Friday, November 18, 2011
Happenings at the Yeshiva
We had a number of honored guests this week. On Tuesday, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin spoke to the entire yeshiva at the end of the morning seder, and then gave a class on drashot to the students. On Wednesday, we heard from Rabbi Aaron Leibowitz, Rosh HaYeshiva of Sulam Yaakov, who spoke about the religious significance of the "occupy" movements here and in Israel. He said that even without having a coherent agenda or articulation of how they would make things better, the desire for a better society is, at its heart, a messianic yearning, a belief in a world that can be more perfect. The talk was followed with some nice give-and-take around various issues of these movements, and whether they are all good, and in particular the concern of anti-Semitism in the Occupy Wall Street movement. It was wonderful to be discussing these issues through a practical and religious lens, and to have such an open exchange of ideas and opinions.
As if that were not enough, we had two special lunches this week. Dawne Bear Novicoff from Jim Joseph Foundation visited the yeshiva on Monday, and, after meeting with faculty and administration, had lunch with a group of students to hear from them what brought them to YCT, what their course of study was like, and what their vision for the future and professional aspirations were. And them on Tuesday, Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky, Rabbi of Bnei David-Judea in Los Angeles, visited the yeshiva and met with years 3 and 4 to share his thoughts on religious leadership and to hear from students who are to soon be rabbis about their own sense of vision and mission.
Finally, two wonderful Mazel Tovs. A big Mazel Tov to Rabbi David Wolkenfeld (YCT 2008) and Sara Tillinger-Wolkenfeld on the birth of a baby girl this last motzei Shabbat. Baby-girl Wolkenfeld will be spending this Shabbat with her parents and big brothers, Noam, Akiva, and Hillel, and will be given her name at a baby-naming ceremony this coming Monday morning in Princeton. And a huge Mazel Tov to our Vice President of Finance and Operations, Mati Friedman, on becoming a grandmother for the first time! Her son Noam and daughter-in-law Shiffy gave birth to a baby girl Thursday afternoon. To all the parents and grandparents of these beautiful baby girls we say, Mazel Tov v'tizku li'gadlan li'Torah li'chuppah u'li'ma'asim tovim!