Hi. My name is Yardena Katz, and I came to YU from Toronto, Canada.
As a high school senior, I loved the diplomacy, public speaking and sense of community at Yeshiva University’s Model United Nations (YUNMUN XXVIII) conference. It was such a powerful experience. Two years later, as a Stern College for Women senior, I am thrilled to be running the conference as the Secretary General. The staff care about the event so deeply and, as administrative leader, I am charged with ensuring they have a meaningful and productive experience as well.
Though I came to YU knowing I enjoyed politics and international law, I never imagined I would discover so many new passions. I’ve enjoyed editing The Observer newspaper, ESL tutoring and anchoring for Shield News. Biology was also an interest, but I never dreamed I would develop such a passion for laboratory research. I credit fellow YU student mentors and professors with fostering this enthusiasm.
In 2017, I received a Kressel Scholarship to explore a treatment for Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) with biology professor Dr. Marina Holz. By working with experienced students in the lab and learning from peers through participation in YU’s research poster competition, I have had the chance to partake in a stimulating research culture that has greatly motivated my own interest in research and helped cultivate some of my most meaningful relationships at YU.
After college I plan to pursue a career as an attorney. Last summer I interned at the Brooklyn courthouse of Judge Esther Morgenstern. The internship was unpaid, but a subsidy from YU’s Azrieli Fellowship Program made the experience possible. The internship gave me a better appreciation for the nuances of the legal system and the emotional side of civil and criminal law.
I don’t think of YU’s Jewish and secular courses as separate. To me, it isn’t “a dual curriculum,” but instead, “The YU Curriculum.” Courses enhance and play off of one another in ways that are very enriching. I had thought seminary in Israel would have been the end of really impactful judaic studies but professors like Rabbi Dr. Saul Berman changed that. His classes have really strengthened and transformed how I interact with Halacha and Judaic sources. YU has shaped my religious day to day life.