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

  • What gentiles can learn from Lord Sac.ks 

    Soloveichik, Meir (Almar Latour, 2020-11-13)
    Writing for The Wall Street Journal, Straus Center Director Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik focuses on the late Rabbi Sacks' impact outside the Jewish community.
  • A former Catholic dances with the Torah. 

    Soloveichik, Meir (Almar Latour, 2020-10-09)
    Writing for The Wall Street Journal, Straus Center Director Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik reminds us that God’s word is the center of Jewish life and that, when all else fails, the Book of Books sustains us.
  • Leave Judge Barrett’s faith out of this. 

    Soloveichik, Meir (The New York Times, 2020-10-11)
    Writing for The New York Times, Straus Center Director Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik argues that the attacks against Amy Coney Barrett's faith have no place in the American pluralistic tradition, a tradition that George ...
  • Queen Esther, a hero of our time. 

    Soloveichik, Meir (The New York Times, 2020-03-08)
    A paradox of Jewish fragility and heroism. A perplexing paradox lies at the heart of Purim, the holiday celebrated this week by Jews around the world. No day is more associated with Jewish joy; yet rightly understood...
  • The Bishop & The Rabbi with Rabbi Stu Halpern: Torah Portion Tetzaveh. 

    Halpern, Stuart; Stearns, Robert (2021-02-25)
    Rabbi Stuart Halpern joins Bishop Robert Stearns on "The Bishop & The Rabbi" to discuss the story and traditions of Purim.
  • Koren’s Esther in America featured on JM in the AM. 

    Halpern, Stuart; Segal, Nachum; Finkelstein, Avrumi (Koren Publishers Jerusalem, 2021-02)
    Nachum welcomed Dr. Stuart “Stu” Halpern to this morning’s JM in the AM to take a look at his new Koren Publication’s release, “Esther in America.”
  • "The Christmas Episode" with Rabbi Stu Halpern. 

    Westrich, Uri; Halpern, Stuart; Stern, Rivky (2020-12)
    Chanukah has come and gone but we are still in the midst of the "holiday season"! This week Rivky and Uri speak with special guest Rabbi Dr. Stu Halpern about an article he wrote in Tablet Magazine last week. The article ...
  • Take One: Pesachim 31. 

    Halpern, Stuart; Leibovitz, Liel (Nextbook, 2020-12-22)
    Today’s Daf Yomi page, Pesachim 31, is all about the boundaries Jews and gentiles must keep to live peacefully with each other. Rabbi Stuart Halpern joins us to help us to argue that respecting clear distinctions and ...
  • Rabbi Dr Stuart Halpern on Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. 

    Halpern, Stuart; Finman, Herschel (JCast, 2020-11-15)
    Welcome to The Jewish Hour with Rabbi Finman, for November 15, 2020. In this episode, Rabbi Finman talks to Rabbi Dr Stuart Halpern about the life and legacy of Dr Jonathan Sacks.
  • Reimagining Purim 

    Butnick, Stephanie; Trapedo, Shaina; Unell, Kylie; Pogrebin, Abigail; Solomon, Anna; Khatiri, Shay; Leibovitz, Liel; Oppenheimer, Mark (Nextbook, 2021-02-25)
    Dr. Shaina Trapedo joined Tablet's Unorthodox podcast to discuss her essay in the book.
  • Take One: Eruvin 21 and 22. 

    Halpern, Stuart; Leibovitz, Liel (Nextbook, 2020-08-31)
    Today's Daf Yomi pages, Eruvin 21 and 22, raise the question of divine reward: What, in other words, do we get if we’re very good and obey all the commandments? Rabbi Dr. Stuart Halpern joins us with a meditation on prizes, ...
  • Take One: Pesachim 103 

    Koenigsberg, Chaya Sima; Leibovitz, Liel (Nextbook, 2021-03-04)
    Today’s Daf Yomi page, Pesachim 103, gives us strange mnemonics, including one that is making a star turn this year. Dr. Chaya Sima Koenigsberg joins us to talk about the rabbis’ love of acronyms, and why one acronym in ...
  • Take One: Shekalim 10 

    Halpern, Stuart; Leibovitz, Liel (Nextbook, 2021-03-31)
    Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shekalim 10, extols the unique sanctity of the Land of Israel, which is intricately tied to the Omer. Rabbi Dr. Stuart Halpern joins us to talk about the Omer, why we count it, and what the experience ...
  • Take One Daf Yomi: Shabbat 144 

    Halpern, Stuart; Leibovitz, Liel (Nextbook, 2020-07-28)
    Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 144, encourages us to question authority. Rabbi Dr. Stuart Halpern joins us to explain why the relationship between rabbis and their congregations is a delicate dance, not a series of dictates. ...
  • Podcast: Meir Soloveichik on the genius of Rabbi Norman Lamm. 

    Soloveitchik, Meir; Silver, Jonathan (Tikvah Fund, 2020-06-24)
    On May 31, 2020, American Jewry lost a giant. Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm, the longtime president of Yeshiva University (YU), was one of the nation’s foremost defenders Orthodox Judaism and exponents of the Torah U’Madda—Torah ...
  • Stuart Halpern: Esther in America. 

    Halpern, Stuart; Finman, Herschel (JCast Network, 2021-02-14)
    Welcome to The Jewish Hour with Rabbi Finman, for February 14, 2021. In this episode, Rabbi Finman talks to Stuart Halpern author of “Esther In America“.
  • The Tanakh in America with Guest Host Rabbi Dr. Stu Halpern. 

    Horn, Dara; Trapedo, Shaina (Koren Publishers Jerusalem, 2021)
    Although the First Amendment prohibits the state adoption of a single religion, the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible, has been a core influence on the American people, Republic, and society ever since Christopher Columbus set sail ...
  • Take one: Eruvin 70 and 71. 

    Halpern, Stuart; Leibovitz, Liel (Nextbook, 2020-10-19)
    Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Eruvin 70 and 71, tell us that one point of setting up an eruv is to teach our children about the laws of eruvin. It's a surprisingly profound lesson, as Rabbi Dr. Stuart Halpern argues: In focusing ...
  • How Queen Esther became an American hero. 

    Halpern, Stuart; Silow-Carroll, Andrew (The Jewish Week, 2021-02-18)
    Esther in America editor Rabbi Dr. Stu Halpern sat down with The Jewish Week to discuss the story of Purim and its American legacy.
  • This unifying verse from the Torah is perfect for an inaugural speech. 

    Halpern, Stuart (Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), 2021-01-19)
    The author suggests which biblical verse President-elect Biden should use in his inauguration speech to unify our fractured nation

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