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Yeshiva University Student Councils Stage Second Annual American Dream Mall Hanukkah Takeover

Yeshiva University Students Enjoy the American Dream Mall

On Tuesday, Dec. 20, the third night of Hanukkah, the Yeshiva University student councils, in collaboration with the Office of Student Life (OSL), hosted a Hanukkah takeover of America Dream Mall. Over 1,000 people attended the joyous evening, bringing together undergraduate students from across YU’s various programs, as well as faculty, staff and their families.

"This event was a great celebration of our Yeshiva University community," said Dr. Jonathan Schwab, director of student life. "Coming together to celebrate Hanukkah helped us all appreciate what a special opportunity we have as part of this unique university."

The takeover included a private rental of the mall’s ice skating rink and the Nickelodeon Universe theme park. Students were also able to explore the mall's various stores and enjoy its many kosher offerings, including Chickies, the Oreo Café and the newly opened Goldie Lox. The evening concluded with a raffle and words of Torah from Yeshiva University President Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman.

This was the second year in a row that Yeshiva University rented out the mall for Hanukkah. The idea was originally spearheaded last year by former Assistant Director of the Office of Student Life Rabbi Herschel Hartz, who currently serves as program administrator of Undergraduate Torah Studies (UTS).

"I'm so happy we were able to build off of our past experience and make this the most epic of nights!" said Baruch Lerman (‘23YC), Yeshiva Student Union (YSU) president. "I'm thrilled we got the amazing turnout we did, and I’m so grateful to the Office of Student Life for working with us on this and actualizing our dreams!"

The American Dream Takeover was one of many Hanukkah events coordinated by the Student Councils. On Monday, Dec. 19, the Student Organization of Yeshiva (SOY), in collaboration with UTS, organized the Hanukkah Mesiba (party) on the Wilf Campus, where students were treated to a feast of sushi, donuts and cotton candy, along with lively music and dancing with their rabbis and teachers. On the Beren Campus, the Torah Activities Council (TAC) put together Fry Fest, a celebration of all fried foods that also included festive dancing with Judaic studies faculty and staff. TAC and SOY also ran Hanukkah sales leading up the holiday, selling menorahs, oil and candles to their fellow students at discounted prices.

"It was a phenomenal experience to be at such a widely attended and lively gathering of students from across the Beren campus in celebration of Hanukkah," exclaimed TAC President Hannah Adler ('23SCW). "It was inspiring to see the many hours put in and dedicated efforts of student leaders and the Office of Student Life in making this event welcoming to all Beren students. I’m so grateful to be part of this enthusiastic team at YU!"

Other Hanukkah-themed events include the PERIOD Club's Pre-Chanukah Packing Party, donut decorating with the class of 2024, the Chemistry Club’s Eight Flavors of Hanukkah Ice Cream Making and a casino night with gelt co-sponsored by the Israel and International Clubs. YU students also attended the Shine a Light on Antisemitism rally in Times Square on Monday, Dec. 19.

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2022 Chanukah