By: Commentator Staff | News  | 

March News Briefs

On Feb. 13, over 450 members of the YU community gathered in Furst 501 to hear five YU students speak about their experiences struggling with mental health. The annual event was organized by Active Minds in collaboration with the Counseling Center and attracted a variety of students from both campuses, as well as numerous faculty members. The speakers shared what it was like to battle with anorexia, OCD, PTSD and other disorders. Each speaker added a unique element to his or her speech; some chose to tell their story in a humorous manner while others opted for a poetic approach. Following the event, a small club fair educated students on how they can get involved and stomp out the stigma on mental health.

“The goal was to come together as a community to let each other know that mental health challenges are real, normal and worth talking about. We hoped to encourage people to get help, give help and get involved in the mental health conversation,” said Talia Schiff (Stern ‘19), the co-president of the YU chapter of Active Minds. “No one is alone.”




After projecting a grand opening in Feb. 2019, the new 16 Handles store in Washington Heights still has yet to open its doors. This delay follows several years of difficulties and delays dating back to early 2016. As late as Feb. 28, the frozen yogurt franchise was still not ready to confirm when the new store will open, but one public relations representative assured that they are doing everything they can to hopefully open by the end of March.

The Commentator will follow up on this story as it develops.




After engendering some controversy in the fall, YU’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work told The Commentator that it intends to host an event with transgender activist Hannah Fons later this semester. The program, entitled “Neither He, Nor She, But Me: A Personal Story of Gender Variation,” was originally scheduled for Dec. 10 at the Riverside Memorial Chapel on the Upper West Side, until it was abruptly postponed.

“We are committed to ensuring that Hannah Fons has an opportunity to share their story,” said Wurzweiler Dean Danielle Wozniak. “We are currently working on scheduling a panel discussion and clinical workshop that will take place at a larger venue and will focus on the role that clinicians can best play to intervene and support the community.”

Fons’ talk will be hosted by Wurzweiler’s Care Café, a grant-funded program that coordinates events about topics such as addiction, mental illness, suicide prevention and relationship issues.




Robert Kraft, who delivered the commencement address and received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at Yeshiva University’s 85th Commencement in 2016, has been charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution in separate visits to an illicit massage parlor in Florida, police said on Friday, Feb. 22. Images of Kraft, who owns the New England Patriots, appeared since the beginning of the 2018-19 academic year in several large posters around YU’s Wilf Campus in Washington Heights, including one prominent poster on Amsterdam Ave. with Kraft’s quote, “What is your chalom gadol? What is your great, big dream? Dream a big dream. Don’t just play it safe.”

This past Thursday, several of the Kraft posters were removed and replaced with posters of other famous speakers who have addressed YU. The Kraft poster that previously adorned one elevator in the lobby of Furst Hall was replaced with a poster of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Incidentally, on the same day last week, Israel’s Attorney General recommended Netanyahu for indictment on bribery and corruption charges. As of the time of publication, the Robert Kraft poster on Amsterdam Ave. remains in place.

YU’s Office of Marketing and Communications declined to comment on Kraft’s charges or how they will affect his relationship with YU, such as if the Amsterdam Ave. poster will remain or if he will retain his honorary award. A Patriots spokesman declined to comment on the matter as well.


Photo Caption: From left to right: A removed Robert Kraft poster in a YU trash pile; the exterior of the Gottesman Library on Amsterdam Ave.; an elevator in the lobby of Furst Hall with the new poster of Prime Minister Netanyahu
Photo Credit: Compiled by Shira Levitt for The Commentator