BRIAN N. BLUMENTHAL
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THE PARSHA PAGE > Ki Tisa > G-d tells Moses to take a census of the people of Israel. This is to be performed by having every man give onehalf shekel to the Tabernacle. More instructions are given for the construction of the
Tabernacle—specifically its water basin, anointment oil, and incense. While Moses is on Mount Sinai for longer than expected, the people of Israel build the Golden Calf and worship it. G-d tells Moses to
י״ח אדר תשס״ט
March 13-14, 2009
descend the mountain because of the people’s corruption. In his anger upon seeing the people worshiping the idol, Moses smashes the tablets and destroys the Golden Calf. Those primarily responsible are
put to death. G-d forgives the people, but tells them that the aftermath of their sin will affect future generations. Finally, a new set of tablets is prepared by Moses and he descends the mountain radiantly.
The Creative Process by Rachel Weinstein
A VORT OF TORAH
This week’s parsha, Ki Tisa, genuities so much as desperate might make you wonder if the attempts to procrastinate. Aaron Torah has ADD. The narrative commanded the men to collect leaves its typical chronology, at gold jewelry because he believed this point detailing the construc- convincing the women to give tion of the Mishkan—the Taber- up their jewelry for such a cause nacle—and jumps to the rich and would take much time. Likewise, complex story of Egel haZahav— he did not attempt to create any the Golden Calf. We specific shape from DRASHA the collected gold—he can learn many things from the Torah’s juxtamerely threw it into the position and description of these fire (various commentaries distwo building projects. While the agree as to how the gold either Mishkan was an attempt to create emerged fully-formed as a calf or a uniquely holy space, the Egel was constructed into a specific was so spiritually detrimental molded shape). Aaron again atthat the Jews were nearly oblit- tempted to stall for time by proerated for having built it. But we claiming he needed to build an see a key difference in the build- altar before festivities to this idol ing process for each as well. could begin; he hoped further The Torah goes to great lengths construction projects could buy to praise Betzalel, the master- him enough time until Moses remind executive architect of the turned to the camp. In all these Mishkan. It is safe to venture endeavors, he was not attemptthat any person who could turn ing to form a constructive entithe complex instructions in the ty—he was merely attempting to Torah into a living, function- delay the moment when the naing Temple must have been an tion would sin. extremely talented and creative In each of our everyday experiindividual. ences, we must examine the kind The description of the Egel’s of creative work in which we enconstruction stands in stark con- gage. In everything we do, in evtrast. We learn that Aaron, the ery action we perform, in every temporary leader over a restless relationship and connection we Jewish nation who feared their create—are we pushing off time, beloved Moses would not return, waiting for something more inattempted to stall the nation to teresting to happen? Or are we allow Moses time to descend truly involved in using our taland return to them. Thus, the ents for a higher purpose? What steps leading to the creation of kind of building are you doing? the Egel are not architectural in-
A linguistic tack in examining the parshah’s words, syntax, and other interesting linguistic phenomena. Vort means “word” in Yiddish.
