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YU News

Straus Center Responds to the War in Israel

In the wake of the recent and ongoing war in Israel, the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought has been at the forefront of the media landscape defending the Jewish homeland. From publications and citations in leading newspapers such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, to podcasts and TV interviews, to lectures and classes, the Straus Center’s staff, faculty, and students have made a significant impact on the public discourse.

Writing for The Wall Street Journal, Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik, Director of the Straus Center, contrasted the Jewish love of life with Hamas’ desire for death. And on October 12th, Rabbi Soloveichik delivered a lecture on “The Yom Kippur War and the Simchat Torah War: Reflections on Fifty Years Ago and Today” in the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College. In a letter to The Wall Street Journal, Deputy Director Rabbi Dr. Stu Halpern reflected on how Israelis have unified through acts of compassion. And in Tablet, Dr. Halpern argued that non-Jews who stand with Israel are the Terahs of our time.

Writing for First Things, Senior Scholar and Impact Office Director Dr. Tevi Troy described learning about the pogrom while praying in synagogue. And in The Wall Street Journal, Dr. Troy expressed gratitude to his friends who stand with Israel. Rabbi Dr. Dov Lerner, Clinical Assistant Professor at the Straus Center, published in Lehrhaus a powerful and uplifting perspective on the war and the nature of evil. Straus Center Impact Officer Sarah Wapner was cited in a New York Times article on how young Jewish Americans are reacting to the war. And in a letter to The Wall Street Journal, Ms. Wapner argued that Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust museum should create a permanent exhibit documenting the October 7th pogrom.

Straus Scholar alumn Benjamin Gottesman (YC ‘23), Dr. Troy, and Associate Director Dr. Neil Rogachevsky will each present classes for The Tikvah Fund’s new “Jewish Values and Strategy in Wartime” educational initiative. Straus Scholar Ezra Seplowitz (YC ‘25) joined Tablet Magazine’s Daf Yomi podcast to discuss his new initiative of a “global day of lovingkindness” in response to Hamas’ call for a “day of rage.” And in the YU Commentator, Straus Scholar Tamara Yeshurun (SCW ‘26) reflected on solidarity with Israel.

Straus Scholar Allie Orgen (SCW ‘24) shared her thoughts with The Wall Street Journal’s “Future View” on how Yeshiva University’s response has been different from many other universities. She also joined live on Fox Business to discuss the threat of anti-Israel protests in New York City. Finally, Straus Scholar Fayga Tziporah Pinczower (SCW ‘26) described left-wing media bias against Israel in a recent letter to The Wall Street Journal.