President Emeritus Richard M. Joel

Richard M. Joel became Yeshiva University’s fourth president on September 21, 2003, and was named Bravmann Family University Professor in April 2010. Over the past 10 years, Joel has built upon the illustrious tradition of this storied institution by placing a renewed emphasis on the student experience, academic excellence, Torah scholarship and communal involvement. With these advancements, and guided by the distinctive belief in education as a process of “ennobling and enabling” young women and men to build whole and meaningful lives, Yeshiva has emerged as North America’s Torah-informed university. Further, with his guidance, Yeshiva University has expanded its focus far beyond the walls of the university, whether through professional and rabbinic placement globally or service learning missions worldwide. With his characteristic charm and wit, Joel can often be spotted around Yeshiva’s campuses engaging with students and learning about them; one of his great pleasures at Yeshiva is in serving on its faculty and teaching his weekly course. Following his lead, the university has further developed a culture of warmth. Joel is renowned as a charismatic leader and a captivating orator, and has traveled globally to dialogue with audiences on values-driven education, communal leadership, and Jewish identity. Just as Yeshiva University has embraced its role as the flagship institution of American Modern Orthodoxy, Joel has in many ways become more than a university president but a true spokesperson for the Jewish people. Before taking the helm at Yeshiva, President Joel earned his reputation as a dynamic force with young people as president and international director of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. There, he facilitated an extraordinary renaissance of Jewish life on campuses through building  numerous new facilities, partnering in the creation of Birthright Israel, and using  engagement and empowerment models to reach Jewish youth. Growing up in Bronx, NY, Joel earned  his B.A. and J.D. from New York University where he was a Root-Tilden Scholar; he has received honorary doctorates from Boston Hebrew College and Gratz College. He also served as assistant...

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Rabbi Dr. Josh Joseph

Josh Joseph is the senior vice president at Yeshiva University where he has operating responsibility for the administrative and academic aspects of the University, ensuring strategic planning and implementation of restructuring initiatives. Recently, Josh successfully defended his dissertation, earning his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania in Higher Education Management. A native of Montreal, Josh completed his undergraduate degree with honors at Penn as well. He received rabbinic ordination from YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, while completing a Master’s in Jewish philosophy at YU’s Bernard Revel Graduate School. He also completed fellowships and certificates at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Administration, as well as Harvard’s Institute of Higher Education. Josh previously worked at a hedge fund, as a community rabbi, served as the executive director of the Orthodox Caucus, and director of social entrepreneurialism at YU’s Center for the Jewish Future. He and his wife, Julie, live in Lawrence and are the proud parents of Zach, Ozzie, and Marsha. Sample Titles Leadership 2020 The End of Human Specialness The Creativity Crunch Happiness U Emotional Intelligence Next Practices to Train and Inspire the Next Generation of Jewish Leaders What Question is Hashem Asking YOU? The Guidance of the Netziv for Life Decisions & Direction Let My Startup Nation Go Power of Prayer The Power of Positive Thinking: Faith in Trying Times Blackberry Unplugged and The Power of Now Hitchhiker’s Guide to a Jewish Life A Survival Guide to the Second Seder UP: A direction we can all agree upon Blind Sides and Blind Spots: The State of Orthodoxy in 2010 Beyond Time: The many facets and faces of Shabbos What number was yesterday? A reminder about Sefiras haOmer The Closing of the Jewish Mind Forces for Good: Tomorrow’s Leaders, Today Transformational Conversations and the Speaker-Listener Technique THE EXPERT WITHIN: Educational Leadership and the Millennial...

