“To Keep Evil to a Minimum”:
Modern European Orthodox Responses to Conversion and
Dr. David Ellenson, President, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute
February 5, 2003 at 7:00 pm
Admission free, Photo ID required for entrance
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum
One West 4th Street (between Broadway and Mercer Street)
New York City
Dr. David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
and Gus Waterman Herrman Presidential Chair, will present a lecture entitled
“To Keep Evil to a Minimum”: Modern European Orthodox Responses
to Conversion and Intermarriage. The lecture will explore diverse traditional
approaches to matters of conversion, personal status, and intermarriage in the
modern era. It will look at a variety of sources representing different opinions
on these questions, and will attempt to draw out their implications for policy
direction in the American Jewish community today.
Dr. David Ellenson is a distinguished rabbi, scholar, and leader of the Reform
Movement. He is internationally recognized for his publications and research
in the areas of Jewish religious thought, ethics, and modern Jewish history.
He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1981 and was ordained by HUC-JIR
in 1977. He is a Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of Jerusalem and a Fellow
and Lecturer at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Rabbi Ellenson’s extensive publications include Tradition in Transition:
Orthodoxy, Halakhah and the Boundaries of Modern Jewish Identity (1989), Rabbi
Esriel Hildesheimer and the Creation of a Modern Jewish Orthodoxy (1990) (nominated
for the National Jewish Book Council’s award for outstanding book in Jewish
History, 1990), and Between Tradition and Culture: The Dialectics of Jewish
Religion and Identity in the Modern World (1994).
The Dr. Samuel Atlas Memorial Lecture is made possible through the generosity
of the Dr. Bernard Heller Foundation. We are grateful to the trustees of the
Foundation, Mrs. Ruth O. Freedlander, Mrs. Beatrice Weidman, and Carole L. Weidman,