Jewish Medical Ethics

A 21st Century Discussion for Health Care Professionals

Course Overview

Within the field of ethics, one of the most challenging frontiers is medical ethics. While contemporary medical knowledge preserves life, modern advances have raised moral and ethical dilemmas related to the sanctity and dignity of life –issues whose scope was unimaginable a generation ago. Jewish-Medical-Ethics-CVR-thumb.jpg

A new ten-lesson Melton course on Jewish Medical Ethics explores what Judaism has to say on a number of challenging issues, including human cloning, surrogate motherhood, transsexual surgery, assisted suicide, heroic efforts, and genetic manipulation.

Author Rabbi Dr. Elliot Dorff is a world-renowned expert on medical ethics and Professor of Jewish Philosophy at American Jewish University. He is the author of thirteen books including: Matters of Life and Death: A Jewish Approach to Modern Medical Ethics (Jewish Publication Society, 1998), and co-editor of twelve books including The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Ethics and Morality (Oxford University Press, 2013) and Contemporary Jewish Ethics and Morality: A Reader (Oxford University Press, 1995).

The new course has been dedicated by Toni Sandler of Boca Raton, Florida in memory of her beloved sister, Julie Gail Berger.

Subjects covered in the course:

1. The Cloning of Plants, Animals and Humans
2. Genetic Manipulations, Prenatal Interventions and the Termination of Pregnancy
3. Surrogate Motherhood & Multiple Motherhood
4. Sperm Banking and Posthumous Paternity
5. Genetic Identity
6. Gene Testing
7: Pain Management and Opiods
8. Heroic Efforts vs. Letting Nature Take its Course
9: Aid in Dying
10: The Distribution of Health Care: Who Gets It, and Who Pays for It?

In partnership with The Associated's Maimonides Society

Rabbi-Jerry-Seidler.jpgAbout the Instructor: Rabbi Jerry Seidler works as a staff chaplain at Sinai and Northwest Hospitals, and is also the spiritual leader of Congregation Adat Chaim in Owings Mills. He is a board member of the Baltimore-based Foundation for Spirituality and Medicine, and was a chaplain with the Maryland Disaster Medical Assistance Team.

Rabbi Seidler is board certified as a chaplain by the Board of Chaplaincy Certification and the Association of Professional Chaplains, and holds a certificate in palliative care chaplaincy through the Health Care Chaplaincy Network and the California State University at San Marcos. He trained for the chaplaincy at Abington Memorial Hospital, Albert Einstein Medical Center and the Philadelphia Geriatric Centre in Pennsylvania, and the US Army Chaplain Center and School at Fort Jackson.

He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania on a ROTC scholarship, and has a law degree from Vanderbilt University. Following active duty with the US Army MP and JAG Corps, he practiced law in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with large firms specializing in complex litigation. Rabbi Seidler was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2002, where he was an Eisenstein Scholar, and served as a congregational rabbi in Southern Vermont and Western New York before relocating to Baltimore in 2008. He is a past convener of the Washington Metro Chapter of the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy.

Rabbi Seidler is co-author of Jewish, Christian and Muslim Perspectives about Xenotransplantation published in Xenotransplantation vol. 25 issue 3 (May/June 2018). A native of the Bronx, Rabbi Seidler is proud to have assisted in the aftermath of 9/11 as a volunteer critical incident stress management chaplain for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Dates: Tuesday evenings, April 9-June 11
Time: 7:00-8:30 PM
Location: Weinberg Park Heights JCC
Cost: $250 + $45 (course materials)
For questions or more information about this course, please contact Zina Segal at or call 410-735-5021.

CJE is an agency funded by THE ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.