And G-d spoke unto Moses face to face, as a man speaks unto his friend. - SHEMOT 33:11
ודבר ה׳ אל משה פנים אל פנים כאשר ידבר איש אל רעהו
In this week’s parsha, G-d gives Moses two tablets, “written with the finger of G-d”, and inscribed on both sides. The Midrash explains that the letters were cut all the way through, but miraculously they could be read from either side, backwards or forwards; also miraculously, according to the Midrash, the middle part of the letter shaped like ‘O’ (samekh in the Rabbis’ time, but more likely ‘ayin in Biblical script) didn’t fall out. Symmetrical, palindromical, levitating letters—miraculous indeed! Unfortunately, when Moses returns, he sees the Israelites worshipping a golden idol, shaped like a calf. The rabbis explain that Moses didn’t drop the tablets on purpose; rather, when he saw the Golden Calf, the letters left the tablets and flew back to G-d, leaving Moses holding two solid slabs of cold stone. Without the Divine presence which had buoyed them, they were too heavy for Moses to hold, and they fell and shattered. We might learn from this that the worth in objects comes from their potential to lead to holiness; without the words on the tablets, they are nothing but stones. Physical objects are tools to allow us to understand the Divine, but they are not Divine in themselves. This is the injunction against idols, of which the incident with the Golden Calf is a perfect illustra-
tion. Borrowing a Hindu parable, I might compare physical objects to fingers pointing at the sun. We can follow them to see the light, but we would be mistaken to think that the fingers themselves are the source of light. Idolatry is worshipping the fingers instead of what they’re pointing to. The text says that the writing of G-d was carved into the stone. The Rabbis connected the word ‘carved’, harut, to the word ‘freedom’, heirut; Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi explains, “Do not read harut [carved] but heirut [freedom], for no-one is free except the one who studies Torah” (Pirkei Avot 6:2). Torah frees us from the physical, the narrowness of Egypt that we leave behind on Passover, zman heiruteinu [the time of our freedom], which comes in a month. The shattered tablets, the broken calf—these are symbols for our own redemption. Rabbi Hanina ben Teradyon was tortured to death by the Romans, who wrapped him in a Torah scroll and lit him on fire. As his students watched their teacher suffering, they cried out to him, “Rabbi, what do you see?” He responded: “The parchment is burning, but the letters are flying free.” We, too, can fly free to a world of spiritual holiness if we can leave our physical idols behind. Shabbat shalom.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY: Brian Blumenthal, Akiva Fishman, Jillian Moss, Leora Perkins, Lara Rosenwasser, Rachel Salston, Noam Sienna, Rachel Weinstein
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PRESENTENSE PRESEN INSTITUTE
Join the PresenTense Institute 2009 fellows as they launch their ventures in a gala celebration of creativity and innovation.
בוPresenTense בואו לאירוע החגיגי של את2009 יציגו עמיתי מכון הקיץ .היוזמות שלהם
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Thursday, July 23, 2009 7:00 pm - Light Reception 7:30 pm - Pitches 8:00 pm - Venture Exhibition
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sing new technologies, creative 21st-century educational tools can impart Jewish values, make our historic traditions accessible to learners, and ensure relevancy for the future. In building such infrastructure, innovators are bridging the gaps between past and present, Israel and the Diaspora.
AhARON VARADY NEW YORK, 34
The Open Siddur Project is a databasebased web application that will preserve nusachim (regional traditions), encourage creativity and sharing in communal and personal prayer, and give those who pray or study prayer a siddur to call their own. Who he relates to in Jewish history: Bilam’s donkey. He can see an angel, but his driver, the person telling him how to live and what path to move on, is clueless. The donkey deals with it by receiving prophecy, which allows him to communicate and inform Bilam of the right way. The intervention today is technology, which gives us the ability to communicate. Where project will be in one year: We should have an encoding standard for Jewish liturgy available—not just for this project—and tons of nusachim available in our online repository. We will have a mature web application for people to mash, remix, contribute, and share new siddur content with anyone they wish.
institute repor t 2009
ELAD KIMELMAN JERUSALEM, 29
CreaTV is an online platform connecting ideas for televised Jewish educational content with the skilled professionals that can bring them to life. Inspiration to innovate: As an Israel-born Jew, I grew up with very little connection to Diaspora Jewry. Last summer I traveled to the U.S. and was exposed to Jewish life there, and I realized how backwards we Israelis are in our relationship to worldwide Jewry. Changes he hopes to see/ affect in the next 10 years: I hope an accessible curriculum will be created that will integrate Jewish kids in Israel with their counterparts in the Diaspora and thus provide a basis for the strengthening of the common language between the two.
chARLIE SchWARTZ NEW YORK, 27
NEW YORK, 26
Media Midrash is an online library of videos with compelling curricular content, providing Jewish educators the platform to bring artists, animators, filmmakers, and musicians directly into their classrooms, harnessing 21st-century technologies to enrich our historic traditions. Most valuable thing learned at PTI (Russel): The importance of identifying partners and stakeholders and creating a tool/project that’s specifically geared towards the community’s needs rather than my own sense of what’s important. Inspiration to innovate (Charlie): My experience in the Jewish world is that the tools for education don’t match the levels of technology being developed and used. I want to enhance education with these tools.
