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Dr. Nir Barzilai

Dr. Barzilai is the Director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. He is The Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert Professor of Aging Research, Professor of Medicine and Molecular Genetics and a member of the Diabetes Research Center, the Divisions of Endocrinology and Geriatrics. He is also the Director of the Diabetes Research and Training Center Physiology core. Dr. Barzilai’s interests focus on several basic mechanisms in the biology of aging, including the biological effects of nutrients on extending life and the genetic determinants of life span. Indeed, he has discovered the first longevity gene in humans, and is further characterizing the phenotype and genotype of humans with exceptional longevity through an NIH supported Program Project. He is also leading a Program Project to investigate the metabolic decline with aging and its impact on longevity. He received numerous grants, among them ones from the National Institute of Aging (NIA), American Federation of Aging Research, and the Ellison Medical Foundation. Dr. Barzilai has published over 160 peer-reviewed papers, reviews and chapters in textbooks. He is an advisor to the National Institutes of Health on several projects and initiatives and study sections. He serves on several editorial boards and is a reviewer for numerous other journals. Dr. Barzilai was a recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Beeson Fellow for Aging Research, the Senior Ellison Foundation award, the Paul Glenn Foundation award and the NIA- Nathan Shock Award for his contributions in elucidating metabolic and genetic mechanisms of aging, and will receive the 2010 Irving S. Wright Award of Distinction in Aging Research Award. In his capacity as the Director of the Institute for Aging research at Einstein he leads or assists in 5 large programmatic (P01) approaches to biology of aging, a training grant (T32) and has additional individual grants (R01). Sample Titles Aging...

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Rabbi Mordechai Becher

Rabbi Mordechai Becher, originally from Australia, an instructor at the James Striar School of Yeshiva University and a senior lecturer for the Gateways Organization. Rabbi Becher received his ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. He taught at Ohr Somayach, Neve Yerushalayim and Darchei Binah in Jerusalem for 15 years, served in the Israel Defence Forces and taught in a number of Rabbinic training programs. His latest book, Gateway to Judaism, published by Shaar Press, is now in its sixth printing. Rabbi Becher has lectured for the UJA, Jewish Federations, the Zionist Organization of America, Hillel and is on the speakers’ bureau of the Israeli Consulate in New York. Rabbi Becher has answered thousands of questions on the Ask-the-Rabbi website, and has taught in Canada, the United States, England, Israel, South Africa, Australia and Russia. Sample Titles “An Eye For An Eye”: What Does it Really Mean? What If We Found Moshe’s Tefillin – Archaeology and Halachah Occupied or Liberated: Whose Land Is It Anyway? Jewish State or State for Jews? The Ideal of a Jewish State in Jewish Thought Cloning in Halachah “Triage” Rationing Resources, and Priorities in Medical Emergencies The Sabbath : Who Invented the Weekend Anyway? Exile of the Body, Exile of the Soul: The Exodus as a Metaphor. Freewill and Conditioning: A Delicate Balance. Jewish Law in a Non-Jewish Society Strings Attached: The Mitzvah of Tzitzit From Cairo to Cambridge: Jewish Treasures of Egypt (Cairo Genizah A/V) A Prophet for Our Time: The Life and Philosophy of Rabbi Samson Raphael...

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Cantor Bernard Beer

Cantor Bernard Beer is director emeritus of the Philip and Sarah Belz School of Jewish Music at Yeshiva University and has directed the school since 1985. He has been executive vice president of the Cantorial Council of America since 1974. Cantor Beer also serves on the board of directors and is a consultant for Sounds of Jewish Music in Chicago, Musica Judaica in New York and the Journal of Jewish Music and Liturgy. Cantor Beer earned a BA from Yeshiva and an associate cantorial certificate and cantorial diploma from Belz. He also completed graduate courses in music education at Columbia University and in voice, piano and theory from the Julliard School of Music. Additionally, he has served as a professional cantor in synagogues around the New York area. Cantor Beer regularly lectures in Jewish music subjects throughout North America. He has published articles on Jewish music in numerous periodicals and journals, including the Journal of Jewish Music and Liturgy, and will soon release publications accompanied with audio-cassettes of curriculum utilized at Belz. Sample Titles History and Development of Jewish Music from Temple Days to Modern Era Origin and development of the Ashkenazic chant Cantillation, as influence on synagogue and Jewish folk music The origin and development of Hassidic music and its usage in the synagogue service Mi’sinai Tunes, their significance in the synagogue service and influence in Jewish music...

