Ethics: Jewish Ethics

Rabbi Yosef Blau

Rabbi Yosef Blau has been mashgiach ruchani (spiritual guidance counselor) at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary at Yeshiva University since 1977. He also serves as spiritual guidance counselor for students at Yeshiva College. Rabbi Blau earned a BA in 1959 from Yeshiva College and an MS at Yeshiva’s Belfer Graduate School of Science in 1960. He was ordained at RIETS in 1961. Rabbis Blau is president of the Religious Zionists of America and served as national president of Yavneh, the National Religious Jewish Students’ Association. He is a former national vice president of the National Conference of Yeshiva Principals. An author of many articles on Jewish thought, Rabbi Blau became a member of the Orthodox Forum in 1989. He is a former member of the executive board of the Orthodox Caucus, was a delegate from the Religious Zionists of America to the World Zionist Congress and was elected a member of the Vaad Hapoel of the World Zionist Organization. Sample Titles Preserving the Jewish Character of Israel Challenges facing religious Zionism Halakhic Responses to scientific, economic, and social changes in society Women’s role in Orthodox Judaism The ethical dimension in Judaism Relating to non-Orthodox Jews Living in democratic America: An Orthodox Jewish perspective Moshe and Aharon: Balancing Truth and Peace Religion and Superstition A historical analysis of Orthodoxy in...

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Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander

Rabbi Dr. Kenneth (Kenny) Brander is Vice President for University and Community Life at Yeshiva University.  He concurrently serves as the inaugural David Mitzner Dean of Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future. The CJF shapes, enriches and inspires the contemporary Jewish community by convening the resources of Yeshiva. It does so by infusing the student body with the spirit of leadership and a sense of klal Yisrael. CJF serves to build, cultivate and support communities, rabbinic and lay leaders, and individuals. Furthermore, CJF is creating a global movement that promotes the values of Yeshiva. Rabbi Brander is rabbi emeritus of the Boca Raton Synagogue, founding dean of the Boca Raton Community Kollel and founder of the Weinbaum Yeshiva High School of Broward and Palm Beach counties. During his 14 years of service to that community, he oversaw its explosive growth from 60 families to some 600 families. Rabbi Brander is a 1984 alumnus of Yeshiva College and received his ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 1986. At RIETS, he had the distinction of serving as personal aide to the esteemed Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. He also received special ordination from Machon Puah, a center of medical ethics in Israel, and from former Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu in the field of medical ethics. He received his PhD in general philosophy from Florida Atlantic University. Sample Titles Playing God: Can I Choose my Child? PGD and Genetic Screening – A Torah Perspective My Egg, My Husband, Her Womb, Whose Child? The Ethics of Reproductive Medicine Through the Prism of Jewish Law The Ethics of Reproductive Medicine in Jewish Law: A Torah Perspective End of Life Issues Through the Prism of Halakhah Fertility Procedures The Gift of Life: Donating Organs; A Jewish Perspective Our Health and Well-being: Compassionate and Halakhic Treatment of the Terminally Ill Patient Stem Cell Research – The Definition of Life as seen in Parshat Mishpatim Ethics of War “Is Zionism Diametrically Opposed to Judaism?” Contemporary...

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Rabbi Dr. Richard Hidary

Rabbi Dr. Richard Hidary is an assistant professor of Judaic studies at Yeshiva University, Stern College for Women where he teaches courses in Bible, Second Temple Jewish history, Dead Sea Scrolls, Talmud, Midrash, and Jewish ethics. He received his PhD from NYU where he was awarded a McCracken Fellowship and was also a graduate fellow in Jewish Law and Interdisciplinary Studies at Cardozo Law School. His forthcoming book, Dispute for the Sake of Heaven: Legal Pluralism in the Talmud, has been published in the Brown Judaic Studies series. He has articles appearing in AJS Review and Dine Israel and he has written entries for Encyclopedia Judaica and Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception. He is also a rabbinics reviewer for The Lost Bible Project: The Library of Israel in Late Antiquity to be published by JPS and a contributor to the forthcoming New Oxford Annotated Translation of the Mishnah. Rabbi Hidary is developing a teachers guides for teaching Tanakh in Yeshiva High Schools. He is also an assistant rabbi at Sephardic Synagogue in Brooklyn and director of Merkaz Moreshet Yisrael. Sample Titles A History of the Afterlife in Jewish Thought 3 Conceptions of Sin, 3 Paths fo Atonement Second Temple Sectarianism and the Rabbis: How the Dead Sea Scrolls Shed Light on the Talmud Law and Literature in the Talmud Bavli: The Halakhah and Aggadah of Tsedaka Halakhic Pluralism vs. Communal Unity: How the Talmud Deals with...

