Reflections on Israel's Operation Pillar of Defense

by Rabbi Avi Weiss

 

YouTube - NBC News, November 2012

Local Torah Donated to Sandy Victims

 

The Forward, November 2012

Shul Donates Scroll to Sandy-Hit Congregation

by JTA

 

Tablet Magazine, November 2012

Singing After Sandy

by Avram Mlotek

 

The Forward, November 2012

Finding Meaning of Jewish Law in Sandy Shelter

by Samuel Klein

 

The Riverdale Press, October 2012

Rabbi Weiss to hand rabbinical school reins to new leader

by John Sodaro

 

The Huffington Post, October 2012

This Rabbi Is Against Rabbis for Obama/Romney

by Rabbi David Wolkenfeld

 

Tablet Magazine, October 2012

Politics on the Pulpit

by Yair Rosenberg

 

Electronically In Touch, October 2012

The Supreme Court, Religion, and U.S. v. Alvarez: Contrasting Perspectives on False Speech

by Daniel Goodman

 

Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest, October 2012

Trick or Treat?

by Rabbi Menashe East

 

The Jerusalem Post, October 2012

Torah, she wrote

by Amy Spiro - quotes Rabbi Dov Linzer

 

Intermountain Jewish News, October 2012

BMH-BJ unveils a new logo and identity

by IJN about Rabbi Ben Greenberg

 

JTA, September 2012

Rabbi Asher Lopatin’s vision for Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

by Uriel Heilman

 

The Jewish Week, September 2012

Can Asher Lopatin secure Yeshivat Chovevei Torah’s place in a divided Orthodox world?

by Uriel Heilman

 

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, September 2012

Asher Lopatin to succeed Avi Weiss at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

by Uriel Heilman

 

The Daily Beast, September 2012

Jews Respond to “Savage” Subway Ads

by Sigal Samuel - Quotes Rabbi Ari Hart

 

The New York Times, August 2012

Nearly 90,000 Jews Celebrate Cycle of Talmudic Study

by Sharon Otterman

 

The Denver Post, July 2012

Denver Jewish community joins together to mourn Aurora victims

by Tegan Hanion

 

The Huffington Post, July 2012

A Minute of Silence for the Sacredness of Life

by Rabbi Ben Greenberg

 

The Jewish Week, July 2012

Face To Face With Homelessness

by Avram Mlotek

 

Jewish Ideas Daily, July 2012

The Queen's Jewry

by Ben Elton

 

The Huffington Post, April 2012

The Hidden Ingredient To Revitalizing Jewish Collegiate Life

by Rabbi Ben Greenberg

 

Detroit Free Press, March 2012

Guest commentary: Jewish community asks, step in, speak out against divorce refusal

by Rabbi Seth Winberg

 

The Jewish Week, December 2011

My Lunch Breaks with Joe
by Avram Mlotek

An article written by Avram Mlotek (YCT '15) appeared recently in the Jewish Week. it is a touching account of his visits with a terminally-ill hospice patient with multiple disabilities.

Click here to read "My Lunch Breaks with Joe."

 

ORTHODOX UNION PUBLICATION HIGHLIGHTS YCT MUSMAKH AT PRINCETON

MIRIAM ROSENBAUM, ORTHODOX RHODES SCHOLAR FROM PRINCETON, EXCELLED IN THE CLASSROOM, BUT FOUND SPIRITUAL AND PERSONAL ENRICHMENT IN ORTHODOX UNION’S JLIC PROGRAM, LED BY RABBI DAVID [YCT '08] AND SARA WOLKENFELD.

Read more here .

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Newsweek Top 50!

Rabbi Avi Weiss and Rabbi Dov Linzer named to Newsweek's 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America List

Newsweek notes tremendous impact of YCT and its rabbis.

Bronfman's New Director of Education

Mishael Zion (YCT '11) has just been appointed Co-Director and Director of Education for the Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel.


Edgar M. Bronfman's message to BYFI alumni: 

In December I wrote to you and announced that the Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel (BYFI) would be moving forward with a new co-director leadership model.  Since then, Becky Voorwinde has served as the Director of Strategy and Community Engagement with the vision, inspiration and devoted work ethic to which we have all become accustomed. Today I am pleased to announce that BYFI will be co-led by Mishael Zion as the Director of Education. 

Mishael Zion is the co-author of a celebrated Haggadah titled “A Night to Remember: The Haggadah of Contemporary Voices,” which has been published in English and Hebrew.  Mishael has roots in both the North American and Israeli Jewish communities. Raised in Israel, Mishael served in the IDF, directed the Israeli debating society and served as a faculty member at the Shalom Hartman Institute and the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. Mishael has been a featured scholar-in-residence in diverse North American communities and has most recently taught at Yeshivat Hadar and the Skirball Center for Adult Education. Mishael lives with his family in New York City and will receive ordination later this week from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. I am excited that Mishael comes to this position with the unique ability to strengthen the Amitim Fellowship and leverage the two fellowships for maximum impact and meaning.
  
The selection process was a collaborative effort involving many stakeholders. I want to thank Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, Dean of the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College, who served as BYFI’s Educational Advisor during this interim period. I also want to single out Wayne Jones, the President of the Alumni Advisory Board who, among many other alumni, has contributed to the process during the last few months.

I am a life-long learner, and I believe that the best ideas emerge from chevruta-style learning. Two people studying together are able to deepen and enrich the learning by bringing different perspectives into the conversation. I am excited to say that BYFI has been entrusted to a dynamic and visionary duo who will continue to grow BYFI. As we hand over the reins of the organization to the co-directors, BYFI will continue to produce significant thought leaders who will influence the Jewish community and the wider world in deeply meaningful ways.
  
Sincerely, 



Edgar M. Bronfman

 

For the press release, click here .

 


Newsweek Top 50!

Rabbi Avi Weiss and Rabbi Dov Linzer named to Newsweek's 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America List

Newsweek notes tremendous impact of YCT and its rabbis

 

Mazal Tov to Rabbi Avi Weiss and Rabbi Dov Linzer for being named among the 50 most influential rabbis in America by Newsweek Magazine and The Daily Beast. According to Newsweek/The Daily Beast:

 

[Its] students now hold some of the most prominent positions in shuls and Hillels all over the country.... Its alumni will undoubtedly alter the fabric of Modern Orthodoxy."

 

May our rabbis, students and musmakhim continue to lead, teach and inspire Klal Yisrael.

 

"When people look for Rabbinic Leadership, they look to YCT."

 

To see the full listing, click here .

 



Breaking News:

YESHIVAT CHOVEVEI TORAH RABBINICAL SCHOOL

 RECEIVES CHALLENGE GRANT

 FROM THE JIM JOSEPH FOUNDATION

Gift Will Enable Significant Growth and Expansion of Seminary, Dramatically Enhancing Education Training

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                       

CONTACT: Shira Dicker

This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it /917.403.3989

April 7, 2010 (New York, NY) – Lauded for its rigorous, traditional approach to Jewish text, innovative curriculum, cutting-edge pastoral counseling and high caliber professional training, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School (YCT) is about to enter an exciting new chapter in its history by virtue of a groundbreaking challenge grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation.

The sum of the grant is $3 million, to be disbursed over a 5-year period. $2.5 million of the grant will be matched on a one-to one basis with the Yeshiva’s own fundraising. The JJF grant is designed to enable YCT to dramatically increase its impact within the Jewish community by creating greater numbers of dynamic, uniquely prepared Orthodox pulpit and campus rabbis and Jewish educators. Significantly, it will also fund the development of a fully-realized educator’s track with the same degree of professionalism, sophistication and innovation as the pulpit track.

The JJF gift to YCT marks the first time that the foundation has given a grant directly to a rabbinical school. The grant is an important affirmation of the school’s stellar record of achievement over its first decade. In the space of ten years, YCT has enhanced communities by producing unparalleled professional Jewish leaders who have gone on to serve at major synagogues, campus Hillel chapters, prestigious day schools, camps and other important communal organizations and venues.

Since it appeared on the Jewish communal landscape, YCT has been widely admired for its approach to the role of the rabbi in Jewish life and society at large. This approach is rooted in the realities and challenges of the 21st century world and prepares its rabbinical students to engage with the Jewish community within the context of the larger secular society. YCT’s curriculum is psychologically aware, eschewing parochialism as well as the formality often associated with the rabbinate. Instead, its training is infused with an understanding of Orthodox Judaism as open and embracing. Graduates of YCT seek to build bridges, share knowledge and collaborate with those from other Jewish denominations and beyond.

