Shabtai (society)

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Shabtai (formerly known as Eliezer) is a global Jewish leadership society whose membership consists of Yale University students, alumni, and current and former faculty.[1] Founded in 1996 by then-graduate-students Oliver Benjamin Karp, Noah Feldman, Cory Booker, and Michael Alexander and Rabbi Shmully Hecht, the society aims to attract Jewish and non-Jewish leaders on Yale's campus in order to create a dialogue between various branches of Judaism and between the secular and religious worlds in an intellectual salon setting.[2] The society's motto was "Uniquely Jewish, uniquely Yale."[3] It boasts a diverse membership of Yale students, alumni, and current and former faculty, including former Israeli ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, New York Times critic-at-large Edward Rothstein, and now-Senator Booker.

Guests, speakers, and scholars in residence at Shabtai (both affiliated and unaffiliated with Yale) have included Aharon Barak, Ehud Barak, Richard Goldstone, Guido Calabresi, Alan Dershowitz, David Brooks, Amy Chua, Stephen L. Carter, Jay Winter, Thomas B. Griffith, Jerry Springer, Will Eisner, Jack Balkin, Donna Dubinsky, Governor Dannel Malloy, Senator Joe Lieberman, Elizabeth Wurtzel, Reuben Greenberg, Larry Coben, David Hazony, Eric Alterman, Charles Grodin, Elliott Gould, Leslie Epstein, Dovid Katz, Joshua Safran, Peter Salovey, Norman Finkelstein, Philip Weiss, Jeremy Ben-Ami, and the late Zvi Kolitz and Sherwin Nuland.[4] The organization has also created a video archive of interviews with prominent Jewish alumni of Yale, including many of the guests listed above as well as Stephen A. Schwarzman and Henry Winkler, among others.

John C. Anderson House (1882)

In 2014, a gift by Benny Shabtai and family began the endowment process and facilitated the purchase of The Anderson Mansion. The trustees of the society voted to change its name permanently to Shabtai. The Anderson Mansion was built in 1882 by John C. Anderson, the son of a wealthy New Yorker. It is located in the Orange Street Historic District.[1]


  1. ^ a b "1882 Mansion Gets New Lease On Life". New Haven Independent. 1 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Dan A. Oren, Joining the Club: A History of Jews and Yale, second edition. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2001.
  3. ^ Lipman, Steve; The Jewish Week (December 21, 2006). "Opening the Ivy Doors". Campus Watch. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Pitluk, Adam (March 26, 2011). "Yale's Secret Society That's Hiding in Plain Sight". Time Magazine. Retrieved 18 October 2014.