Bennun and Levin Appointed The Commentator's Next Editors in Chief; Marmon to be Managing Editor
Jonathan Levin (YC '24) and Rivka Bennun (SCW '24) were selected by outgoing Editor in Chief Ariel Kahan (YC '24) to be editors in chief for volume 89 of The Commentator.
Bennun and Levin, senior editors of the features and news sections respectively, confirmed their appointment with Kahan on March 28. The two will be the first editors in chief to serve simultaneously since Jamie Hirsch and Tzvi Kahn of volume 69, printed in the 2003–04 academic year. Bennun will also be the first editor in chief from Stern College for Women.
“I could not think of any two people more deserving of the job,“ Kahan said about his decision. “Over the past few years, Yekusiel and Rivka have shown tremendous dedication to the paper. I look forward to seeing what they do with The Commentator next year.”
Levin, a political science major from Monsey, NY, who goes by his Hebrew name Yekusiel, has written for The Commentator since his first semester at YU in October 2020. Since then, he has written or co-written over 50 articles, including 32 since the start of the Fall 2022 semester. Levin was appointed junior news editor in November 2021 and senior news editor in May 2022.
Kahan stressed Levin's work ethic, dedication and prolific writing as factors in his decision to appoint him editor in chief.
“Yekusiel is a brilliant news writer and one of the most productive editors this paper has ever seen.” Kahan said. “He single handedly published some of the most famous and well read stories this paper has ever produced. His work ethic and dedication are incredible and he is well deserving of this appointment.”
Bennun also described her excitement to work with Levin on volume 89.
“Yekusiel is extremely talented and has worked very hard this year to maintain a standard of journalistic excellence and integrity in managing our news section.” Bennun shared. “I've witnessed the countless hours he has put into perfecting every story, and I feel honored to be taking on this role with him next year.”
Bennun, an English and Judaic studies major from Cedarhurst, NY, has also written for The Commentator since her first semester in Fall 2021. She was appointed junior features editor in January 2022 under then-senior editor Kahan, and was quickly promoted to senior features editor in May of the same year. Besides features, Bennun is also a regular contributor to the news section.
In explaining his decision to promote Bennun to editor in chief, Kahan cited her passion, success in managing the features section and broad journalistic experience across multiple sections of the paper.
“As a writer and editor, Rivka is creative, intelligent and passionate, and always runs her features section smoothly,” Kahan stated. “Additionally, her vast experience helping in news represents her breadth of journalistic experience. Under her leadership, the features section thrived. There is no question in my mind that Rivka is deserving of this honor.”
“I'm honored to work together with Rivka,” Levin said. “She puts her heart and soul into her work, and deserves a lot of credit for what The Commentator is now. Our respective sections have worked closer together than ever this year, and I know that she will bring a lot of unique skills and talents to the position of editor in chief.”
Elishama Marmon (YC ‘24), a political science and mathematical economics major, will take the role of managing editor, replacing Seffi Jonas (YC ‘23). Marmon, associate editor and editor of Unpack with YUPAC, has been writing for The Commentator since Fall 2021.
Marmon expressed his anticipation to work with Bennun and Levin. “I'm really looking forward to working with Rivka and Yekusiel next year.” Marmon stated. “Both of them are great editors and will be awesome editors in chief! I’m sure we’ll be able to give YU the best paper we can make!”
Other editorial appointments for volume 89 include Junior Opinions Editor Joshua Shapiro (YC '25) as senior opinions editor and Junior Features Editor Dov Pfeiffer (YC '24) as senior features editor to replace Bennun. Rina Shamilov (SCW '24), junior news editor and former news and arts & culture editor for The YU Observer will replace Levin.
“I feel tremendously honored and humbled to have been promoted to this position,” Bennun said. “I've always believed that The Commentator is so much more than just a student paper — it reflects the vibrancy and diversity of not only our student body, but our broader YU community. Looking ahead to next year, we have a brilliant team of writers and editors who are committed to putting out Emet, and I'm looking forward to working with them in producing our best work.”
"Our team, across all sections, is extraordinarily talented,” said Levin. “Our amazing team — as well as past editors — have taught me so much, and I know that with all of us together, next year will be the best yet!”
Photo Caption: (From left to right) Incoming Editors in Chief Rivka Bennun and Jonathan Levin and Managing Editor Elishama Marmon
Photo Credit: The Commentator