Yeshiva University

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Yeshiva Universty's Center for the Jewish Future

Dear Friends, 

What is [the reason for] Chanukah? For our rabbis taught: On the 25 of Kislev [commence] the days of Chanukah, which are eight... (Shabbat 21b).

Why did the rabbis choose the tractate of Shabbat to introduce the holiday of Chanukah? One would have thought that the tractate of Megillah which discusses the other rabbinic holidays would have been a more legitimate location for the placement of the laws and story of Chanukah. Rabbi Soloveitchik explains that while the experiences of Chanukah and Shabbat are distinct from each other, existentially they complement one another. Chanukah’s holiday experience symbolizes taking the light found in the Jewish home and allowing it to radiate in the public thoroughfare. All of the laws regarding the menorah’s location and time of lighting are predicated on the pedestrian’s ability to see its illumination in the public thoroughfare. Chanukah celebrates the Jews’ responsibility to be involved as an agent of change in society.

Yet this goal is only achievable when there is also the Shabbat experience. Shabbat is celebrated through the retreat from the public arena of life. Carrying objects between the private and the public domain is forbidden; so is carrying any object four amot in the public domain. The experience of Shabbat is primarily found within the privacy of the home. It is the Shabbat experience which strengthens our home, our personal spiritual epicenter. Introducing the festival of Chanukah in the middle of Tractate Shabbat is a recognition that our national aspiration, that of perfecting the public thoroughfare, is only achievable when the private arena is reinforced. Conversely, when the Shabbat experience creates a permanent mindset - a withdrawal from the world community, an isolationist mindset - it becomes an obstacle to achieving the Divine agenda of tikkun olam, the purpose of the Chosen People.

Yeshiva University at its core is the celebration of the above ideals. The programs below represents how the CJF convenes the energies of Yeshiva University and RIETS to help shape, enrich and inspire our students and the contemporary Jewish community.

Chag Urim Sameiach,

Rabbi Kenneth Brander
Vice President for University and Community Life
The David Mitzner Dean
Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future

Torah Tours


In its Fourth Decade, Torah Tours Enriches Holiday Celebrations in Communities Across North America
This Simchat Torah, nearly 300 Yeshiva University students and alumni traveled to 60 communities across North America as part of the Center for the Jewish Future’s Aaron and Blanche Schreiber Torah Tours program. Now in its fourth decade, the program sends hundreds of young men and women to synagogues all over the United States and Canada each year to infuse local holiday celebrations with renewed spirit and passion by offering shiurim and programming for congregants of all ages, leading singing and dancing and becoming a real part of their adopted communities.



View pictures from Torah Tours 5774

Medical Ethics Conference


Student-Run Medical Ethics Conference Explores Interplay of Halacha and Medicine in Israel
As Americans across the country debated the ethical, legal and practical ramifications of Obamacare, YU’s Student Medical Ethics Society (MES), a student club mentored by YU’s Center for the Jewish Futue (CJF), looked to the Israeli medical system as the framework for a very different kind of conversation: What does universal health care look likein a country bound by Jewish law?


Listen to the recordings of the lectures
View photos from the event.

In the News

The Jewish Voice: Prescribing for a Nation at YU
The Jewish Standard: Yeshiva University conference to look at intersection of medicine and Jewish law in Israel
CT Jewish Ledger: Where medicine and Jewish law meet

Kohelet Fellowships


Kohelet Fellowships Launch Year Three With Two New Communities
A few weeks ago, Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future began its third year inspiring day school parents through the Kohelet Fellowships. As of this year, 28 day schools, 12 Preschools and 1100 day school and preschool parents have participated in the Kohelet Fellowships program. Participating communities have included Boca Raton, Philadelphia, Manhattan, Long Island, Memphis and Atlanta. This year the program is launching in 2 new communities, Denver and Kansas City.


In the News

Intermountain Jewish News: Day school grants in exchange for learning

Womens Beit Midrash


Women's Beit Midrash program recently completed its second semester
The 2nd Women’s Learning Beit Midrash recently took place and featured two YU scholars, Dr. Daniel Rynhold, Associate Professor of Modern Jewish History and Director of the PhD Program at Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, and Professor Smadar Rosensweig, Bible Studies Faculty at Stern College for Women. Dr. Rynhold spoke on “Freedom and Responsibility in Jewish Philosophy,” and Professor Rosensweig spoke on “Cavid Hamelekh’s Journey to Kingship.”  

MK Piron at YU


MK Rabbi Shai Piron Discusses Halachic, Political and Educational Challenges Facing Israel
“The greatness of Yaacov was his capacity to convene the sacred to empower everyday and to realize that without the everyday there is no need for the sacred,” said YU Vice President of University and Community Life Rabbi Kenneth Brander of the biblical forefather before introducing Rabbi Shai Piron, Israel’s current minister of education and former Rosh Yeshivat Hesder Petach-Tikva. “Rabbi Piron’s personal and professional life has always been about bridging holiness to the everyday.”


MK Bennett at YU


At YU Event, MK Naftali Bennett Shares Dream of Israeli Light in the Darkness of Mideast Conflict
Sharing his vision for Israel at a November 19 event on Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus, Knesset Member Naftali Bennett asked the crowd of close to 300 to imagine a lighthouse. A lighthouse has strong foundations, which Israel has in our Torah, our very good economy and the most powerful army in the Middle East,” he said. “But any tower has strong foundations. The most important thing a lighthouse does is project light.” Referring to recent unrest in the region, he added, “There is a storm going on and it’s here to stay, from Pakistan to Iran, from Damascus to Yemen. Israel needs to be the lighthouse in that storm.”


MK Bennett at YU


2013 Rebbitzin Esther Rosenblatt Yarchei Kallah for Rebbetzins
As part of its continuing education and support programs for rabbis and rebbetzins, Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future presented this year's Rebbetzin Esther Rosenblatt Yarchei Kallah for Rebbetzins, "Nurturing the Private “I” to Better Serve in the Public Eye". The program was held November 11-12, 2013 at Congregation Keter Torah in Teaneck, NJ, and hosted nearly 100 rebbetzins from across north America for two days of exploration, study and community building.


Quieting the Noise in our Lives to Find what Really Matters: Rebbetzin Yocheved Goldberg's Reflections from the Rebbitzen’s Yarchei Kallah
Chanuka To-Go 5774

Chanuka shiurim on YUTorah

Chanuka shiurim on YUTorah

Newest Shabbat Table Discussion on YUTorah

Download the newest shabbat Table Discussion Packet:
Personal Growth: At What Cost?

Chanuka shiurim on YUTorah

RIETS Chag HaSemikhah 5774

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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Watch videos from all our programs and events

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
500 West 185th St. Suite 419 • New York, NY 10033 212.960.5263 •


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