By: Rikki Zagelbaum  | 

Torah and Tehillim Programs Held on Beren Campus in Response to War in Israel

Following Hamas’ terrorist attack on Shemini Atzeret, YU students and faculty on the Beren Campus sprung into action, hosting numerous on-campus events in a show of support for Israel. 

These events, which had the participation of hundreds of students, included a challah bake, a shiur and a number of Tehillim readings and kumzitzes.  

Students looking for opportunities to pray and seek inspiration attended Beren kumzitzes, which occurred the nights of Oct. 9 and 10 in the beit midrash at 245 Lexington Ave.

According to the event organizers, the kumzitzes were intended to bring students together to “daven and learn in merit of our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael and be there for one another during this time.” Another kumzitz is set to take place this Wednesday, again in the beit midrash.  

In addition, since the return to campus, daily Tehillim readings have been held at the beit midrash. Led by Campus Rabbi Azi Fine, Tehillim is said each day at 8:40 a.m. and 1:10 p.m. These readings have seen the participation of dozens of students, taking time out of their day to pray for Israel’s wellbeing. These ongoing Tehillim readings will continue every day for the foreseeable future. 

On Thursday, approximately 80 students packed into room 101 of 245 Lexington Ave. for a community challah bake and Tehillim reading, led by campus Rebbetzins Michal Schonbrun and Ellie Fine. The event was at max capacity.

Students crowded around one table and hand-made the challah dough from scratch. While the dough was rising, Rebbetzin Fine led the room in reciting the brachot for the mitzvah of Hafrashat Challah, followed by perakim of Tehillim for the soldiers and families in Israel. The night concluded in song, as everyone gathered together to sing Acheinu

"This was a really nice way for the Stern community to come together and do a mitzvah for the sake of Israel,” Tali Pinsker (SCW ‘26) shared with The Commentator. “It was beautiful to see everyone so spiritually involved and connected in the midst of such a difficult time for Klal Yisrael.” 

The Beren Chabad Club also kicked off its programming on Thursday with a Tanya shiur by Rav Shalom Shapiro in order to “combat the darkness with the light of Torah,” Chabad club board member Leila Fishman (SCW ‘26) told The Commentator.

The event, held in the beit midrash, explored concepts such as spreading spirituality throughout the world and the power each individual holds to enact meaningful change. “Our job right now is to spread light and positivity,” Fishman said. “We not only have the ability to… it is truly within our reach!” 

The Beren Campus Student Government (BCSG) informed The Commentator that it is working around the clock to plan and execute more events like this as fast as possible. 

“We are trying to balance our regular programing, like the Beren Itim L'Torah Program, with special events geared towards what is going on in Eretz Yisrael,” Gaby Rahmanfar (SCW ‘24), president of the Torah Activities Council (TAC), told The Commentator. 

More opportunities to show support for Israel are projected to be announced in the coming days and weeks.  


Photo Caption: Torah and Tehillim programs were held on Beren Campus last week in response to the current war in Israel.

Photo Credit: The Commentator