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Dr. David Berger

David Berger is dean and Ruth and I. Lewis Gordon Professor of Jewish History at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies of Yeshiva University. For many years he was Broeklundian Professor of History at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He was also President of the Association for Jewish Studies, co-chair of the academic advisory committee of the National Foundation for Jewish Culture and has served as a member of the academic committee of the Rothschild Foundation Europe and of the executive committee of the American Academy for Jewish Research, where he is a fellow. He serves on the council of the World Union of Jewish Studies and the editorial board of Tradition. Dean Berger is the author of “The Jewish-Christian Debate in the High Middle Ages,” which was awarded the John Nicholas Brown Prize by the Medieval Academy of America, and co-author of “Judaism’s Encounter with Other Cultures: Rejection or Integration?” a finalist for the Jewish Book Award in Jewish Thought. His book, “The Rebbe, the Messiah, and the Scandal of Orthodox Indifference,” received the 2003 Samuel Belkin Literary Award. He has written numerous articles on medieval Jewish history, Jewish-Christian relations, anti-Semitism, contemporary Judaism and the intellectual history of the Jews. Dean Berger has been a fellow of the Annenberg Research Institute, a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem and a visiting professor at Yale and Harvard universities. Sample Titles The Messiah and the Redemption: Beliefs, Movements and Calculations from Talmudic Times to the Present The Catholic Church and the Jews: From Crusades, Expulsions and Holocaust to Dialogue and Diplomatic Relations A two or three part series called “Christians and Jews: Interfaith Relations from the Crusades to the Jewish State” Halakhah Confronts a Changing Society: Reflections on the Dynamics of Jewish Law Kiddush Hashem and Conversion from Crusades to Inquisition to Holocaust The Jewish-Christian Debate from Medieval Disputations to Modern...

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Dr. Moshe Bernstein

Dr. Moshe Bernstein is a professor of Bible at Yeshiva College of Yeshiva University. He also taught at Stern College for Women for 20 years. His teaching encompasses both basic and advanced courses, ranging from Introduction to Bible, Biblical Hebrew and Classical Jewish Intellectual History to specialized courses in Literary Approaches to the Bible, Dead Sea Scrolls and Early Biblical Interpretation. Dr. Bernstein’s research focuses primarily on Jewish biblical interpretation in antiquity, particularly as witnessed in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Aramaic targumim (translations of the Hebrew Bible into Aramaic). His publications in these areas have earned him international recognition as a distinguished scholar. Dr. Bernstein is a member of the international editorial team responsible for editing and publishing the Dead Sea Scrolls, and in 2001 co-edited three fragmentary Dead Sea Scrolls in the official publication series “Discoveries in the Judean Desert.” In addition to his academic and scholarly activities, Dr. Bernstein is a frequent lecturer on a variety of aspects of Tanakh and Judaism in antiquity at synagogues in the New York area and across the country. Dr. Bernstein is a graduate of Yeshiva College and received his semikha (rabbinic ordination) at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He holds MA and PhD degrees from Fordham University in classical languages. Dr. Bernstein also received a master’s degree in Semitic languages from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, where he later did advanced graduate work in biblical studies. Sample Titles Literary Approaches to Tenakh Biblical Thought: Lamentations, Ecclesiastes (Kohelet), Psalms The Text of Tenakh from Before the Ba’alei Mesorah to Printed Editions Translations of the Bible from the Targumim to ArtScroll The Earliest Biblical Interpretation – Reading the Bible Before There Were Commentaries Medieval Jewish Biblical Interpretation Second Temple Jewish History and...

