Monday, December 24, 2007

Elliot N. Dorff (born 24 June 1943) is a Conservative rabbi, a professor of Jewish theology at the American Jewish University (formerly the University of Judaism) in California (where he is also Rector), author, and a bio-ethicist.
Dorff is an expert in the philosophy of Conservative Judaism, Bioethics, and acknowledged within the Conservative community as an expert decisor of Jewish law. Dorff was ordained as a rabbi from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1970. He earned a Ph.D in philosophy from Columbia University in 1971.
Dorff is a prolific member of the Rabbinical Assembly's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, and has written many responsa (opinion papers and legal rulings) on many aspects of Jewish law and philosophy. (There is a separate article on Conservative responsa.)
In the spring of 1993, Dorff served on the ethics committee of Hillary Rodham Clinton's Health Care Task Force, and in March 1997 and May 1999, he, along with other rabbis, 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 1999-2000, he served on the U.S. Surgeon General's Task Force to create a Call to Action for responsible sexual behavior, and between 2000-2002 he served on the National Human Resources Protections Advisory Commission, charged with reviewing and revising the federal guidelines on research on human beings. He is now on the California Ethics Advisory Commission for embryonic stem cell research done within the state.
In Los Angeles, he is a member of the Board of Jewish Family Service and has served as its president (2004-2006). He is also a member of the Ethics Committee of UCLA Medical Center and the Jewish Homes for the Aging. He is co-chairman of the "Priest-Rabbi Dialogue" sponsored by the Los Angeles Archdiocese and the Board of Rabbis of Southern California.
Dorff has written over two hundred articles on Jewish ethics, Jewish thought, Jewish law and customhalakhah, and bioethics.
On December 6th, 2006, the law committee accepted a paper by Rabbis Elliot Dorff, Daniel Nevins and Avram Reisner on homosexual marriage and ordination of homosexual rabbis, while it upheld the biblical prohibition on male intercourse.
Elliot Dorff