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Yeshiva Universty's Center for the Jewish Future

In just a few days we will begin to light Chanukah candles. As we light each night, we are reminded of one of the more famous disputes between Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel regarding the practice of the extremely scrupulous mehadrin min hamehadrin on Chanukah. Beit Shammai is of the opinion that the lights are lit in descending order, while Beit Hillel is of the opinion that the lights are lit in ascending order. One of the reasons given for Beit Hillel’s approach is that one always ascends in matters of holiness: ma'alin bakodesh.

The message of always ascending in holiness stands out to me, in particular, at this time. Those of us who were not affected directly by Hurricane Sandy in the NY/NJ area or by the constant threat of rocket-fire in Israel will continue to go about our daily routines, whereas those directly affected will continue to piece their lives back together. This Chanukah, let us all try and increase the light in our homes and communities by continuing to reach out to those in need.

This newsletter highlights the impact of many CJF programs on communities all over the world. It is because of the many YU students and dedicated staff that such an impact is being made daily. As we learned from Beit Hillel there is truly a power in numbers. Our ability to be ma'alin bakodesh is further strengthened by our working together as a community.

May the light of the Chanukah candles bring a renewed and brighter light into all of our lives, one which strengthens and continues to unite our community.

Chanukah Sameach,

Aliza Abrams
Assistant Director, Department of Service Learning and Experiential Education
Yeshiva University's Center for the Jewish Future

YU Stands with Israel


YU Stands with Israel
Many of us watched from afar and carefully tracked all of the news from Israel over the last few weeks. Our students spending a year or two learning in Israel as part of the S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program were literally standing together with our brothers and sisters, not as bystanders but living the story of Klal Yisrael on the current stage of modern Jewish History.
Rav Dovid Miller, our Mashgiach Ruchani, as well as the Rosh Yeshiva of our RIETS Israel kollel, offered divrei chizuk and hit’orarut to many of the students in our S. Daniel Abraham Israel program, focusing on achdut and tefilla.
During the onslaught of rocket fire to Southern Israel, YU students who served as counselors on our Counterpoint Israel summer program, a program that works with at-risk Israeli teens in developing southern towns, organized a card-writing campaign to the Counterpoint campers and their communities. Hundreds of YU students wrote cards showing their care and concern for those Israelis under daily attack. Additionally, YU students organized a tehillim rally in Times Square, standing together with Israel during difficult times.
This January, we will be sending 39 YU students to the southern towns of Kiryat Malachi and Dimona as well as to Schunat Pat- a extremely poor community in Jerusalem- to participate in a program that works with Israeli teens in the school system focusing on self esteem and empowerment. Now more than ever, these towns and communities need the camaraderie that our students will be able to provide.

 Listen to Rav Miller's talk

Students help victims of Hurricane Sandy


YU Students Volunteer to Help Hurricane Victims
A number of volunteer opportunities for Yeshiva University students, alumni, faculty, and staff were organized by the CJF to respond to the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy. The CJF has worked with several organizations including Masbia, Achiezer, Red Hook Relief, and Nechama and has been in touch with many community leaders in Long Island and Queens. Groups of volunteers have been sent to help remove debris from homes and synagogues and distribute meals to families in Far Rockaway and Bayswater. Additionally, several YU RIETS Roshei Yeshiva and their shiurim have gone out to assist in clean-up efforts in Seagate and other communities. The CJF has served as a resource to help local day schools and organizations connect with different volunteer opportunities in the tri-state area. Over 600 volunteers have traveled to assist in various relief projects, and we plan to continue these efforts over the coming weeks and months.

In the News
Jewish Daily Forward: Jewish Volunteers Step Up for Sandy Victims
The New Yorker: After Sandy, Alone in Seward Park
Hamodia: Snapshots of Jewish Volunteerism

2012 CJF Deans Report


Gilad Shalit, Accompanied by His IDF Unit, Makes Appearance at Yeshiva University
Thousands of students and members of the Yeshiva University community poured into Lamport Auditorium on the school’s Wilf Campus on October 16 to welcome Gilad Shalit and members of his unit who came to share their experiences. “Tonight we celebrate the fact that these soldiers have come to visit us in the exact place where, three years ago, Noam Shalit stood and prayed with us for the safe return of his son,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, the David Mitzner Dean of YU’s Center for the Jewish Future.



