New YU President Rabbi Ari Berman Meets Sephardic Leaders
During the spring 2018 semester, YU President Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman met Sephardic lay leaders at an evening event hosted by the Sephardic Council of Overseers (SCO) at YU’s Beren Campus.
The SCO is a lay leadership council under the aegis of YU’s Sephardic Community Programs and includes representatives from the Syrian, Persian, Iraqi, Moroccan, Judeo-Spanish, Spanish-Portuguese, Bukharin, Yemenite, and other Middle Eastern communities who are active in their respective communities in leadership roles in the various synagogues and Jewish day schools throughout the Sephardic enclaves of NY and NJ.
Rabbi Dr. Herbert C. Dobrinsky, Vice President for University Affairs and founder of Yeshiva’s Sephardic Programs in 1964, introduced Rabbi Berman before his keynote presentation to the gathered group of leaders. Rabbi Berman talked warmly and engagingly about the Sephardic students on campus. He also fielded questions and comments from the group regarding his vision for YU as he takes the helm of Yeshiva’s leadership into the next exciting era in YU’s growth.
Rabbi Moshe Tessone, Director of YU Sephardic Community Program at Yeshiva also addressed the distinguished gathering and reported on the astounding growth of Sephardic populations in North America in the recent 2 decades and the impact that demographic reality has had on the Sephardic enrollment at Yeshiva University. He added that YU is using all the resources available to serve this growing Sephardic student community within the general YU population. Both Dr. Dobrinsky and Rabbi Tessone have been very committed during their years at Yeshiva to serving the Sephardic world at large, and the Sephardic campus community, which is literally a parallel microcosm of the Sephardic population throughout the world.
Dr. Dobrinsky as well as Rabbi Berman and Rabbi Tessone all expressed their excitement at the efforts to grow the partnership with Sephardic leaders and to help to find new ways to promote and strengthen the ties to the Sephardic world. They all encouraged the leaders in attendance to help ignite new and creative opportunities for collaboration that will help promote and provide expanded facilities and additional Sephardic Torah scholars to teach the increasing number of undergraduate Sephardic students at YU, both men and women, who hail not only from the NY/NJ region but from all over the US, North and South America, and beyond.