April 24, 2020 - Always in Session

Office of the President

My Dear Friends,
We are now back in session following our Passover break. While classes have resumed, sadly our world is still reeling. Throughout the Jewish community, the United States and the world, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed all of our lives. Nearly everyone knows someone deceased, in financial constraints, or confined alone. Beginning a new session under these circumstances is not easy, but I believe it is specifically now that our University mission and purpose is most clearly felt and needed.
Yeshiva University is always in session. This is not simply a financial decision—it is a moral imperative. Education at Yeshiva University is not just our product—it is our purpose. And particularly in these challenging times, it is our responsibility to seek and cultivate purpose even amid such severe circumstances. We are always in session because Yeshiva University does not just provide instruction, we provide an educational experience suffused with values. Our values may be easy to discuss when the world is calm, but they are most needed when the world is in disarray.
It is for this reason that we continue to grow and expand our educational offerings. For example, we have reimagined our Summer Session 2020 to include a host of new Torah and academic programs, including skills workshops, academic classes, topical shiurim and courses on pandemics in history, science and Jewish thought. For more information, updated course offerings and schedules, visit www.yu.edu/summer
Simultaneous to our work for the Summer, we are planning for every possible contingency for the Fall 2020 semester. As the health crisis continues to unfold, we will be better positioned to decide on and share the particulars of the Fall program, but in all scenarios, we will be prepared to provide the highest quality education in both Torah and academic studies.
Finally, in celebration of our values of  Torah, Chesed and Zionism, I am pleased to invite our entire student body and community to our collective siyum on kol haTorah kulah—the entire body of Torah—Tanakh, Mishnah and Shas Bavli. The celebration will take place during our Yom Haatzmaut ceremony on April 28. Our community has dedicated this learning to heal a wounded world and our collective study should be a merit for all those ill or suffering.
What remains certain in this world of uncertainty is that Yeshiva University stands strong in its mission of educating the leaders of tomorrow. Our students not only live by our values, but also bring our values out into the world. Through our collective spirit of kindness, compassion and love, we will walk through this difficult time together and continue to lead with our values because Yeshiva University is always in session.
Warmest wishes for a safe and healthy Shabbat,
Ari Berman