Founded by Rabbi Avi Weiss in 2001, YCT occupies the avant garde of the Modern Orthodox world in a variety of significant ways. Its approach is holistic and inclusive, committed to engaging with Jews of all denominations and people of all ethnic and racial backgrounds. Having celebrated its 10th anniversary just this past month, YCT moved to its new facility in Riverdale in December, 2009.

"I am deeply grateful to the JJF for their belief and trust in YCT. This important gift reflects their respect for the extraordinary impact that we believe our graduates are having in synagogues, universities, schools, camps and campuses all over the country," said Rabbi Weiss.

“We are deeply honored to have been awarded this significant sum of funding from the Jim Joseph Foundation, which will enable us to deepen and expand our mission to educate and train rabbis who embody a Judaism which is authentic, inspiring and empowering,” said Rabbi Dov Linzer, Dean and Rosh HaYeshiva of YCT. “This award serves as a testament to our demonstrated success and as a vote of confidence in our vision for the rabbinate. The JJF grant will allow us to continue to produce unparalled rabbis, innovative and inspiring educators and transformative communal leaders for the Jewish community.”

Steven Lieberman, Chairman of the Board of YCT, said that the JJF gift reflects the fact that YCT was able to become a “major league institution” within the space of its first ten years; a remarkable achievement. “YCT’s influence is obvious and quantifiable,” he stated. “In a very short period of time, YCT has changed the face of the American rabbinate, educational and organizational world.  From synagogue pulpits to college campuses and everywhere in between, YCT is a force for positive leadership, values and change.”

Al Levitt, president of the Jim Joseph Foundation noted that JJF is pleased with the opportunity to provide capacity support and challenge grant funding for YCT.  The investment deepens JJF’s strategic commitment to the preparation of high quality educators.  Currently, graduates of YCT populate many organizations which the JJF supports.”

Howard Jonas, Chairman of the Board of IDT and former Chairman of the Board of YCT termed the JJF grant “transformative,”

“As a religious, educational and communal institution, YCT is the ultimate game-changer,” he said. “Only one decade after its inception, it has profoundly changed the face of Modern Orthodox leadership. I cannot praise the Jim Joseph Foundation enough for their commitment and vision. They are truly helping to change the very essence of the global Jewish community by giving YCT golden wings.”

In order to ensure the school’s sustainability, the JJF grant requires that YCT strengthen its fundraising capacities. “Indeed, with the announcement of the JJF grant, YCT immediately launched a new fundraising campaign in which new funds raised will be matched, dollar for dollar, by JJF,” said Naomi Smook, Vice President of Institutional Advancement.

For further information about the $3 million YCT grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation or to request an interview with Naomi Smook, Steven Lieberman or anyone else connected with this story, please contact Shira Dicker at 917.403.3989 or by email at This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it .

About Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School (YCT) believes that the future of Orthodoxy depends on our becoming a movement that expands outward non-dogmatically and cooperatively to encompass the needs of the larger Jewish community and the world. For this vision to succeed, we require a new breed of leaders - rabbis who are open, non-judgmental, knowledgeable, empathetic, and eager to transform Orthodoxy into a movement that meaningfully and respectfully interacts with all Jews, regardless of affiliation, commitment, or background.

YCT is committed to training and placing open Modern Orthodox rabbis. We seek the best and the brightest that Modern Orthodoxy has to offer. Each student accepted into our yeshiva is chosen through a rigorous process that employs the highest academic standards and scrutinizes every applicant's character, make-up, and overall ability to perform and excel as a leader of the Jewish community. Our Modern Orthodox rabbinical school cultivates a love of Torah, a philosophy of inclusiveness, and a passion for leadership. The entire curriculum is taught at the highest levels of academic excellence by leading scholars and talmidei chakhamim. Upon ordination, each graduate commits to serving in the rabbinate.

About the Jim Joseph Foundation

The Jim Joseph Foundation, established in 2006, is committed to a sustained program of grant making in pursuit of a vision that leads to ever-increasing numbers of young Jews engaged in ongoing Jewish learning and choosing to live vibrant Jewish lives.  The Foundation manages close to $725 million of assets, using all of its resources to foster compelling, effective Jewish learning for young Jews in the United States.

 


The Huffington Post, April 2011

Tax Season: The Most Spiritual Time of the Year?
by Ari Hart

Forms. Number-Crunching. Headaches. Worry. Going through the year's spending and income and applying it to the nitty-gritty of our tax code often feels like the least religious, least spiritual activity possible. While doing our taxes can be a source of frayed nerves and aggravation, they can also be a spiritual lens that reflects our priorities, values and the effects of our labors on the world.

 

Run by Torah in Motion, Activism and Advocacy: a Lifelong Commitment to the Jewish People was held on Sunday, March 13. It was an evening of discussion with Dr. Elliott Malamet and Rabbi Avi Weiss.

To download the MP3 from the event click here.

 

YCT alumnus Rabbi David Kasher featured in Hillel's Annual Report. Click HERE to read about Rabbi Kasher.  

 

Watch Rabbi Avi Weiss's class on Inspiring Spiritual Leadership , given at Mechon Meir in Israel, January, 2011. 


Read Rabbi Linzer's Rabbinic Statement on Organ Donation and Brain Death - signed by over 100 rabbis, including some of the most prominent rabbis in the Modern Orthodox community!

Read the articles in the press on this important statement:

·         The Jewish Week, "Pushback from Some Orthodox Rabbis on Brain-Death Ruling"

·         Jerusalem Post "Acceptance of Brain-Stem Death Reaffirmed by Rabbis"

·         The Forward http://www.forward.com/articles/134640/

The New York Jewish Week, December 2010

The Rental Controversy In Israel: A Time For Bold, Ethical Halachic Decision-Making
by Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot

Much has already been written about the letter signed by dozens of communal rabbis in Israel proscribing Jewish residents from renting or selling property to gentiles on halachic grounds. It is clear from the context of the controversy that the motivation behind this provocative step is the concern for the demographic makeup of neighborhoods in the north of Israel, fueled by the fear of a concerted effort to undermine Jewish majorities in those locales. Predictably the letter aroused a great deal of condemnation and charges of “racism”; it also earned the more accurate critique of the conflation of a political agenda and presented as a (if not the) halachic view, a malady that has afflicted parts of the religious community in Israel since the debates surrounding territorial compromise in the late 1970s.

eJewish Philanthropy, January 2011

Peoplehood, Universalism and Particularism
by Ari Hart

During a steamy Chicago August a few years back, I led a summer program called Or Tzedek that brought Jewish high schoolers to Chicago neighborhoods. Our goal was to explore Judaism and social justice. On the second day of the trip, I brought my students to Chicago’s predominantly African-American South-West Side. Our project for the day was knocking on doors and distributing leaflets to people in the neighborhood about prenatal health opportunities available to pregnant women.

On the van-ride down, some personal doubts emerged. “Why am I bringing these kids to this neighborhood? We’re about to engage with an area and an issue that seem far removed from the Jewish People’s agenda,” I thought. “Is this really Jewish service?” The tension between universal social needs and personal and communal Jewish goals felt almost too much for the program to bear.

Nola.com, December 2010

White House Hanukkah ceremony features menorah salvaged from Lakeview
by Bruce Nolan

President Barack Obama and dozens of guests tonight will celebrate the second night of Hanukkah by lighting a menorah fished from the muck of Congregation Beth Israel's flooded synagogue in Lakeview.

But for a few bits of ornamental silver that once decorated its ruined Torahs, the blackened menorah was the only sacred object in ritual use the congregation was able to save, said Rabbi Uri Topolosky, who will attend the ceremony with his wife, Dahlia..

To see pictures from this event press here .

The New York Jewish Week, December 2010
The Calling

by Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

“I never had a one day transformative calling. I’ve felt called every day of my life.”
I found myself speaking these words last year, during a filming session for “The Calling,” which will air nationwide on PBS later this month. I agreed to be filmed for this interfaith documentary as a rabbinical student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah because I believe deeply in its message, to show the human struggle shared by clergy of all faiths.

In being involved in this film, I’ve been fortunate to have the chance to repeatedly reflect upon my personal calling.

Firstthings.com, November 2010
Moving Beyond Ritual

by Rabbi Ben Greenberg

There wasn't much compassion when it came to bread. It was 2006, and I attended a fellowship of rabbinical students across denominations that met every week over dinner. Our purpose was to cultivate compassionate Jewish leadership.

