Jewish Law: Beit Din

Mr. Andrew Lauer

Andrew “Avi” Lauer serves as Yeshiva University’s vice president for legal affairs, secretary and general counsel. In this capacity, Mr. Lauer is responsible for all legal matters pertaining to Yeshiva and its affiliates within the United States and abroad. Mr. Lauer also serves as counsel to President Richard Joel. Prior to his appointment at Yeshiva, Mr. Lauer was a partner at the international law firm of Thelen Reid Brown Raysman and Steiner LLP, where he maintained a large and diverse practice, while also serving as an active member of Thelen’s labor and employment law department. Mr. Lauer served as relationship partner to numerous clients in relation to various areas of legal specialty, including corporate, real estate, litigation, technology, outsourcing, bankruptcy, patent and trademark, and he often functioned as outside general counsel to many companies. Mr. Lauer also established and maintained an extensive Israel practice at Thelen and he worked with many Israeli owned and/or affiliated companies and regularly traveled to Israel to meet with his Israeli clients and contacts. Mr. Lauer also has prior professional experience as senior employment counsel in the office of general counsel of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting (PwC Consulting), where he was responsible for all employment law related matters affecting the firm and its more than 30,000 employees. In addition, he was responsible for all in-house employment law related matters pertaining to the planned IPO and the ultimate sale of PwC Consulting to IBM. Before joining PricewaterhouseCoopers, he served as assistant general counsel of Deloitte & Touche USA, where he was employment counsel to both Deloitte & Touche LLP and Deloitte Consulting L.P. Mr. Lauer was also an assistant district attorney in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, New York, where he conducted numerous trials and investigations and was assigned to several bureaus, including the elite Trial Cadre unit of the Homicide Bureau. Mr. Lauer is involved in numerous community causes and serves and/or has served on the Executive Board of several charitable organizations in...

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Rabbi Daniel Rapp

Rabbi Daniel Rapp teaches at the Irving I. Stone Beit Midrash Program and Mazer Yeshiva Program at Yeshiva University, and is currently the Rabbi of the East Denver Orthodox Synagogue. Rabbi Rapp received his BA, cum laude, from Yeshiva College and his juris doctor from Columbia University School of Law, where he was twice named a Harlen Fisk Stone scholar for academic excellence and was articles editor of the Columbia Business Law Review. In addition, he spent two and a half years studying at Yeshivat Kerem B’yavneh in Israel and was ordained at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, receiving Yadin Yadin semikha. Rabbi Rapp is a dayan (judge) at the Beth Din of America. He has lectured on a wide range of topics, with a focus on the interface between halakha and the modern world. Sample Titles The 9-11 Agunah Cases The Counterfeiters: Can you help the Nazis to Save your Life? Magic and the Supernatural The Messiah in Judaism The Third Temple in Jerusalem Introduction to the Messianic Age: The Battle Between Gog u-Magog The 13 Principles of Faith in Judaism Physician Assisted Suicide in Jewish Law Is Thanksgiving Kosher: The Halakhic Debate Parameters of Competition in Jewish Law Is there a Biblical Commandment of...

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Rabbi Yona Reiss

Rabbi Yona Reiss, a noted Torah scholar, attorney and jurist, is the Av Beth Din of the Chicago Rabbinical Council and a Rosh Yeshiva at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary at Yeshiva University (RIETS). He previously served as the Max and Marion Grill Dean of RIETS. Rabbi Reiss is a summa cum laude graduate of Yeshiva College and went on to receive his law degree from Yale Law School, where he was a senior editor of the Law Journal. He received semikhah (rabbinic ordination) from RIETS, where he also earned the distinction of Yadin Yadin. Rabbi Reiss served as director of the Beth Din of America from 1998 to 2008. In his directorship of the Beth Din, Rabbi Reiss worked to resolve cases of agunot and popularized the use of the Rabbinical Council of America pre-nuptial agreement as a protection against future agunah problems. From 1992 to 1998, Rabbi Reiss was an associate at the international law firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in Manhattan. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association, a certified mediator for the City of New York court system and a member of the Family and Divorce Mediation Council for New York. Rabbi Reiss serves on the editorial board of Tradition magazine. A frequent writer on a variety of topics relating to both Jewish and secular law, he has published widely in Jewish publications, as well as in the Wall Street Journal and New York Law Journal. Sample Titles Should a Good Jewish Boy/Girl be a Lawyer? Jew vs. Jew in Secular Courts Teshuva as Liberation: The Joy of Being Only Human The Power and Limitations of Jewish Justice Litigating Outside of Beis Din The Yamim Noraim: A Wake Up Call for Teshuva Contemporary Aspects of the...

