Yeshiva University

Coordinates: 40°51′01″N 73°55′47″W / 40.85028°N 73.92972°W / 40.85028; -73.92972

Yeshiva University
Motto תורה ומדע (Hebrew)
Motto in English
Torah and secular knowledge
Type Private
Established 1886
Religious affiliation
Modern Orthodox Judaism
Endowment US$1.1258 billion[1]
President Richard M. Joel
Academic staff
Undergraduates 3,017
Postgraduates 3,496
Location New York City
Campus Urban
Athletics NCAA Division III
Skyline Conference
Nickname Maccabees
Affiliations NAICU[2]

Yeshiva University is a private university in New York City, with four campuses in New York City.[3] Founded in 1886, it is a research university.

The university's undergraduate schools—Yeshiva College, Stern College for Women, and Syms School of Business—offer a dual curriculum inspired by Modern-Centrist-Orthodox Judaism's hashkafa (philosophy) of Torah Umadda ("Torah and secular knowledge") combining academic education with the study of the Torah.[4] Yeshiva is perhaps best known for its secular, highly selective graduate schools, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. The Forward announced on May 27, 2014 that Yeshiva would be shedding the financial burden of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine when the medical school is taken over by the Bronx-based Montefiore Health Systems.[5]

While the majority of students at the University are of the Jewish faith, many students, especially at School of Law, the College of Medicine, and the School of Business, are not Jewish. Yeshiva University is an independent institution chartered by New York State.[6][7][8][9] It is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools[10] and by several professional agencies.[11]


David H. Zysman Hall, a Moorish Revival building on Yeshiva University's Wilf Campus, is home to the former main beit midrash (Torah study hall)

The University, founded in 1886, is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States that combines Jewish scholarship with studies in the liberal arts, sciences, medicine, law, business, social work, Jewish studies and education, and psychology. It has its roots in the Etz Chaim Yeshiva founded in 1886 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, a cheder-style elementary school founded by Eastern European immigrants that offered study of Talmud along with some secular education, including instruction in English.

As of August 2012,[12] Yeshiva University enrolls approximately 6,400 undergraduate students, 3,500 graduate students, and 1,000 students at its affiliated high schools and Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. It conferred 1,822 degrees in 2007 and offers community service projects serving New York, Jewish communities, the United States and Canada.[11] The university has run an operating deficit for seven consecutive years. In 2014 it lost $84 million, and in 2013 suffered a loss of $64 million. In March 2015, the faculty of Yeshiva College passed a "no-confidence motion" against Richard Joel, the university president. Professor Gillian Steinberg, a member of the Yeshiva College executive committee, told The New York Jewish Week that the vote was meant to “signal donors in a meaningful way” and “indicate that the board of trustees is moving in the wrong direction.”[5]

In January 2016 the University disclosed plans to cede almost half of its $1 billion endowment to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, as the medical college enters a separate joint venture with Montefiore Health System.[13]




The University's main campus, Wilf Campus, is located in Washington Heights. A 1928 plan to build a spacious Moorish Revival campus around several gardens and courtyards was cancelled by the Great Depression of 1929 after only one building had been erected. Building continued after the Depression in modern style and by the acquisition of existing neighborhood buildings.[21] Since it was founded in 1886, Yeshiva University has expanded to comprise some twenty colleges, schools, affiliates, centers, and institutions, with several affiliated hospitals and health care institutions. It has campuses and facilities in Manhattan (Washington Heights, Murray Hill, Greenwich Village), the Bronx, Queens, and Israel.

The Yeshiva University Museum is a teaching museum and the cultural arm of Yeshiva University. Founded in 1973, Yeshiva University Museum is AAMG accredited and aims to provide a window into Jewish culture around the world and throughout history through multi-disciplinary exhibitions and publications.

Student life

Yeshiva University maintains four campuses in New York City:

The high school for girls is located in the Holliswood neighborhood of eastern Queens.

S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program

The university's building in Jerusalem, in the Bayit VeGan neighborhood, contains a branch of the rabbinical seminary and an office coordinating the S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program,[23] a formal arrangement between Yeshiva University and 42 men's yeshivot and women's midrashot in Israel that enables students to incorporate study in Israel into their college years. While studying in Israel, students study Jewish subjects while learning firsthand about Israel's land, people, history, and culture.

Yeshiva University Israel advisers visit each school regularly to offer academic guidance, career planning, and personal counseling. In addition, the program sponsors lectures and activities where students can gather under the auspices of Yeshiva University, and a guidance center to provide support for students studying in Israel. Yeshiva University also cosponsors events for American students in Israel, such as the Battle of the Bands and Inter-Seminary Choir Competition, and an annual career fair.

The program is headquartered at the Student Center at Yeshiva University's Israel Campus in the Bayit Vegan neighborhood of Jerusalem. Mrs. Stephanie Strauss serves as director of the program.

