Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Ph.D., is visiting professor of professional skills at
the Jewish Theological Seminary. Rabbi Dorff was ordained in 1970 and earned his
PhD in philosophy from Columbia University in 1971. He has since then served as
rector, professor of philosophy and director of the rabbinical and master's
degree programs at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles.
He has also taught a course on Jewish law at UCLA School of Law. Rabbi
Dorff's publications include over one hundred articles on Jewish thought, law
and ethics. The author of eight books, his most recent include: Contemporary
Jewish Theology: A Reader (Oxford University Press, 1999); Matters of
Life and Death: A Jewish Approach to Modern Medical Ethics (Jewish
Publication Society, 1998); and Contemporary Jewish Ethics and Morality: A
Reader (Oxford University Press, 1995).
A member of the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, Rabbi Dorff sits on
its commission on philosophy and its commission to write a new Torah commentary
for the Conservative movement. His papers have formulated the validated stance
of the movement on infertility treatments and end-of-life issues. His Rabbinic
Letters on human sexuality and poverty have become the voice of the movement
on those topics. Rabbi Dorff chaired two scholarly organizations, the Academy of
Jewish Philosophy and the Jewish Law Association.
In the spring of 1993, Rabbi Dorff served on the ethics committee of Hillary
Rodham Clinton's Health Care Task Force, and in March 1997 and May 1999, he
testified on behalf on the Jewish tradition on the subjects of human cloning and
stem cell research before the president's National Bioethics Advisory
In Los Angeles, he is a member of the Board of Jewish Family Service and has
served as its vice president. He is also a member of the Institutional Review
Board of Midway Hospital and the ethics committee at the Jewish Homes for the
Aging and UCLA Medical Center. He is co-chairman of the "Priest-Rabbi
Dialogue" sponsored by the Los Angeles Archdiocese and the Board of Rabbis
of Southern California.
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