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Rabbi Mordechai Willig

Rabbi Mordechai Willig is Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Dr. Sol Roth Professor of Talmud and Contemporary Halachah. He has been a rosh yeshiva at the Yeshiva Program/Mazer School of Talmudic Studies since 1973 and a rosh kollel at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. Rabbi Willig has served as spiritual leader of the Young Israel of Riverdale in the Bronx, N.Y., since 1974. He is the author of Am Mordechai, which came out in two volumes (1992 on brachot and 2005 on Shabbat), and has authored many articles in Torah scholarship journals. Rabbi Willig is the deputy av beis din of the Beth Din of America. He has been an outspoken advocate of the halachic prenuptual agreement as a preventative measure against the creation of agunot. Rabbi Willig received a BA in mathematics from Yeshiva College in 1968 and an MS in Jewish history in 1971 from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. He received semikha (rabbinic ordination) that same year at RIETS. Sample Titles Peru U’revu – How Many Children and When In G-d We Trust? Balancing Work & Other Mitzvos Marriage and Machlokes: Middos, Parents/In-Laws and Divorce Are We Really Willing To Change? Practical Suggestions for Feeling Yom Hadin Survival Guide to Dating Practical Applications of Tznius: At Home, Work, Shul, and in the Street Gambling in Halacha Hellenism Revisited: Outside Influences on Our Lives Dress Down Shabbos? Laws Relating to Female/Male Patients (negiah, yichud, chattzitza for mikvah etc.) Pursuit of Happiness Drinking: Purim and Beyond Helenism Today: Secular Values vs. Torah Values Teshuva and Tefillah: Two Paths to Hashem Sefira: Halacha and Hashkafa The Weapons of Eisav in the Hands of Yishmael; The Reaction to Twin Tragedies Eis Tsara, Emunah, and 9-11-2001 Shavuos: Preparing for Kabolas HaTorah Should Women Light Chanukah Candles? Simcha on Rosh Hashana Yomim Noraim /...

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Rabbi Michoel Zylberman

Rabbi Michoel Zylberman serves on the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary faculty as Assistant Bochein, coordinator of the Presidential Bekius Program, and assistant to the director of the undergraduate Masmidim Honors Program at Yeshiva University. He also functions as Assistant Director/Gittin Coordinator of the Beth Din of America and Geirut Coordinator of the Rabbinical Council of America and the Beth Din of America. Rabbi Zylberman studied for two years in Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh in Israel, received his BA from Yeshiva College, and holds Yoreh Yoreh and Yadin Yadin semicha from RIETS. He was a member of the Wexner Kollel Elyon and holds an MA from the Bernard Revel Graduate School in Medieval Jewish history. In addition to having published numerous articles, he is the author of the recently published sefer (YU Press), Tov Lev on Masechet Pesachim with an appended Kuntreis Da’at Yehudit on the laws of Gittin and Gerut. Sample Titles The Acceptance of Mitzvot as a Prerequisite for Conversion — Historical and Halakhic Reflections Gerut in the United States—Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow The Kashrut of Commercially Sold Milk Lawyers and Litigants, Judges and Juries: Secular Courts in Halacha Halachic Methods for Terminating a Marriage in Cases of Recalcitrance Neckties, Graduation Gowns, and Thanksgiving: Following in the Ways of the Nations Eiruvin in Big Cities: History and Halacha From Sinai to Shushan: Purim and the Oral Law When to Tell and When to Quell: Confidentiality and...

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