Yeshiva University pegs Ari Berman as its next president

Andrew Silow-Carroll, JTA

A  search committee has recommended Rabbi Ari Berman as the next president of Yeshiva University.

In an email sent Tuesday to members of the Y.U. community, the chairman of its board of trustees, Moshael J. Straus, said that the search committee is “advancing the candidacy” of Berman to succeed Richard Joel.

“Over the coming weeks, Dr. Berman will meet with trustees, faculty and other key university stakeholders and acquaint himself with the University, after which it is anticipated his nomination will be forwarded to the Board of Trustees,” Straus wrote.

As JTA first reported Monday, Berman  had emerged as the  top candidate in a search that began with Joel’s announcement last September that he was stepping down in 2018 as president of the flagship institution of modern Orthodoxy.


A product of both Y.U.’s college and its affiliated rabbinical seminary, Berman 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 rosh hamerkaz, or head of the center, at Hechal Shlomo, The 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.