Yeshiva U makes it official: Ari Berman will be next president
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Yeshiva U makes it official: Ari Berman will be next president

Ari Berman (Screenshot from YouTube)

Ari Berman (Screenshot from YouTube)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Yeshiva University’s board of trustees has officially selected Rabbi Ari Berman as the school’s next president.

Berman, whose appointment was announced Wednesday, will assume the position in July, according to a news release.

As JTA first reported in September, Berman had emerged as the top candidate in the search to succeed Richard Joel, who announced in September 2015 that he was stepping down in 2018 as president of the flagship institution of modern Orthodoxy.

“Rabbi Berman is a dynamic and inspirational leader, scholar and educator,” said Y.U. Chairman Moshael Straus, who led the selection committee, in the news release. “He possesses a deep, lifelong commitment to our mission and is a superb choice to lead Yeshiva University forward with excellence.”

Berman, a product of both Y.U.’s college and its affiliated rabbinical seminary, served for 14 years as a rabbi at The Jewish Center, a prominent modern Orthodox congregation on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, until immigrating to Israel in 2008. He taught Talmud at Y.U. beginning in 1998.

Berman was promoted from assistant rabbi to lead The Jewish Center in 2000. The congregation, which has been home to many Y.U. donors and lay leaders, is something of a leadership farm team for the school. A previous rabbi of the synagogue, Norman Lamm, left to become Y.U. president and head of yeshiva in 1976. Another, Rabbi J.J. Schachter, is now a professor at Y.U. and a senior scholar at its Center for the Jewish Future.

During his time in Israel, Berman earned a doctorate in Jewish thought at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He now serves as head of the Hechal Shlomo Jewish Heritage Center in Jerusalem. He is also an instructor at Herzog College, a teachers’ college in the West Bank settlement of Alon Shvut, outside Jerusalem.

“I am deeply humbled to follow in the path of the illustrious Jewish leaders who preceded me and am excited to work with each member of the Y.U. family to build on our past, envision new directions for our future and maximize the enormous potential of our beloved institution,” Berman said in the news release.