Dr. Shay Pilnik

The grandson of Holocaust survivors from Lithuania and Poland, who immigrated to Israel from the USSR about a decade after the founding of the Jewish state, Dr. Pilnik is the new director of the Emil and Jenny A. Fish Holocaust and Genocide Studies Center at YU. Prior to landing this position, he was the executive director of the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center (HERC) in Milwaukee between 2014 and early 2020. Under his leadership, the organization doubled both its outreach and capacity, serving schools and communities across the state of Wisconsin with programming, lectures, teacher workshops, study abroad trips and more. Pilnik earned his bachelor’s degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, majoring in Comparative Literature and Jewish Thought; an MA in Jewish Studies from McGill University and a doctoral degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary in the field of Modern Jewish Studies, which he earned in 2013.  His PhD dissertation dealt with the commemoration of the Babi Yar Massacre in Soviet Russian and Yiddish literature.  From 2008-2014, he was an adjunct instructor at the Universities of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Oshkosh, lecturing on a variety of topics including the Holocaust, modern Jewish history and culture, Judaism, Hebrew Bible, and the religions of the world.   Sample Titles ‘Don’t Ever Say the End is Near & Hope is Gone:’ Jewish Armed Resistance during the Holocaust Holocaust in Context: A Multi-faceted Exploration of the Shoah against the background of Modernity, Anti-Judaism and the rise of Modern German Culture Unbroken Silence: The Commemoration of the Holocaust in the Soviet Union and the Story of Babi Yar Bearing Witness to those who Bore Witness: Teaching the Holocaust in a Survivorless...

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Rabbi Dr. Mordechai Schiffman

Rabbi Dr. Mordechai Schiffman is an Assistant Professor of Jewish Education at YU’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and an adjunct professor at YU’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work.  He graduated Yeshiva University with a BA in psychology, an MS in Jewish Education from Azrieli and Rabbinic Ordination from RIETS, before attending St. John’s University for his doctorate in psychology. Rabbi Dr. Schiffman has been on the rabbinic staff of Kingsway Jewish Center in Brooklyn, NY for close to a decade.  He maintains a private practice where he utilizes Cognitive Behavior Therapy to help clients manage their thoughts, emotions and behaviors to be more aligned with their life goals.  His weekly dvar Torah, which combines ideas from the Parsha with concepts from the field of Psychology, is published  in the Jewish Press and on his website www.PsychedForTorah.com. Sample Titles TORAH & PSYCHOLOGY: MORE THEORETICAL THAN PRACTICAL Is it All in your Mind? Head vs. Heart in Jewish Thought Demons or Drives? Different Models of the Yetzer Hara Sinai vs. Oker Harim: Different Approaches to Intelligence in Chazal IQ, Grit and Talmud Torah The Upside of Your Dark Side: Encouraging Bad Middot The Power of Negative Emotions The Different Paths to Happiness Born to Be Wild? Different Perspectives on Human Nature Resilience in the Face of Failure Humility: An Essential & Dangerous Trait Motivation for Mitzvot: Does it Really Matter? Women in Tanach and Their Significance for Boys’ Education The Challenge of Technology: Torah and Psychological Perspectives Who’s in Charge of My Emotions? Hashkafic Ramifications of the Chiyuv Boshet Chazal’s Approach to Humor: A Precursor to Modern Psychological Thought Empathy: Essential & Dangerous The Psychology of Chesed Dreams: Meaningful or Meaningless? Emotional Intelligence in Jewish Law and Thought As a Man Thinketh: The Role of Thought in Religion and Mental Health Priming for G-d: The Importance of God Consciousness Shleimut and the Pursuit of Perfection The Disconnect between Moral Thought and Behavior and How to Fix it The Benefits, Challenges,...

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Rabbi Daniel Stein

Rabbi Daniel Stein is a Rosh Yeshiva in the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary at Yeshiva University, where he has been teaching a daily Gemara shiur since 2009 and directing the Fourth Year Halachah Lemaaseh Program since 2007. He is also the Rav of The Ridniker Shteibel, Cong Ahavath Chesed in the West Side of Manhattan, and was the founding Rav of Kehillas Beis Sholom in Clifton NJ where he served for four years. In addition, Rabbi Stein is an expert in the laws of eruvin and has been consulted regarding the creation, extension, and maintenance of numerous eruvin in the United States and Australia.   Sample Titles Alternative Medicine and Experimental Procedures Tzitzis in the Summer Sterilization and Sirus Lifnei Iver and the Non-Observant Does a Religious Caterer Need a Mashgiach? Shabbos In Outer Space and the Polar Regions The Mechitza In Shul Contact Sports In Halacha The Shabbos Goy and Amira L’akum Mezonos Rolls and the Bracha on Pizza Paternity Tests and DNA Evidence Is There A Mitzvah To Speak Lashon Hakodesh? Blended Whiskey and Sherry Casks Honoring Grandparents The Halachic Travel Ban To Egypt Wearing Tefillin All Day Blood, Bone Marrow and Kidney Donations Wills and Estate Planning Bal Tashchis Fruit Trees, Leftovers & Recycling Is Maariv Really Optional? The Kashrus of Turkey, Muscovy Duck, and the American Bison Can I Have A Ride Carpooling and Midas Sodom Anesthesia and Bris Milah Are Vaping and E-Cigarettes Kosher? Assisted Suicide Hasagas Gevul And Copyright Gender Specific Dress And Clothing Inviting Non-Jews To A Yom Tov Meal Honoring Kohanim Nowadays Permanent Cosmetics and Tattoos The Kashrus of Canned Tuna & Fish Fillets Kos Shel Bracha & Distributing Kiddush Wine Gambling In Halacha Shevisas Keilim Shabbos Timers & Alarm Clocks Owning Dogs and Dangerous Pets Conducting Business With Non-Kosher Food The Halachos Of Shaimos Yichud In The Workplace Compliments, Lies & False Flattery Great Challenges Means Great Potential Entering A Non-Jewish House Of Worship Abortion in Halacha Honoring Parents...

