(Courtesy of Yeshiva University) Dafna Levine, from Teaneck, valedictorian of the Rebecca Ivry Department of Jewish Studies at Stern College for Women; and Yeshiva College valedictorian Yehuda Goldberg, from Passaic, have received these impressive honors, reflecting their remarkable achievements in every facet of their academic careers.
Levine is graduating with a double major in biology and Judaic studies. She will be learning at the Graduate Program for Advanced Talmudic Studies for Women (GPATS) next year with the hope of pursuing a career in medicine afterwards. Her extracurriculars included being captain of YU’s women’s soccer team, co-president of the Medical Ethics Society, peer tutoring and START! Science. She also worked in the lab of Dr. Alyssa Schuck, clinical assistant professor of biology, studied Alzheimer’s disease at NYU Langone Health and volunteered in the pediatric emergency room at Weill Cornell Medicine.
Levine enjoyed her time at Stern College, especially her Judaic studies classes. “I feel particularly privileged to have learned in Rav Moshe Kahn’s Gemara shiur for all three years that I spent at Stern.”
Goldberg is a philosophy major and plans to stay at YU to pursue semicha at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) as well as take courses at the Bernard Revel School of Graduate Jewish Studies.
Throughout his undergraduate years he has been very involved with YU’s Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought as a Straus Scholar and is thankful that he gained a tremendous amount from his studies there. He is particularly grateful for the relationships he formed with the Straus Center’s professors, particularly Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik, director of the Straus Center, and Dr. Neil Rogachevsky, associate director.
The most formative experience of his time at YU, according to Goldberg, was the privilege to study in the shiur of Rabbi Dr. Michael Rosensweig, rosh yeshiva at RIETS and rosh kollel of the Beren Kollel Elyon.
As Goldberg explained: “Rav Rosensweig’s shiur, and by extension, YU, has allowed Torah study to frame my day not just symbolically but literally as well. This is an opportunity for which I am profoundly grateful to YU.”
YU’s other undergraduate valedictorians include Debbie Cohen from Caracas, Venezuela (Stern College for Women); Woodmere, New York residents Jonah Loskove (Sy Syms School of Business), David Rubin (Irving I. Stone Beis Medrash Program), Naftali Shavelson
(Isaac Breuer College of Hebraic Studies), Marc Ziarno (James Striar School of General Jewish Studies) and Michael Fagin (Mazer Yeshiva Program); and Shoshi Tuchman (Sy Syms School of Business) from Cedarhurst, New York.
Yeshiva University’s 91st Annual Commencement Ceremony will take place in person at Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, New York, on Thursday, May 26, at 1 p.m. ET.