Rachel Kraut steps down as Beren Director of Housing and Residence Life
Rachel Kraut has stepped down as Director of University Housing and Residence Life (UHRL) on the Beren Campus in order to spend more time with her family. She had been working at YU for nearly two decades before officially leaving the university on Jan. 17.
Becky Ciment, formerly Assistant Director of University Housing and Residence Life on the Beren Campus, has been named acting director while the university searches for a permanent replacement. Becca Stein remains in her position as assistant director while Dean Chaim Nissel, current Dean of Students and former Director of University Housing on the Wilf Campus, will be supporting Ciment and Stein in managing the UHRL department on the Beren Campus.
Ciment remarked that she is looking forward to “building upon Rachel’s legacy of creating a home away from home in all of our residence halls.”
According to a Beren resident advisor (RA), Kraut announced that she will be stepping down at an RA Chanukah party. The overall student body has not been informed about recent changes in the UHRL department.
“I am passionate about building community outside of the classroom. It has been a true pleasure to be part of the YU family,” said Kraut. She began working at YU in July 2000, when Brookdale and Schottenstein were the only residence halls on the Beren Campus. Additionally, the Counseling Center, the Office of Disability Services and the Package Center had not been established at the time. “YU made a commitment to improving the student experience and began to provide these services,” explained Kraut. “It was an exciting time to be working at the university. Being here through 9/11, Superstorm Sandy and many other New York City experiences definitely helped shape my professional career and my personal life, “ added Kraut.
The UHRL department on the Beren Campus implemented major initiatives in 2019, such as the new Housing Portal, which allowed students to form groups of roommates and select rooms for the upcoming academic year, and the Schottenstein Kitchen, a large communal kitchen in Schottenstein Residence Hall that opened Nov. 20.
Looking back, Kraut is especially grateful for her almost all-female team at YU. “It is empowering to see many smart and well-rounded women in leadership positions from all facets of the university who I can rely on for advice and support.”
She is also proud of the relationships she has formed with students over the years. Rachel Green (SSSB ‘20) has been working under Kraut for three semesters as an RA and found Kraut to have “truly cared that everyone enjoyed their housing experience and time on the Beren Campus.” Green added that “she will truly be missed but we are all excited for her as she moves into the next stage of her life.”
“I try not to live my life with regret and I do not want to reflect on these years and be saddened by what I missed at home,” said Kraut. As for her plans in the near future, Kraut is looking forward to spending time with her family, reading books and working on jigsaw puzzles and knitting projects.
Photo Caption: Brookdale Residence Hall
Photo Credit: Yeshiva University