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,
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
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.