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Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank

Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank is a Maggid Shiur at Yeshiva University where he teaches college students and semikhah students Tanakh, Talmud, Halakha, and Jewish Philosophy at RIETS and MYP. Rabbi Wiederblank also serves as rabbi at the Yeshiva Community Shul (Shenk Shul) in Washington Heights. He recently published “Illuminating Jewish Thought: Explorations of Free Will, the Afterlife, and the Messianic Era.”   Sample Titles Limitations on Free Will: Is it ever too late to turn around? What is Olam Haba? Jewish Perspectives on the Afterlife Reason Verses Revelation: The role of the intellect in determining the spirit and letter of the law The Torah’s Perspective of Truth and Lying Tzdaka: Philosophical and Halachic Considerations Are we truly free? The Torah’s Perspective on Free Will Understanding the Preponderance of Talmudic Debate Eilu ve-eilu – Multiple Truths or Multiple Possibilities What will the messianic era look like? How will we know who the true mashiach is? Contradictions between Torah and Science How old was Rivka when she got married: Did the stories in the Midrash literally take place? Is there a mitzvah to study philosophy? What is Kabbala? Does denying one of Rambam’s 13 Principles of Faith always constitute heresy? An eye for an eye—Rambam’s perplexing perspective The Guide to the Perplexed—What it’s all about and why it was so controversial How do we know God exists? What are Jewish Business Ethics Understanding the opening chapters of Bereishit Why were we chosen? What is the purpose of mitzvos? The nature of divine providence: Does God control everything? What is the purpose of korbanos? Will there be sacrifices in the messianic era? Tikun olam and our responsibility towards humanity Is the Talmud Relevant in Solving Modern Technological Problems? How conceptual analysis ensures the eternal relevance of the...

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Rabbi Shlomo Zuckier

Rabbi Shlomo Zuckier is a member of Yeshiva University’s Kollel Elyon and a PhD candidate in Ancient Judaism at Yale University. Previously he served as Director of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus at Yale University. Shlomo is an alumnus of Yeshivat Har Etzion and Yeshiva University (BA, MA, Semicha), as well as of the Wexner, Tikvah, and AJS Dissertation Completion Fellowships. He has lectured and taught widely across North America, and is excited to share Torah and Jewish scholarship on a broad range of issues. Shlomo, a Founder of The Lehrhaus, serves on the Editorial Committee of Tradition, is co-editor of Torah and Western Thought: Intellectual Portraits of Orthodoxy and Modernity, and is editing the forthcoming Contemporary Forms and Uses of Hasidut.   Sample Titles Twentieth Century Jewish Thought – Where Does Holiness Come from? The Rav’s Approach to Kedusha – To See Life Steadily and See it Whole: Rav Aharon Lichtenstein and the Holistic Integrity of Religious Life – Does Judaism Recognize an Ethic Independent of Halakha? The Rav vs. Rav Aharon Lichtenstein – Misnagdic Betrayal? The Hidden Hasidic Thought of Litvish Thinkers – Creativity, Not Formalism: Rav Yoel Bin-Nun on Tanakh and Halakha – Ahron Marcus: The Leading Hasidic, Zionist, Scholar of Ancient Judaism You Never Heard of Halakha and Philosophy – A Halakhic-Philosophic Account of Justified Self-Defense – War in the Thought of the Netziv, Maharal, and Beyond – Dibbur vs. Ma’aseh: Speech, Acts, and Speech Acts in Halakha – The Brain Death Wars: When Life Ends and Halakhic Controversy Begins Contemporary Jewish Life – The Lehrhaus: A Place of Study for the Digital Age – A Report from the Technological Trenches: Millennial Jewish Life on Campus and Beyond – Mythbusters, Campus Edition: What People Get Wrong about Orthodox Life on Campus – Current Trends in American and Israeli Neo-Chasidus Ritual and Sacrifice – The History of Nachas: From Jewish Mothers to Biblical Sacrifice – Introduction to Kodshim: The Why, What, and How of Korbanot – Who’s...

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