The mission of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought of Yeshiva University is to help develop Jewish thinkers and wisdom-seeking Jews by deepening their education in the best of the Jewish tradition, exposing them to the richness of human knowledge and insight from across the ages, and confronting them with the great moral, philosophical and theological questions of our age. In pursuing this mission, Yeshiva University stands in a special place: its students arrive with a deep commitment to Jewish life and to the study of Torah and Talmud, yet are also eager to learn from the best of Western thought.

The Straus Center is dedicated to bridging an immersion in Torah study with a formative academic experience, thereby furthering Yeshiva’s mission of Torah Umadda and securing Yeshiva’s critical role in the future of the American Jewish community. Working in concert with the faculty, and guided by an academic advisory committee, the Straus Center constructs courses that expose students to both Jewish and Western schools of thought. The Straus Center also hosts, throughout the academic year, public forums at Yeshiva University’s campuses on great human questions that have engaged Jewish and non-Jewish thinkers. Visiting faculty invited by the Straus Center participate in both the teaching of these courses and Straus Center events. Through these efforts, the Straus Center provides a vibrant community at the University that enhances the academic lives of all its students.

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Collections in this community

Recent Submissions

  • God’s Providence and the United States: A Thanksgiving Reader on Judaism and the American Idea 

    Soloveichik, Meir (Yeshiva University:, 2013-11-13)
    Much has been made in the media of the fact that Thanksgiving occurs this year on the first day of Chanukah. While this has provided much fodder for humorous remarks about "Thanksgivukkah," in fact, the convergence of ...
  • God Delivered the Pilgrims—and My People 

    Soloveichik, Meir (Dow Jones, 2013-10-22)
    Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik reflects on the convergence of Thanksgiving with the first day of Hanukkah.
  • Dignity in Flames 

    Lerner, Dov (First Things, 2019-12-23)
    Rabbi Dr. Dov. Lerner remarks on the tension between the pure halakhic utility of the Chanukah candles and their public symbolism.
  • POL 1401: Great Political Thinkers: Ancient Political Thought 

    Rogachevsky, Neil (2021-01)
    Course Description It has been commonly said that Western Civilization—of which America has long been considered a part—was formed through the combination of, or creative tension between, the ideas typified by two cities: ...
  • ENG 3042: Milton and Religion 

    Lavinsky, David; Lerner, Dovd (2019-09)
    This course focuses on the life and work of John Milton (1608-74), with special attention to Paradise Lost in its literary and historical contexts. We will seek to understand how Milton's religious knowledge illuminates ...
  • Cinderella and Esther 

    Trapedo, Shaina (New Jersey: The Jewish Standard, 2021-02-10)
    In an interview with The Jewish Standard, Dr. Shaina Trapedo, adjunct English professor at Yeshiva University, discusses how Esther is the anti-Cinderella and reflects on the power of stories.
  • Six Perspectives on the Yamin Noraim — Home Shuling: Patience in a Pandemic 

    Koenigsberg, Chaya Sima (NY, New York: Yeshiva University, 2020)
    Writing for Yeshiva University's Rosh Hashanah 5781 Torah To-Go, Straus Center Resident Scholar Dr. Chaya Sima Koenigsberg reflects on transitioning from a Rosh Hashanah centered on synagogue service to a Rosh Hashanah ...
  • Freedom and the Flames of Faith: A Tribute to Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, zt”l 

    Lerner, Dov (, 2020)
    Writing for YU Chanukah To-Go, Straus Center Resident Scholar Rabbi Dov Lerner makes the case for Chanukah as a celebration of, in the words of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, "personal responsibility for the moral-spiritual order."
  • The One who remembers those who remember Him - an elegy by R. Shimon Schwab [Heb.] ; הזוכר מזכיריו- קינתו של ר' שמעון שוואב 

    Lerner, Dov (2020-07-22)
    Straus Center Resident Scholar Rabbi Dov Lerner analyzes Rabbi Shimon Schwab's kinah for the Holocaust for Yeshivat Har Etzion's video series on kinnot.
  • Against Court and Constitution: A Never-Before-Translated Speech by David Ben-Gurion 

    Rogachevsky, Neil; Ben-Gurion, David (Mosaic is published by Bee.Ideas, LLC, an affiliate of the Tikvah Fund., 2021-03-10)
    In this newly translated speech, David Ben-Gurion makes the case against any kind of written formal constitution for the Jewish state. The speech was translated by Straus Center Associate Director Dr. Neil Rogachevsky for ...
  • Peter Beinart's Wedge 

    Rogachevsky, Neil (Mosaic is published by Bee.Ideas, LLC, an affiliate of the Tikvah Fund., 2020-07-16)
    Writing for Mosaic, Straus Center Associate Director Dr. Neil Rogachevsky argues that Peter Beinart’s call for a bi-national Jewish and Arab state is less about Israel and more about changing the foreign policy debate in America.
  • Ben-Gurion: The Man Who Willed A State 

    Rogachevsky, Neil (2020-07-01)
    As a new biography shows, David Ben-Gurion could be petty, harsh, and stubborn. He also decisively shaped almost every institution that would form the state of Israel. Straus Center Associate Director Dr. Neil Rogachevsky ...
  • "We Were All Born in Jerusalem": A Never-Before Translated Speech by Menachem Begin 

    Rogachevsky, Neil; Begin, Menchem (2020-05-14)
    Given by Menachem Begin at a commemorative event for the Soviet city of Brisk, which served as a home for 20,000 Jews before they were slaughtered by the Nazis, this newly translated speech (courtesy of Straus Center ...
  • Spare Your People a Fourth Election, O Israel, and Form a Minority Government 

    Rogachevsky, Neil (Bee.Ideas, LLC (The Tikvah Fund), 2020-03-12)
    Minority governments are thus not a panacea. They are weaker than majorities; they don’t last; and they complicate the business of parliamentary government. But at least they allow that business to take place and thereby ...
  • The Not-So-Strange Death of Israel’s Labor Party 

    Rogachevsky, Neil (American Affairs Foundation, Inc., 2020)
    Though he ultimately could not dethrone Netanyahu, Benny Gantz in 2019 and 2020 succeeded by running an old Labor Party–style campaign—but without laborers. Like earlier Labor candidates, Gantz was a general, patriotic ...
  • Faith as Protest: Remembering Rabbi Jonathan Sacks zt”l 

    Gelman, Samuel (NY, New York: Yeshiva University, 2021-10-28)
    The blog post reviews the legacy of chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, zt"l.
  • Remembering Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks zt"l: 5782 

    Lerner, Dov (The Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought, 2021-10-28)
    Rabbi Dov Lerner discusses the legacy of the late and much revered Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.
  • JHIS 4940H - C Topics: Psalms & Sonnets 

    Koenigsberg, Chaya Sima; Trapedo, Shaina (2021-01)
    Course Description: This course will survey the interplay between poetry and prayer in Jewish tradition from Tanakh to the modern era. Using classical meforshim, we will examine the style and significance of biblical ...
  • JHIS 4938H - A Topics: Malbim & Modernity / JPHI 1918H – A Topics: Malbim & Modernity 

    Lerner, Dov (2021-01)
    Course Overview The aim of this class is to explore the thought of one of the most well-known Jewish exegetes of the nineteenth century—Malbim—with a heavy emphasis on his historical and intellectual context. We will ...
  • Topics: Psychology & Jewish Thought - 15413 - JPHI 4935H - M 

    Schiffman, Mordechai (2021-09)
    _Course Description_ This course will explore the connections between Torah sources and modern psychological theories and research on essential topics of human nature. Topics will cut to the core of what it means to be ...

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