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Rabbi Aharon Kahn

Rabbi Aharon Kahn was named Joel Jablonski Professor of Talmud and Codes at Yeshiva University’s affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) in 1988. A specialist in rabbinic law, Rabbi Kahn was ordained at RIETS in 1969 and later earned Semikhah Yadin Yadin, the highest level of rabbinic ordination, from the late Torah sages Rabbi Mendel Zaks and Rabbi Moshe Duber Rivkin. For 20 years, he studied with the late, revered Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Leib Merkin Distinguished Professor of Talmud and Jewish Philsophy at RIETS, who was considered the foremost authority on Halakhah (Jewish law) and chief mentor and inspiration of authentic Jewish leadership on this continent. For ten of those years, he was Rabbi Soloveitchik’s assistant. Rabbi Kahn was appointed Rosh Kollel of RIETS’ prestigious Kollel Elyon at its inception and served in that position from 1983 to 1998. At RIETS, Rabbi Kahn was co-editor of the University’s Centennial Torah volume, Yevul Hayovlot, which contained a sampling of the Torah scholarship of Yeshiva’s roshei yeshiva since its inception. He is also the author of nine volumes spanning the entire range of Jewish scholarship. Rabbi Kahn completed eighteen year tenure as spiritual leader of the Downtown Talmud Torah Synagogue on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 1987. He then moved to the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn where he established Knesseth Bais Avigdor, a unique congregation that provides opportunities for lay people to engage in serious Torah study on a daily basis. His wife, Rebetzin Rachel Kahn, is the principal of the Bais Yaakov of the East Side. Mr. Jablonski established the Chair in Talmud and Codes in memory of his parents, Chaim and Sima Weissman Jablonski, and his brother, Bezalel in July, 1988. Sample Titles Memories of the Rav Perspectives on Tzedaka Teshuvah–It’s Time! The Rambam’s Mitzvah of Koreich Giving Thanks–Hakoras Hatovah: A Yesod in Yahadus Nosai Be’ol im Chaveiro: The Passion in Compassion Chazal’s Perspective on Daily Life...

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Rabbi Dr. Ephraim Kanarfogel

Rabbi Dr. Ephraim Kanarfogel is the E. Billi Ivry University Professor of Jewish History, Literature and Law at Yeshiva University. He teaches at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies and at Stern College for Women. Professor Kanarfogel is one of the foremost scholars in the fields of medieval Jewish history and rabbinic literature, and is the author five books and more than seventy-five articles. His most recent book, The Intellectual History and Rabbinic Culture of Medieval Ashkenaz, published in 2013, won the prestigious Goldstein-Goren International Book Prize, along with the Jordan Schnitzer Book Award from the Association of Jewish Studies here in the United States. Rabbi Dr. Kanarfogel has held visiting appointments at the University of Pennsylvania and at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and he has lectured at leading universities throughout the world, including Harvard, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He serves on the Executive Board as Secretary of the American Academy for Jewish Research, the premier scholarly organization for professors of Jewish studies in North America. Ordained at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary where he was a member of the Kollel, he earned his doctorate in medieval Jewish history at the Bernard Revel Graduate School. In 2002, Rabbi Dr. Kanarfogel became the first person to win Yeshiva’s Samuel Belkin Memorial Literary Award on multiple occasions. He is also a winner of the National Jewish Book award. Sample Titles Precedent and Innovation in the Halakhic Process: Conversion and Reversion to Judaism History and Halakhah: Who will Build the Third Beit Ha-Mikdash? Conceptions of the Messianic Age in Medieval Rabbinic Thought Medieval Halakhic Decision-Making and the Implications for...

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Dr. Susan Klugman

Dr. Susan Klugman is the Director of Clinical Services and Community Outreach for the Program for Jewish Genetic Health of Yeshiva University. She is a board–certified obstetrician gynecologist and a board certified geneticist. Dr. Klugman received her medical degree from New York University in 1988 after completing her undergraduate studies in Biometry and Statistics at Cornell University. She then completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Montefiore Medical Center where she continues to practice. In 1993, she founded the Larchmont Women’s Center, a faculty practice office. In 2004, she completed a second residency in medical genetics at the same institution and since 2008 has served as the Director of Reproductive Genetics at Montefiore Medical Center. Dr. Klugman is also an Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Women’s Health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and is a member of the Faculty Senate and the Admissions Committee. She has given lectures to many Jewish organizations over the past two decades on various topics pertaining to women’s health Sample Titles Family Health and Halacha Jewish Genetic Disease Screening in the US – Historical Perspective, Financial Considerations and Clinical Recommendations What’s Jewish About Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer – Stay Informed for Yourself and Your...

