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A Summer of Impactful Students

Straus Center


This summer, the Impact Office at the Yeshiva University Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought will be supporting several Straus Scholars and other top YU students as they pursue exciting professional advancement opportunities in the fields of politics, policy, journalism, academia, and Jewish advocacy.


In Jerusalem, Rikki Zagelbaum (SCW ‘26) will be working at the Jerusalem Post as a writing intern. “I hope to make cover stories that matter by paying due respect to those who may have previously gone unnoticed. Through my work, I also aim to combat anti-Israel and antisemitic disinformation in the media,” Zagelbaum shared.


In New York City, Straus Scholars Tamara Yeshurun (SCW ‘26) and Fayga Tziporah Pinczower (SCW ‘26) will both be participating in the Tikvah Fund’s Beren Summer Fellowship. Over the course of the summer, they will take high-level seminars in classical philosophy, American history, and Jewish thought, and will then undertake an independent project or internship focusing on a specific area of Jewish public policy or Jewish communal life. Yeshurun’s project will focus on the development of Hebrew-language curricula, and Pinczower will be interning at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in Washington, DC.


Also in Washington will be Zachary Winters (SSSB ‘25), a finance and political science major who will be serving as a policy analyst for Chairman Ben Cardin (D-MD) on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “In a post-October 7th world, it is clear that we need American leaders and politicians to be strong advocates and supporters of Israel, and interning on the committee that deals specifically with foreign relations is the perfect place to start,” Winters explained. “I want to continue to make connections with Senators and other members of Congress that play important roles in elevating the importance of support for Israel and combat the resurgence of antisemitism.” Winters hopes that his time on the Hill will give him “an opportunity to make a Kiddush Hashem and elevate the image of Yeshiva University.”


In addition to Winters, several Straus Scholars will spend the summer in the nation’s capital working for legislators and in leading think tanks. Straus Scholar Jason (Sruli) Friedman (YC ‘26) will be interning in the office of Congressman Mike Lawler (R-NY). Friedman, the incoming editor-in-chief of the YU Commentator, president of the YU Philosophical Society, and president of the Dunner Political Science Society, will complete his congressional internship through the Fund for American Studies (TFAS) summer program.


Straus Scholar Ezra Seplowitz (YC ‘25) will spend a week at the American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) Summer Honors Program, where he will be participating in a seminar with Dr. Yuval Levin, AEI Senior Fellow and Editor in Chief of National Affairs. The seminar, titled "Freedom, Progress, and Tradition in the United States” will explore several foundational texts, including Aristotle’s Politics, Paine’s Rights of Man, and Hayek’s The Constitution of Liberty. “The program will allow me to interact with other like-minded and motivated students,” said Seplowitz, “providing me with the opportunity to learn some of the most critical political texts from Dr. Levin, one of the greatest contemporary political thinkers.” Straus Scholar Aharon Soloveichik (YC ‘25) will also participate in the Summer Honors Program; he will be taking a seminar titled “The Future of American Politics” with AEI scholar Matthew Continetti.


Straus Scholar Yaakov Willner (YC ‘25), was selected to receive the prestigious Alexander Hamilton Society’s Hamilton National Fellowship grant, a competitive fellowship for college students pursuing summer internships in Washington, DC in the fields of foreign, defense, and economic policy. Willner, the president of the Alexander Hamilton Society chapter at Yeshiva University, will be interning at the Hudson Institute’s Center for Peace and Security in the Middle East, doing research for the Center’s director, Dr. Michael Doran. “I hope that the internship will open doors for me to enter the field of foreign policy, and to bring those skills back to future YU students,” Willner said.


Several Straus Scholars will also be pursuing opportunities in the private sector. Jenny Rapp (SCW ‘25) will be interning at political polling firm JL Partners and Yakov Sundel (YC ‘24) will be interning at OnMessage Inc, a political strategy firm.


These internships and many others like them are supported by the Straus Impact Office with funding from the Paul E. Singer Foundation. The Impact Office aims to further the impact of Straus alumni, current Straus Scholars, and other students involved in politics, policy, and journalism on both of Yeshiva University’s undergraduate campuses. You can learn more about the Straus Center and the Straus Impact Office here.