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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman, who will succeed Richard Joel as Yeshiva University’s fifth president, is stepping into a role as vaunted as the institution he will represent.

The flagship institution of Modern Orthodoxy, a university with thousands of students, alumni, musmachim and friends among our readership base, has faced several challenges over the last decade. However, Rabbi Berman brings with him deep connections, intimate knowledge of the school’s inner workings and a rare sensitivity and understanding of world Jewry and specifically Modern Orthodoxy.

It was our pleasure to interview Rabbi Berman by phone as the news of his appointment broke, and we were heartened by his fresh approach, collaborative work style, and easy grasp of both the generations that have come before and the generations to come at YU. He sees his task as helping to bridge those two generations together, and reengineer the school’s mission in view of today’s secular world, which has changed so much since Yeshiva University was first established. This will be an enormous job, but Rabbi Berman made it clear he is up for the challenge.

Certainly, Rabbi Berman understands the financial conditions facing YU. With that in mind, we call on the YU community, be it the student body, faculty, staff, alumni and others with connections to this important Modern Orthodox center of education, to offer time, support and encouragement to the school’s new president.

There’s a great deal of work to be done to rebuild YU’s financial base and to build on and extend its national standing, while boosting community morale.

We want the best for Rabbi Dr. Berman and Yeshiva University. We wish them both hatzlacha and mazel in this wonderful new chapter.