The mission of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought of Yeshiva University is to help develop Jewish thinkers and wisdom-seeking Jews by deepening their education in the best of the Jewish tradition, exposing them to the richness of human knowledge and insight from across the ages, and confronting them with the great moral, philosophical and theological questions of our age. In pursuing this mission, Yeshiva University stands in a special place: its students arrive with a deep commitment to Jewish life and to the study of Torah and Talmud, yet are also eager to learn from the best of Western thought.
The Straus Center is dedicated to bridging an immersion in Torah study with a formative academic experience, thereby furthering Yeshiva’s mission of Torah Umadda and securing Yeshiva’s critical role in the future of the American Jewish community. Working in concert with the faculty, and guided by an academic advisory committee, the Straus Center constructs courses that expose students to both Jewish and Western schools of thought. The Straus Center also hosts, throughout the academic year, public forums at Yeshiva University’s campuses on great human questions that have engaged Jewish and non-Jewish thinkers. Visiting faculty invited by the Straus Center participate in both the teaching of these courses and Straus Center events. Through these efforts, the Straus Center provides a vibrant community at the University that enhances the academic lives of all its students.