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Yeshiva University Faculty Educate on Ukraine Crisis

Students provide humanitarian relief.

(Courtesy of YU)Yeshiva University is addressing the ongoing and unfolding crisis in Ukraine. Because of the breadth of talent across the University, YU faculty are uniquely positioned to inform and educate on the many aspects of the crisis, from its historical and political roots, to the cybersecurity and hi-tech aspects of contemporary warfare. YU students and faculty are also organizing refugee relief efforts to help alleviate the suffering of the Ukrainian people in a variety of ways.

Engaging on the issues that matter and giving back to those in need are core pillars of YU’s Jewish values and commitment to shaping a better future for the global community. Listed below is a sample of the University’s efforts to inform and to offer support to those suffering from the events in Ukraine.

“YU is both a cutting-edge research university and an institution of Jewish ethics and values,” said Selma Botman, provost of Yeshiva University. “Because of that combination, we engage on issues that matter for our world. YU is proud to bring to the public our extensive intellectual resources in order to educate and to provide help to those in need.”


Panel Discussions and Faculty Insights on the Crisis

YU is launching a series of panel discussions on Ukraine that will be held over the next several weeks. Several panels have already taken place with more to come on key issues facing Ukraine and the region. Listed below are details about the series.

Recordings of the panel discussions can be found at Crisis and Hope: YU Voices: yu.edu/crisisandhope.

“In these difficult times the university can serve as a place of light and a space for dialogue as we navigate the present moment,” said Dr. Ronnie Perelis, director of the Rabbi Arthur Schneier Program for International Affairs. “YU has experts in so many fields who can share their knowledge and insight about the Crisis in Ukraine, and we are honored to be doing just that with these panel discussions. We hope they can be a resource for our students and the wider YU community”

Ukraine Under Attack: The YU Community Comes Together

Monday, Feb. 28. 2022

More than 200 people participated in a roundtable discussion on the historical and political aspects of the crisis in Ukraine.


  • Dr. Ronnie Perelis: the Chief Rabbi Dr. Isaac Abraham and Jelena Alcalay Associate professor of Sephardic Studies
  • Dr. Joshua Karlip: associate professor of Jewish history, the Herbert S. and Naomi Denenberg associate professor of Jewish History and associate director of the Yeshiva University Center for Israel Studies
  • Dr. Jess Olson: associate professor of Jewish history
  • Dr. Shay Pilnik: director, Fish Center
  • Dina Shvetsov: adjunct professor in the Political Science department
  • Dr. Maria Zaitseva: clinical assistant professor in the Political Science Department
  • Dr. Joshua Zimmerman: Eli and Diana Zborowski professional chair in Holocaust Studies and Eastern European Jewish History.

War by Other Means: The Legal, Cyber and Economic Fronts in the War in Ukraine

Wednesday, March 9, 2022 | 8 p.m.

Roundtable on the legal, cyber and economic fronts of the War in Ukraine attracted about 100 attendees


  • Dr. Selma Botman: provost and vice president for Academic Affairs
  • Dr. Ronnie Perelis: director, Rabbi Arthur Schneier Program for International Affairs
  • Deborah Pearlstein: professor of law, Cardozo Law School; co-director, Floersheimer Center for Constitutional Democracy
  • Dr. James Kahn: Henry and Bertha Kressel University professor of Economics; chair, Department of Economics
  • Sivan Tehila: program director, M.S. in Cybersecurity, Katz School of Science and Health

Freedom, Human Rights and Jewish Values: The War in Ukraine

Tuesday, March 15, 2022 | 8 p.m.


  • Rabbi Yosef Blau: mashgiach ruchani [spiritual supervisor] of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary
  • Suzanne Last Stone: University professor of Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization at Cardozo Law School; professor of law; director, Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization
  • Dr. Joseph Luders: David and Ruth Gottesman chair in Political Science; associate professor of Political Science; chair, Department of Political Science

Elegy for Odessa

Monday, March 28, 2022 | 8 p.m.

Moderated by

  • Dr. Jess Olson: associate professor of Jewish History
  • Featuring
  • Dr. Jacob Wisse: associate professor of Art History
  • Dr. Val Vinokur: associate professor of Literary Studies, the New School

Trauma and Repair: Psychologists and Social Workers Reflect on the Ukraine Crisis

April 4, 2022 | 8 p.m.

Moderated by

  • Dr. Jess Olson: associate professor of Jewish History
  • Featuring
  • Dr. Jordan Bate: assistant professor, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology
  • Dr. Vera Békés: assistant professor, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology


Humanitarian Relief Efforts and Giving Back to Those in Need

YU launched a relief mission consisting of 27 YU students who will help Ukrainian refugees onsite in Vienna, Austria.

“The incredible response of the students is so encouraging,” said Erica Brown, vice provost and director of the Sacks-Herenstein Center for Values and Leadership. “It reminds us all that evil is combatted by thousands of acts of kindness. It’s the Jewish way. It’s about believing that every single person has within the power to redeem darkness.”

Yeshiva University Humanitarian Mission to Aid Ukrainian Refugees in Vienna

March 13-20, 2022

Led by Dr. Erica Brown and Rabbi Josh Blass

Students will provide aid to Ukrainian refugees, including bringing supply packages for refugees, supporting housing, distributing donations and provide Jewish school programming for kids.


History, the Holocaust and Judaism’s Unique Connection to Ukraine

Judaism has a deep and fraught history with Ukraine, that leaves the two peoples indelibly linked. YU is investigating this connection with insights from key players keeping the Jewish memory and future alive in Ukraine.

“We as Jews care deeply about the roots of our past in Ukraine and are dedicated to playing a role in its future.” said Dr. Shay Pilnik, director of YU’s Emil A. and Jenny Fish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. “How can Ukraine go from the horrors of the Holocaust just 70 years ago to having a Jewish president in Volodymyr Zelensky now? These are the types of questions we seek to answer every day at YU.”

Ukraine: Past, Present, Future

Sunday, March 12, 2022 | 11:30 a.m. ET

Nearly 2,000 people joined this live discussion organized by Yeshiva University, Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center, JewishGen, Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center and Museum of Jewish Heritage.


  • Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman: president, Yeshiva University
  • Moderated by
  • Dr. Shay Pilnik: director, Fish Center
  • Featuring
  • Aleksander Kwasniewski: former president of Poland
  • Ruslan Kavatsiuk: deputy CEO, Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center
  • Natan Sharansky: chairman of the Supervisory Board, Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center


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