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

  • Shekalim 10 

    Halpern, Stuart
    Rabbi Dr. Stu Halpern joined Tablet's Take One Daf Yomi podcast to discuss the Omer and its connections to Israel and the Peloton workout bike
  • Loss, Discovery, and a Lost Discovery in "Reading Ruth" 

    Halkin, Hillel; Soloveichik, Meir (Mosaic is published by Bee.Ideas, LLC, an affiliate of the Tikvah Fund., 2021-05-12)
    Straus Center Director Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik celebrates Reading Ruth, a commentary on the Book of Ruth authored by Leon Kass and his granddaughter, Hannah Mandelbaum.
  • The Book of Ruth Taught Me that True Friendship Can’t Be Explained 

    Halpern, Stuart (Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA), 2021-05-12)
    Rabbi Dr. Stu Halpern reflects on Naomi and Ruth's relationship in the Book of Ruth and what it says about the inarticulable nature of friendship itself.
  • Gleaning the Wisdom of Ruth 

    Halpern, Stuart (The Lehrhaus, 2021-05-11)
    Rabbi Dr. Stu Halpern reviews Reading Ruth, a commentary on the Book of Ruth authored by Leon Kass and his granddaughter, Hannah Mandelbaum.
  • Which Wines to Drink at the Seder This Year, and Why 

    Soloveichik, Meir (Mosaic is published by Bee.Ideas, LLC, an affiliate of the Tikvah Fund., 2021-03-22)
    Straus Center Director Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik explains how the Passover Seder's four cups of wine elevate the holiday.
  • The Triumph of White Nights 

    Wapner, Sarah (Yeshiva Univeresity News, 2021-04-12)
    Sarah Wapner considers the enduring relevance of Menachem Begin's triumphant memoir, White Nights: The Story of a Prisoner in Russia.
  • JTP1479: Malbim and Modernity 

    Lerner, Dov (The Straus Center and Yeshiva College, Yeshiva University., 2022-08)
    Course Description: 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 ...
  • JPHI1650H: Maimonides and his Enemies 

    Lerner, Dov (The Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought ; Stern College for Women, 2022-01)
    COURSE OVERVIEW This semester we will explore the legacy of perhaps the most renowned and influential Jewish thinker in history: Maimonides. Over the first half of the course, we will examine his historical and intellectual ...
  • POLI 1401: Great Political Thinkers: Introduction to Political Thought 

    Rogachevsky, Neil (Stern College for Women / Straus Center, Yeshiva University, 2022-01)
    Political philosophy examines the fundamental problems faced by human beings both as individuals and as members of associations that, in the Western tradition, have come to be called political. They ask two fundamental ...
  • Israel's vaccine triumph 

    Soloveichik, Meir (American Jewish Committee, Commentary Inc., 2021-02)
    Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik argues that the high vaccine rate among Israel's elderly combined with the high birth rate showcases the strength of Israeli society.
  • Lively Debate on the Media and Religion at The Straus Center 

    Berlinger, Laura (YU Marketing & Communication, 2019-06-18)
    On Wednesday, May 22, 2019, the Straus Center, the BYU International Center for Law and Religion Studies and the J. Reuben Clark Law Society co-sponsored a panel discussion titled “The Media and Religion: Trends and Challenges.”
  • Straus Semikha Fellows Culminate Rabbinic Seminar With Visit to Charleston, South Carolina 

    Bettencourt, Michael (YU Marketing & Communications, 2018-06-11)
    As part of its ongoing study of the role of Judaism and Jews in Early America, the Program on Early America and the Jews at the Straus Center returned to historic Charleston in the summer of 2018, this time with rabbinical ...
  • A Conversation of Biblical Proportions 

    Straus Center Staff (YU Marketing & Communication, 2018-05-02)
    What could be better than a night at the movies with Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik and John Podhoretz? Especially when the movies are about Moses? In a pre-Shavuot event in a packed auditorium at the YU Museum, the two men ...
  • Finding Meaning in Modernity 

    Straus Center Staff (YU Marketing & Communications, 2018-04-18)
    On the eve of Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut, Leon Kass, philosopher and bioethicist, and Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik discussed memory, patriotism, Israel, and meaning in an animated dialogue at Congregation Shearith Israel.
  • The Jew Who Ran Away 

    Soloveichik, Meir (American Jewish Committee, Commentary Inc., 2021-03)
    : Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik looks back at the film Chariots of Fire, which chronicles the life of the Jewish Olympic gold medalist Harold Abrahams and his Christian counterpart, Eric Liddell.
  • The common cause of religious Americans 

    Soloveichik, Meir (American Jewish Committee, Commentary Inc., 2021-01)
    Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik comments on the media reaction to the court cases Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, New York vs. Andrew Cuomo and Agudath Israel of America vs. Cuomo.
  • What the Bible Taught Lincoln About America 

    Soloveichik, Meir (Dow Jones & Co., Inc., 2020-02-15)
    Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik tracks Lincoln's use of the Bible in his presidential speeches and remarks.
  • When Lincoln died on Passover 

    Soloveichik, Meir (ISSN: 2641-094X, 1083-3013, 2015-04-20)
    Abstract: Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik explores the historical and theological significance of Lincoln's death, which occurred over Passover 1865.
  • The Art & Letters of Repentance — The Most Famous Artistic Image of Yom Kippur: Maurycy Gottlieb's Meditation on the Machzor and Mortality 

    Soloveichik, Meir (2020-09-17)
    Maurycy Gottlieb’s "Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur" has rightly been called one of the most famous Jewish artistic works, and the most well-known image of Jewish prayer. Yet even a cursory examination of the ...
  • The Art & Letters of Repentance: Shakespearean Shipwrecks, the Drama of Jonah, and Yom Kippur 

    Trapedo, Shaina (2020-09-15)
    The story of Jonah, runaway prophet and ambiguous penitent, has inspired some of the most compelling pieces of prose in the West—from Shakespeare’s Tempest to Melville’s Moby Dick. What is it about this sensational biblical ...

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