The Jewish Sacred Aging audio podcast returns to a weekly schedule today with the launch of this interview with Rabbi Elliott Dorff, Rector, Sol & Anne Dorff Distinguished Service Professor in Philosophy, at American Jewish University. Rabbi Address chatted with Rabbi Dorff while both were presenting at a Jewish bioethics conference in Phoenix, AZ, in February.
About the Guest
Rabbi Dorff is Chair of the Conservative Movement’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards and served on the editorial committee of Etz Hayim, the new Torah commentary for the Conservative Movement. He has chaired three scholarly organizations: the Academy of Jewish Philosophy, the Jewish Law Association, and the Society of Jewish Ethics. He is also Immediate Past President of the Academy of Judaic, Christian, and Islamic Studies. In Spring 1993, he served on the Ethics Committee of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Health Care Task Force. In March 1997 and May 1999, he testified on behalf of the Jewish tradition on the subjects of human cloning and stem cell research before the President’s National Bioethics Advisory Commission. In 1999 and 2000 he was part of the Surgeon General’s commission to draft a Call to Action for Responsible Sexual Behavior; and from 2000 to 2002 he served on the National Human Resources Protections Advisory Commission, charged with reviewing and revising the federal guidelines for protecting human subjects in research projects. Rabbi Dorff is also a member of an advisory committee for the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History on the social, ethical, and religious implications of their exhibits.
He is currently working on a project on Judaism and genetics for the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is a member of that organization’s Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion Advisory Committee. He is an officer of the FaithTrust Institute, a national organization that produces seminars and educational materials to help people avoid or extricate themselves from domestic violence. He is also a member of the Ethics Advisory Committee for the state of California on stem cell research.
In Los Angeles, he is a Past President of Jewish Family Services and a member of the Ethics committee at U.C.L.A. Medical Center. He serves as Co-Chair of the Priest-Rabbi Dialogue of the Los Angeles Archdiocese and the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, and is President of the Academy for Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Studies centered at UCLA. Rabbi Dorff is also a member of the Board of the Jewish Federation Council and Co-Chair of its initiative to serve the vulnerable.
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