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Rabbi Yosef Blau

Rabbi Yosef Blau has been mashgiach ruchani (spiritual guidance counselor) at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary at Yeshiva University since 1977. He also serves as spiritual guidance counselor for students at Yeshiva College. Rabbi Blau earned a BA in 1959 from Yeshiva College and an MS at Yeshiva’s Belfer Graduate School of Science in 1960. He was ordained at RIETS in 1961. Rabbis Blau is president of the Religious Zionists of America and served as national president of Yavneh, the National Religious Jewish Students’ Association. He is a former national vice president of the National Conference of Yeshiva Principals. An author of many articles on Jewish thought, Rabbi Blau became a member of the Orthodox Forum in 1989. He is a former member of the executive board of the Orthodox Caucus, was a delegate from the Religious Zionists of America to the World Zionist Congress and was elected a member of the Vaad Hapoel of the World Zionist Organization. Sample Titles Preserving the Jewish Character of Israel Challenges facing religious Zionism Halakhic Responses to scientific, economic, and social changes in society Women’s role in Orthodox Judaism The ethical dimension in Judaism Relating to non-Orthodox Jews Living in democratic America: An Orthodox Jewish perspective Moshe and Aharon: Balancing Truth and Peace Religion and Superstition A historical analysis of Orthodoxy in...

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Rabbi Benjamin Blech

Rabbi Benjamin Blech, a Maggid-shiur at Yeshiva University, is an internationally recognized educator, religious leader, author and lecturer. He has written 12 highly acclaimed and best-selling books, with combined sales of close to half a million copies, including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Judaism and Understanding Judaism: The Basics of Deed and Creed, which was chosen by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations as the single best book on Judaism in our generation. Together with an accompanying six-hour video, filmed by the producers of 20/20 and featuring Rabbi Blech, Understanding Judaism: The Basics of Deed and Creed is used in study groups in numerous synagogues and universities around the country. His book Taking Stock: A Spiritual Guide to Rising Above Life’s Financial Ups and Downs was featured in a full-page article in the New York Times and his If God is Good, Why Is The World So Bad? has been translated into Indonesian, where it has had a powerful reception in the wake of the country’s tsunami. Rabbi Blech’s most recent book is The Sistine Chapel: Michelangelo’s Forbidden Messages in the Heart of the Vatican. Coinciding with the 500th anniversary of Michelangelo’s starting work on the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel, this groundbreaking book is already the subject of huge interest, discussion and controversy. Translated into 15 languages, available in 25 countries, a first printing of 100,000 copies by HarperOne, movie and TV rights presently in negotiation with three major film companies and with national TV coverage, this major work proves that Michelangelo incorporated many teachings of Jewish Midrash and Kabbalah into the Sistine Chapel. As a result of a personal meeting with the late Pope John Paul II, Rabbi Blech was instrumental in securing the loan of Jewish manuscripts for exhibition in Israel and he is involved in further negotiations for the return of precious Judaica held by the Vatican that may prove to be of historic significance. Rabbi Blech, a 10th generation rabbi, is rabbi emeritus...

