By: Commentator Staff  | 

Rabbi Ari Berman is Top Candidate in YU Presidential Search, JTA Reports

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported today that Rabbi Ari Berman has emerged as the leading candidate to be Yeshiva University’s next president. Rabbi Berman is a graduate of the YU system, having earned his BA in philosophy from Yeshiva College and his rabbinic ordination from RIETS. He then served as the rabbi of The Jewish Center in Manhattan’s upper west side before moving to Israel in 2008 and subsequently earning a PhD in Jewish thought from Hebrew University. Though he has never been on the administration of an American institute of higher education, he currently serves as the Rosh ha-Merkaz of Heichal Shlomo, the Center of Jewish Heritage in Jerusalem. He also teaches rabbinic literature at Herzog College in Alon Shvut and is a member of its executive leadership council. Rabbi Berman’s uncle, Julius Berman, serves on the Board of Trustees of Yeshiva University and is the Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of RIETS.

Caution about this announcement is in order, though, in light of the JTA’s recent reporting on YU’s presidential search. Soon after the JTA announced in late July that Nick Muzin, Ted Cruz’s deputy chief of staff, was a candidate for the YU presidency, YU issued a press release to clarify that “Nick Muzin is not a candidate for the position of president of Yeshiva University.” The exact nature of that exchange remains unclear, as do the sources of the JTA’s reporting on Muzin’s candidacy. Neither that article nor today’s article about the search process named a source, the most recent one simply citing “sources familiar with the process.” The anonymity of their source is unsurprising -- the presidential search committee, composed of only trustees, has committed itself to keeping the nomination and selection process a secret and has largely avoided official correspondence with the press. The Commentator will continue to report on this story as it develops.