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News Briefs

Brooks to be Honored at Annual Dinner

David Brooks, acclaimed journalist, author, and New York Times columnist will be the keynote speaker and receive an honorary doctorate at Yeshiva University’s 89th Annual Hanukkah Convocation and Dinner on Sunday, December 8, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. “In an era where the lessons of the Torah are often absent from the public square,” Brooks told YU, “I have tried, like the students and faculty of Yeshiva, to study those truths and apply them to present concerns.” The annual event draws nearly one thousand of the country’s leading Jewish philanthropists. Past speakers at the black tie gala have included Vice President Al Gore, Senator John McCain, White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.


Justice Anotonin Scalia,Nathan Lewin ‘57, Visit YU

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia joined famed attorney Nathan Lewin for a public discussion of  “Synagogue and State in America: The Landmark First Amendment Cases of Our Age.” The sold-out Nov. 6 event, part of R. Dr. Meir Soloveichik’s “Great Conversations” series, met in the Lamport Auditorium. Soloveitchik welcomed the two “men of faith” one “who judges this great nation” and the other who “has distinguished himself by arguing how that nation shall be judged.” The pair debated various court cases involving the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses, and contextualized them within various Supreme Court cases. Their discussion also recalled their classes together at Harvard Law School in the late 1950s.


Yeshiva Drops in College Rankings

The controversial U.S. News and World Report’s annual college rankings lowered YU’s ranking from 45 in 2012 to 47 this year. Yeshiva is now tied with the University of Miami and remains among the top 50 universities in the nation. The University of Maryland at College Park dropped significantly to 62, while Brandeis remained at 32. Touro and Lander’s College ranked 123 in regional universities in the northern United States. Between 2004-2005, Yeshiva was ranked 40th in the nation. The Thomson Reuters rankings also demoted YU from a 68 in 2010 to 172 in 2013 among world universities.


Ambassador Danny Ayalon Joins Faculty

Yeshiva University appointed the Honorable Danny Ayalon as the Rennert Visiting Professor of Foreign Policy Studies at Yeshiva University for the spring 2014 semester. He will teach at Yeshiva College and Stern College for Women while delivering periodic public lectures and participating in events. Ayalon most recently served as Deputy Foreign Minister and a member of the Knesset for the Yisrael Beiteinu party. He also served as Israeli Ambassador to the United States from 2002 until 2006. Throughout his time in Washington, Ayalon cultivated a friendship with President George W. Bush and played a leading role in the “Road Map for Peace” negotiations.


President Joel Speaks at Yeshiva College...South Africa

In late October, President Richard Joel spent two weeks visiting the Jewish communities in South Africa. Joel managed to squeeze a short safari in between high level meetings with, among others, Nobel Peace Prize winner F. W. de Clerk and Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein, and speaking engagements at Cape Town’s Herzlia and Johannesburg’s Yeshiva College. This was not the first trip to South Africa for Joel; He spent one year as a child in Cape Town.