On Wednesday, May 6th, Fasman Yeshiva High School welcomed over 40 recent alumni to lunch in Belfer Hall in Yeshiva University. FYHS alumni were overjoyed to share fond memories of the Yeshiva with Rabbi Mordechai Ginsparg, Assistant Principal and Rabbi Joshua Zisook, Director of Admissions. Rabbi Ginsparg updated the alumni about the new High School Beis Midrash and the great accomplishments in the Yeshiva. As one alumnus put it, “It was just like Rabbi Ginsparg was giving his morning announcements. It was so great to hear that the Yeshiva is doing so well.”
Rabbi Ginsparg also stressed that the Yeshiva is so proud of all of our alumni and that the Yeshiva wants to be part of their simchas and milestones. Additionally, Rabbi Zisook updated the group of the upcoming positive developments that HTC will soon encounter. He emphasized that the new partnership with Touro College should greatly enhance the offerings in the college and encourage more students to attend HTC for Beis Midrash & College. Later in the day, Rabbi Ginsparg and Rabbi Zisook enjoyed a dinner reunion with a few alumni studying in Landers College in Queens. One alumnus noted, “We are very busy with college and it’s not often that we are able to get together as a group. We are so thrilled to have this opportunity.” Another alumnus noted, “We should do this more often!” To that Rabbi Zisook noted, “We may do just that!”
HTC Hosts First Ever Yachad Shabbaton at the Yeshiva
On April 26th, Shabbos Parashas Tazria-Metzora, Hebrew Theological College and Fasman Yeshiva High School hosted a Shabbaton at the Yeshiva together with Chicago Yachad. This first ever shabbaton engaged our Yeshiva students and Yachad members for an incredible weekend filled with ruach, singing, dancing and fun activities. This shabbaton also served as a great learning opportunity for our students and encouraged inclusion in a comfortable and safe environment. HTC welcomed Mr. Efrem Popel and Mrs. Shira Wiesenberg from Chicago Yachad, who joined together with the 14 Yachad members in attendance.
Shabbos began with a lively Carlebach style davening followed by an ice breaker activity led by FYHS students Eitan Drapkin and Zev Lafer. During the meals and davening, throughout the shabbaton Yachad members ate with the students seated throughout the room. They sang zemiros, delivered divrei Torah and had aliyos to the Torah along with the Yeshiva students. After Shabbos everyone joined together for a very lively havdala with singing and dancing.
One student related, “This shabbaton showed us how to be inclusive of all types of kids and not to judge based on how someone may look. It is our job to make sure that the Yachad students feel included.”
Our Yeshiva is very proud of its great relationship with Chicago Yachad,” says Rabbi Mordechai Ginsparg, Assistant Principal. On a monthly basis, FYHS hosts Yachad members for dinner followed by one-on-one learning. Daveed Hagage, Nechemia Gershman and Yechiel Comrov, students in HTC’s Beis Midrash & College program, serve as Yachad counselors for shabbatons and events. Additionally, FYHS students are regular participants at Yachad events in Chicago and beyond.
HTC and FYHS would like to thank Yachad for including our Yeshiva in their inspirational programming and we look forward to many more future shabbatons together at the Yeshiva. For more information about FYHS, please visit www.htc.edu/fyhs. For more information about Chicago Yachad, please visit www.njcd.org/chicago.
Touro College Affiliates with Hebrew Theological College, Appoints Chief Academic Officer
(New York, NY)—Rabbi Dr. Zev Eleff has been appointed Chief Academic Officer of the Hebrew Theological College (HTC), soon to be affiliated with the Touro College and University System. The Higher Learning Commission has approved this partnership and the affiliation will be complete at the end of June, Touro and HTC announced today.
Hebrew Theological College has a nearly 100-year-history of providing educational opportunities for advanced Jewish studies as well as rabbinic and academic scholarship and intellectual learning. More recently, programs have been added to prepare students for careers in accounting, education, business, health sciences, psychology and more.
“The fundamental principles on which HTC and Touro were founded are closely aligned—strengthening the Jewish community and a commitment to academic excellence,” said Dr. Alan Kadish, President and CEO of Touro College and University System. “Dr. Eleff’s impressive scholarly and educational credentials will undoubtedly enhance the academic quality of HTC and we look forward to his leadership,” continued Kadish.
Eleff earned a Masters in History and Education from Teachers College at Columbia University and a PhD in Jewish history from Brandeis University. He received Rabbinic Ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary at Yeshiva University. Dr. Eleff has authored five books and more than 30 scholarly articles, published in both English and Hebrew. He was most recently an instructor in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University.
“As a historian, I deeply value the rich tradition and history of this venerated institution,” said Eleff. “HTC and its leaders have always encouraged positive change. As we embark on this newest journey, I am delighted to work with the school’s outstanding leadership to evaluate current offerings and identify new educational opportunities for our students. I embrace the opportunity to meld traditional Jewish learning, undergraduate teaching and rigorous scholarship.”
As part of the new partnership, a pathway will be created for qualified HTC graduates to gain early acceptance into Touro graduate and professional schools, through a program modeled on Touro’s Integrated Honors Track. Additionally, HTC students will gain access to distance learning course offerings through Touro’s Division of Online Education and through Touro University Worldwide.
“The partnership with Touro empowers HTC to bring fresh ideas to our curricula as we take full advantage of Touro’s traditional and online resources as well as experienced faculty. Together with HTC’s distinguished rabbinic leadership, its administration and cadre of dedicated faculty, I am excited to seek new and alternative pathways to enhance the undergraduate student experience, improve scholarship and expand the institution,” said Eleff.
“HTC is very excited to move forward with the Touro partnership. The opportunities presented to HTC, the Chicago community, and the Midwest through the talent and expertise offered by this collaboration will have a profound impact. Under the new academic leadership of Dr. Eleff, our students and faculty will be able to continue to reach and exceed the goals that have been established at HTC for close to a century,” said Brian Levinson, Chairman, HTC Board of Directors.
“We are enthusiastic about the partnership between Hebrew Theological College and the Touro College and University System, ”said Rabbi Shmuel L. Schuman, HTC’s Interim CEO/Chancellor. “Both our student populations and institutions’ philosophical approaches to education are similar. The affiliation between these two esteemed academic institutions will broaden both of our horizons and greatly benefit our constituencies. We welcome Rabbi Dr. Eleff to the HTC community, knowing that he brings a new and valued dimension to our College. We are confident that HTC students will expand their knowledge and reach new heights in their academic pursuits and scholarship,” added Schuman.
About Hebrew Theological College
Hebrew Theological College, founded in 1921, is committed to producing Torah-imbued college graduates who will serve the Jewish community and humanity through their professional and personal vocations. Hebrew Theological College provides coursework leading to undergraduate degrees in Judaic Studies, Accounting, Business, Education, English, Health Sciences, Psychology and Speech and Language Pathology. In addition to the two college divisions – the Men’s Beis Midrash/College program and the Blitstein Teachers Institute for Women - Hebrew Theological College also includes the Fasman Yeshiva High School preparatory division for young men. Hebrew Theological College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and a partner in serving our community, supported by the Jewish Federation/Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago. For more information on Hebrew Theological College, please go to www.htc.edu
About the Touro College and University System
Touro is a system of non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was chartered in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American and global community. Approximately 19,000 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro College has branch campuses, locations and instructional sites in the New York area, as well as branch campuses and programs in Berlin, Jerusalem, Moscow, Paris and Florida. Touro University California and its Nevada branch campus, as well as Touro College Los Angeles, Touro University Worldwide and New York Medical College are separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For further information on Touro College, please go to: http://www.touro.edu.