Student government

Clubs and activities are maintained by the students in each school, generally under the auspices of a student government. Activities are funded by a student activities fee collected by the school but freely distributed by the elected council. (Athletics are usually an academic department.) Each graduate school maintains a student council, such as the Student Bar Association at Cardozo, which, in turn, supports the many clubs and publications in each school. At the undergraduate level, there are separate student governments on the two campuses. Although the two student governments are separate, they work closely in coordinating joint events. The men's schools are represented overall by the Yeshiva Student Union, and specifically by the Yeshiva College Student Association, the Syms Student Council, the Student Organization of Yeshiva (SOY, which represents both undergraduate MYP students as well as RIETS students), and student councils for SBMP, IBC, and JSS. The latter four run most Jewish-related activities on campus, including holiday celebrations and the famed SOY Seforim (Jewish book) sale annually around February, which is open to the general public and attracts large crowds from near and far. There are also individual councils for each class, council committees, a Student Court, and clubs. On the Wilf Campus, the Yeshiva Student Union, run by Aryeh Minsky oversees most of student life on campus. The council consists of Raffi Wiesen, Max Hoffman, Josh Deutsch and semi-popular figurehead Jacob M. Herenstein.

The women's schools are represented by the Stern College and Syms Student Councils; there are also a Torah Activities Council, which coordinates Jewish-related events, and individual class councils, along with various clubs.

The various positions on all councils are chosen by elections open to all students (both as voters and candidates) generally held in the Spring (for the following year's councils), although Freshman and Sophomore class councils are elected in the Fall, the latter owing to the large number of students spending the freshman year abroad in Israel.

The undergraduate men's newspaper is The Commentator, and the undergraduate women's The Observer, as well as a co-ed satirical news site The Quipster; there is also a student newspaper (in addition to a number of law journals) at Cardozo. There are numerous other publications on a wide range of topics, both secular and religious, produced by the various councils and academic clubs, along with many official university publications and the university press. The call letters of the student radio station are WYUR, currently an Internet-only station, available at[24]

Dormitories and student housing

There are dormitory and dining facilities on each campus. Cardozo has a single dormitory building a block south of the classroom building, while Einstein has a number of student housing buildings on campus for single and married students.

Approximately 80% of the undergraduate student populations live on campus.

The Wilf Campus includes three main dormitory buildings: Morgenstern (nicknamed "Morg"), Rubin, and Muss Halls. Many upperclassmen and some graduate students live in the surrounding independent housing that is run by the university or in other nearby buildings; there is also a small high school dormitory on campus, Strenger Hall, which houses some older students as well who serve as counselors.

The Beren campus includes four dormitory buildings: Brookdale, Schottenstein, the 36th Street and 35th Street Residence Halls. Many students live in university-administered independent housing nearby.


Yeshiva University is home to a variety of NCAA Division III-level sports teams. The teams, nicknamed "The Maccabees",[25] include: men's baseball, basketball, golf, volleyball, wrestling, women's basketball, cross country, fencing, soccer, tennis, and volleyball.

One of the most successful teams in Yeshiva University sports history is the fencing team, known as the "Taubermen", named after the coach of the team, Professor Arthur Tauber, who served as the head coach of the team from 1949 through 1985. Olympic gold medalist Henry Wittenberg was at one time the coach of the wrestling team.[26]

Because of Yeshiva's dual curriculum, most of the sports teams practice at night, sometimes even as late as 11:00 pm. A few of the sports teams have been known to get in an early morning practice or workout before classes begin at 9:00 am.

Teams have participated in weekend tournaments outside of New York City, with athletes staying with local families in the area. This took place in Boston with the basketball and fencing teams, and in Hollywood, Florida with the baseball team in 2008. Some international students have participated in NCAA sports, with as many as nine different nationalities representing the school on the sports field.[27]

Two members of the Yeshiva Maccabees Baseball team were drafted out of college by professional teams of the Israeli Baseball League. Pitcher Aryeh Rosenbaum, celebrated a championship with his team in the IBL's first year.[28]

Yeshiva's Men's Basketball team is an annual playoff contender. The best era for Yeshiva basketball in recent history has been the first few years and last few years of the 1990s. Banners hang in the Max Stern Athletic Center commemorating seasons from both eras. The 2007–2008 season had particular note as Yeshiva was home to the NCAA Skyline Conference's Rookie of the Year. Since 2010, the Men's Cross Country and Men's Volleyball teams have won multiple championships.[29][30] Many of the Maccabees have gained attention nationwide, like Sam Cohen won an individual championship as well as Capital One Academic honors.[31] Other attention grabbers come from Women's Basketball and Women's Fencing.[32][33]

In 2014, the Men's Tennis team won the Skyline Conference championship, becoming the first team in school history to advance to the NCAA tournament in any sport. In 2015[34] the Men's Tennis team repeated as Skyline Conference champions and went back to the NCAA National Tournament, advancing to the 2nd round.[35] They lost to the defending National Champions Amherst[36] College. In 2016 the Men's Tennis team completed an epic three-peat by winning the Skyline Conference a third year in a row[37] and advancing to the NCAA D3 National Tennis Tournament again.

