Straus Scholars

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Straus Scholars


Benjamin Atwood
Straus Scholar

Benjamin Atwood recently completed two years of study at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Alon Shvut, Gush Etzion. He lives in Teaneck, New Jersey, and graduated from Frisch High School. While at Frisch High School, Benjamin volunteered as editor-in-chief of Frisch’s weekly Torah publication and continued to serve as an alumni editor after graduating. Benjamin was also selected as a Tikvah Scholar, during which time he participated in a series of lectures on Jewish thought, and was also a Hebrew and Judaic studies teacher at the Jewish Youth Encounter Program. Benjamin published original research in Frisch’s Bible Scholarship Journal and was the Har Etzion representative for the Religious-Zionist slate in the World Zionist Congress election. In addition to his talmud Torah and Jewish studies pursuits, Benjamin served as co-captain of his high school debate team, was co-founder of Frisch’s acapella group, served as head gabbai and ran track.


Jonathan Fenster
Straus Scholar

Jonathan Fenster recently completed two years of study at Yeshivat Shaalvim in Nof Ayalon, Israel. He lives in Lawrence, NY, and graduated from DRS Yeshiva High School for Boys. While at DRS Yeshiva High School for Boys, Jonathan was a member of the debate team and captain of the football team. He was also awarded the school’s DRS 2013 Torah Growth Award and the 2013 AP Scholar Award. Jonathan enjoys volunteering and has dedicated his time volunteering for Chai Lifeline, as well as participating in the Hurricane Sandy Relief Committee. Jonathan also served as Minyan Director at the Young Israel Lawrence-Cedarhurst.  For his achievements, Jonathan has been awarded the Young Israel Lawrence-Cederhurst Teen and College Minyan Award and the 2014 Certificate of Merit from the Nassau County Executive.


Eliott Dosetareh
Straus Scholar

Eliott Dosetareh was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He came to YU directly after studying for one year abroad in Israel at Yeshiva Sha’arei Mevaseret Tzion. He attended Jewish day school his entire life, and graduated from the Atlanta Jewish Academy (AJA) high school as a part of the Class of 2015. Throughout his high school career, he found his passions in various fields of interest--ranging from Israel advocacy and student government to volunteer work and self-driven projects. Eliott served as president of the Israel Advocacy club in his high school. He was also on Student Government in his junior year. Developing a particular interest by working with the Friendship Circle early on, Eliott has gone on to work in special needs sleep-away summer camps previous three summers, including work at both Camp Living Wonders (NC) and Camp Kaylie (NY). During his sophomore year, Eliott spearheaded and oversaw a project to bring a Better World Books donation drop-box to AJA, which saw the donation of over 2,000 books that went directly towards assisting Global Literacy partners, namely, Books for Africa, in the effort to spread the importance of literacy awareness in school, the local community, and the broader world. At the end of his junior year, Eliott was the student-recipient of the University of Pennsylvania Book Award. Outside of the classroom, Eliott continued his passion for Torah reading, serving as a Hebrew and Bar-Mitzvah tutor in his community and also enjoyed playing on the Varsity basketball team from his freshman to senior year. As a freshman at YU, Eliott is currently deciding upon a major, but is considering study in Psychology and Biology and perhaps a minor in the Humanities.



The Straus Scholars Program Overview

The Straus Scholars Program seeks to identify and attract exceptionally gifted undergraduate men who demonstrate high academic achievement, leadership potential, and commitment to studying the great works of the Jewish and
Western traditions.

Straus Scholars will undertake a course of study that includes specially designed, unique interdisciplinary courses. Additionally, Straus Scholars will fully participate in supplementary programs and activities offered by the Straus Center, and have the opportunity for small group sessions with visiting dignitaries and scholars.

Scholars will receive tuition support in the form of an annual scholarship up to $25,000, renewable for up to three years on campus in New York. Straus Scholars will be chosen on a competitive basis. The Straus Center will consider high school and post-high school Israel records, letters of recommendation and proof of deep intellectual engagement with Western and Jewish thought.

Who Should Apply

Applicants who:

  • are engaged in post-high school study in Israel
  • have exhibited excellence in talmud Torah and Jewish studies
  • demonstrate a commitment to Yeshiva University’s philosophy
    of Torah Umadda
  • exhibit leadership potential through extracurricular activities
    and community involvement
  • will be on the New York campus in academic year 2018–2019


How to Apply

  • The application requires an essay and two letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts on file with the admissions office will also be reviewed


Application for Fall 2018

2018-2019 Brochure