By: Benjamin Koslowe  | 

An Interview with The Scope

Students, faculty, and those otherwise involved with Yeshiva College have likely by now encountered The Scope. Subtitled “YU’s Comedic Lens,” this new magazine garnered laughs across Yeshiva University from satirical articles about the new library mural, YU security policies, Rabbi Wieder’s stance on women’s issues, and more. This author had the opportunity to sit down and talk with those in charge of The Scope: Yaacov Bronstein, Daniel Goldstein, Devir Kahan, and Zach Sterman. Here is the inside scoop on The Scope.

Benjamin: How did The Scope get started?

Yaacov: Mr. Koslowe, I’d like to thank you and the rest of the moderators for asking that question. For years, the American people have been wondering precisely the same thing, and Washington certainly isn’t providing the answers. When my father first came to this great country from Cuba in 1957, he brought with him the clothes on his back, a vehement hatred for Obamacare, and a love for writing comedy about YU campus topics. Thank you, and God bless the great state of Texas.

Benjamin: Thank you for that insightful answer. You are aware that this is a Commentator interview, not a Republican debate?

Yaacov: Mr. Koslowe, I will never apologize for my love for this great nation.

Zach: The Scope began as a political entity during our junior year at MTA. We ran a satirized campaign for the student we perceived as least interested in becoming president, and sure enough he went on to serve as vice president of MTA for a year. After tasting victory on the campaign trail, we pivoted away from the cutthroat world of politics to become MTA’s official satire publication.

Benjamin: So did you just restart what you guys did at MTA, or is this somehow a new brand?

Yaacov: Progress is the backbone of our proud American Industry. This week in Ohio I met with a group of steelworkers who told me they don’t like taxes. I’m proud to still believe in the American dream, Mr. Koslowe, and so are all the hardworking American dreamers. And despite what our current president has done to deliberately destroy this nation, our children will keep dreaming! God bless The Scope!

Zach: This is a new brand, as we are presenting to a new audience about new content. As satirists, our perspectives and skills have been honed since then, and we hope our work reflects that.

Benjamin: Thanks, Yaacov and Zach. Let’s get a bit more specific. What do you envision that The Scope will achieve? Is it just about getting a chuckle out of YU folk, or is there something more?

Yaacov: We need to return to the ideals of our Founding Fathers. I am the only candidate who currently maintains a deep, romantic, and intimate relationship with the Constitution of the United States. I don’t like terrorism. I like the Constitution. I promise the American people that as my very first act in office I will tear up every single amendment added to the Divine perfection that is the Constitution of the United States of America. I will ascend for 40 days and 40 nights, and return with a balanced budget and a God-given decree of destruction against Planned Parenthood.

Zach: Certainly it is our intention to make people laugh, but our publication intends to accomplish something a little deeper than that. While delivered humorously, the discussions we raise are relevant and real. That is the distinction between satire and comedy.

Daniel: Wow. Well said Zach.

Yaacov: I commend my colleague on an eloquent delivery.

Benjamin: Inspiring indeed. Devir, what would you like to add?

Devir: Without getting too philosophical here, I think that comedy, and the ability to laugh at things that may sometimes seem frustrating, is a good way to bring people together, and allow everyone at YU to feel a part of the same community. If everyone is able to see the same humor in the same things, and be able to talk about and discuss it, as Zach mentioned, I just think it creates a certain sense of unity. More fundamentally, college is stressful, midterms are stressful, Lord knows YU as an institution can sometimes be stressful, and the ability to laugh at it all and relax a bit is always a good thing.

Zach: {Applauds}

Daniel: This racially diverse group of people think you did well {says while noting several emoji faces and hands}.

Benjamin: Can you guys talk about your status as a club, and the extent to which YU was willing to sponsor The Scope?

Yaacov: Mr. Koslowe, in 1776 when Ronald Reagan descended from Heaven to start this Godly nation, he didn’t take handouts from the federal government. He rolled up his sleeves and got to work. I am the only candidate on this stage who has offered a viable plan to put a machine gun in the hands of every schoolchild in America, because our children deserve a Washington that works for them.

Zach: We are an unofficial club. We approached YU about becoming official, however, they expressed to us that they were uncomfortable sponsoring satire due its potentially offensive nature. In response, we worked very hard to keep our jokes in good taste and of good nature. We would be totally open to becoming an official club in the future.

Benjamin: Can students expect any more issues this semester?

Devir: More ever? We very much hope so, yes. More this semester? We’d rather not commit ourselves to a precise timeframe. Certainly, even in the absence of another print issue, we hope to be rather active online at and on Facebook and Twitter (ScopeYU on both).

Benjamin: Bronstein, do you have anything non-debate-ish to add?

Yaacov: Mr. Koslowe, I’m no career politician. I have no eloquent speeches, like my opponents. I’m just an ordinary American trying to speak my mind. I’m proud to represent the working man and average Joe, who have lost faith in the Washington establishment. When I speak, you don’t hear the words of Super PACs and super lobbyists, you hear the voice of the American people. And that’s a promise.

Benjamin: Ok then. Maybe let’s direct the following question to someone else. What has the reception to The Scope been like? Has anyone been notably offended?

Daniel: The response has been very positive. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback and people are very excited to see something new like this on campus. Thankfully we think we’ve managed to write quality comedy while offending very few, although obviously when writing a comedy paper it can be very hard to not offend somebody.

Benjamin: What about the subjects of the articles? Did you hear about any reactions from YU security guards, Rabbi Wieder, etc.?

Zach: We’ve heard that Rabbi Wieder very much enjoyed it. That’s the only specific reaction we have heard to-date.

Benjamin: Alright, you guys have been great. How about one final statement from each of you to wrap this up?

Yaacov: The American people have spoken, Mr. Koslowe, and their decision is clear. The Scope has swept the last few primaries, and we’re polling way ahead going into Wisconsin. We’re a movement funded by the people. Our average donation is only 37 cents, and by God, we will continue to accept all the spare change we can get from this proud nation.

Daniel: Like Yaacov so eloquently stated, we’re very happy with the positive feedback on what we’ve done so far and we are eager to see what the future holds for The Scope.

Devir: Yup. There’s not much more to say than that. We were really excited to launch The Scope, and we’re just as excited to see where it goes. We hope the YU populace will join us.

Zach: We had a really good time writing the first edition of The Scope and we hope the YU student-body enjoyed it too. We are very excited to continue bringing great satire to our campuses.