Student-Run Conference Explores Medical Dilemmas Born out of the Holocaust
Hundreds filled Yeshiva University’s Furst Hall on the morning of October 21 to attend the 7th annual Fuld Family Medical Ethics Conference. Titled “Out of the Ashes: Jewish Approaches to Medical Dilemmas Born out of the Holocaust,” the daylong event featured a diverse lineup of speeches, panels and sessions dedicated to an array of moral and ethical dilemmas within the medical realm created by the Shoah. The annual conference, sponsored through the generous support of Rabbi Dovid and Mrs. Anita Fuld, serves as a yearly high point for the Yeshiva University Student Medical Ethics Society (MES), an entirely undergraduate-run enterprise under the guidance of YU’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) and the Office of Student Life.

Listen to the recordings from the event

In the News
CT Jewish Ledger: Medicine and Halacha
Jewish Press: As We Care For Survivors, Don’t Forget The Damage Done To Their Descendents
Baltimore Jewish Life: Student-Run Conference Explores Medical Ethics of "Dilemmas Borne Out of the Holocaust"
JM in the AM Interview with MES Presidents Mordechai Smith and Yosefa Schoor (starts at 2:16)
Intermountain Jewish News: ‘Medical Dilemmas Born Out of the Holocaust’: at YU
Jewish Press: Student-Run Conference To Explore Medical Ethics


Kohelet Fellowships Year Two

A few weeks ago, Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future began its second year inspiring day school parents through the Kohelet Fellowships. The Kohelet Fellowships Program is a 2-year Jewish learning experience for parents of Jewish day school students. Fellows study Jewish texts, either in classes or one-on-one, participate in community learning events, and explore the provided lessons with their families. Fellows receive tuition breaks from their Jewish day schools, funded by the Kohelet Foundation and its partners as a grant to each school. The Kohelet Fellowships are run as a partnership between The Kohelet Foundation, The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute, and Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future.


Watch The Kohelet Video


Spreading Holiday Happiness

YU's Torah Tours Enrich Holiday Celebration in 75 Communities

Students and alumni of Yeshiva University, its affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), and YU’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) have enriched the holiday celebrations of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah in 75 Jewish communities around the world. As part of the annual Schreiber Torah Tours, groups of four to eight men and women visited Orthodox congregations to infuse ruach (Jewish spirit and passion) into the holiday celebrations.

In the News
Jewish Press: Up And Down The East Coast On Torah Tours
The Reporter: Torah Tours at BD for Simchat Torau
Hebrew Watchman: ASBEE announces new happenings for Simchat Torah


Stay Tuned: YUConnects To-Go® Part I

Coming soon to your community, Shabbat Dec 21-22, Parshat Vayigash

YUConnects, a program of the Center for the Jewish Future, is proud to release the first volume of a special two part edition in the CJF’s longstanding To-Go® series. Filled with articles written by YU Roshei Yeshiva, faculty, and mental health professionals, this rich publication includes divrei Torah, halacha, psycho-social insights, and practical action items addressing a plethora of topics in relationship-building. Covering everything from education and skill development during formative years, through all phases of dating, engagement, the first years of marriage and beyond, this release comes on the heels of the 100th couple (engagement) made possible by YUConnects.

Chanuka To-Go 5773

Chanukah on YUTorah

Chanuka on YUTorah
Jewish Studies Yom Iyun: Judaism's Encounter with Other Cultures
Dec 9, 2012

Chanuka Concert

YU Seforim Sale

YU Speakers Bureau
Yeshiva University's Center for the Jewish Future home page

The Marcos and Adina Katz YUTorah, with over 60,000 shiurim

Resources for shidduchim and relationships

The Yeshiva University
Speakers Bureau

The Abraham Arbesfeld Kollel Yom Rishon Sunday Morning Learning Program for Men

The Millie Arbesfeld Midreshet Yom Rishon Sunday Morning Learning Program for Women

Certificate Program in Jewish Experiential Education

Torah Tours registration for synagogues and YU students

Championsgate Leadership Conference

The Yeshiva University Torah Mitzion Chicago Community Kollel

The Yeshiva University Torah Mitzion Zichron Dov Community Beit Midrash of Toronto

Rabbinic resources, drasha materials and more

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Our mission is to shape, enrich and inspire the contemporary Jewish community by convening the resources of Yeshiva
University, infusing the student body with a spirit of leadership and a sense of responsibility to the Jewish people and society in general, building, cultivating, and supporting communities, and their lay and rabbinic leaders, and creating a global movement that promotes the values of Yeshiva University
Yeshiva University's Center for the Jewish Future
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