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Rabbi Eliakim Koenigsberg

Rabbi Eliakim Koenigsberg is a rosh yeshiva in the Yeshiva Program/Mazer School of Talmudic Studies at Yeshiva College of Yeshiva University. Rabbi Koenigsberg was a chaver (fellow) of the Gruss Kollel Elyon and previously served for five years as rebbe (instructor) in the Stone Beit Midrash Program. Rabbi Koenigsberg is a 1988 alumnus of Yeshiva College, from which he graduated summa cum laude. He received ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 1992. A sought-after lecturer, he has served RIETS and Yeshiva in other capacities as well: as director of an honors seminar in Sefer Shev Shmaitsa; as sgan mashgiach/shoeI u’meishiv (mentor and guidance advisor to students); director of RIETS’ Presidential B’kiut Program; rosh kollel of Yeshiva’s summer kollel in Silver Spring, Md.; shoel u’meishiv for 10th-grade students at the Yeshiva University High School for Boys; and as a teaching assistant there for 11th-grade students. He is the author of two annotated volumes of selected shiurim (lectures) by the Rav, the late Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, and he recently published a collection of his notes on Tractate Yevamos called “Kuntres He ‘aros al Maseches Yevamos.” Sample Titles When is Price Fraud Considered Ona’ah? Parshas Pekudei: Setting Goals and Evaluating Accomplishments Teshuva and Talmud...

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Dr. Aaron Koller

Dr. Aaron Koller is an assistant professor of Bible in Yeshiva College. Aaron received his doctorate in Bible and Semitics in the Revel School of Jewish Studies after doing coursework at the University of Pennsylvania and YU, where he focused on Semitic and other Near Eastern languages and Iron Age history, while also studying linguistics, Bible, Levantine archaeology, and Second Temple and rabbinic Judaism. He also has a strong interest in contemporary ethical thought. He has written papers about Aramaic dialects and the Dead Sea Scrolls, and also teaches classes on biblical interpretation and history at the Drisha Institute. Sample Titles The Uniqueness of Man in Eden and in Science Human Development and the “Sin” of Eden The Philistines in the Bible and in History Reconstructing Sennacherib’s Attack on Judah Archaeology in the Study of the Bible Where did the Alphabet Come From? Aramaic Sources from Biblical Times Everyday Life in Biblical Times The “Ma‘aseh Merkavah” of Ezekiel: Its Meaning and Significance The Modern Book in the Bible: Kohelet Amos, a Radical in his Time How do we Know What a Biblical Hebrew Word Means? The Structure and Purpose of the Book of Deuteronomy “Torah from Zion”: Jerusalem as the International Court of Justice in Isaiah 2 The Law of the Slanderer The Structure and Meaning of the Book of Ezekiel Homicide: Halakhic and Neuropsychological Aspects The Power and Meaning of Martyrdom Language Choices in Second Temple Judaism and Rabbinic Literature The Language and Character of Hillel the Elder The Limits of Halakha The Dual Nature of Rosh...

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Mr. Andrew Lauer

Andrew “Avi” Lauer serves as Yeshiva University’s vice president for legal affairs, secretary and general counsel. In this capacity, Mr. Lauer is responsible for all legal matters pertaining to Yeshiva and its affiliates within the United States and abroad. Mr. Lauer also serves as counsel to President Richard Joel. Prior to his appointment at Yeshiva, Mr. Lauer was a partner at the international law firm of Thelen Reid Brown Raysman and Steiner LLP, where he maintained a large and diverse practice, while also serving as an active member of Thelen’s labor and employment law department. Mr. Lauer served as relationship partner to numerous clients in relation to various areas of legal specialty, including corporate, real estate, litigation, technology, outsourcing, bankruptcy, patent and trademark, and he often functioned as outside general counsel to many companies. Mr. Lauer also established and maintained an extensive Israel practice at Thelen and he worked with many Israeli owned and/or affiliated companies and regularly traveled to Israel to meet with his Israeli clients and contacts. Mr. Lauer also has prior professional experience as senior employment counsel in the office of general counsel of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting (PwC Consulting), where he was responsible for all employment law related matters affecting the firm and its more than 30,000 employees. In addition, he was responsible for all in-house employment law related matters pertaining to the planned IPO and the ultimate sale of PwC Consulting to IBM. Before joining PricewaterhouseCoopers, he served as assistant general counsel of Deloitte & Touche USA, where he was employment counsel to both Deloitte & Touche LLP and Deloitte Consulting L.P. Mr. Lauer was also an assistant district attorney in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, New York, where he conducted numerous trials and investigations and was assigned to several bureaus, including the elite Trial Cadre unit of the Homicide Bureau. Mr. Lauer is involved in numerous community causes and serves and/or has served on the Executive Board of several charitable organizations in...