NCAA Tournament Appearances[38]

Men's Tennis (3): 2016 (NCAA Tournament First Round)

Men's Tennis (2): 2015 (NCAA Tournament Second Round)

Men's Tennis (1): 2014 (NCAA Tournament First Round)

Women's Tennis:

1999 - Skyline Conference Champions

1987 - IAC Champions

Women's Cross Country:

2013 - HVIAC Champions

Men's Tennis:

2016 - Skyline Conference Champions

2015 - Skyline Conference Champions

2014 - Skyline Conference Champions

1996 - IAC Champions

1995 - IAC Champions

Men's Fencing:

1999 - Middle Atlantic College

1996 - IAC Champions

1995 - IAC Champions

Men's Cross Country:

2014 - HVIAC Champions

2013 - HVIAC Champions

2012 - HVIAC Champions

2011 - HVIAC Champions

2010 - HVIAC Champions

Men's Volleyball:

2015 - HVIAC Tournament Champions

2014 - HVIAC Tournament Champions

2013 - HVIAC Tournament Champions

2010 - HVIAC Tournament Champions

Student groups and organizations

Student clubs, groups, and organizations are run by the student body. Student groups include the Commentator (a student newspaper) and the Yeshiva University Dramatics Society (YCDS) that puts on a performance each semester. A student-run group known as the Heights Initiative sponsors several outreach programs that work with the schools and organizations of the Washington Heights community. Student Government is run through YSU, YCSA, SOY-JSC, and SYMS. These four student run organizations hold weekly meetings with their respective councils and a weekly meeting with university administrators. Their goal is to help ensure that the student clubs and organizations are receiving the appropriate funding and support. Additionally, they run community events like the annual Hannukah Concert and a carnival celebrating Israeli Independence Day.

In 2009 students gathered together to create a "Tolerance Club", the purpose of which was to promote the idea of there being a diversity of people within the Yeshiva University community. The group was controversial on the Yeshiva University campus. This controversy came to a head when the Tolerance Club sponsored a panel discussion entitled "Being Gay in the Orthodox World" in December 2009. Several hundred people attended this panel discussion. Numerous Jewish news sources covered the panel and the conflict that enveloped the Yeshiva campus in its wake. The Tolerance Club disbanded in May 2010. "[39]

The Yeshiva University Medical Ethics Society (MES), is an undergraduate student-run organization of Yeshiva University which was founded by students in the fall of 2005 with the help of the Center for the Jewish Future toward the goal of promoting education and awareness of Jewish medical ethics in the university itself and the community at large. Since that time, MES working with the CJF has grown from a small group of students with common interests to running events with university-wide participation. In the first several years, they hosted a program of on-campus lectures by experts in the field of medical ethics and Halakha (Jewish law). Topics covered have included stem cell research, cloning, do not resuscitate orders, genetic testing, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, and birth control. They also host genetic testing events to help combat the high incidence of various genetic diseases in the Jewish community. The Society hosts events throughout the year, including an annual conference focused on a chosen medical ethics topic. The events are open to all those who have an interest in learning more about Jewish medical ethics.


University rankings
ARWU[40] 86–108
Forbes[41] 135
U.S. News & World Report[42] 66
Washington Monthly[43] 187
ARWU[44] 201–300
QS[45] 269
Times[46] 156
U.S. News & World Report[47] 222

The U.S. News and World Report's 2017 "America's Best Colleges" ranked Yeshiva University as the 66th best National University.[48][49] Yeshiva University's Albert Einstein College of Medicine was ranked 38th in the nation in research[50] and 51st in primary care,[51] and its Cardozo School of Law was ranked number 75[52] among law schools. It ranked #5 in Dispute Resolution & #7 in Intellectual Property Law.[53]

The Washington Monthly 2013 College Rankings placed Yeshiva University 187th nationally.[54]

Forbes ranked Yeshiva University as; #135 Of all colleges in America, #102 in Private Colleges, #70 in Research Universities & #63 in the Northeast.[55]

Internationally, Yeshiva was ranked 156th by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings,[56] in the 200s by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities[57] and 269th in the world by the QS World University Rankings.[58]

Notable people

Notable graduates of Yeshiva University include author Chaim Potok (B.A. 1950), diplomat Daniel C. Kurtzer (B.A. 1971), former Speaker of the New York State Assembly Sheldon Silver (B.A. 1978), former Governor of Vermont Howard Dean (M.D. 1978), Triple Crown-winning racehorse owner Ahmed Zayat (B.A. 198?), baseball executive David Samson (J.D. 1992), and restaurateur and writer Eddie Huang (J.D. 2008), in addition to a number of prominent rabbis.

Notable faculty members past and present of Yeshiva University include Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist Paul Greengard and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Herman Wouk.

See also


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  11. 1 2 This is Yeshiva University: 2007–2008
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  23. S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program Home Page
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