In 2011, the Institute established the Jewish Law Institute Distinguished Lecture Series. Distinguished Lecturers include prominent law professors, lawyers, and rabbinic scholars, who address the interplay between Jewish law and the American legal system.
Fall 2011, Professor Sanford V. Levinson
On October 10. 2011, the Institute inaugurated the Distinguished Lecture Series with a lecture by Professor Sanford V. Levinson, who holds the W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair in Law at the University of Texas School of Law. Professor Levinson, who is one of the most well known law professors in the United States, spoke about “Divided Loyalties: The Problem of ‘Dual Sovereignty’ and ‘Constitutional Faith,’” addressing Jewish law, American constitutional law, and the legal system of the State of Israel.
Spring 2012, Nathan Lewin, Esq.
On March 20, 2012, the Jewish Law Institute continued the Lecture Series with a public lecture by Nathan Lewin, Esq., a nationally renowned advocate of religious liberties, on the topic: “The Legal Profession and the Orthodox Jewish Lawyer -- Change Over Half a Century.” Mr. Lewin, who has argued 28 cases in the United States Supreme Court, discussed his personal and professional experiences as an Orthodox Jewish lawyer practicing at the highest levels of the legal profession.
Fall 2012, Rabbi Yona Reiss
On September 21, 2012, the Jewish Law Institute hosted Rabbi Yona Reiss, Dean of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary at Yeshiva University. Rabbi Reiss, who holds a J.D. from Yale Law School and serves as a Rabbinic Judge on the Beth Din of America, discussed the role of Jewish Courts within the American legal system. The lecture, titled “A Comparative Look at Jewish Law and Civil Procedure,” was well attended by practicing lawyers, who received credits for their Continuing Legal Education.
Spring 2013, Professor Oren Gross
On April 10, 2013, the Jewish Law Institute hosted Professor Oren Gross, the Irving Younger Professor of Law and the Director of the Institute for International Legal & Security Studies at the University of Minnesota Law School, and the Nomura Visiting Professor of International Financial Systems at Harvard Law School. Professor Gross is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of international law and national security law, and he served as a senior legal advisory officer in the international law branch of the Israeli Defense Forces' Judge Advocate General's Corps. Professor Gross lectured on the topic of "Emergency Measures in Jewish Law."
Fall 2013, Robert Sugarman, Esq.
On Wednesday, October 30, the Jewish Law Institute hosted Robert Sugarman, Esq., a retired Partner of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, and Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Mr. Sugarman is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a Past National Chair of the Anti-Defamation League. His lecture explored "the Intersection of Large Law Firm Practice and Jewish Values."
Spring 2014, Judge Kermit V. Lipez
On April 10, 2014, the Jewish Law Institute hosted the Honorable Kermit V. Lipez, Senior Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Judge Lipez delivered his lecture at the Awards Banquet for the First Annual Moot Court Competition in Law & Religion, hosted at Touro Law Center on April 10-11, 2014. The title of the lecture was "On Being a Jewish Judge."
Fall 2014, Rabbi Dr. Meir Y. Soloveichik
On September 4, 2014, the Jewish Law Institute hosted Rabbi Dr. Meir Y. Soloveichik, Director of the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University and Rabbi at Congregation Shearith Israel in Manhattan. The Lecture was co-sponsored by Lander College for Women – the Anna Ruth & Mark Hasten School. The title of the lecture was “Jews, Christians and the Hobby Lobby Decision.”
Spring 2015, Benjamin Brafman, Esq.
On March 10, 2015, the Jewish Law Institute hosted Benjamin Brafman, Esq., a prominent criminal defense attorney, for a reception and a public lecture. The reception, which was co-sponsored by Touro Law’s Jewish Law Students Association, honored Mr. Brafman for his efforts in support of various charitable causes and organizations, within the Jewish community and beyond. The lecture, titled “Litigating in the Public Eye,” was co-sponsored by Touro Law’s Criminal Law Society, and attracted a large audience of students, faculty, and visitors.
Fall 2015, Professor Keith Sharfman
On October 7, 2015, the Jewish Law Institute hosted Professor Keith Sharfman, Professor of Law and Director of Bankruptcy Studies at St. John’s University School of Law. Professor Sharfman lectured on the topic of "Religious Arbitration in Bankruptcy." The audience for the lecture included Touro Law faculty and students, as well as visitors. Following the lecture, Professor Sharfman was given a tour of Touro Law Center’s Bankruptcy Clinic.
Spring 2016, Professor Russell Pearce
On April 1, 2016, Professor Russell Pearce, who holds the Edward & Marilyn Bellet Chair in Legal Ethics, Morality, and Religion at Fordham University School of Law, delivered a lecture on the topic: "Destabilizing the Business-Profession Binary: Louis Brandeis on Professionalism and Identity." The lecture was presented as a Keynote Address at the national conference, Louis D. Brandeis: An Interdisciplinary Retrospective, hosted by Touro Law Center and the Jewish Law Institute on March 31-April 1, 2016.