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High School Students From Across the Country Spend a Month Sampling What YU and NYC Have to Offer

Aug 1, 2006 -- High school juniors from Los Angeles to Miami spent a month at Yeshiva University this summer, meeting other Orthodox high school students, enjoying New York City, and experiencing all that YU has to offer.

For photos from the program, click here.

Summer at YU began June 28, with boys will be staying in dorms on the Wilf Campus and girls on the Beren Campus. Both groups take part in a Beit Midrash program in the morning. At the Wilf Campus, boys focus on the history of halakhah. They study talmudic, medieval, and early modern halakhic texts and emphasize the intellectual and social history of the Jewish communities and the rabbinic scholars.

At the Beren Campus, participants delve into biblical themes in Jewish philosophy and thought. They study biblical texts with traditional medieval and modern commentaries and conduct analysis through the prism of Jewish philosophical literature.

In the afternoons, students chose between “The World of Finance and Investment,” a practical experience establishing and analyzing a portfolio of investments and working with traders, financial planners, and entrepreneurs; “Explorations in Genetics and Molecular Biology,” a laboratory experience introducing students to the theory and techniques of molecular biology, and political science/pre-law, which provided students with a broad understanding of politics and law through the lens of current issues and by utilizing the dynamic setting of New York City.

“It was great to have an opportunity to feel the YU experience,” said Los Angeles native Netanel Zilberstein, the first of his siblings to go to college. Spending the month at YU took some of the mystery out of the college experience. “You get to feel like you are a college student, taking real college classes,” Mr. Zilberstein said.

Jesse Katz, also of Los Angeles, took the business course. “I felt like the professors were willing to spend time with us and answer any questions we had,” he said. Highlights of the course for Mr. Katz were trips to Bear Stearns and the Federal Reserve Bank.

“Many of the students are interested in YU, but they want to see more than they would if they just came for a tour,” explained Aliza Stareshefsky, program director.

Students also took trips to area attractions, including seeing a Broadway show, the Museum of Natural History, Six Flags’ Great Adventure, a Mets game, a double-decker bus tour, a visit to the World Trade Center site, and took tours of YU’s campuses.

For Levi DeFilipp of North Carolina, the best part of the program was the people and the setting. “Just hanging out with people like me and spending time in New York City was a highlight,” Mr. DeFilipp said.

Hillel Lefkowitz, a student at Weinbaum Yeshiva High School, agreed.
“You spend enough time with these people, and they become like your family,” Mr. Lefkowitz said. He took the biology course and found that “it gave me a good idea of what college life is going to be like.”

This year, students also spent several days in the Washington, D.C. area, visiting the Capitol building, Holocaust Museum, Spy Museum, and spent Shabbat in Silver Spring, MD.

“Many of the students are interested in YU, but want to see more than they would if they just came for a tour,” explained Aliza Stareshefsky, program director.

For more information about next year’s program, email

The program is capped off on Monday, July 24 with a barbeque and banquet at President Richard M. Joel’s home.