For three months, we argued over the proper conduct of grace after meals (birkat hamazon). Was there a minyan (quorum under Jewish law)? With seven men and eight women did we have a quorum? Jewish law, or halakha, only counts men; the liberal Jewish denominations do away with gender distinctions.

The Day, November 2010
Rabbi's Goal is to Give back to the World More Than He Takes

by Claire Bessette

When the Congregation Brothers of Joseph launched a rabbinic internship program four years ago, the small Orthodox synagogue didn't expect to bring in a rabbi who is changing the Orthodox approach to the Jewish faith.

Three years ago when Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, now 29 and a campus rabbi at the University of California at Los Angeles, was a student at the YCT Rabbinical School in New York City, he was looking for an internship opportunity.

 

The New York Jewish Week, November 2010
Post-modern Jewish Identity

by Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

While packing for a trip to Ghana eight years ago, numerous observant Jews dissuaded me, arguing I could not volunteer abroad and maintain full, authentic observance. I knew that I had multiple identities and this trip gave me no pause. Since then I have worked in ten countries learning that I can be an observant Jew and a global citizen.

In an age of postmodern identity, I am no anomaly. Under modernity, one must choose one identity-seeing oneself as both Jew and American was too challenging. Secondary identities were all too easily subsumed in the event of a conflict and thus one had to choose to primarily be particularistic or universalistic, spiritual or rational, religious or skeptical, progressive or traditional.

For better or worse, we are no longer in that era.

 

New Vilna Review, November 2010
The Purpose Driven Rabbinical School

by Rabbi Ben Greenberg

I remember my first day at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT) Rabbinical School back in the fall of 2005 as if it were yesterday. It was only a few months before that I had graduated from the Lander College for Men (LCM), a philosophically right-wing break off from Yeshiva University in the Kew Gardens Hills neighborhood of Queens. My last semester at LCM felt almost entirely occupied with managing the intense curiosity and skepticism from my schoolmates and rebbeim. What is Open Orthodoxy? Why not just go to Yeshiva University’s Rabbinical School? Are you going to be able to find a job after finishing? Do they even learn halakhah there?

There was no doubt that I was taking a professional risk by choosing to attend YCT. I could have remained at Landers and studied for semikhah in their rabbinical training program, a 2-year program that consisted of learning the laws of kashrut during only the afternoons and had recently been approved by the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA). Why would I leave what was by all accounts a quicker, less time-demanding program and enroll in a program that kept me in school from morning until evening for four years and lacked approval by the RCA, which was then the only Modern Orthodox rabbinic professional organization?

For me however the answer was simple.

 

Washington Jewish Week, November 2010
The chain of succession: Beth Sholom rabbinic transition plan approved

by Richard Greenberg

Beth Sholom Congregation and Talmud Torah picked its new senior rabbi last week, but he'll have to wait a few years to change the nameplate on his office door.
The senior rabbi-elect is Nissan Antine, Beth Sholom's assistant rabbi for the past four years. He will succeed Rabbi Joel Tessler, the spiritual leader of the Orthodox Potomac congregation since 1983.

The Jewish Daily Forward, October 2010
The Forward 50


The annual list of the 50 men and women (including our very own Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot) who have made a significant impact on the Jewish story in the past year. For the first time this year, an interactive graphic accompanies the feature.

 

Cleveland Jewish News, October 2010
Cedar Road Synagogue's New Rabbi Works for Unity
By Arlene Fine 

Rabbi Zachary Truboff’s degree in industrial engineering is paying off in unexpected ways – the new head rabbi of the Cedar Road Synagogue plans to build strong bridges between his Modern Orthodox congregation and the greater Cleveland Jewish community.

 

Orange County Jewish Life, October 2010 
Leading the Way
By Ilene Schneider

Reflecting the dynamic evolution of Hillel during the past 20 years, the Southern California Area-Wide Hillel Leadership Gathering for Orange County, Long Beach, and Inland Empire Hillel groups brought together more than 20 young Jewish leaders on campuses in the area at the end of August to discuss Hillel, strategically program for the upcoming year, and to network.  The event was organized by Southern California Jewish Student Services under the direction of Rabbi Drew Kaplan.

YCT student Dani Passow has been the halakhic consultant of the Sukkah City project, under the guidance of Rabbi Dov Linzer.

'Sukkah City' is an international design competition to re-imagine this ancient phenomenon, develop new methods of material practice and parametric design, and propose radical possibilities for traditional design constraints in a contemporary urban site.

For links regarding this amazing project, as well as Dani's role, click below:

http://www.sukkahcity.com/

http://nymag.com/arts/architecture/features/68057/ 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/17/arts/design/17sukkah.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=sukkah%20city&st=cse

http://www.thejewishweek.com/arts/herschthal_arts/temporary_housing_highest_order

http://www.forward.com/articles/128916/

http://forward.com/articles/131415/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUkGdY5bzbA

http://thejewishstar.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/a-sukkah-made-of%C2%A0thread/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/liz-neumark/eternally-temporary_b_732980.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--njD4GOMe4

http://www.thejewishweek.com/features/neighborhoods/sukkah_city

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBNL7GhTScc

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/episodes/october-1-2010/sukkah-city/7144/

http://www.jewishreviewofbooks.com/publications/detail/temporary-measures-sukkah-city

http://media.www.yuobserver.com/media/storage/paper989/news/2010/10/13/News/Architects.
Think.Out.Of.The.Box.In.Union.Square-3944743.shtml

 

Baltimore Jewish Times, September 2010
Baltimore's First Shofar Blowing Contest
By Alan H. Feiler

If you live near Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah Hebrew Congregation and heard a cacophony of familiar sounds coming out of the synagogue last week, it might've been the Greengate shul's first-ever community-wide shofar-blowing contest. The Sept. 15 contest drew approximately 125 men, women and children who demonstrated their High Holiday spirit and knack for producing meaningful sounds out of a ram's horn.

 

Baltimore Jewish Times, September 2010
A Green Jewish World: Life At Kayam Farm
By Phil Jacobs

In W.P. Kinsella's book "Shoeless Joe," which became the hit movie "Field Of Dreams," a farmer builds a baseball field hoping to bring back the spirit of his late father, a minor league baseball player. The field attracts the souls of deceased baseball players, some who were banned from baseball. In one stitch of dialogue, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson asks the farmer, Ray Kinsella, "Is this heaven?" Ray answers, "No, this is Iowa."

 

The Birmingham News, September 2010
New Birmingham Rabbi Eytan Yammer to lead High Holy Days for Orthodox synagogue

By Greg Garrison

The new Orthodox rabbi in Birmingham believes in the spiritual power of words, but he also knows the value of action. Rabbi Eytan Yammer served a two-year tour of duty in the Israel Defense Forces during the start of the second Palestinian intifada in 2000-01.

 

The Jewish Week, September 2010
Temporary Housing Of The Highest Order
By Eric Herschthal

It wasn't easy getting more than a dozen major architecture figures in the room to decide what makes a great sukkah. So when Reboot, a nonprofit that promotes modernizing Jewish traditions, did just that—putting together a star-studded panel to determine 12 winning designs for a sukkah competition in Union Square later this month—it was anyone’s guess how they might respond to rabbinical injunctions.

 

The Jewish Week, August 2010
Kiddush Clubs: A Destructive Force?

By Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, YCT '10

A number of years back, I attended a kiddush club gathering in the basement of a synagogue. Right when the haftarah reading began, about 8 or 9 older men snuck out the back and in a small dark room in the basement opened multiple bottles of alcohol. They drank excessively until the sermon was over and then not so inconspicuously returned back for the final portion of the Shabbat morning service. Isn't it fair for one to enjoy a nice scotch on their weekend, I wondered at the time?

 

National Public Radio - Chicago, July 2010
Group Pushes for Ethics in Kosher Food
Featuring Dani Passow, YCT '12

A group of young, Orthodox Jews from New York wants to change Chicago's Kosher eating scene. Since January, they've been trying to get eating establishments here to go beyond the dietary rules proscribed in the Torah. They want restaurants, bakeries, and the like to guarantee they are treating workers fairly. They say that, too, is ethically mandated by their religion. But they're encountering a good deal of skepticism. 

 

The Huffington Post, July 2010
Judaism, Food and Social Justice

By Ari Hart, YCT '12

Is there more to Jewish food than bagels and Manischewitz? The new Jewish Food Movement, a loose confederation of farmers, religious leaders, health and nutrition buffs, organizers, philosophers, activists, and consumers, says yes. Drawing on deep Jewish religious traditions and values, the movement is inspiring a new generation of Jews to lead lives of faith, justice, environmentalism, and community through their food.

