By: Etai Shucatowitz  | 

Shift in Leadership for YU’s Board of Trustees

Among the many changes going on at Yeshiva University is one happening behind the scenes; Dr. Henry Kressel, Chairman of the Board for six years, recently stepped down, to be succeeded by Mr. Moshael J. Straus. In a statement put out to the Yeshiva University community, Mr. Kressel stated that, “Moshael's judgment and counsel on a variety of major issues over these past few years have proved invaluable to the board and to me personally. I look forward to working with him as he helps lead Yeshiva University forward with excellence.”

Although Kressel has been a member of the board since 2005 and has acted as its chairman since 2009, he’s been part of the Yeshiva University community for much longer. He received a bachelor's degree in physics from Yeshiva College before going on to receive a PhD in material science from the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds an honorary doctorate from Yeshiva University. In 2008, he created the Henry Kressel Research Scholarship which provides funding to Yeshiva University students interested in pursuing research.

“I am extremely honored to succeed Dr. Henry Kressel, who has led the Board with extraordinary vision, responsibility and dedication,” said Straus. Straus has been with Board since 1998 and currently acts as Vice-Chairman. Readers may know him better as being the Straus behind the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought that invites speakers and “hosts ‘Great Conversations’ featuring prominent figures in public life,” according to its website. In addition to being heavily involved with YU as the chairman of the Board of Overseers of YU’s Azrieli Graduate School and as a member of the Board of Trustees for Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, he is currently the CEO of Ascend Capital Group International, LLC. “Moshael has been, is, and will be a fabulous partner in the endeavor [of chairmanship of YU’s trustees]. He has earned the respect of all his lay colleagues and the professional leadership of the University through his commitment, his analytic skills, his profound Jewish investment, and his philanthropic leadership.”