Articles by Mindy Schwartz

YU Students React to the JOFA Conference

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At 9:00 am on Sunday, January 15th, over 1,200 men and women crowded into the Roone Arledge Auditorium of Columbia University. The many rows of seats were quickly taken, and a host of stragglers filed upstairs to fill the overflow seating area. As event coordinators would note throughout the day, the attendance had far exceeded […]

Stern Students Construct Mural in Response to Trump Immigration Restrictions


The College Democrats hung up a mural on the outside wall of room 102 in the 245 lobby on the Beren Campus Wednesday night, in response to the immigration restrictions passed by the Trump administration over this past weekend. The executive order temporarily banned immigrants from seven, mostly Muslim countries, and touched off widespread panic […]

Forgetting Decency at Yeshiva University


Ben Shapiro ended his widely attended speech at Yeshiva University on Monday night, December 5th, with a bold statement: “I preach decency… If you act like a mentsch you should be treated like a mentsch.” Sitting in the audience, I felt utterly dumbfounded. Decency? Ben Shapiro preaches a lot of things, but my big takeaway […]

Fake News: How Does it Work and Did it Affect the Election?


If you are friends with certain types of people or follow certain types of groups on Facebook, you may have seen this headline crop up on your feed sometime between late August and early November: “Pope Francis Shocks World, Endorses Donald Trump for President.” This patently false story has garnered about 1 million shares, reactions, […]

Is the Fight For Civil Rights Basically Over?


“…the fight over Civil Rights is basically over. The Supreme Court struck down public discrimination, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 struck down private discrimination, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 instituted protections of minority voters in the South, lynching and burnings are essentially over…” – “The Confederate Flag You Never Knew,” The YU Commentator, […]

A Conversation With President-Elect Berman


  Confirmed for less than twenty-four hours, president-elect Rabbi Ari Berman sat down to discuss the future of Yeshiva University. When asked what he felt his priorities were moving forward, Berman said, “Certainly the financial situation needs to be addressed.” Berman explained that, prior to accepting the position, he made understanding the financials of the […]

Rabbi Ari Berman Confirmed as New YU President


On Tuesday November 15th, the board of trustees reportedly confirmed Rabbi Ari Berman as the new Yeshiva University president. Berman will take over from Richard Joel, who announced in September of 2015 that he would be stepping down from the position he’s held for 14 years. Berman graduated from Yeshiva College magna cum laude and […]

Orthodox Feminism: Towards a Unified Definition


I have identified as an Orthodox Feminist for about three years now, but back when I first donned the label I remember doing so with a sizeable amount of trepidation. My early membership sounded more like an acquiescence shyly whispered under breath than an impassioned cry of agreement shouted from a mountaintop. For the most […]

A Review of “Why Open Orthodoxy Is Not Orthodox”


As its title would suggest, the book takes decisive aim at the Open Orthodox movement, a term first used by the founder Rabbi Avi Weiss in 1997 to describe a new approach to Orthodox Judaism that seeks to commit to both halachic observance as well as openness and innovation. Rabbi Weiss founded the movement’s rabbinical […]

Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan: A Reconstructionist’s Surprising Impact on Modern Orthodoxy

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Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, one of the most famous rabbis of the 20th century, is perhaps most well known as the founder of Reconstructionism, a new denomination of Judaism that seeks to embrace modernity while maintaining a respect for Jewish tradition and customs. Mainstream Reconstructionist Judaism views the Jewish faith and people as a constantly evolving […]