April 19, 2024
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New York Colleges Score Big Judaic Hire

The former chief rabbi of the United Kingdom, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, will be teaching at both Yeshiva and New York University starting in January. Sacks, 65, will serve as the Kressel and Efrat University Professor of Jewish Thought at YU and as the Ingeborg and Ira Rennert Global Distinguished Professor of Judaic Thought at NYU.

NYU student and Teaneck native Avital Kaplan has been checking the online course registry waiting for Rabbi Sacks’ class to pop up so that she can enroll. She described NYU as a school standing for universalism and globalism, two ideals most students at the school are interested in, and the need to balance those ideals with personal and communal identity.

“Rabbi Sacks is a really great fit for the NYU community; he has a lot to contribute to the conflict between personal or communal identity and universalism,” Kaplan said.

Sacks, the author of 25 books and a world-renowned religious leader, served as chief rabbi from September of 1991 until September of 2013.

The idea of the Jewish world and outside world came up again with Scott Kalmikoff, a senior at YU majoring in Jewish Studies with a concentration in Jewish History. He’s also very excited to have the opportunity to learn from R’ Sacks.

“After reading a number of Rabbi Sacks’ books, I became a huge fan of his. I think he is a perfect example of someone who is able to thrive while balancing both Judaism and secularism, which is the ideal of Yeshiva University,” Kalmikoff said. “Rabbi Sacks is extremely wise and talented, and I am very excited to have the opportunity to learn from him at YU.”

By Aliza Chasan

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