 

EJewish Philanthropy, July 2010
Rules of Engagement: How Heroes Show Us The Way
by Ezra S. Shanken

Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.” How can we relate to those historical figures who hold a place in our Jewish life, having been braver for five minutes longer? Are they a tool to be used by our teachers, or reminders of our own ability reach farther, do more, and make a real difference in the world? We turn to three young rabbis from different streams of Judaism for their thoughts.

 

The Jewish Week, July 2010
Extravagant Jewish Celebrations – Have We Gone Too Far?
By Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, YCT '10

$100,000 for a wedding? $20,000 for a bar mitzvah? When did extravagance and luxury become such primary Jewish values? I can’t remember the last simcha (Jewish celebration) I attended at which there were not tremendous amounts of wasted food, overly expensive napkins and bands large enough for a royal banquet.

 

The Jewish Week, June 2010
Reborn Again? A Jewish Moral Argument for Reincarnation
By Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, YCT '10

I fear death. I think about dying frequently and often try to make meaning of my mortality. Until recently, if someone had mentioned reincarnation to me, I would have dismissed it as a non-Jewish theological belief. I imagine most people share my visceral skepticism of the possibility of reincarnation and of its authentic Jewish roots, but perhaps we can temporarily suspend this disbelief and explore the idea together in search of a theology that can improve us. Perhaps, this thought experiment can even promote certain moral virtues.

 

The Jewish Week, June 2010
Special-Needs Families Fighting Jewish Day Schools

By Adam Dickter  

Rabbi Dov Linzer and his wife, Devorah Zlochower, are mentioned in the above article regarding special needs children. YCT Rabbinical School holds a disabilities program once a year, sponsored by Reuven and Shelley Cohen, in memory of their son, Nathaniel z"l. Opening Up to the Disabled is another article regarding special needs in the Jewish Community.

 

United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ, June 2010
Female Orthodox Rabbis?

by Rabbi Menashe East

These past number of months have been stressful times for the Orthodox Jewish community. We witnessed public debate, critique and recriminations about an issue, which for most of the Jewish world means very little. Should Orthodoxy ordain women? 

 

Reform Judaism Magazine, May 2010
Synagogue: A Katrina Love Story 
by Robert H. Loewy 

August 29, 2010 marks the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's assault upon New Orleans and the Louisiana/Mississippi Gulf Coast. The storm, along with levee system failures and governmental ineptitude, inflicted pain, hardship, and trauma upon millions. As with all disasters, the passage of time allows for perspective. And in good Jewish tradition, we can discern positive developments rising from the misery.  

 

St. Louis Jewish Light, May 2010
Hillel Hires New Campus Rabbi

by David Baugher, Special to the Jewish Light

St. Louis Hillel at Washington University's newly named campus rabbi says that feeding the community's hunger for Judaic knowledge will be his top priority. 

 

The Jewish Week, April 2010
Witnessing Haiti: A Call for Transparency in Disaster Relief
Op-Ed by Shmuly Yanklowitz, YCT '10

We all watched in dismay when Haiti was struck with a devastating 7.0 earthquake; the consequences of this natural disaster intensified by Haiti's status as the 2nd poorest nation in the Western hemisphere. One hundred days later, hundreds of thousands are living in tents in refugee camps without sanitation as the devastation and fear continues with little signs of progress.

 

The Greenpoint Gazette, March 2010
Greenpoint's Greenest (and only) Rabbi: Maurice Appelbaum

by Juliet Linderman 

Maurice Appelbaum is tall, thin and lanky, and stands in the entrance to Greenpoint’s only synagogue, Ahavas Israel, at the end of Noble Street. It’s a frigid afternoon—maybe twenty degrees, not including wind chill—but Appelbaum insists on leaving the door open. "We want to be welcoming," Appelbaum says with a smile. "We can't just close the door."

 

The Jewish Press, March 2010
A Jewish Call For Employee Rights

Op-Ed by Dani Passow and Michal Brickman

Last May, our organization, Uri L'Tzedek, officially launched the Tav HaYosher - "ethical seal" - to certify kosher restaurants that uphold three basic employee rights: the right to fair time, the right to fair pay, and the right to a safe work environment.

 

New Jersey Jewish News, February 2010
No Single Movement Owns Halachic Judaism
Op-ed By Rabbi Menashe East

As our community was making Purim preparations, we confronted an unexpected conversation. Following the authoritative voices of the Talmud and the normative legal codifiers — including, among others, Maimonides — who allow women to read the Megillat Ester, we decided to host a women’s reading on Sunday morning of Purim. (It is worth noting that some authorities suggest that women can even read the megilla for men.)

 

Jewish Action Online, January 2010
Minyan on the Mississippi
By Steve Lipman 

On a recent Friday afternoon, Rabbi Uri Topolosky, the thirty-something-year-old spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Israel in Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans, walked the few blocks from his house to the rear entrance of a one-story building across from the canal along West Esplanade Avenue. Crossing the parking lot, he passed the blue-and-white sign outside the door identifying the congregation.

The Orthodox Moment, January 2010 
By Rabbi Ben Greenberg, YCT '09 

Orthodox Judaism was supposed to fail in America: Jews appeared destined to lose their identity in the melting pot along with other immigrants. America’s genius for assimilation persuaded Eastern European rabbis to denounce immigration; Jonathan Sarna of Brandeis University has translated a tract entitled “People Walk on Their Heads,” by a rabbi who visited America and was aghast at what he observed. Nor were these fears idle: Sarna cites a 1952 study claiming that only 23 percent of all Orthodox children planned to remain Orthodox; nearly half planned to join the Conservative denomination.
 

DAOT, December, 2009
Mishael Zion, YCT Student, writes about YCT. (Hebrew)

VOICES, December, 2009
Environmental Offenders Defy God

Op-Ed by Gabriel Greenberg

When a Fox News reporter refers to global climate change as a "shocking scientific fraud," and efforts to reduce carbon emissions, a “socialist ploy,” we must conclude that advocates of this position are indeed presenting “darkness as light and light as darkness.”  For it is rhetorical strategies like these said in advance of the upcoming conference on global warming (Copenhagen, Dec. 2009) that perpetuate a naïve and ultimately fatal worldview: one that supports interests of industry while subverting the Godly imperative to be a responsible steward of the Earth.  Such a world view allows us to sacrifice the rights of future generations of life on earth for our own current gain.

 

THE JEWISH WEEK, November 2009 Image
A Day Of 'Conscious Kills'
by Ron Dicker

Andy Kastner rarely eats meat and wishes others would eat less, too. So why, you might ask, was this man slaughtering kosher turkeys this week for Thanksgiving? Kastner is a shochet, the fellow ordained to kill livestock according to Jewish law. But he also considers himself an educator. It’s his job, he explained, to remind the public about the cost of meat beyond the sticker price: in blood and emotion.

 

 

Orange County Jewish Life, October 2010 
Leading the Way
By Ilene Schneider

Reflecting the dynamic evolution of Hillel during the past 20 years, the Southern California Area-Wide Hillel Leadership Gathering for Orange County, Long Beach, and Inland Empire Hillel groups brought together more than 20 young Jewish leaders on campuses in the area at the end of August to discuss Hillel, strategically program for the upcoming year, and to network.  The event was organized by Southern California Jewish Student Services under the direction of Rabbi Drew Kaplan.

 

Baltimore Jewish Times, September 2010
Baltimore's First Shofar Blowing Contest
By Alan H. Feiler

If you live near Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah Hebrew Congregation and heard a cacophony of familiar sounds coming out of the synagogue last week, it might've been the Greengate shul's first-ever community-wide shofar-blowing contest. The Sept. 15 contest drew approximately 125 men, women and children who demonstrated their High Holiday spirit and knack for producing meaningful sounds out of a ram's horn.

 

Baltimore Jewish Times, September 2010
A Green Jewish World: Life At Kayam Farm
By Phil Jacobs

In W.P. Kinsella's book "Shoeless Joe," which became the hit movie "Field Of Dreams," a farmer builds a baseball field hoping to bring back the spirit of his late father, a minor league baseball player. The field attracts the souls of deceased baseball players, some who were banned from baseball. In one stitch of dialogue, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson asks the farmer, Ray Kinsella, "Is this heaven?" Ray answers, "No, this is Iowa."

