Jewish Law: Women and Judaism

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 Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff

Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff of Yeshiva University’s Caroline and Joseph S. Gruss Institute in Jerusalem, is a noted scholar, author and teacher. Born in New York City in 1937, Rabbi Rakeffet moved with his family to Israel in 1969, following seven years as spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Ephraim and Maplewood Jewish Center in New Jersey. Rabbi Rakeffet has written many entries for Encyclopedia Judaica, including the one on the Rav, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. His two-volume “The Rav: The World of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik” was published in 1999 by KTAV Publishing House. Most recently, Rabbi Rakeffet’s scholarly memoir, “From Washington Avenue to Washington Street”, was published in 2011 by the OU Press in conjunction with Gefen Publishing House. Rabbi Rakeffet is also the author of “Bernard Revel: Builder of American Jewish Orthodoxy,” a biography of Yeshiva’s first president published by the Jewish Publication Society; and “The Silver Era: Rabbi Eliezer Silver and His Generation,” about the life and times of Rabbi Eliezer Silver (1881-1968) and published by Feldheim. Both these works have gone through three editions. In 1997, he published two volumes of “Rakafot Aharon,” a collection of published scholarship in the fields of halakha and Jewish history. The Yeshiva College Alumni Association awarded its annual Bernard Revel Memorial Award in Religion and Religious Education to Rabbi Rakeffet in 1975, the first time the award ceremony took place in Israel. He has taught at Jerusalem’s Torah College for Men, Machon Gold, Michlalah (the Jerusalem College for Women) and Midreshet Moriah, an advanced Torah study program for women....

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Rabbi Michael Taubes

Rabbi Michael Taubes is Rosh Yeshiva at RIETS, and has served as Head of School at the Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy – Yeshiva University High School for Boys, as well as a past member of the rabbinic faculty of Yeshiva College. He is also the spiritual leader of Congregation Zichron Mordechai in Teaneck, New Jersey, delivering regular Shiurim and lectures both there and at the Beis Medrash of Bergen County, housed in Teaneck’s Congregation Bnai Yeshurun. His classes are well known for their breadth of sources and clarity of presentation. Rabbi Taubes has been involved in formal and informal Jewish education for more than thirty years, serving both in the classroom and in various administrative posts. An alumnus of Yeshivat Har Etzion (“Gush”) in Israel where he was a student of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, zt’l, Rabbi Taubes attended Yeshiva College and was honored upon graduation in 1980 with an award for excellence in Talmud. He subsequently studied in the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary for several years in the Shiur of the revered Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, zt’l, and from where he received his ordination. He also earned a Master’s Degree in Jewish Education from Yeshiva University’s Ferkauf Graduate School and then spent several years learning in Yeshiva’s Marcos and Adinah Katz Kollel, headed by Rabbi Hershel Schachter, shlita, with whom he continues to maintain a close relationship. Recognizing the need to spread Torah to people outside the sphere of influence of the yeshiva classroom and the Beis Medrash, Rabbi Taubes helped found The Jewish Learning Experience of Bergen County, a flourishing adult outreach institution, which he directed for many years and with which he remains affiliated. Rabbi Taubes is the author of The Practical Torah, a collection of articles on topics in Halachah based on the weekly Parshah, as well as numerous essays on an array of Torah subjects appearing in many Jewish publications. He also worked for ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications as a writer and editor for the English translation...

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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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