By: Lilly Gelman  | 

YU’s Vice President of Governmental Affairs, Phil Goldfeder, Departs to Work for Bank

Phil Goldfeder is leaving Yeshiva University. Goldfeder joined YU in November 2016 to serve the newly-created position of Assistant Vice President for Government Relations. According to a YU News article from June 2016, Goldfeder was hired to “strengthen and develop relations between the University and federal, state, and local governments, and monitor legislation and policies that could have an impact on YU and its programs.” He departs after just over one year.

The Times Ledger reported on September 29th that Goldfeder will join Cross River Bank in New Jersey as their VP of Government Affairs, working to strengthen the bank’s ties with government agencies. Goldfeder will rejoin the ranks of Cross River, albeit now with a different title than before, having previously worked as a consultant for the bank in 2015.

When asked about his decision to leave Yeshiva University, Goldfeder responded with warm words. “There is so much that I will miss at Yeshiva University,” said Goldfeder, “particularly my time working with and mentoring students. I joined YU to enhance our government and community affairs efforts and we have far exceeded every expectation.” Goldfeder added, “My departure is bittersweet, but I intend to stay engaged to ensure that our foundation, framework, and progress we’ve created lead to continued growth and success for years to come.”

Mr. Goldfeder has begun his transition out of his role at YU, but there is no exact date for when he will fully vacate his position as Assistant Vice President for Government Relations at Yeshiva University.

Goldfeder began his career in public service as a community liaison for the New York City Council, continuing on to serve as Queens liaison for the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit under Michael Bloomberg as well as director of intergovernmental affairs for New York State Senator Chuck Schumer. Goldfeder in September 2011 was elected New York State Assemblyman. In this role he concentrated on improvements in education, transportation, and, in late 2012, on recovery efforts for Hurricane Sandy. Goldfeder left public service in 2016 to join Yeshiva University.

In a statement discussing Goldfeder’s departure, Andrew Lauer, Vice President for Legal Affairs at Yeshiva University, said: “While we are sad to see Phil leave, we are proud of the success and growth he has helped us achieve. Phil is a caring, energetic and dedicated professional and has added so much during his time at YU. Though we have worked with our incredible elected officials for many years, Phil helped us expand and deepen those relationships. We will certainly continue to build on the momentum Phil set in motion and look forward to continued success in the future.”

During his tenure at YU, Goldfeder was responsible for bringing various New York City Councilmen and New York State Assemblymen to campus, such as Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, whose 10th district of New York City includes YU, and Councilman Mark D. Levine, who was the subject of an anti-Semitic, “greedy Jewish landlords” attack in a campaign last April. Goldfeder also helped student leaders coordinate programming with local public servants like the New York Police and Fire Departments.

Goldfeder also secured close to $2 million in grants for Yeshiva University projects. In August 2017, the State Senator Todd Kaminsky Funds Program granted Sy Syms School of Business $350,000 to begin the Israel Business Incubator program connecting YU students with Israeli Startups, and, in September 2017, the Max and Celia Parnes Family Psychological and Psychoeducational Services Clinic of Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology received a $1,025,000 grant from the New York City Capital Budget, allowing the program to utilize a newly renovated space and expand the amount of families it is able to serve. In addition, Goldfeder secured $1 million worth of grants which has yet to be announced by Yeshiva University.

Goldfeder in May 2017 recruited YU students for a public use study of Fort Tryon Park in Washington Heights, for the purpose of helping with field research and data collection for New York City. That same month Goldfeder invited Yeshiva students to join the Community League of the Heights and Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez in a community cleanup project.

In December 2016, shortly after beginning his career at YU, Goldfeder was honored by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer at the Jewish Heritage and Culture Celebration. According to a YU News article at the time, the event recognized his “commitment to the Jewish community and the people of New York City, as well as his contributions to both over the course of his career in public service.” Goldfeder in March 2017 arranged for a guided tour of Sing Sing Correctional Facility for a group of YU students and faculty members. Goldfeder delivered a lecture to the men of the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program in April 2017 entitled “Albany to Oklahoma: Being An Orthodox Jew in Politics,” where he discussed his experiences as a religious politician.


This article has been updated since its original publication to include additional information.