Big question he is struggling with right now (Charlie): How to insure the productive use of technology doesn’t overshadow content. Changes he hopes to see/ help achieve in the next 10 years (Russel): I want to see more collaboration between educators and Jewish content creators, artists, students, and fellow educators. You can’t have a community of learners unless everyone is learning from one another.
ARTS Page 22
FORUM Atheists on campus 11
SPORTS Men win ECAC Tournament 16 The Independent Student Newspaper
B r a n d e is U n i v e r sit y S i n c e 1 9 4 9
Volume LXIII, Number 21
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Abrams’ position to change
Community grieves after loss of firstyear student
Changing values have altered the face of Brandeis’ campus housing
■ As the new associate
■ After an apparent suicide
provost for innovation, Abrams will work closely with the sciences and industry.
on Feb. 15, community members took time to reflect on the late Kat Sommers.
By emily kraus JUSTICE editor
By nashrah rahman
Irene Abrams, who has directed the Office of Technology Licensing since 2006, was appointed associate provost for innovation and began serving in that role Feb. 28, according to a Feb. 28 campuswide e-mail from Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Marty Krauss. According to Krauss’ e-mail, Abrams “will be focused on expanding Brandeis’ interactions with industry in the sciences by building relationships to attract sponsored research” in her new role. Krauss also wrote that Abrams will continue directing the Office of Technology Licensing and that part of her new role will include launching the Virtual Incubator. Krauss described this in her e-mail to the Brandeis community as “a program to help foster entrepreneurial students and faculty in the sciences by providing mentorship, education
Katherine “Kat” Sommers ’14 died on campus Feb. 15 due to what appeared to be a suicide, according to an e-mail sent that night to the Brandeis community by Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Student Life Rick Sawyer. In an interview with the Justice, Tiffany Smith, Sommers’ older sister who described having a close relationship with Sommers, said that Sommers had always been “very happy, very cheerful.” Smith, who lives in Newton, Mass. and is married to a Brandeis graduate student, said that she had not seen any indication that something may have been wrong. “[Sommers] was so happy to be up at Brandeis. I mean, we saw her regularly and she always had a big smile on her face, so she was pretty good at hiding [what was bothering her]. ... It’s really sad,” she said. In an interview with the Justice, Katharine Glanbock ’14, who said that Sommers had been one of her best friends at Brandeis, described Sommers as “unconditionally loving” and a “wonderful listener.”
By ROBYN SPECTOR
eet Babushka Brown ’57. A fictionalized character used in the University’s Student Handbook from 1953 to 1954, Babushka was the perennial first-year who “herald[ed] the honor system” and helped the administration impart the school’s parietal rules to her peers, at the same time reminding “those upperclassmen suffering from ‘convenient amnesia’” how to behave. In her 18 years before Brandeis, Babushka had developed a “staggering amount of ‘savoir faire,’” according to the Handbook description. Her philosophical attitude, offset by a pair of Levi’s and lipstick, was reflected in her allergy to rules and regulations; she was “a firm believer in the sacred natural rights of the individual.” But Babushka complied with the “lenient laws of Brandeis U.”
See HOUSING, 8 ☛
See PROVOST, 6☛
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE ROBERT D. FARBER UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES & SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
PROPOSING PLANS: In 1950, University President Abram Sachar (left) reviewed the plans to expand the housing options on campus. Top, an aerial view of Massell Quad (then known as Hamilton Quad).
