Volunteering at a Hospital: More than a Pre-med Requirement


One of the requirements for applying to medical school is completing between one hundred and one hundred fifty clinical hours. This requirement is often met through volunteering at a local hospital. Somehow, much of the rhetoric I had been exposed to about this volunteering experience is that it is something that one does to get […]

An Ode to the IDF Veterans at Yeshiva University


As an American Jew growing up in New York, I was never really exposed to the world of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). I remember being jealous of all the kids who came back from Israel after school breaks, wearing the classic green sweatshirts emblazoned with the Tzahal insignia. I remember the elementary school assemblies […]

On Newspapers and Community


My involvement with The Observer began accidentally. I hadn’t been active in my high school’s paper and, as a pre-med student who cares little about breaking news, I had no interest in writing, let alone serving an editorial position, for my college paper. Then a YU Rosh Yeshiva made a statement regarding women’s Talmud learning […]

Being Unorthodox in an Orthodox World


It’s a Monday afternoon. I sit in the cafeteria, drinking my second cup of coffee for the day and catching up on the latest episode of Madam Secretary that I missed the night before. As I take a sip, I look around at my surroundings. Everywhere I look, I see the “same” girls sitting down, […]

The Sad State of LGBTQ Inclusion at YU Needs to Change

WBC counter protest

“Many students feel alone and scared.” “It’s really tiring to be repeatedly shut down and pushed onto the back burner.” That’s what two student activists had to say about the state of LGBTQ inclusion at YU. This has never been an issue that the university has been keen to confront, but a recent visit from […]

Career Centered Education


In a recent conversation with a Yeshiva University administrator regarding ways to better the academic experience at Stern, I was told that, while my concerns regarding the level of study at YU are not to be dismissed, I should think twice before expressing dissatisfaction because “YU has a 100% acceptance rate to dentistry school.” I […]

Revaluating the MCAT


Anyone who knows me knows that I am currently studying for my MCAT. When I started studying, I approached the test as something to conquer, a necessary evil I had to deal with to reach my ultimate goal of becoming a physician. This made the process miserable. The MCAT tests biology, chemistry, biochemistry, organic chemistry, […]

Eitz Chayim Hi: Women and The Hachnassat Sefer Torah


One day last year, I received a stream of videos over Whatsapp. The mashgicha ruchanit of my school in Israel, the Beit Midrash for Women at Migdal Oz, had sent me video recordings of the Hachnassat Sefer Torah at Migdal Oz. I teared up as I watched the videos of current students as well as […]

On Free Speech and Silencing It

free speech

I don’t like censorship. In writing, I tend to err on the side of incaution. After all, that is precisely the point of a free press. It is not to stifle voices, but to allow them to speak up, whether or not we agree with all those sharing. I’ve been thinking about free speech and […]

The OU Statement on Women: A Stern Student’s Perspective

Mindy Schwartz

About a year ago the Orthodox Union (OU) commissioned a rabbinic panel of seven prominent Orthodox rabbis to address the topic of female clergy in Orthodox synagogues. After meeting among themselves and with many other community leaders and laypeople over the course of several months, the panel issued their final ruling: women cannot serve as […]