Letter from the Editors: Issue No. 3

Editors-In-Chief

By: Elazar Krausz and Rocky Pincus, Editors-in-Chief

It’s clear that our lives right now are very different than they have ever been. With the spread of COVID-19 essentially bringing the entire country to a halt, all of our lives have been rattled, our routines disrupted, and our fortitude tested. But, as we resume classes online and settle down into new routines at home, one thing becomes clear: life goes on.

In the chaos of a worldwide pandemic, we can seek solace in the fact that we still have a capacity for creative expression. And with the multitude of emotions that can come up in times of uncertainty, social distancing, and quarantine, that creative expression grows only more valuable.

In this stressful time, take a few moments to peruse this newest issue, and remember that the creative spirit is still strong at Yeshiva University, whether we’re all located on campus or spread throughout the world.

In this issue, we’ve added two new sections we haven’t seen before. Take a look at short films from Jeremy Koffsky and our film editor Tamar Ciment, and design pieces from Baruch-Lev Kelman and Natan Pittinsky. And be sure to check out the rest of the issue, where we feature great fine art, photography, music, performing arts, poetry, and fiction from Yeshiva University students.

Along with creative pieces, we’ve included some critical essays in various sections. Check out Sarit Perl’s analysis of early American theater, Yosef Rosenfield’s assessment of irony and music in the 2014 film The Interview, and CJ Glicksman’s essays on antisemitism and religion in music.

We hope this issue provides a much-needed reprieve from the ever-changing situation around us. Stay safe, stay healthy, and keep making art.

< Issue No. 3

EVENT: Yosef Rosenfield’s Back-to-School Concert

Elazar Krausz

By: Elazar Krausz, Editor-In-Chief

Much of what music majors at Yeshiva College do is study music academically, taking music history and music theory courses to deepen their understanding of music’s intricate workings. But arguably the more exciting side of YC’s music program is the various opportunities to perform, which include, among other offerings, the chamber ensemble course.

The word ‘ensemble’ implies having a group of musicians performing music together, but when Yosef Rosenfield, a YC music major and music editor for YUJA, found himself the sole student in the chamber ensemble course, he wouldn’t let a small linguistic detail get in his way. Rosenfield decided to perform solo, and this coming Thursday, January 23, marks his second solo show at YU.

In a departure from his first solo show, last semester’s tribute to the works of Maroon 5 and Panic! at the Disco, Rosenfield will perform a concert of original music, under a stage name he’s carried for years, Joe Rosenbran. He’s titled the show “This Is Satire,” a reference to the satirical and cynical elements that mark his songwriting. The songs Rosenfield will perform, he says, “[cover] a wide range of topics such as abuse of power, betrayal, systemic evil, and loss.” He’s even produced original artwork to serve as the backdrop for the show.

For Rosenfield, performing in public can be nerve-racking,  but it always pays off in the end. “Post-concert highs are beyond amazing,” he says, “there’s nothing I enjoy more than others telling me they love my songs and my artistry.”

Catch “This Is Satire” at the Schottenstein Theater (560 W 185th St.) on Thursday, January 23, 2020, at 8:00pm. Admission is free.

Letter from the Editors: Issue No. 2 – “Here”

Editors-In-Chief

By: Elazar Krausz and Rocky Pincus, Editors-in-Chief

In late September, just after the now-famous LGBTQ march that took place on the Wilf Campus, a friend of ours approached us with an idea. “As a gay student at YU,” he said, “I’ve never felt more unsafe on my own campus.” The publicity of the march had set off a rumble of discourse across the Yeshiva University community. Many people were supportive, but others voiced their political and religious opinions opposing LGBTQ rights on campus. Those people assumed that they were doing only that; expressing a detached political or religious opinion. But our friend experienced what felt like a barrage of personal attacks, an overwhelming message from those around him who did not know he was gay: “you do not belong here.” 

“We need to do something about this,” our friend told us. “People need to know that when they talk about LGBTQ people, they are talking about their classmates, their roommates, and their friends. They need to know that we are here.”

That is the point of this issue. To let the YU community know that LGBTQ students are here, in every class and every shiur. To share their stories, because were they to get up in public and do so, they could face immeasurable consequences. The arts are a medium for empathy. That is our goal. Not to make political or religious or ideological statements, but to share, openly and honestly, the experiences of LGBTQ students at YU, in the hopes that the YU community will recognize the humanity in these stories.

We reached out to friends within YU’s LGBTQ community, and, with their help, were able to compile an entire issue featuring only the art and writing of LGBTQ students and alumni. Braided throughout the issue are quotes taken from online interviews we conducted, asking students about their experiences, from growing up, to coming out to themselves, to coming out to their family and friends. Most of our contributors are not out publicly, so we chose to keep our entire issue anonymous. Unfortunately, we have no way of sharing the stories of those who are still completely closeted. We can only hope that they see this and can find some inspiration, some comfort, in it.

A lot of dedication went into the compilation of this issue, and though we cannot thank them by name, we’d like to express our gratitude to all the members of YU’s LGBTQ community to helped make this issue happen. This is your project, these are your stories, and we feel lucky to have been able to help facilitate it.

To the reader: Go into this with an open mind. These are the stories of LGBTQ students, but they are also just the stories of everyday people. These are stories about growing up and finding your place, and about the all-too-familiar feeling of realizing you may not know where that place is. We hope, with continued efforts, that for all of us, that place can be right here.

Free resources are available for LGBTQ people at YU and otherwise:

The Trevor Project Hotline – 1-866-488-7386
– National Suicide Hotline – 1-800-273-8255
– JQY Warmline – 1-551-579-4673

If you want to reach out to current YU students to get involved on campus or for support, email the YU Pride Alliance at yupridealliance@gmail.com.

< Issue No. 2

Letter from the Editors: Issue No. 1

Editors-In-Chief

By: Elazar Krausz and Rocky Pincus, Editors-in-Chief

Today we released the first ever issue of Yeshiva University Journal of the Arts, a new iteration under a new name, following in the spirit of YU’s Journal of Fine Arts before us, and seeking inspiration from the arts journals and literary magazines YU students have produced over many years.

This issue marks a pivotal change in the way students at YU will be able to express themselves and their creative talents. As the first edition of a YU arts journal to be published digitally, we were able to include works from students who would have found trouble sharing their work in print. Our music section features “Prove Myself Wrong,” an original song by Yosef Rosenfield. For the first time, the journal can include not only text and images, but audio and video as well. In our performing arts section, we’ve included Shayna Herszage’s “Yours Always,” a full-length play that would have taken up the entirety of a printed journal. Our digital format has no length restrictions, and can showcase student work that just wouldn’t fit into a print publication.

We’ve chosen Lily Betesh’s oil painting, “Bloom” as our featured artwork for the issue. Though we’re publishing in the fall, “Bloom” reminds us of spring and new beginnings. We’re excited to be part of a new beginning for the journal, and we hope that we can help foster a newfound appreciation for the arts on campus.

Thank you to our faculty advisor, Professor Joy Ladin, to our editorial board, and to all of the students who submitted their works to the journal. Our digital format will allow us to publish more frequently and feature the works of more students, so please continue to submit.

We’re excited for the future of this journal, and for the future of the arts at YU. This is just the beginning.

< Issue No. 1