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President Emeritus Richard M. Joel

Richard M. Joel became Yeshiva University’s fourth president on September 21, 2003, and was named Bravmann Family University Professor in April 2010. Over the past 10 years, Joel has built upon the illustrious tradition of this storied institution by placing a renewed emphasis on the student experience, academic excellence, Torah scholarship and communal involvement. With these advancements, and guided by the distinctive belief in education as a process of “ennobling and enabling” young women and men to build whole and meaningful lives, Yeshiva has emerged as North America’s Torah-informed university. Further, with his guidance, Yeshiva University has expanded its focus far beyond the walls of the university, whether through professional and rabbinic placement globally or service learning missions worldwide. With his characteristic charm and wit, Joel can often be spotted around Yeshiva’s campuses engaging with students and learning about them; one of his great pleasures at Yeshiva is in serving on its faculty and teaching his weekly course. Following his lead, the university has further developed a culture of warmth. Joel is renowned as a charismatic leader and a captivating orator, and has traveled globally to dialogue with audiences on values-driven education, communal leadership, and Jewish identity. Just as Yeshiva University has embraced its role as the flagship institution of American Modern Orthodoxy, Joel has in many ways become more than a university president but a true spokesperson for the Jewish people. Before taking the helm at Yeshiva, President Joel earned his reputation as a dynamic force with young people as president and international director of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. There, he facilitated an extraordinary renaissance of Jewish life on campuses through building  numerous new facilities, partnering in the creation of Birthright Israel, and using  engagement and empowerment models to reach Jewish youth. Growing up in Bronx, NY, Joel earned  his B.A. and J.D. from New York University where he was a Root-Tilden Scholar; he has received honorary doctorates from Boston Hebrew College and Gratz College. He also served as assistant...

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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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Mrs. CB Neugroschl

Mrs. Chaya Batya (CB) Neugroschl serves as the Head of School at the Samuel H. Wang Yeshiva University High School for Girls (Central). She is an educator with over twenty years of pedagogic, curricular, and administrative experience in both Judaic and General Studies. Before coming to YUHSG, Mrs. Neugroschl served as Assistant Principal and Co-Director of General Studies at SAR High School, where she introduced innovative curricular initiatives and special programming. Previously, Mrs. Neugroschl was the Director of Admissions at Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls, where she also taught Jewish History and Philosophy. Mrs. Neugroschl studied for two years at Michlala College for Women in Israel and earned her B.A. at Stern College for Women in 1993. She continued her studies at Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, with a focus on History of Halakha and Medieval Ashkenaz. She received her M.A. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University in 1998. Her Master’s thesis was entitled “The Nexus of Law and Spirituality in Maimonides’ Laws of Charity.” Sample Titles Kabbalat Hatorah as Per Moshe Rabbeinu, Rabbi Akiva and Rav Chiya Simcha Shel Mitzvah: An Ethos of Inclusion Rav Kook: A Religious Zionism of Inclusion Sukkat Shalom: Paradigms for Peace Rabbi Akiva: Master Teacher and Master Student Yom Kippur: When Less is More Yafta Elokim l’Yafet – Vayishkon B’Ohalei Shem: Can we Beautify Judaism with Greek Culture? The Historical Context of Chanukah and the Enemy Within Zman Simchateinu: Understanding the Happiness of Sukkot The Role of Memory in Jewish Thought and Jewish History The Role of Memory in Jewish Law and Jewish History Religious Zionism – A Difficult...

