By: Matthew Silkin | News  | 

Holtz Named New Associate Dean of Yeshiva College; Rynhold Named Honors Head

Effective this semester, Professor Shalom Holtz has been named the Yeshiva College Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, taking over the position from Dr. Joanne Jacobson, who retired last academic year.

Dr. Holtz previously served as Director of the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program, having been nominated for the position after the previous director, Professor Gabriel Cwilich, stepped down in January 2017. Holtz also serves as an Associate Professor of Bible in Yeshiva College and was tenured by the university in 2012.

“I am looking forward to working with Professor Holtz in his new role, having had a very good working relationship with him last year when he directed the Honors Program,” said Dean Karen Bacon. “Professor Holtz likes new ideas, he enjoys thinking through problems, and he enjoys a good debate. These qualities fit wonderfully into the Dean’s Office and will be invaluable in evaluating where we are at YC and where we see ourselves going.”

Holtz was chosen for the position over three unnamed finalists from a national search. The search committee was made up of faculty of Yeshiva College and headed by Provost Selma Botman. According to Botman, Jacobson met individually with all the candidates to discuss components of the position. There was also student involvement in the process, as Botman told The Commentator in an article last year announcing Jacobson’s retirement. According to Yeshiva Student Union (YSU) President Nolan Edmonson (YC ‘19), who was one of the students involved, the group met with Professor Holtz on April 26.

“I am looking forward to working with Dr. Holtz to improve the Yeshiva College academic experience,” said Yeshiva College Student Association (YCSA) president Amitai Miller (YC ‘19), another student who was part of the hiring committee.

“I am excited for Dr. Holtz to be our new [Associate] Dean, because I know from my encounters with him as a professor and as a leader that students are his priority,” added Ben Atwood (YC ‘19), who was also on the hiring committee. “He knows the YU system inside and out and will be able to hit the ground running with his moves as Dean.”

Dr. Daniel Rynhold will succeed Holtz as Honors director. Rynhold is a professor of Jewish Philosophy and director of the doctorate program in the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies.

“I’m excited to take on the role and to build on the excellent work of my predecessors Professors Cwilich and Holtz, who have established such a vibrant and exciting program,” said Rynhold. “The Honors program obviously runs hand in hand with the undergraduate program, and its direction and success is therefore bound up with the faculty and the resources of Yeshiva College more broadly. The continuity of having Professor Holtz as the new associate Dean who obviously knows the Honors program intimately—and values it—can only be helpful. As to my own ideas, rather than making bold claims in a vacuum, I’m initially very interested in speaking to the various constituents—primarily the students and also the faculty, to canvas their views and try to make the Honors program the very best it can possibly be.”

“Dean Bacon and I are delighted that Professor Rynhold has accepted our offer of head of the Honors College,” said Botman. “He is a scholar, a teacher, and a great role model for students.”

“I am proud that a professor of his caliber was chosen for the position,” said Holtz.


Photo Caption: Dean Shalom Holtz (L) and Professor Daniel Rynhold (R)

Photo Credit: Yeshiva University