In an email to the Yeshiva University community today, Richard Joel announced that he would be departing the school in 2018, once his third term as president concludes.
Joel has served in the university’s top position since 2003, prior to which he spent 14 years as the president and international director of Hillel International. At the time, Joel’s selection was controversial due to the fact that he would be Yeshiva University’s first president to lack rabbinical ordination.
Joel, 65, cited his age as one of the factors behind his decision, and directed the university’s chairman to begin a search for his replacement. It will be a tough assignment, as whoever is chosen will have to contend not only with steering the financially beleaguered institution, but with bridging a Modern Orthodoxy increasingly divided among its left and right wings.
Related: Teachable Moment