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Dr. David Shatz

Dr. Shatz is University Professor of Philosophy, Ethics, and Religious Thought at Yeshiva University, editor of The Torah u-Madda Journal, and editor of the series MeOtzar HoRav: Selected Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, which has brought into print many of the previously unpublished manuscripts of The Rav, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik zt”l. After graduating as valedictorian of his class at Yeshiva University, Prof. Shatz was ordained at  the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and then earned his Ph.D with distinction in general philosophy at Columbia University. He has edited, co-edited, or authored fifteen books and has published approximately eighty articles and reviews, dealing with both general and Jewish philosophy. His publications in general philosophy focus on the theory of knowledge, free will, ethics, and the philosophy of religion, while his writings in Jewish philosophy focus on Jewish ethics, Maimonides, Torah and science, Judaism’s view of other religions, and twentieth-century rabbinic figures. Prof. Shatz has appeared many times on a PBS television series featuring distinguished scientists, theologians, and philosophers. He was named a winner in the John Templeton Foundation Course Competition in Science and Religion and has been chosen numerous times as outstanding professor by the senior class of Stern College for Women. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Tradition and the Steering Committee of the Orthodox Forum. In recognition of his achievements as a scholar and teacher, he was awarded the Presidential Medallion at Yeshiva University, the first member of the various university faculties to receive this highest honor. A book concerning his life and thought will appear in The Library of Contemporary Jewish Philosophers, a series that the  publisher, Brill, states “showcases outstanding Jewish thinkers who have made lasting contributions to constructive Jewish philosophy in the second half of the twentieth century.” Sample Titles The Jew in the Modern World: Reflections of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik zt”l Suffering in This World: The Approach of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik zt”l Faith, Fate and Folly: Astrology,...

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Rabbi Ari Sytner

Rabbi Ari Sytner is Director of Community Initiatives at Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future where he works to help strengthen communities nationwide. Training community leaders, rabbis, and rabbinic students in the art of Jewish leadership, Rabbi Sytner uses his talents and passions to reach and inspire the full spectrum of the Jewish people. Rabbi Sytner is originally from Monsey, NY. A student of Rabbi Berel Wein, he has served on the pulpit for 13 years in out of town communities, 5 years in Des Moines, Iowa and 8 years in Charleston, South Carolina. Rabbi Sytner studied Psychology for his undergraduate degree, Education for his Masters, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Social Work. Sample Titles My Kidney Donation: A Personal Journey & Halachik Analysis Do Jews Believe in Karma? Achieving Stress-Free Living Angels & Demons Heaven and Hell: What do we Really believe? Lose Yourself in the Music: Why People get Entranced by Song Does Mazel Dictate our Destiny? Kaballah 101: What to Believe? Are Miracles Real? How Can we Tell? Divine Intervention: Can we Feel G-d in our Lives? Moses on the Corporate Ladder: Leadership Strategies from the Torah 3 Jews 4 Opinions: Why we Don’t See Eye to Eye Women in the Talmud Jewish Dilemmas in Bioethics Organ Donation Fertility & Reproductive Technologies in Halachah Stem Cell Research Hospice and End of Life Issues The Right to Die: DNR’s & Autonomy in Medicine Coping with Tragedy: A Jewish Perspective David’s Story: A Paraplegic’s Struggle to Live A Close-up Look at the Marriage of Rabbi Akiva Dating: Obstacles, Realities and Success Jewish Dating Practices: Past, Present & Future Successful Parenting for Raising Awesome Kids Honoring Parents in the Good Times & the Bad Making Marriage Great (And Painless) Dysfunctional Families in the Torah Religious Dilemmas in the Holocaust The False Messiah Phenomenon: A Look at Shabtai Zvi Why is Israel Always in the Spotlight? Esther’s Secret: A Fresh Analysis of Purim Secrets of the Pesach Seder...

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