Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Ph.D. is American Jewish University’s Rector and Sol & Anne Dorff Distinguished Service Professor in Philosophy. For more than forty years as a Visiting Professor, he has taught a course on Jewish law at UCLA School of Law.
Rabbi Dorff was awarded the Journal of Law and Religion’s Lifetime Achievement Award and holds four honorary doctoral degrees.
Rabbi Dorff is Chair of the Conservative Movement's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards and served on the editorial committee of Etz Hayim, the new Torah commentary for the Conservative Movement. He has chaired four scholarly organizations: the Academy of Jewish Philosophy, the Jewish Law Association, the Society of Jewish Ethics, and the Academy of Judaic, Christian, and Islamic Studies. He was elected Honorary President of the Jewish Law Association for the term of 2012-2016. In Spring 1993, he served on the Ethics Committee of Hillary Rodham Clinton's Health Care Task Force. 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. In 1999 and 2000 he was part of the Surgeon General’s commission to draft a Call to Action for Responsible Sexual Behavior; and from 2000 to 2002 he served on the National Human Resources Protections Advisory Commission, charged with reviewing and revising the federal guidelines for protecting human subjects in research projects. Rabbi Dorff is also a member of an advisory committee for the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History on the social, ethical, and religious implications of their exhibits. He is also a member of the Ethics Advisory Committee for the state of California on stem cell research.
He has been an officer of the FaithTrust Institute, a national organization that produces seminars and educational materials to help people avoid or extricate themselves from domestic violence. For eight years he was also been a member of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Federation Council of Los Angeles, chairing its committee on serving the vulnerable.
In Los Angeles, he is a Past President of Jewish Family Services and a member of the Ethics committee at U.C.L.A. Medical Center. He serves as Co-Chair of the Priest-Rabbi Dialogue of the Los Angeles Archdiocese and the Board of Rabbis of Southern California.
August 11th, 2020 | 1 hr 27 mins
Rabbi Elliot Dorff leads a discussion on the nuanced ways in which Jewish law tells us what we should not say, and what we should. The Al Het prayer lists more sins of speech than of any other area of life -- food for reflection before the High Holy Days. The discussion was conducted on August 11, 2020 via Zoom as part of the Elul+ Pre-Tishre study program presented by Temple Beth Am Los Angeles.