 

The Birmingham News, September 2010
New Birmingham Rabbi Eytan Yammer to lead High Holy Days for Orthodox synagogue

By Greg Garrison

The new Orthodox rabbi in Birmingham believes in the spiritual power of words, but he also knows the value of action. Rabbi Eytan Yammer served a two-year tour of duty in the Israel Defense Forces during the start of the second Palestinian intifada in 2000-01.

 

The Jewish Week, September 2010
Temporary Housing Of The Highest Order
By Eric Herschthal

It wasn't easy getting more than a dozen major architecture figures in the room to decide what makes a great sukkah. So when Reboot, a nonprofit that promotes modernizing Jewish traditions, did just that—putting together a star-studded panel to determine 12 winning designs for a sukkah competition in Union Square later this month—it was anyone’s guess how they might respond to rabbinical injunctions.

 

The Jewish Week, August 2010
Kiddush Clubs: A Destructive Force?

By Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, YCT '10

A number of years back, I attended a kiddush club gathering in the basement of a synagogue. Right when the haftarah reading began, about 8 or 9 older men snuck out the back and in a small dark room in the basement opened multiple bottles of alcohol. They drank excessively until the sermon was over and then not so inconspicuously returned back for the final portion of the Shabbat morning service. Isn't it fair for one to enjoy a nice scotch on their weekend, I wondered at the time?

 

National Public Radio - Chicago, July 2010
Group Pushes for Ethics in Kosher Food
Featuring Dani Passow, YCT '12

A group of young, Orthodox Jews from New York wants to change Chicago's Kosher eating scene. Since January, they've been trying to get eating establishments here to go beyond the dietary rules proscribed in the Torah. They want restaurants, bakeries, and the like to guarantee they are treating workers fairly. They say that, too, is ethically mandated by their religion. But they're encountering a good deal of skepticism. 

 

The Huffington Post, July 2010
Judaism, Food and Social Justice

By Ari Hart, YCT '12

Is there more to Jewish food than bagels and Manischewitz? The new Jewish Food Movement, a loose confederation of farmers, religious leaders, health and nutrition buffs, organizers, philosophers, activists, and consumers, says yes. Drawing on deep Jewish religious traditions and values, the movement is inspiring a new generation of Jews to lead lives of faith, justice, environmentalism, and community through their food.

 

EJewish Philanthropy, July 2010
Rules of Engagement: How Heroes Show Us The Way
by Ezra S. Shanken

Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.” How can we relate to those historical figures who hold a place in our Jewish life, having been braver for five minutes longer? Are they a tool to be used by our teachers, or reminders of our own ability reach farther, do more, and make a real difference in the world? We turn to three young rabbis from different streams of Judaism for their thoughts.

 

The Jewish Week, July 2010
Extravagant Jewish Celebrations – Have We Gone Too Far?
By Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, YCT '10

$100,000 for a wedding? $20,000 for a bar mitzvah? When did extravagance and luxury become such primary Jewish values? I can’t remember the last simcha (Jewish celebration) I attended at which there were not tremendous amounts of wasted food, overly expensive napkins and bands large enough for a royal banquet.

 

The Jewish Week, June 2010
Reborn Again? A Jewish Moral Argument for Reincarnation
By Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, YCT '10

I fear death. I think about dying frequently and often try to make meaning of my mortality. Until recently, if someone had mentioned reincarnation to me, I would have dismissed it as a non-Jewish theological belief. I imagine most people share my visceral skepticism of the possibility of reincarnation and of its authentic Jewish roots, but perhaps we can temporarily suspend this disbelief and explore the idea together in search of a theology that can improve us. Perhaps, this thought experiment can even promote certain moral virtues.

 

The Jewish Week, June 2010
Special-Needs Families Fighting Jewish Day Schools

By Adam Dickter  

Rabbi Dov Linzer and his wife, Devorah Zlochower, are mentioned in the above article regarding special needs children. YCT Rabbinical School holds a disabilities program once a year, sponsored by Reuven and Shelley Cohen, in memory of their son, Nathaniel z"l. Opening Up to the Disabled is another article regarding special needs in the Jewish Community.

 

United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ, June 2010
Female Orthodox Rabbis?

by Rabbi Menashe East

These past number of months have been stressful times for the Orthodox Jewish community. We witnessed public debate, critique and recriminations about an issue, which for most of the Jewish world means very little. Should Orthodoxy ordain women? 

 

Reform Judaism Magazine, May 2010
Synagogue: A Katrina Love Story 
by Robert H. Loewy 

August 29, 2010 marks the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's assault upon New Orleans and the Louisiana/Mississippi Gulf Coast. The storm, along with levee system failures and governmental ineptitude, inflicted pain, hardship, and trauma upon millions. As with all disasters, the passage of time allows for perspective. And in good Jewish tradition, we can discern positive developments rising from the misery.  

 

St. Louis Jewish Light, May 2010
Hillel Hires New Campus Rabbi

by David Baugher, Special to the Jewish Light

St. Louis Hillel at Washington University's newly named campus rabbi says that feeding the community's hunger for Judaic knowledge will be his top priority. 

 

The Jewish Week, April 2010
Witnessing Haiti: A Call for Transparency in Disaster Relief
Op-Ed by Shmuly Yanklowitz, YCT '10

We all watched in dismay when Haiti was struck with a devastating 7.0 earthquake; the consequences of this natural disaster intensified by Haiti's status as the 2nd poorest nation in the Western hemisphere. One hundred days later, hundreds of thousands are living in tents in refugee camps without sanitation as the devastation and fear continues with little signs of progress.

 

The Greenpoint Gazette, March 2010
Greenpoint's Greenest (and only) Rabbi: Maurice Appelbaum

by Juliet Linderman 

Maurice Appelbaum is tall, thin and lanky, and stands in the entrance to Greenpoint’s only synagogue, Ahavas Israel, at the end of Noble Street. It’s a frigid afternoon—maybe twenty degrees, not including wind chill—but Appelbaum insists on leaving the door open. "We want to be welcoming," Appelbaum says with a smile. "We can't just close the door."

 

The Jewish Press, March 2010
A Jewish Call For Employee Rights

Op-Ed by Dani Passow and Michal Brickman

Last May, our organization, Uri L'Tzedek, officially launched the Tav HaYosher - "ethical seal" - to certify kosher restaurants that uphold three basic employee rights: the right to fair time, the right to fair pay, and the right to a safe work environment.

 

New Jersey Jewish News, February 2010
No Single Movement Owns Halachic Judaism
Op-ed By Rabbi Menashe East

As our community was making Purim preparations, we confronted an unexpected conversation. Following the authoritative voices of the Talmud and the normative legal codifiers — including, among others, Maimonides — who allow women to read the Megillat Ester, we decided to host a women’s reading on Sunday morning of Purim. (It is worth noting that some authorities suggest that women can even read the megilla for men.)

 

Jewish Action Online, January 2010
Minyan on the Mississippi
By Steve Lipman 

On a recent Friday afternoon, Rabbi Uri Topolosky, the thirty-something-year-old spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Israel in Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans, walked the few blocks from his house to the rear entrance of a one-story building across from the canal along West Esplanade Avenue. Crossing the parking lot, he passed the blue-and-white sign outside the door identifying the congregation.

The Orthodox Moment, January 2010 
By Rabbi Ben Greenberg, YCT '09 

Orthodox Judaism was supposed to fail in America: Jews appeared destined to lose their identity in the melting pot along with other immigrants. America’s genius for assimilation persuaded Eastern European rabbis to denounce immigration; Jonathan Sarna of Brandeis University has translated a tract entitled “People Walk on Their Heads,” by a rabbi who visited America and was aghast at what he observed. Nor were these fears idle: Sarna cites a 1952 study claiming that only 23 percent of all Orthodox children planned to remain Orthodox; nearly half planned to join the Conservative denomination.
 

DAOT, December, 2009
Mishael Zion, YCT Student, writes about YCT. (Hebrew)

VOICES, December, 2009
Environmental Offenders Defy God

Op-Ed by Gabriel Greenberg

When a Fox News reporter refers to global climate change as a "shocking scientific fraud," and efforts to reduce carbon emissions, a “socialist ploy,” we must conclude that advocates of this position are indeed presenting “darkness as light and light as darkness.”  For it is rhetorical strategies like these said in advance of the upcoming conference on global warming (Copenhagen, Dec. 2009) that perpetuate a naïve and ultimately fatal worldview: one that supports interests of industry while subverting the Godly imperative to be a responsible steward of the Earth.  Such a world view allows us to sacrifice the rights of future generations of life on earth for our own current gain.

