Mark Washofsky - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Mark Washofsky, Rabbi, Ph.D.

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Solomon B. Freehof Professor of Jewish Law and Practice


Rabbinical Program, Cincinnati; School of Graduate Studies, Cincinnati
Academic Field: 
Rabbinics and Liturgy
Research Interests: 
History of Jewish Law; Halakhic Theory; Bioethics

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Rabbi Mark Washofsky Ph.D. is the Solomon B. Freehof Professor of Jewish Law and Practice at HUC-JIR in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr. Washofsky has been a member of the HUC-JIR faculty since 1985, most recently serving as Professor of Rabbinics, and specializes in the literature of the Talmud and Jewish law. He received his rabbinical ordination (1980) and Ph.D. (1987) from HUC-JIR. He succeeded his teacher and mentor, Dr. Ben Zion Wacholder, z”l, as holder of the Freehof Chair on July 1, 2006. Dr. Washofsky is chair of the Solomon B. Freehof Institute of Progressive Halakhah. He chaired the Responsa Committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis from 1996-2017. His extensive publications include Jewish Living: A Guide to Contemporary Reform Practice, Revised edition (URJ Press, 2010), Reform Responsa for the Twenty-First Century (CCAR, 2010), and essays and articles on medieval halakhic literature, the application of legal theory to the study of Jewish law, Jewish bioethics, outreach and conversion, among others. The Solomon B. Freehof Professorship of Jewish Law and Practice was established in honor of Dr. Solomon B. Freehof by The Allen H. and Selma W. Berkman Charitable Trust.


Current and Future Courses
Introduction to Talmud
Introduction to Post-Talmudic Halakhic Literature
Advanced Talmud; Introduction to Rishonim
Jewish Law and Medical Ethics
The Laws of the Festivals
The Laws of Jewish Prayer
The Jewish Law of Personal Status
Reform Responsa
Legal Theory and Jewish Law
Ethics and Halakhah
Public Lecture Topics
"Reform Responsa: How Jewish Tradition Responds to Today's Issues"
"Jewish Law and Medical Ethics: A Liberal Perspective"
"Do We Ever Have a Right to Die? Assisted Suicide, Euthanasia, and Jewish Law"
"Cloning and Human Stem Cell Research: Jewish Perspectives"
"When Two Persons Are Drowning, Which One Do You Save? Jewish Law and the Allocation of Scarce Medical Resources"
"Playing God: Jewish Law and Genetic Engineering"
"Choosing Judaism: How The Rabbis Understand Conversion"