Hundreds of students from Yeshiva University’s undergraduate schools were presented with their degrees at YU’s 82nd Commencement exercises, held at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, NJ on May 30. Nine received the distinction of valedictorian, an honor that reflects exceptional academic achievement. As these accomplished graduates prepare to embark on the next stage of life and apply their talents to a range of careers, including law, medicine, education, and finance, they remembered the vibrant Jewish life and rich academic and extracurricular experiences that shaped their undergraduate years at YU.
Ayelet Haymov of Cedarhurst and Jonathan Weiss of Lawrence were co-valedictorians of the Sy Syms School of Business and received the Dean Harold Nierenberg Memorial Valedictorian Award.
“Yeshiva University has provided my peers and me a place to foster our intelligence and recognize the world beyond the classroom by encouraging us to think outside the box, problem-solve, and develop our minds and spirits,” said Haymov, who graduated as an accounting major. In the fall, she will begin working as a tax auditor at Deloitte & Touche. She expressed her gratitude to YU for providing a formative and memorable undergraduate experience. “These past few years have been among the greatest years of my life,” Haymov said. “The qualities we have gained from being in this institution have shaped my life and my fellow students’ lives forever.”
Weiss, who studied accounting and finance, was drawn to YU for its unique dual curriculum. “I chose to pursue my college education at Yeshiva University because of my desire to continue my religious education in the renowned Torah-studies program while still being able to receive a well-regarded secular education,” he said.
Planning to pursue a career in finance, Weiss is confident that the knowledge and skills he acquired at Sy Syms will serve him well. “I think YU has helped prepare me for my future by giving me an excellent business education,” he said. “Additionally I feel that YU’s dual curriculum has helped prepare me for my career in that it has enhanced my ability to handle extremely large workloads efficiently, giving me the confidence that I will be able to handle the potential pressures of the workplace.”
Dan Schindelheim of Long Beach, valedictorian of the Yeshiva Program/Mazer School of Talmudic Studies, was an economics major and a member of the Masmidim learning program at YU. Schindelheim is grateful for the time he spent at YU, which afforded him the opportunity to “balance my continued growth in Torah learning with the pursuit of my degree, while also serving as a resident advisor as well as an NCSY advisor, spreading the knowledge and values that play such important roles in my life,” he said. “I chose to come to YU because I fully believe in the values that the university stands for and am aware of the tremendous role it plays in the Jewish community at large.”
Other 2013 valedictorians included Boris Shulkin, James Striar School of General Jewish Studies/Mechinah Program; Mickael Herszkowicz, Irving I. Stone Beit Midrash Program; Chaim Szachtel, Isaac Breuer College; Meirah Shedlo, Stern College for Women; Sarah Rosenbaum, Stern College for Women Rebecca Ivry Department of Jewish Studies; and Ari Cuperfain, Yeshiva College. v