 

THE JEWISH WEEK, November 2009
A Day Of 'Conscious Kills'
by Ron Dicker

Andy Kastner rarely eats meat and wishes others would eat less, too. So why, you might ask, was this man slaughtering kosher turkeys this week for Thanksgiving? Kastner is a shochet, the fellow ordained to kill livestock according to Jewish law. But he also considers himself an educator. It’s his job, he explained, to remind the public about the cost of meat beyond the sticker price: in blood and emotion.

 

Hillel Hires New Campus RabbiTHE JEWISH WEEK, November 2009
'Invisible Disability' Kids Are Being Left Out

We are the parents of two children with what are often termed "invisible disabilities." Invisible disabilities can include learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and Asperger’s syndrome, Tourette’s syndrome and other tic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other anxiety disorders, mood disorders and behavioral disorders. 

 

THE JEWISH CHRONICLE, October 2009
Meet the Chaplain

The 31-year-old was ordained at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School in New York, in June. Before moving to Oxford he served as a hospital chaplain, a synagogue intern and a campus rabbinical intern at Washington University and New York University. His wife Hannah is a social worker and received her Master’s degree from Hunter College, New York, in 2006

 

Mazel Tov to Shmuly Yanklowitz, YCT '10, for winning a top 20 semi-finalist spot in the Jewish Community Heroes contest! For more information, visit http://www.jewishcommunityheroes.org

 

FEDERATION CJA ANNUAL REPORT, September 2009
Rabbi Yonah Berman

Rabbi Yonah Berman, YCT '07, was chosen as a recipient of the third annual Brenda and Samuel Gewurz Award for Excellence in Jewish Education and Continuity for Jewish educators with under five years of experience.

 

THE JEWISH WEEK, September 2009
Inspiring Story
By Rabbi Dov Linzer

Kudos to The Jewish Week for its inspiring story of Sam Antar (“Still Searching for Repentance,” Sept. 25).  What a perfect way to enter Yom Kippur — with a living model of what true teshuvah is all about. 
 

THE JEWISH EXPONENT, SEPTEMBER 2009
Socially Conscious Students Take 'Tikkun Olam' to a Deeper Level
By Dani Passow, YCT '12

Recently, along with 23 other rabbinical students from eight different seminaries, I traveled to Senegal in Western Africa on a service-learning trip under the auspices of American Jewish World Service to volunteer in two remote villages. After arriving at the airport in Dakar, the country's capital, I approached the custom's desk. The clerk looked at me and said, "Je," which, at the time I thought was French for "you" (it actually means "I"). Senegal is a French-speaking country, and my French vocabulary consists of about three words. 

 

JTA, SEPTEMBER 2009
An Annual Call to Justice
Op-Ed by Shmuly Yanklowitz, YCT '10

The Talmud teaches that the three types of shofar blasts heard on Rosh Hashanah represent three types of cries: the teruah (brief whimpering cries), the shevarim (groaning cries of medium length), and the tekia (long clear cries). Each cry represents a different kind of suffering in the world that we are called to internalize: the intermittent sob of those afflicted with disease and physical and mental suffering; the groan of an oppressed laborer in a cell, a factory and a field; and the plaintive keening of one entrenched in the deepest form of poverty in the developing world.

 

JTA, AUGUST 2009 
Unusual Reform-Orthodox partnership Born of Katrina Blossoms

By Gail Naron Chalew

An act of compassion to help a fellow congregation in need during the chaos following Hurricane Katrina has evolved over the course of four years into an unusual partnership spanning a Jewish religious divide. Born of catastrophe, the unique partnership between the rabbis of two congregations in New Orleans -- one Orthodox, one Reform -- has brought together two disparate synagogues for social, educational and even ritual programs.

 

NEW JERSEY JEWISH NEWS, August 2009
Open Orthodox Rabbi Finds Kindred Community
By Johanna Ginsberg

Two rabbis who have taken uncommon paths to the rabbinate have recently joined the local community. Last week, NJJN profiled Rabbi David Greenstein, the new religious leader at Shomrei Emunah in Montclair. This week, an introduction to Rabbi Menashe East, a guitarist and graduate of the “Open Orthodox” Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, who leads the Mount Freedom Jewish Center in Randolph.

 

THE FORWARD, AUGUST 2009
Jewish Wisdom, and a 'Wise Latina'
Op-Ed by Shmuly Yanklowitz, YCT '10  

With tears and gratitude, Judge Sonia Sotomayor was sworn in as the 111th United States Supreme Court justice — the third woman and the first Latino to make it to our high court.

 

CLEVELAND JEWISH NEWS, August 2009
Jew Embraces Jew at Rabbinical Forum
By Douglas J. Guth

There is no question Jews have their ideological differences, acknowledges Holocaust survivor Joe Klein. However, our varied interpretations of the Torah meant nothing to Hitler when his forces stormed through Europe during World War II.

 

JEWISH PRESS, July 2009
A Jewish Call For Social Justice
Op-Ed by Shmuly Yanklowitz, YCT '10

Pope Benedict XVI recently called on the Catholic community to promote human rights and bring an end to poverty. The pope's directive, laden with biblical charges and humanistic principles, spurns deregulation and freedom from taxes and instead focuses on addressing the root causes of poverty and ensuring universal access to basic human needs such as clean water, sustenance, health, education and employment.

 

HA'ARETZ, July 2009
The Shame of Orthodoxy
Op-Ed by Shmuly Yanklowitz, YCT '10 

"Is nothing sacred?" read a newspaper headline last week that accompanied a photo of one of many Orthodox rabbis in New York and New Jersey who had been caught in a vast criminal scandal. Seeing the images of the rabbis allegedly involved in the laundering of tens of millions of dollars and in black-market trafficking of kidneys, I felt an all-too-familiar shame. Once again, a group of my fellow Jews, who publicly display their religious affiliations and their pietistic adherence to rabbinic authority, were being accused of engaging in terrible violations of ethics and U.S. law.
 

PBS, June 2009
American Jews and Israel

Featuring Rabbi Avi Weiss

BOB ABERNETHY, anchor: As the US tries again to broker a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, American Jews are speaking in unusually diverse voices about what Israel should do. Generally, older Orthodox Jews are strongly opposed to anything they think might weaken Israel’s security. But more and more younger, less religious American Jews are publicly critical of some of the policies of the Israeli government. Betty Rollin listened to the full range of opinions.

 

JTA, May 2009
N.Y. Food Establishments Earn New Ethics Seal

By Sue Fishkoff

One year after a massive immigration raid at the largest kosher meatpacking plant in the United States, an Orthodox social justice organization announced the first seven recipients of its seal of ethical business practice. Uri L'Tzedek recognized six kosher restaurants and a kosher supermarket in Manhattan with a Tav HaYosher, or ethical seal. Mike's Bistro, Mike's Pizzeria and Italian Kitchen, Cafe Nana, Hewitt Dining, Your Heights Cafe, Hartley Kosher Deli and Supersol of the Westside are displaying the seal in their windows.

 

THE JERUSALEM POST, May 2009
A Guiding Light
By Aliza Hausman

Ari Hart was supposed to be at a regular Shabbat meal. Plenty of wine and halla was going around. It was one of his first meals with other 20-something singles in New York City's Washington Heights neighborhood. But the atmosphere quickly changed.

 

THE JEWISH WEEK, May 2009
36 Under 36 2009: Ari Hart, 26
By Randi Sherman

Ari Hart has always seen the future of the Jewish people entwined with the future of the cultures that exist in their midst, whether it be in Biloxi, Miss., Spain or Chicago, all the locations of his youth. He believes that to take care of his own, he must also care for the stranger.

 

 

YOUTUBE, May 2009
Spirit of Elijah Transforms Holy Land Papal Visit

Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein, part-time faculty member at YCT, led a prayer for peace in a recent gathering of the pope and Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religious leaders in Israel. Many in the media consider this to have been a breakthrough moment in interfaith relations for Pope Benedict XVI.

As Alon Goshen-Gottstein soulfully intoned a peace song/prayer composed for the occasion, Pope Benedict XVI held the hands of religious leaders in the Holy Land and joined them in prayer.

 

THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS, March 2009
Montreal Rabbi Alarmed for Venezuela's Jews
By Janice Arnold 

 

THE JEWISH WEEK, March 2009
Orthodox Women's Ordination? Even Rabbis Are Split
By Gary Rosenblatt

"If a rabbi by definition is a teacher with knowledge, what moral justification is there to prevent women from being rabbis?" That question was posed, in writing, to a panel of five young Orthodox rabbis, graduates of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT), from an audience member on Sunday night at the rabbinical school's annual dinner, held at the Ramaz Upper School.

