Rabbi Elliot Dorff of the American Jewish University will present a lecture titled, "Religion in the Public Square: Jewish Civic Engagement," on Tuesday, Apr. 9 in an event sponsored by the Glazer Institute for Jewish Studies and co-hosted by Pepperdine Libraries to honor Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Rabbi Dorff, an American Jewish University Rector and Sol & Anne Dorff Distinguished Service Professor in Philosophy, will speak from 4 p.m. in the Surfboard Room of Payson Library, Malibu.
Rabbi Dorff's presentation will examine the role of Judaism in debates on civic issues. Rabbi Dorff himself served on the Ethics Committee of Hillary Rodham Clinton's Health Care Task Force in 1993. 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.
For more than 30 years as a visiting professor, Rabbi Dorff has taught a course on Jewish law at UCLA School of Law. He has served as president of the Board of Jewish Family Service in Los Angeles, and since 2008, he has been a member of the Board of the Los Angeles Federation Council, co-chairing its task force on Serving the Vulnerable. He was ordained as a rabbi from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and earned a Ph.D in philosophy from Columbia University.
He has written 17 books, including works on social ethics (To Do the Right and the Good and The Way into Tikkun Olam) and personal ethics (Love Your Neighbor and Yourself). His books on social ethics include chapters on interfaith relations, pluralism within the Jewish community, poverty, justice, war, and communal forgiveness.
Additionally, Pepperdine Libraries will host a convocation event on Monday, Apr. 8, with Holocaust survivors Bernd and Judy Simon, who will recount their journey of tragedy, survival, and love from 6:30 p.m. in PLC 125. The special presentation was organized by Lani Netter and the Simon Hero Foundation, and Caelan Rottman, President of the Jewish Students Association. As a convocation event, reservations cannot be made for this presentation and seats will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.