See SOMMERS, 6 ☛
POLITICO: Daniel Shapiro ’91 to become US ambassador to Israel The Obama administration plans to appoint Brandeis alumnus Daniel Shapiro ’91 to be the next United States ambassador to Israel, according to POLITICO, a multimedia political news source. According to POLITICO, Shapiro is currently the National Security Council’s Senior Director for the Middle East and North Africa. The Alumni Association Directory on B Connect shows that he majored in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis. Shapiro transferred to Brandeis after his freshman year at Washington University in St. Louis, noted POLITICO. He then attended Harvard University for graduate school, where he earned a Master’s degree
in Middle Eastern Politics in 1993, according to the Washington Post. Shapiro began his career in politics as a staff member for the House Foreign Relations Committee, and he served for 2 years on the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton. He then became the deputy chief of staff for Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), according to The Washington Post. According to the Jerusalem Post, Shapiro was appointed as a senior policy adviser and Jewish outreach coordinator for the Obama campaign in 2008. Shapiro is currently considered the Obama administration’s central liaison to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and he has
close relations with Netanyahu and his advisors, according to Israeli news source Haaretz. Shapiro married Julie Fisher ’90 a few years after graduating from Brandeis, and many of their Brandeis friends attended the wedding, said Associate Director of Leadership Gifts of Development and Alumni Relations Julie SmithBartoloni ’90 in an interview with the Justice. Smith-Bartoloni said that she was a good friend of Fisher’s and they lived off campus together at 169 South St. in 1989 and 1990 while Fisher was dating Shapiro. She called Shapiro “a great student” and a “great person.” She recalled that his interests in college included Hebrew,
Arabic and the Middle East. “I never really thought about him in the political arena, but it makes a lot of sense because he is … a person who can really find a point in common with anyone that he meets,” said Smith-Bartoloni. “I definitely thought that he would either be something like a rabbi, a university professor, definitely some kind of profession where learning and teaching and communicating was an integral part of his profession.” Smith-Bartoloni said that when she visits Shapiro and Fisher, “It still feels very much like going back into 169 South St.” PHOTO COURTESY OF TIFFANY SMITH
When in Rome
The Justice to ESPN
New grant sources
Students traveled to Italy over break to explore religion and faith.
Jason Sobel ’97 has become one of the pre-eminent golf writers for ESPN.
Two new sources of funding are now available for undergraduate research.
FEATURES 7 For tips or info call (781) 736-6397
COMMUNITY SHAKEN: Following her death, members of the community held a vigil in Sommers' memory.
Let your voice be heard! Submit letters to the editor online at www.thejustice.org
SPORTS 13 ARTS SPORTS
OPINION POLICE LOG
News 5 COPYRIGHT 2011 FREE AT BRANDEIS. Email email@example.com for home delivery.
Reinharz in retrospect:
Reinharz, Winnokur and Perlmutter
Reinharz Named Next University President
REBECCA DREILINGER /Justice File Photo
“These are extraordinary times,”
Dalai Lama visits Brandeis
The Dalai Lama and Reinharz
Louis Perlmutter ’56, chairman of the board of trustees, said Wednesday, after receiving a unanimous faculty committee endorsement. ... Students, faculty and staff overwhelmingly endorsed Reinharz’s appointment emphasizing his accessibility and open-style. Reinharz understands the relationship between faculty and students, and has always been open to student ideas, Student Senate President Larry Leonard ’95 said.
An overall ranking of 30 was given to Brandeis, as reported in the Sept. 18 issue of U.S. News & World Report in an article entitled “America’s Best Colleges.” … Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid David Gould said he is glad U.S. News made the decision to assign numbered rankings to more schools in the listing.
February 2, 2009
“Most student groups, when they see the space, are very excited,”
Univ endowment figures released
Alwina Bennett, associate dean of Student Life, concurred. “All of us are frustrated that it wasn’t ready for the opening,” she added, echoing student leaders.