 

THE ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES ONLINE, February 2009
WEB EXTRA: A Passion for Teaching

When we hear the word rabbi, we think of someone in charge of a congregation. But did you know that rabbi also means teacher? Most congregational rabbis include teaching in their job descriptions, but there is another category of rabbi, one who doesn't lead a congregation but devotes his or her time to the pursuit and sharing of knowledge. 

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES, December 2008
Label Says Kosher; Ethics Suggest Otherwise

By Paul Vitello 

Shmuly Yanklowitz, YCT '10, Herbert Lieberman Community Service Award Winner and founder of Uri L'Tzedek, participated in a panel discussion at Yeshiva University in Upper Manhattan on December 9th, 2008.

What it means to be kosher — the nub of a debate sparked in May by sweeping labor abuse charges against the Orthodox Jewish owners of the largest kosher meatpacking plant in the nation — was pondered Tuesday night in a panel discussion at Yeshiva University in Upper Manhattan, the academic nexus of Orthodox Judaism.

Click to download Shmuly's Panel Remarks

Click to view the Panel Video 

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES, October 2008
Kosher Wars

By Samantha M. Shapiro

One sunny day in late August, Andy Kastner made the short drive from his apartment in Riverdale, in the Bronx, to Yonkers First Live Poultry Market, a narrow cinder-block shop that sells live chickens, pigeons, quail and rabbits stacked in ancient-looking metal cages. At Yonkers First, workers usually slaughter and butcher the animals for customers, but Kastner was there because he wanted to kill his own chickens.

 

THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN, September 2008
Rabbi Joins University As Spiritual Guide

By Kelly Lack

Rabbi David Wolkenfeld and his wife Sara, who will spend this year at the University as part of the Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC), aim to support Jewish learning on a non-denominational campus through weekly courses and informal interaction with students.
 

JTA, July 2008
U.S. Jews mourn soldiers, pledge to fight for Shalit's return
By Ben Harris

At the Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School here, Rabbi Dov Linzer decided Wednesday that it would be inappropriate to start the day like any other given the news that the two Israeli soldiers abducted by Hezbollah in July 2006 were returned to Israel deceased.

 

THE JEWISH WEEK, May 2008
Creative Thinkers Get Big Bucks
By Gary Rosenblatt

Continuing a trend among philanthropies to highlight and support the creative work of individual thinkers and activists, the Avi Chai Foundation this week announced the first winners of its new Fellows program.


THE JEWISH WEEK, May 2008 
New Jewish Genuises To Be Tapped

Combining the mystique of the MacArthur Foundation “genius” grants and the impetus to spur out-of-the-box Jewish creativity, the Avi Chai Foundation is poised to announce the first winners of its new Avi Chai Fellowships on Tuesday.


WASHINGTON JEWISH WEEK, May 2008 
Rewarding Jewish Genius, Rabbi Garners Prestigious Fellowship
By Richard Greenberg

Rabbi Dov Linzer has made a name for himself by professionalizing the training of Orthodox rabbis, producing clergy who are known for being progressive, nondogmatic and extraordinarily sensitive to the needs of their congregants.

 

THE JEWISH WEEK, December 2007
Opening Up Orthodox Judaism

By Steve Lipman

In a small classroom across Broadway from Columbia University, Moshe is having a meltdown one recent afternoon. Moshe, in his late 20s, is reluctantly unburdening with his rabbi about his drinking problem. Depressed, almost suicidal, unhappy with his family life, Moshe talks in shrugs and sullen grunts. The rabbi, leaning forward in his chair, listens sympathetically. After a while, he convinces Moshe to make an appointment the next day with a mental health professional. "It’s not going to help,’ Moshe declares. "Rabbi, life’s not getting any better."

To view 2 responses to this article, click below:
http://www.thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c53_a1429/Editorial__Opinion/Letter.html
http://www.thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c53_a1430/Editorial__Opinion/Letter.html

 

THE JEWISH PRESS, Januray 2008
Challenge of Modern Orthodoxy
By Rabbi Barry Gelman

Over the last 50 years American Orthodoxy has managed to create a national community that is successful in the realm of imparting knowledge, Jewish commitment and continuity. Over the past years Orthodox rabbis convinced entire communities to change their eating habits by refraining from “eating out” and to raise a generation of Jewishly literate and deeply committed youth by sending their children, at great personal expense, to Jewish day schools...

 

PORTLAND PRESS HERALD, Decemeber  2007
There Should Be Plenty of Holiday Greetings To Go Around This Month
By Rabbi Akiva Herzfeld

Happy Hanukkah! Merry Christmas! A joyous Kwanzaa! And a festive shopping and holiday season to all! It's that time of year again when we try to think of the appropriate words to say to people when greeting them and saying farewell. Is it best to say, "Merry Christmas" to everyone since the vast majority of the people in this nation celebrate Christmas? Or is it better to go with "Happy Holidays"?
 

OURADIO.ORG - December 2007
How Come Hashem Doesn't Let Tzaddikim Live Peacefully? 

Rabbi Elliot Kaplowitz, YCT '06 and Co-Director, Jewish Learning Initiative Brandeis University, was featured on the OU Radio website.

 

THE TIMES-PICAYUNE, September 2007
Orthodox Mission

To the list of those young newcomers attracted to post-Katrina New Orleans precisely because of its challenges, add the names Uri and Dahlia Topolosky. Topolosky, 29, is the new rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel, freshly arrived from the Bronx with his 30-year-old wife, Dahlia, and two young sons. His task: to revitalize the wounded Orthodox congregation whose Canal Boulevard synagogue flooded several blocks from the 17th Street Canal....


DEEP SOUTH JEWISH VOICE, July 2007
Beth Israel Hires Uri Topolosky as New Rabbi

Nearly two years after flooding related to Hurricane Katrina devastated its Lakeview property, Congregation Beth Israel announced plans to hire Uri Topolosky, 28, as their new rabbi, effective August 1.....


THE BLUEPRINT, July 2007
2007 Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbis

Armed with gifts of brand new shofars as they spread throughout America and beyond, this year’s Yeshivat Chovevei Torah graduates are as diverse as they are unusual. The enthusiastic new rabbis began the semikha ceremony June 10, 2007, by singing and dancing their way into the auditorium in celebration...


WASHINGTON JEWISH WEEK, June 2007
A New Start in New Orleans

Rabbi Uri Topolosky set eyes on New Orleans for the first time in his life as the airliner he was aboard approached for a landing in February. Although the flood waters from Hurricane Katrina had long since subsided, the landscape was still dominated by intimidatingly vast stretches of blue the Mississippi River, the Gulf of Mexico, Lake Pontchartrain and the Bayou.....

 

THE JEWISH WEEK, April 2007 
Back to Bucharest

Like most members of his generation, who grew up in communist Eastern Europe during the last years of communism, Sorin Rosen had no Jewish education or upbringing. “Nothing at all,” he says.

Like many Jews from former Iron Curtain countries who belatedly discovered their Jewish roots, Rosen became interested as a teen in learning what he had not as a child. After visiting some distant relatives in Israel, he became active in several Jewish organizations in Bucharest, his Romanian hometown...

 

NY SUN, March 2007
A School for Open Orthodoxy

The Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School fund-raiser held at Pier 60 on March 6 celebrated the school's philosophy of openness. "We're building a power source for K'lal Yisrael, to build an orthodoxy that is fearless, one that is not afraid of the secular culture, one that is not afraid to relate to the non-Jewish world," the chairman of the board of the school, Howard Jonas, who founded the IDT Corporation, said..


SH'MA, January 2007  
Training Rabbis To Lead

Rabbinical student Elizabeth Richman recently interviewed Rabbi Dov Linzer, Rosh HaYeshiva and Academic Head of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, about his decision to include training in community organizing within the yeshiva's curriculum. Rabbi Linzer, a recipient of the Javits fellowship, is a doctoral candidate in Religion at Columbia University. He has published in Torah journals and lectures widely at synagogues and conferences on topics relating to halakhah, Orthodoxy, and modernity...

 

THE COMMENTATOR (undergradute newspaper for Yeshiva College of YU), January, 2007
Who is YCT?

