Dean Koller on Sabbatical
Yeshiva College Associate Dean Aaron Koller went on Sabbatical this year as his time in the administration came to an end. After what he dubbed as “fulfilling but consuming administrative work at YU,” Dr. Koller is in Israel for the year with his family. Primarily, he will be serving as the Lady Davis Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University, where he will be teaching a graduate seminar on the history of the alphabet in the Department of Hebrew Language. He was also granted a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship at the Albright Institute for Archaeological Research, where he will be preparing an edition of part of Papyrus Amherst 63, an ancient Aramaic text written in Demotic (Egyptian) script. (This fascinating but challenging text was deciphered decades ago by Prof. Richard Steiner, professor emeritus at the Revel Graduate School, but has never been fully published.) Also on his agenda is working on a book about a Jewish, anti-Kierkegaardian, reading of the Akeda as a Fellow at the Hartman Institute. His non-academic plans include biking and walking everywhere he needs to go, rather than commuting by car or subway, experiencing Israel with his kids, cooking many of Ottolenghi’s recipes, having a havruta with his wife, Shira Hecht-Koller, and spending time with the family that both he and his wife have in the country. Furthermore, although Dr. Koller is not on campus, he has not removed himself from the campus conversation, penning a response, together with his wife, to Rabbi Willig's recent controversial comments regarding women's talmud study, entitled "New Circumstances Demand New Halachic Views.".
Minyanim Changes Around Campus
Among the numerous changes on the Wilf Campus this year, both architecturally and in programming, are various changes to the shacharit minyanim. In addition to several new gabbaim, the locations of minyanim have been altered, primarily in an effort to ensure all minyanim take place in a Beit Knesset, as opposed to a dormitory lounge. Location changes include the 7:00 AM minyan (“Rav Moshe Tzvi” minyan) being moved from the Morg Beis to Rubin Shul, the 7:45 minyan being moved from Rubin Shul to Morg Beis, the 8:10 minyan being moved from Morg Beis to Rubin Shul and the 8:30 minyan being moved from the Morg Lounge to the Morg Beis. Both the 7:45 and 8:10 minyanim will now begin with “Rabi Yishmael”. The gabbaim for the year will be Isaac Rosen (7:00), Daniel Shlian (7:45), Jacob Herenstein (8:10) and Gary Feder (8:30). Minyanim not mentioned will remain in the same place they have been in the past. Additionally, all the minyanim mentioned here will have defined women’s sections in which men will be restricted from praying.