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Dr. Michelle Levine

Dr. Michelle Levine is Associate Professor of Bible at Stern College for Women at Yeshiva University, where she has taught since 2001. She is also a former faculty member of the Stella K. Abraham Yeshiva High School for Girls (SKA). She holds a BA, summa cum laude with honors, from Brooklyn College, an MS in Bible from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, and a PhD in medieval biblical exegesis from New York University; her dissertation was awarded doctoral fellowships from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture and the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture. Dr. Levine also studied for two years at Michlalah Teacher’s College in Israel.  Dr. Levine was awarded the senior class Jewish Studies “professor of the year” in 2011. Dr. Levine is the author of Nahmanides on Genesis: The Art of Biblical Portraiture, which is based on her dissertation, published by Brown University Press (2009). She has published numerous articles on medieval biblical exegesis in academic journals, including “Maimonides’ Philosophical Exegesis of the Nobles’ Vision (Exodus 24): A Guide for the Pursuit of Knowledge;” “The Inner World of Biblical Character Explored in Nahmanides’ Commentary on Genesis;” “Nahmanides’ Literary Approach to Biblical Narrative: Varied Repetition in the Joseph Story;” “Character, Characterization, and Intertextuality in Nahmanides’ Commentary on Biblical Narrative;” “Ramban’s Integrative Reading of Biblical Narrative;” as well as articles on topics of the Bible, including “The Cognitive, Emotional, and Sensory Experience of the Yamim Nora’im: The Message of the Akedah;” “Va-Yera: The Potency of Prayer;” “Yeshayahu’s Call to Prophecy and Ma’amad Har Sinai;” and “Moshe Rabbenu  at Ma’amad Har Sinai:  Ascending and Descending the Mountain.”  She has also delivered papers at academic conferences, in the United States and Israel, focusing particularly on Nahmanides’ literary analysis of the Bible. Dr. Levine lectures widely across the United States and in Israel on various topics of the Bible and biblical commentaries, including Yeshiva University’s Midreshet Yom Rishon. She gives a popular weekly series on Tanach in Queens, that...

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Dr. Michael Lipton

Born in Boston and raised in upstate New York and Southern California, Dr. Lipton entered the Six-Year Liberal Arts – Medicine Program at Boston University in 1983. The program, designed to develop humanistic physicians, channeled students toward the liberal arts and clinical medicine. Dr. Lipton minored in Spanish literature with a special interest in contemporary Castilian fiction (Miguel Delibes was a favorite), including study in Salamanca, Spain. Key interests during medical school were the neurosciences and, in particular, brain substrates of psychiatric disease. Nonetheless, the opportunity to exploit technology and treat disease less invasively drew Dr. Lipton to training in Diagnostic Radiology and Neuroradiology. In his first faculty appointment as assistant professor of radiology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, through a newly established collaborative relationship between Einstein and the Center for Advanced Brain Imaging (CABI) at the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research (NKI), Dr. Lipton was immersed in neuroimaging research and developed his own research program. With the support of a National Institutes of Health Mentored Clinical Scientist Career Development Award, he completed a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Einstein, executing work that redefined our understanding of brain organization using electrical and hemodynamic (MRI) measures. Subsequently, Dr. Lipton was promoted to associate professor of radiology, psychiatry and behavioral sciences and neuroscience at Einstein and named associate director of the Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center. In parallel with his basic science work, Dr. Lipton directs a program investigating mild traumatic brain injury and its effects on cognitive disability. Sample Titles Is There Any Such Thing as a Minor Head Injury? Detecting Microscopic Brain Injury in Living Humans Imaging Biomarkers to Improve Patient Care and Facilitate Novel Treatments Safety Issue in MRI: What Everyone Needs to...

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