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Rabbi Dr. J. David Bleich

Rabbi J. David Bleich is an authority on Jewish law and ethics and bioethics. He holds the Herbert and Florence Tenzer Chair in Jewish Law and Ethics, is a professor of Talmud (rosh yeshiva) at Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University and heads RIETS’ postgraduate institute for the study of Talmudic jurisprudence and family law. Rabbi Bleich has also been teaching at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law since 1981, with specialties in Jewish law and bioethics. His recent courses include Introduction to Jewish Law, Advanced Jewish Law and Jewish Law and Contemporary Legal Issues. Rabbi Bleich, spiritual leader of the Yorkville Synagogue in Manhattan, is the author of “Jewish Bioethics, With Perfect Faith: Foundations of Jewish Belief, Contemporary Halakhic Problems” (four volumes), and “Time of Death in Jewish Law and Judaism and Healing.” He has written extensively on the applications of Jewish law to contemporary social issues and on the interface of Jewish law and the American legal system. He is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, a postdoctoral fellow at the Hastings Center, fellow of the Academy of Jewish Philosophy and a member of the Governor’s Commission on Life and the Law. Rabbi Bleich received a BA from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, an MA from Columbia University and a PhD from New York University. He was ordained at Yeshiva Torah VoDaat in New York, and was conferred with Yadin Yadin ordination from Rabbis Moshe Feinstein and Mendel Zaks. Sample Titles: Adoption Agencies Hilchos Ishus Contemporary Bioethical Issues Kefiah BeGet Gitin Hebrew Names P’ru Urv’u Dating of Ketubah and Checks War Heter Iska Kutim Agunot Resources in Halachic Literature Adultery The right to die Withdrawl of Treatment Avaryanim Bizman Hazeh Nimtza Echad Karov O Pasul Transplants Get Me’useh Piscatorial Kashruth Tinok D’Lo Chakim Vlo Tipesh Sechar Sofer Vegetarianism & Shechitah Status of Shoteh Agunah Civil Marraiges Sheimot B’Get Contraception Surrogate Motherhood Tnai Bnisuin Erkaot Tuvei Ha’ir Ki Matza Ba Ervat Davar Inflation...

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Dr. Norman Blumenthal

Dr. Norman Blumenthal is education director of the Bella and Harry Wexner Kollel Elyon and Semikha Honors Program at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University. A licensed clinical psychologist with a private practice in Lawrence, NY, Dr. Blumenthal is Zachter Family Chair in Trauma and Crisis Counseling and Director of OHEL Miriam Center for Trauma, Bereavement and Crisis Response. Dr. Blumenthal is founder and chairman of the board of education of CAHAL, a partnership of 10 local yeshivot and Hebrew day schools providing special education classes for learning disabled children; coordinator of group psychotherapy training for interns and residents at the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System; and consultant to TOVA, a mentoring program for disenfranchised teens. Dr. Blumenthal received his MA and PhD from Adelphi University. Sample Titles discipline sibling rivalry year in Israel bereavement children’s reactions to trauma and loss secondary trauma affluenza (relationship to money) adjusting to financial hardship adolescence parental alienation dating and courtship religious differences between parents and children parental relationship with grown up children self...

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Rabbi Kenneth Brander

Rabbi Kenneth (Kenny) Brander is Vice President for University and Community Life at Yeshiva University.  He concurrently serves as the inaugural David Mitzner Dean of Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future. The CJF shapes, enriches and inspires the contemporary Jewish community by convening the resources of Yeshiva. It does so by infusing the student body with the spirit of leadership and a sense of klal Yisrael. CJF serves to build, cultivate and support communities, rabbinic and lay leaders, and individuals. Furthermore, CJF is creating a global movement that promotes the values of Yeshiva. Rabbi Brander is rabbi emeritus of the Boca Raton Synagogue, founding dean of the Boca Raton Community Kollel and founder of the Weinbaum Yeshiva High School of Broward and Palm Beach counties. During his 14 years of service to that community, he oversaw its explosive growth from 60 families to some 600 families. Rabbi Brander is a 1984 alumnus of Yeshiva College and received his ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 1986. At RIETS, he had the distinction of serving as personal aide to the esteemed Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. He also received special ordination from Machon Puah, a center of medical ethics in Israel, and from former Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu in the field of medical ethics. He is currently a PhD candidate in general philosophy at Florida Atlantic University. Sample Titles Playing God: Can I Choose my Child? PGD and Genetic Screening – A Torah Perspective My Egg, My Husband, Her Womb, Whose Child? The Ethics of Reproductive Medicine Through the Prism of Jewish Law The Ethics of Reproductive Medicine in Jewish Law: A Torah Perspective End of Life Issues Through the Prism of Halakhah Fertility Procedures The Gift of Life: Donating Organs; A Jewish Perspective Our Health and Well-being: Compassionate and Halakhic Treatment of the Terminally Ill Patient Stem Cell Research – The Definition of Life as seen in Parshat Mishpatim Ethics of War “Is Zionism Diametrically Opposed to...

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