By: Gilad Menashe  | 

Wilf Director of Housing and Residence Life Jonathan Schwab Leaves YU After 13 Years

Wilf Campus Director of University Housing and Residence Life (UHRL) Jonathan Schwab left Yeshiva University on Friday, Nov. 27, after 13 collective years as a student and employee. While the university searches for a new director, Senior Director of Student Life Rabbi Josh Weisberg will be the acting director of housing for Wilf Campus.

Schwab’s role as director of UHRL consisted of ensuring residence halls operated smoothly, developing relationships with resident advisors (RAs) and students, and RA recruitment and training. He will now be the director of Tikvah Online Academy, a growing program part of the Tikvah Fund, a “philanthropic foundation and ideas institution committed to supporting the intellectual, religious, and political leaders of the Jewish people and the Jewish State,” according to their website. “This position is a chance for me to grow and be challenged in a new way, which is really important to me,” Schwab noted.

“I have seen first hand the amount of heart and care that Jonathan Schwab has put into his job,” Head RA Yonatan Raskin (YC ‘21) said. “Every single day on the job he has gone above and beyond his job description, and is a huge part of the reason why the resident experience at YU has been so positive for the last 5 years.” 

In his 13 years at YU, Schwab has held several roles. During his time as a student at YU, Schwab was involved with student life on campus, acting as senior editor of The Commentator and a member of the Yeshiva College Honors Council. Upon graduating in Spring 2011, Schwab served as a presidential fellow in the office of President Richard Joel for a year, after which he worked as an assistant director of admissions for nearly three years, followed by five years as director of UHRL. 

“Yeshiva University has meant so much to me over the last 13 years,” Schwab told The Commentator. “I became the person I am today at YU. I feel incredibly indebted to the countless people who have mentored and cared for me, from my faculty to my supervisors to my colleagues to many, many students.” 

Other RAs were appreciative of Schwab’s work at YU. “Schwab is unique in his genuine care for the people he interacts with,” Moshe Gordon (YC ‘22) said. “His willingness to make the needs of residents his top priority, and his natural, easy way of understanding people and putting them at ease combined to make a very likeable and effective administrator. With his departure, these qualities have become rather scarcer at YU, and will likely be sorely missed.”

Some administrators expressed a similar sentiment about Schwab’s departure. Vice Provost for Student Affairs Chaim Nissel said, “We thank Schwab for all he has done for our students. Schwab’s creativity, energy and easy going nature helped make him an exceptional director of housing and residence life. The connections Schwab built with his RAs and the degree to which he cared about every student were truly exemplary.”

According to their job posting for the next director of UHRL, YU is seeking an individual possessing skills including “strong leadership, experience in the development and implementation of student leadership training and student event programming, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and the ability to effectively work with staff, students, parents, and colleagues in a meaningful way.” 

Schwab’s departure comes at a time when other employees have left YU, including former Assistant Director of UHRL Natan Bienstock, who departed in Aug. 2020. The university continues to seek a replacement for Bienstock. This is in addition to Avi Schwartz, who recently stepped down from his position as the Wilf Campus student life coordinator, and Geri Mansdorf, the former director of undergraduate admissions, who left in Sept. 2020. Former Senior Vice President (VP) Josh Joseph also left YU in September to join the Orthodox Union as executive VP and chief operating officer.

“If I was able to give to some students even a reflection of the positive that I got, I feel really fulfilled and happy as I look back on my years in YU,” Schwab said. “And of course, this is hardly the end of my connection to YU; though I won’t be working here every day, I will stay closely tied to YU as a grateful alumnus, and it’s only about 13 years before my children will be getting ready to apply for their spots in the class of 2038.”

Photo Caption: Schwab talking to members of the resident advisor team
Photo Credit: Yeshiva University