YU Students’ Engagement with the Crises of Their Times: A Story of Apathy and Protests, As Told by The Commentator and The Observer, 1954-1971.
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[From Introduction] Students enrolled at Yeshiva University have always straddled the line between the institution’s dual mission that values the integration or harmonization of both religious and secular values. This thesis uses Yeshiva University’s college newspapers, The Commentator and The Observer, with a focus on a specific period of time in history and its associated national crises, as test cases to evaluate the extent to which Yeshiva University students have identified with and subscribed to the institution’s nuanced missions, and how their views compared with other college students when significant national issues took place. Given Yeshiva students’ nuanced approach to the world around them, it is intriguing to explore how deeply engaged they have been towards crucial national events that were not ipso facto Jewish. Moreover, it is important to determine how similar or different has been their worldview from that of other American college students, Jewish and non-Jewish. Such a study helps reveal the extent to which Yeshiva students perceived themselves and acted as if they were in a religious cloister disengaged from wider societal issues, or rather engaged with the crises of their times.
Honors student thesis
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