New Director of the Office of Student Life: Josh Weisberg
For years now, the Office of Student Life has been creating a lively campus experience at YU. Actively ensuring that students’ experiences go far beyond the classroom and Beit Midrash walls, they have proven to be the driving force behind daily activities and events around campus.
Linda Stone, the assistant director of the office, said these activities and events include “Shabbat programming, student government and club activities, student leadership training, major campus events such as orientations, holiday programs…Schrieber Torah Tours and other service learning programs.” Stone continued, “We also handle firstname.lastname@example.org, the student information resource which responds to all questions and concerns related to campus life.” As the office tirelessly works to promote and maintain a campus vibe as dynamic as it is, the Office of Student Life continues to be one of the most indispensable assets that the university has.
The Office of Student Life has been successfully managing and enhancing campus life for years. However, this year, a new figure is debuting as the Director of the department on the Wilf Campus. Josh Weisberg, a Monsey native who received his Master’s Degree in Social Work from New York University, and earned smekha from the Ohr Lagolah Institute in Jerusalem, has plenty of prior experience in the field of directing, and is well equipped for the job.
Weisberg was most recently the Director of Operations and Programming at the Yeshiva@IDT in Newark. Prior to that, he explained, “through my work with Chai Lifeline, as a division head at Camp Simcha, fundraiser, alumni committee member and lifelong volunteer, I have many years of experience in leadership, management and programming.” He has also previously taught in various Yeshivot in Israel for the better part of ten years. Amazingly, in his spare time, Weisberg also works as a clinical psychotherapist across the bridge in New Jersey. More than qualified for the position, Weisberg has accepted his new job in stride and now leads the already instrumental workforce that the office has been.
The Office of Student Life’s mission statement, as per YU’s website, asserts that the office, “ensures a vibrant campus experience guided by Torah U’maddah values…We advocate and intervene on behalf of students and administrators in order to enhance campus life. We prepare our student body to be successful, active and engaged members of the Jewish community.” The office sets a high standard for excellence and expects nothing less than reaching or even surpassing their goals. Even though the new director didn’t attend Yeshiva University as a student himself, he is confident that his lack of previous association to the university won’t impede his understanding of the school’s system or inhibit his ability ensure that these goals are achieved. Weisberg noted, “any new position comes with the task of learning and understanding the organization’s culture and operations and obviously it will take me longer to acclimate than someone who attended YU as a student.”
Weisberg attributes his smooth adjustment to the Office of Student Life to the office itself and the welcoming arms that its staff met him with when he first arrived. “Through communication, collaboration and support, my colleagues have made this period of transition smoother than I could have ever anticipated,” offered Weisberg. “I am lucky enough to have entered into a situation where everyone I have encountered in the University, staff and students alike have been eager to help in any way they can.”
While the new director may feel fortunate for the office’s warm reception, the department itself unquestionably reciprocates that feeling. Linda Stone observed, “He is already working closely with student leaders and the YU administration to ensure tremendous student programming on campus.” Ever since he has been the executive incumbent in the office, Weisberg has a made a manifest impact. Since his arrival earlier in the Fall, the office has played an integral role in major operations, such as the Kumzitz in Times Square attended by hundreds, and preparing to send a delegation of students to the JFNA General Assembly in Washington DC. The office is attentive to hundreds of programs on campus and spends large amounts of time training student leaders to help prepare them for student government positions.
The Office of Student Life has been, and continues to the backbone of YU’s student experience on campus and beyond. The office, now featuring Weisberg as director, is looking stronger than ever.