By: Avigail Greenberg  | 

YU Unveils Campaign To Raise $613 Million Over Five Years

President Ari Berman unveiled Rise Up: The Campaign for Yeshiva University on Sunday, Dec. 5, which aims to raise $613 million with a five-year plan. The campaign quietly began on July 1, 2018 and has already raised $250 million of its goal number, Vice President for Institutional Advancement Adam Gerdts told The Commentator.

The quiet phase enabled lay and professional leadership to assess opportunities and needs within the university in order to position the campaign for success. It also helped build momentum in launching the first of the five years of the public campaign. 

The campaign will fund scholarships, faculty and facilities at YU. It will also invest in four of YU’s focus areas: values and leadership, science and technology, entrepreneurship and innovation and jobs and careers. 

YU’s press release cited various university achievements through its donations so far, including new scholarships for its graduate schools, establishing the Sacks-Herenstein and Fish centers, and expanding the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought and the semikha program. It also mentioned new graduate programs in fields like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, in addition to new career opportunities led by the Shevet Glaubach Center for Career Strategy and Professional Development.

“The campaign represents much more than raising additional dollars. It represents the flourishing of the President’s vision of Yeshiva University as the flagship Jewish university rooted in core Torah values and educating the leaders of tomorrow,” added Gerdts.

The Campaign Planning Committee is helping lead this initiative and is co-chaired by Sen. Joe Lieberman and Anita Zucker, the latter of whom Forbes estimated to have a $2 billion net worth. Elliot Gibber, Billy Greenblatt, Andrew Herenstein, Lance Hirt, Ira Mitzner, Ann Pava and Mark Wilf are on the Campaign Cabinet.

“In recent years, we have seen more than ever the need for leaders with a broad-based education and a foundation of solid values,” Lieberman said. “Yeshiva University provides a unique education that does just that. This campaign will improve our capacity to fulfill that special mission and broaden our reach as well.”

The Rise Up campaign’s reveal comes at a time of growth for the university, which in the last two years has risen from 97th to 68th place in the U.S. News and World Report rankings. Over 20 new programs and degrees have been launched, while graduate school net tuition has grown by more than 60%, according to the press release. The YU Maccabees men’s basketball team is currently ranked No. 1 in DIII basketball and holds the longest winning streak in men’s college basketball history. Its success has gained national attention

“The Torah teaches 613 ways to honor God, show respect for others and build an ethical, flourishing society,” Berman said in the press release. “Raising $613 million for scholarships, faculty and facilities reflects our core Torah values and meets our needs for the future. Committed to academic excellence and geared to empower our students to be the leaders of tomorrow, the flagship Jewish university is on the rise.” 

He added, “Now is the time to rise up and become a partner in the future.”

Photo Caption: President Ari Berman announced the campaign on Sunday, Dec. 5.

Photo Credit: Yeshiva University