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YU News

Dynamic New Staff Additions at the YU Counseling Center

Dr. Didi Levy

Yeshiva University is pleased to announce that Dr. Didi Levy has taken on the role of Assistant Director of the Counseling Center on the Wilf Campus. Dr. Levy has been on the Counseling Center staff since 2019 and has made a true impact in his time at YU, working with individual students and running the IDF veterans group. He has years of valuable clinical experience in several settings, including an internship at the Brooklyn VA and maintains a private practice.  He received his doctorate in clinical psychology at LIU C.W. Post, completed his undergraduate studies at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, and served in the Israel Defense Forces. Dr. Levy particularly enjoys working with college students and members of the clergy, helping them delve into the issues that brought them into therapy and working with them to improve their day-to-day lives.  He also has extensive leadership experience with the youth in his community, running hockey camps and mentoring teens.  Dr. Levy is passionate about his work at the YU Counseling Center and has already created meaningful connections with students and staff.

Dr. Debra Alper

The Counseling Center is also excited to announce that Dr. Debra Alper has taken on a new role as Assistant Director of the Counseling Center on the Beren Campus. Dr. Alper has been a consistent and expert presence in the Counseling Center and brings a sharp wit and wisdom to her work as an integral part of the team.  She has served as a therapist and supervisor for seven years, treating hundreds of students at Yeshiva University with skill and insight and also served as its outreach coordinator, training externs and interns.  Dr. Alper received her masters and doctoral degrees in clinical and school psychology from Hofstra University and specializes in the utilization of Cognitive Behavior Therapy in the treatment of anxiety and mood disorders in adolescents and adults (with a focus on Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder). She has a successful private practice, and has written articles for a variety of publications, including YU-To-Go.  Dr. Alper is deeply committed to providing quality mental health care to young adults and the students of the YU community.

As we welcome our new staff to the Counseling Center, we bid farewell to Dr. Martin Galla, the Center's longtime associate director, who has decided to leave at the beginning of the fall 2023 semester to pursue other opportunities. Dr. Galla has been part and parcel of the fabric of the Counseling Center for many years and will be greatly missed by its staff and YU students. During his tenure at the University, he has taken on the roles of therapist and mentor par excellence, having enormous impact on the lives of countless YU students, and by extension, their families and communities. Dr. Galla has been a committed leader, who has taught so many by his example of hard work and devotion, managing his responsibilities with grace, skill and humility.  He has gained a stellar reputation within the walls of Yeshiva University, as well as in the community at large, and YU wishes him the best of luck in all his future endeavors.

“Dr. Galla has been a strong advocate for the destigmatization of mental health issues,” said Dr. Yael Muskat, Dean of Mental Health and Wellness, and Director of the Counseling Center. “Under his compassionate care, the Center has grown to be a trusted source of support for students and staff.”  She also expressed excitement about Dr. Levy’s and Dr. Alper’s new roles,  stating, “We’re ready and enthusiastic to build on past accomplishments in our service to students and the YU community, offering therapy, psychiatry, education and awareness about mental health, as well as consultations to faculty in their efforts to enhance and improve the emotional well-being of our students.”

The Yeshiva University Counseling Center provides confidential mental health services including individual therapy, psychiatry and outreach services to students and is a highly utilized resource on campus.  Be sure to watch for Counseling Center events this fall, including guest speakers, workshops on healthy sleep habits and relationships, giveaways and events – including one coming up soon, “Puppies Come to the Beren Campus,” on September 13.

The dedicated staff at the Center is available if you just want to talk and they’re always open to suggestions for programming. Contact a member of the team at