Complex Studies Center Dedicated A new era of scientific research began Saturday with the dedication and official opening of the Benjamin and Mae Volen National Center for Complex systems, speakers at the event said.
“With the dedication of the Volen Center, we have the opportunity to launch a new dimension of sciences at Brandeis,”
October 3, 1995
Brandeis 2000 Report Proposes Major Changes
“Before students and faculty leave for winter break, … meetings will take place. I want to make sure there is as wide a chance for communication as possible,”
Position on Rose clarified
October 21, 2003
At the open forum last Thursday, Reinharz reiterated that the intention was never to sell “all the art” in the Rose’s collection but said that
Heller gets $15 mil for new building
“if and when we need to sell, we have the option of selling.”
A $15 million donation from trsutee emeritus Irving Schneider made in July 2003 will nearly double the size of The Heller School for Social Policy Management, creating much needed space for the expanding school and a new, state-of-the-art facility.
JAMES DWYER/Justice File Photo
Associate Provost Arthur Reis, Jr., said.
October 20, 1998
“The fact that we are given a definite rank is an improvement,”
President Jehuda Reinharz formed the Brandeis 2000 committee last February to address financial problems facing the university, most notably a projected $8 to $10 million budget shortfall by the end of the decade. ... Reinharz said he is aiming to present final recommendations to the board of trustees at their meeting in late January, and he added that community discussions need to conclude by the end of this semester if this goal is to be met.
October 25, 1994
Mandel Center is officially dedicated
Both [Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Peter] French and Reinharz emphasized that the endowment had been seeing large gains before the unforeseeable financial downturn. The endowment had grown from $190 million when Reinharz became president in 1994 to $715 million through many gains and gifts, French said.
February 10, 2009
Fifty years young: A weekend of festivities
DAVID SCHAER/Justice File Photo
JOSH FLAX/Justice FIle Photo
“We did not need to look further, we had the best man here,”
Reinharz, who has served on the Mandel Foundation Board of Trustees since 2005, said in an interview with the Justice, "My interest and my passions are totally in sync with what [the Mandel Foundation] does." He elaborated that he was particularly interested in the foundation's projects on "leadership development, its work in the Jewish world [and] its work in urban renewal."
Members of the Mandel family and Reinharz
U.S. News Ranks Brandeis at 30
Perlmutter, Reinharz and Thier
Reinharz to lead Mandel Foundation
November 2, 2010
September 19, 1995
In a widely anticipated announcement, the board of trustees named Provost and Senior Vice President of Brandeis for Academic Affairs Jehuda Reinharz as seventh president of Brandeis University, making him the first alumnus ever appointed to the post.
April 20, 2010
Reinharz said in the press release. “We cannot control or fix the nation’s economic problems. We can only do what we have been entrusted to do-act responsibly with the best interests of our students.”
The Shapiro Campus Center will officially open Oct. 3 with a gala ribbon-cutting ceremony to inaugurate the new focal point of the Brandeis campus and thank the Shapiro family for their gift to the University of $25 million. The building’s opening has been repeatedly delayed, but the University decided finally on the October opening date in June. …
May 26, 1998
His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, received an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters during his two-day visit to Brandeis on May 8 and 9. Brandeis was the Dalai Lama’s only northeast stop on this visit to the United States.
The Rose Art Museum, which houses a collection of modern and contemporary masterpieces, will close in the summer of 2009 after the Board of Trustees voted unanimously yesterday to do so in the wake of the current financial crisis, according to a campuswide e-mail sent by University President Jehuda Reinharz. …
Administrators defend campus center, students bemoan delays
The Jan. 26 press release stated, “After necessary legal approvals and working with a top auction house, the University will publicly sell the art collection.” The museum’s collection currently comprises 7,180 works.
