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Yeshiva University Approves a New Student Club Grounded in Halacha to Enhance Support for Its LGBTQ Undergraduates

Will Continue to Defend Against the Claim that Yeshiva Is Not a Religious Institution

New York, NY—Oct. 24, 2022—Yeshiva University, America’s flagship Jewish university, today announced a new initiative grounded in Halacha and Torah values to support its LGBTQ undergraduates, including strengthening its on-campus support services and endorsing a new student club that presents an approved traditional Orthodox alternative to YU Pride Alliance.

Yeshiva, since its inception, has been and remains a faith community dedicated to fostering and disseminating the principles, values, and dicta of the Torah in today’s world. Yeshiva’s religio-educational efforts are animated by a personalized love for all its students and a profound sense of responsibility for their spiritual and mental wellbeing. In keeping with this, Yeshiva is:

  • Establishing the Kol Yisrael Areivim Club for LGBTQ students striving to live authentic Torah lives. This newly founded undergraduate student club, which emerges from Yeshiva’s principles and its students’ interest for a club under traditional Orthodox auspices, was approved by the Administration, in partnership with lay leadership, and endorsed by senior Roshei Yeshiva. It also reflects input and perspectives from conversations between Yeshiva’s rabbis, educators, and current and past undergraduate LGBTQ students. The club will provide students with space to grow in their personal journeys, navigating the formidable challenges that they face in living a fully committed, uncompromisingly authentic halachic life within Orthodox communities. Within this association students may gather, share their experiences, host events, and support one another while benefiting from the full resources of the Yeshiva community – all within the framework of Halacha – as all other student clubs.
  • Enhancing on-campus support services for its LGBTQ students – Yeshiva continues to be committed to working with its students to identify additional ways in which it can strengthen its support systems. These efforts will build on the resources currently in place, which already include:

    • sensitivity training for faculty and staff;
    • specialized consultations through the counseling center;
    • strict anti-harassment, anti-bullying and anti-discrimination policies;
    • an ongoing LGBTQ support group; and
    • educational sessions for incoming students during orientation.

Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman, President of Yeshiva University, said, “We are eager to support and facilitate the religious growth and personal life journeys of all of our students to lead authentic Torah lives, and we hope that this Torah based initiative with a new student club tailored to Yeshiva’s undergraduate LGBTQ students will provide them with meaningful support to do so.”

Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva University, said, “I add my blessing to this initiative and new student club, which we hope deepens our students’ commitment to the Torah and leads to harmony in our Yeshiva University community.”

Ira Mitzner, Chairman of Yeshiva University’s Board of Trustees, added, “I am thankful for the strong partnership between the Administration, rabbinic and lay leadership, and fully support this new initiative.”

The essential features of Yeshiva’s undergraduate curriculum and campus life form the basis for a deeply religious student experience during their formative years, including two single-sex campuses, multiple prayer services throughout the day, Shabbat regulations, kashrut observance and a daily schedule requiring hours of Torah study. Every undergraduate student who makes the personal choice to come to Yeshiva is choosing this religiously driven environment and curriculum, instead of other college experiences.

To protect its ability to fulfill its mission and operate its undergraduate program consistent with Torah values, Yeshiva will continue to defend itself in the lawsuit that was brought against it by the YU Pride Alliance based on the claim that Yeshiva is not a religious institution.

 About Yeshiva University:

As the flagship Jewish university, Yeshiva University is animated by its five core Torah values: Seek Truth (Torat Emet), Live Your Values (Torat Chaim), Discover Your Potential (Torat Adam), Act With Compassion (Torat Chesed) and Bring Redemption (Torat Zion). Founded in 1886, Yeshiva University brings together the ancient traditions of Jewish law and life and the heritage of Western civilization. More than 7,400 undergraduate and graduate students study at YU’s four New York City campuses: the Wilf Campus, Israel Henry Beren Campus, Brookdale Center, and Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus. YU’s three undergraduate schools – Yeshiva College, Stern College for Women, and Sy Syms School of Business – offer a unique dual program comprised of Jewish studies and liberal arts courses. Its graduate and affiliate schools include Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, the Katz School of Science and Health and Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. YU is ranked among the nation’s leading academic institutions.

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