Friday, May 28, 2010

Happenings at the Yeshiva

This was our last week of the Spring zman and of the 2000-2010 year but things did not slow down. Third and fourth year students spent the week reviewing hilkhot Aveilut and taking their Aveilut finals - a closed-book 25 question test of the wide range of questions and issues that a rabbi must know in aveilut. 

First and second years students had a special "minimester" with Rabbi Dr. Alon Goshen-Gottstein on the topic of "The Theology of Chosenness," exploring a wide range of texts - from Torah through contemporary scholars, on the concepts of am segulah, a Nation of Priests, and Israel as a blessing.  Students also heard guest lecturers from Dr. Marc Shapiro and Dr. Reuven Kimelman, and spent a good portion of the week developing their own theology of chosenness in the context of pluralistic and universalistic values and with a weighing of the moral implications of chosenness.

Finally, students met individually with their rebbeim and with Ruthie Simon to have a year-end assessment of their learning and their growth. In addition, on Tuesday, Dr. Michelle Friedman and I had exit interviews with each of the fourth year students, asking them to reflect on the four years of learning and growing at YCT and to think together with us about the upcoming opportunities and challenges. On the following day, Wednesday, I invited all of the fourth year students to my house for an extended lunch. I made my specialties - pan-seared tuna and London broil, and we had a wonderful time connecting, recollecting, and sharing Torah together.

We are all so excited about our upcoming Semikha ceremony, which will be a week from Sunday, on Sunday, June 6, 2010, at 10:30 AM, at Kehilath Jeshurun (125 East 85th Street).  We will also be ordaining a current musmach, Zev Farber, with Yadin Yadin semikha.  Zev has worked many hard years for this, and there is no one who is more deserving than he for this honor and achievement.  If any of you can be at the ceremony, we would love to have you there.

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