“Now, go and party!” President Jehuda Reinharz ’72 said, to a robust crowd of students, alumni, board members, faculty and staff at the kick-off picnic this Friday on Chapels Field. Members of the Brandeis community celebrated Brandeis’ 50th anniversary this weekend with events ranging from a postal card dedication to a gala at the Copley Marriott.
January 24, 2006
Shapiros give $25M for science quad
April 27, 1999
Reinharz signs new contract The Board of Trustees approved a new five-year contract for President Jehuda Reinharz to continue in his current position. … Reinharz, who became Brandeis University’s President in 1994, said he is very content remaining at Brandeis for at least another five years.
The University’s largest donors—Carl and Ruth Shapiro—matched their previous record-donation, contributing $25 million toward rebuilding the science center. The $154 million Carl J. Shapiro Science Center, the University's largest capital proposal ever, is slated to break ground at the end of the summer, University President Jehuda Reinharz said.
“I get a lot of satisfaction with what has been happening at Brandeis, and even though the job is very difficult, it also has a lot of rewards,”
said Reinharz. “The Mandel Center is a clear message to everyone that the humanities are important here at Brandeis, that architecture is important at Brandeis, and beauty is important at Brandeis. These are values that the Mandels share with us.”
Number of international firstyears rises The international students were part of a firstyear class that included 910 first-years as well as 60 transfer students, according to an e-mail from Jennifer Abdou, the orientation programs specialist. Last year, 78 international students were part of a first-year class of 754; This year, the number of international students within the entire first-year class has increased by 4 percent. The number of international students is far greater than in any year in the past decade, said Elwell.
October 6, 2009
Search to begin for new president The University Board of Trustees is creating a presidential search committee in light of University President Jehuda Reinharz’s Sept. 24 announcement to resign. … Reinharz told the Justice Sept. 24 that his decision to resign is based on
“the realization that I’ve completed most of the things that I want to complete [at Brandeis]. ... I have an opportunity to do something different. ... I decided this was a good time.”
“Without the study of the humanities, our own humanity is diminished,”
September 1, 2009
Members of the Class of 1952
The Mandel Foundation, founded by Morton Mandel and his brothers, Joseph and Jack, gave the University a grant of $22.5 million to build the Mandel Center. University President Jehuda Reinharz noted that this is the largest grant ever given by the Mandel Foundation and it is among the largest gifts ever given to support the humanities in the United States. …
DESIGN BY BRIAN BLUMENTHAL/the Justice. PHOTO BY ASHER KRELL/the Justice.
March 8, 1994
On Sunday, Brandeis inaugurated Jehuda Reinharz as its seventh president, and the first alumnus and faculty member to assume the school’s highest post.
“Brandeis is an institution close to my heart,”
Rose Art Museum to be closed
September 24, 2002
Reinharz said. “For more than 27 years, it has played a vital role in my life, first as a student then as an alumnus, a faculty member, an academic administrator, and now as its seventh president. I accept the obligations of the presidency as a high honor and privilege. I recognize my responsibility as a steward, called upon to preserve all that is best about Brandeis while helping to prepare our university for the 21st century,” he said.
— Compiled by Alana Abramson, Rebecca Blady, Hillel Buechler, Rebecca Klein, Asher Krell and Tess Raser
Reinharz Inaugurated as Seventh President
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2010
January 27, 2009
SUSANNA CHILNICK/Justice File Photo
To mark the conclusion of Jehuda Reinharz’s presidency, we delved into the Justice archives to sift through some of the key events of his tenure. In this timeline, we present the Reinharz years directly out of the pages of the Justice with excerpts from articles, along with their headlines, preserved in their original forms.
April 11, 1995
RACHEL NEWLANDER/Justice File Photo
The Justice looks back on 16 1/2 years of headlines under the University’s seventh president
Paul Sukijthamapan/Justice File Photo
REBECCA NEY/Justice File Photo
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2010
ASHER KRELL/Justice File Photo
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