By: Eli Weiss  | 

“World of Tomorrow” Panel Discusses Role of YU in a Changing World

On Sunday, October 22, Yeshiva University hosted a conference entitled “Yeshiva University and the World of Tomorrow.” Coming on the heels of President Berman’s September investiture, the program was designed to examine and discuss YU’s role in the future of a rapidly changing world, primarily in the areas of education, values, leadership, and marketplace.

Over 500 students, alumni and members of the YU community attended the event, which took place on the Wilf Campus. The conference featured breakout sessions with more than 40 presenters that covered a range of topics and disciplines including textual learning and the use of social media in a rapidly changing world.

The program opened with an interview of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, former chief rabbi of the United Kingdom. During the interview, which was conducted by Rabbi Ari Lamm, special advisor to President Berman, Rabbi Sacks spoke about the challenges that face the Orthodox community in the “world of tomorrow.” He concluded the interview by challenging YU to add to the meaning and spirituality of a world that is rapidly moving away from them.

“We have 4,000 years of culture,” he remarked. “Modern orthodoxy is not the best we can come up with.”

After the opening program, speakers from a variety of fields across the university and professional world led specialized sessions for the attendees. The guests were invited to attend two of the 13 breakout sessions, in which more than 40 presenters covered topics ranging from business to Jewish education.

At the “Business Leaders of Tomorrow” session, the panelists discussed the changing facade of the modern marketplace. Bruce Taragin, managing director of Blumberg Capital and one of the panelists, remarked “by the time my sixth grade child is ready to join the workforce, 65% of jobs will have been replaced by automation, and 40% of Fortune 500 companies will no longer exist.”

Laizer Kornwasser, a panelist at the event and a clinical professor in the Sy Syms School of Business, asserted that “experiential learning” is the most important feature that educators should be integrating into the classroom.

“Being at the conference was an incredible opportunity to recognize and learn from YU's diverse faculty, industry innovators, and spiritual leaders,” said Joshua Zirman, president of the Sy Syms School of Business Student Council. “I was shocked at the world experience the faculty has. Professors I had never heard of before were leading panels about educational reform, building non-profits, and the future of business.”

President Berman gave closing remarks and related how “Torat Tzion,” or our mandate to be “drivers of history,” is critical to understanding the role of Yeshiva University in the world of tomorrow.

“The very existence of these challenges and opportunities are a sign that we live in an era where history is moving forward,” said Berman, “It is incumbent on us all to raise the next generation of people who can grapple with these changing realities.”

You can view President Berman’s remarks here.


Photo Credit: YU Flickr