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Rabbi David A. Teutsch
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Rabbi David A. Teutsch, Ph.D., is the Louis and Myra Wiener Professor of Contemporary Jewish Civilization; Chair, Department of Contemporary Jewish Civilization; Director, Levin-Lieber Program in Jewish Ethics.

Rabbi Teutsch directs the Center for Jewish Ethics of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and is a widely known author and organizational consultant. In September 2011, his "Guide to Jewish Practice: Everyday Living" (RRC Press) will become available. The first of a three-part series, this volume is the first guide of its kind for Jewish living; it is a comprehensive tool for navigating contemporary issues ranging from sexual ethics and gender identity to end-of-life decisions. Teutsch's previous contributions to the Guide series were published in 2000 [Kashrut], 2005 [Bioethics], 2005 [Tzedaka], 2006 [Ethics of Speech], 2007 [Organizational Ethics and Economic Justice], 2009 [Community, Gemilut Hesed and Tikun Olam] and 2010 [Family and Sexual Ethics and Everyday Spirituality].

Teutsch also is the author of "Making a Difference: A Guide to Jewish Leadership and Not-for-Profit Management" (2009) and "Spiritual Community: The Power to Restore Hope, Community and Joy" (Jewish Lights, 2005). He is the editor-in-chief of the groundbreaking seven-volume "Kol Haneshamah" prayer book series (Reconstructionist Press, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2001) and of "Imagining the Jewish Future" (SUNY Press, 1992).

Teutsch is a past president of the Academic Coalition for Jewish Bioethics and of the Society of Jewish Ethics. He has served as a member of the Professional Advisory Council of the United Jewish Communities Renaissance Pillar and as a board member of the National Havurah Committee and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. He previously served as rabbi at Ramat Shalom in Spring Valley, N.Y.; director of program administration for the National Jewish Resource Center (now CLAL, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership); and director of special projects and vice president of the Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation.

A graduate of Harvard University, Teutsch received his Master of Hebrew Letters and rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City and earned his Ph.D. at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where his work focused on organizational ethics. He served as president of RRC from 1993 to 2002, following appointments as executive vice president and dean of admissions.

Teutsch regularly contributes articles and reviews to various Jewish publications. From 1982 to 1986, he served as the executive director of the Federation of Reconstructionist Congregations and Havurot (now the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation).

Entries by Rabbi David A. Teutsch

The Recent Attacks on NIF: Who, What and Why

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2015 | 2:42 PM

Those of us committed to democracy vigorously defend freedom of speech as an essential tool for effective democracy and a substantial benefit guaranteed by it. The enemies of democracy on both the extreme right and the extreme left use freedom of speech as a weapon. They wield their weapon to...

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Netanyahu in Congress: Confronting a Train Wreck

(185) Comments | Posted February 19, 2015 | 10:21 AM

Having made an annual gift to Israel (usually through my local Jewish federation) without a break for 41 years, I have always supported the Zionist vision of a democratic, pluralistic state that -- while majority Jewish -- would always treat every citizen equally. Freedom of religion and open cultural expression...

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Leaving Egypt

(0) Comments | Posted April 9, 2014 | 12:25 PM

It is widely known that Rosh Hashanah is marked as the beginning of the new Jewish year because it marks the birthday of the world according to rabbinic lore. Nevertheless, it is Nisan, the Hebrew month containing Pesach, that is understood by the rabbis to be the first month of...

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Keeping Time, Seeking Meaning: Celebrating According to the Calendar

(0) Comments | Posted January 9, 2014 | 1:01 PM

New Year's celebrations mark endings and beginnings and remind us of the inexorable passing of time. Even if we take seriously the annual ritual of making new year's resolutions, our celebrations are mostly a time of frivolity. The annual cycle of secular American holidays -- New Year's Day, Presidents' Day,...

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Gender Selection and Abortion: Making an Ethical Decision

(621) Comments | Posted August 14, 2011 | 10:11 AM

Over the past few days, several news stories and ads have called attention to the commercial availability of pregnancy tests that reveal the sex of the fetus at seven weeks. After pausing to applaud this scientific know-how, the public should ask why people would want this information to begin with....

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(Mis)understanding Reconstructionist Judaism

(30) Comments | Posted August 10, 2011 | 12:36 PM

When I first became a leader of the Reconstructionist movement in 1980, several of the lay leaders lamented that it was the best-kept secret in the Jewish community. While the movement has grown fivefold in the intervening decades, it is still largely misunderstood by most American Jews. A

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