In the last six years, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT) has spent a great deal of money and resources on bolstering their unique rabbinic graduate-semikha program. Although YCT officials affirm that they would like their student roster to remain small - they currently have 43 students - they continue to bolster the program to attract targeted students...

 

NEW YORK PUBLIC RADIO- Leonard Lopate show on WNYC (93.9 FM / 820 AM), December 2006
http://www.wnyc.org/shows/lopate/explain.html

Rabbi Dov Linzer, YCT's Rosh HaYeshiva, was a guest on the Leonard Lopate show on WNYC. The topic of the show centered around exploring the origins and traditions of Chanukah...

Click to download the source sheet as a supplement the Leonard Lopate show topic:
Hanukkah Source Sheet

 

BALTIMORE JEWISH TIMES.com, December 2006 
Orthodoxy Struggles with Frum or Frummer 

The growth of a more tradition-bound Orthodoxy within American Judaism is part of the global re-embrace of traditionalist religion, a phenomenon with great political repercussions in Islam and Christianity...
 

Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot, Chair of the Departments of Halakha and Jewish Thought at YCT, was interviewed by the President of the OU for his on-line radio program regarding Modern Orthodoxy and YCT. It is now posted this week on the OU website and can be downloaded here:

Drawing Lines

In celebration of Chanukah, Steve Savitsky speaks with Dr. Lawrence H. Schiffman about the Greeks, Hellenization and the upcoming holiday, and with Rabbi Nati Helfgot about Modern Orthodoxy...

 

CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS, October 2006
A Modern Orthodox Manifesto

A few weeks ago, The CJN ran an informative two-part series that addressed the tensions between modern Orthodox and non-modern Orthodox Jews in Toronto. Since one of the articles quoted me, a number of Torontonians have recently asked me whether there really is such a thing as modern Orthodoxy in Toronto, and, if so, where is it? Some wondered if modern Orthodoxy is an oxymoron, like “kosher pig” or “postal service.”....

 

JEWISH STANDARD, May 2006
Rabbi With New Jersey Ties Tapped For Key Post

Rabbi Yamin Levy, who launched his rabbinic career in New Jersey, has been tapped for a key position at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, a Manhattan-based training ground for Modern Orthodox rabbis. On June 1, Levy will become vice president of yeshiva affairs at YCT, which was founded by Rabbi Avi Weiss in 1999 in order to train rabbis for what Weiss calls a “more open and inclusive Modern Orthodoxy.”...

 

FORWARD, March 2006
Cardinals Study With Orthodox Students

When second-year rabbinical student Will Friedman sat down to review a passage of Talmud on Monday, he was greeted by a study partner who wore a scholar's intent expression and V-neck sweater — along with a clerical collar... 

 

BLUE PRINT, November 2005
Social Action Begins At Yeshiva

Entering its seventh year, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah is still committed to two of its core values: social action and student empowerment.   In the past, YCT's rabbinical students have worked on many different social action projects, ranging from organizing an interdenominational rally protesting genocide in Sudan to collecting chametz (unleavened bread) before Passover, where it was later distributed to homeless shelters....


JEWISH WORLD, September 2005
A New Generation of Rabbis Finds Inspiration at YCT

For Yonatan Cohen, deciding he wanted to become a rabbi was the easy part. Cohen, a 25-year-old Israeli native who grew up in Montreal, figured that out by the time he was 15...

 

THE GAZETTE, September 2005
Young Rabbi Breaks the Mold

Adam Scheier has been described as a "rabbi for the 21st century," and he is ready to take on his greatest challenge as a religious leader...

 

JEWISH STATE, July 2005
Conference on Tanakh Is Smorsgasboard of Learning

 “Who gets up this early on a Sunday morning?” joked a conference participant as he signed up for a day of learning at the third annual “Yemei Iyun on Tanakh and Jewish Thought,” sponsored by Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT) Rabbinical School of New York. The answer: Adults who are passionate about Torah...

  

BLUE PRINT, June 2004
A Few Good Men - page 1

With a whole slew of new rabbis coming out of four years of intense training, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah’s class of 2004 is hitting Jewish institutions with a bang. Well, sort of. With its first graduating class of nine, YCT’s new rabbis are poised to fill positions from pulpit rabbis listening to congregants’ concerns to educational leaders dealing with the younger  generation. Aside from their fresh status as YCT’s first graduates, what’s most unique about these nine men is their approach to Judaism...

A Few Good Men - page 2

 ...standard in Orthodox yeshivas, but also teaches Tanakh and Jewish philosophy and places a strong emphasis on pastoral counseling, which is taught by leading psychiatric professionals. The pastoral program includes formal classroom instruction, role-playing, clinical experience and mentored internships around the country—a rigorous curriculum that the school insists is unparalleled...

 

NEW JERSEY JEWISH NEWS, June 2004
Open Orthodox Yeshiva To Ordain First Class of Rabbis

For Yaakov Simon, originally of Highland Park, Manhattan’s Yeshivat Chovevei Torah suits the way he has reconciled his
Orthodox religious outlook with the lessons learned from his “liberal assimilated New York-ish family.” For Jon Duker — who lived in Elizabeth during his studies and interned in Elizabeth and Highland Park — the fledgling Orthodox yeshiva offers a broad-based curriculum and a rosh yeshiva, head of school, whom he describes as “phenomenal.” ...

 

NEW YORK TIMES, April 2004
A Challenge to an Orthodox Bastion

A grand experiment in Orthodox Judaism sits nestled in four classrooms of an Upper West Side Jewish high school. It is Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, a small rabbinical school poised to challenge the might of Yeshiva University, a bastion of Jewish Orthodoxy and the nation's main supplier of modern Orthodox rabbis...

 

JEWISH STANDARD, December 2003
Shabbaton To Study Chanukah-Jewish Standard

Chanukah, the holiday of rebellion and miracles, not explicitly mentioned in the Bible and only briefly noted in the Talmud, will be the subject of a Shabbaton sponsored by Davar, an Orthodox thinktank in this township...

 

JEWISH JOURNAL of Greater Los Angeles, March 2003
Uniting Among the Rabbis of Tomorrow

Pigs and roosters, oxen and bulls, horses and dogs (and more dogs),a skunk and perhaps a possum — someone says a monkey — and children everywhere, and all the noises which thereunto pertain, plus a sun that is as glaring and hot as the Negev sun. This is Ciudad Romero in El Salvador...

 

SH'MA, 2003
Creating Open Orthodoxy

Orthodox Judaism is currently at a crossroads.  In the post-Holocaust generation, Orthodoxy has shown new life, attracting and maintaining adherents and instilling in its adherents an increasing commitment to scrupulous observance and regular Torah study...

 

JEWISH STANDARD, 2002
Mental Health Day for the Orthodox

Orthodox Jews experience psychological distress with an intensity different from that of other Jews? Does depression hit harder, last longer, or cause less pain if you commune with God three times a day, every day? Why have a conference that focuses on the mental health issues of Orthodox Jews? Are laws of “lashon hara” (prohibited speech such as gossip, slander) violated when family members are discussed in therapy? ...

 

THE COMMENTATOR, December 2002
Students Choose Between RIETS and Chovevei Torah

Founded in 1999, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT) has rooted itself as the institution of choice for the “left-wing” Orthodox and has been actively recruiting on the Wilf Campus. Presenting alternatives to Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) in both curriculum and in ideology, the self-described “Open Orthodox Rabbinical School” has quietly begun to lure students from RIETS and has provoked questioning from others who remain about their own school’s direction...

 

JEWISH JOURNAL of Greater Los Angeles, December 2002
New Face of Study

Rabbi Avi Weiss left Yeshiva University (YU) in New York three years ago to found a new rabbinic school for one simple reason: "We were not graduating enough Yosefs," said Weiss, a political activist and progressive Orthodox Jewish leader...


JEWISH WEEK, July 2002 
Breaking the Taboo

On a cold April night two years ago, Alan Dutka stood on the roof of his Teaneck, N.J., apartment building and jumped.The suicide of this bright, devout former Yeshiva University student who for eight years had suffered from schizophrenia belied the belief that religious Jews don’t suffer from psychiatric illness, that it is a scourge of "the outside world."....

 

JEWISH WEEK, August 2001
Taking A Left Turn

One day last semester, in a book-lined basement study hall of a synagogue on the Upper West Side, Jeff Fox was studying Baba Metzia, the talmudic tractate about the laws of lost objects. During the class, the teacher, an Orthodox rabbi, cited, among other commentaries, Talmud Arukh, a book by a Conservative scholar...

 

 

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