t was a time for emergency prayer. Rabbis at Yeshiva University were horrified at the idea that a non-rabbi was set to take over the presidency of a school that had been led by ordained clergy for more than a century. Joining many students at the college, they gathered on a brisk December day in 2002 to engage in a chant-and-response of Psalms, hoping to stave off disaster for their beloved school’s future.
What they couldn’t have known when that prayer session took place more than a decade ago was that the real danger in Yeshiva’s new leadership was not to the school’s spiritual welfare but to its very existence. Over the years to come, the new leadership at Yeshiva would ramp up risk in the school’s investment portfolio, vastly increase spending, and do little to insure against a rainy day.