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Elliott Dorff

Elliott Dorff

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. 

A Jewish Perspective on Cloning and Other Techniques to Overcome Infertility

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 Commission.

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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