The The Kalsman Institute is a founding member of the Academic Coalition on Jewish Bioethics (ACJB) which has held dialogues, conferences, and meetings to foster the academic side of Jewish bioethics for the past eight years. Many fine papers and the book, Quality Of Life In Jewish Bioethics, were produced. In the past two years, our group collaborated in two Society for Jewish Ethics (SJE) meetings -- in Atlanta and in San Jose. After this partnership and exploration, the Coalition has agreed to become a working group within the SJE. We engage the Jewish community in considering biomedical dilemmas, many of which emerge from the encounter between technology and spiritual values. While recognizing that any coherent Jewish bioethics rests on the legacy of inherited norms, values, and experience, we advocate for the development of a variety of methodologies that bring clarity and authenticity to difficult life choices. We strive to broaden and deepen biomedical conversation in Jewish life and to create pluralistic models of cooperation -- across a spectrum of Jewish practice.

"For everyone concerned with bioethics, the major issues remain the same.  However, the responses to those issues differ depending upon the values, norms, definitions of key terms and decision-making methods that decision makers bring to bear.  Jewish bioethics is distinct from secular bioethics and other forms of religious bioethics because of the resources from Jewish tradition that Jewish bioethicists can apply.  These resources developed over many centuries of halakhic decision making.  The commitments to preserving life and to human dignity and the definition of life as beginning at birth are examples of the Jewish approach that have major ramifications for bioethics."

Rabbi David Teutsch, PhD, Director, Levin-Leiber Program in Jewish Ethics and the Center for Jewish Ethics, Louis & Myra Wiener Professor of Contemporary Jewish Civilization at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.