Virtual Conference - September 14, 2020
9:00 am - 4:30 pm


Conference Schedule

9:00 - 9:10 am - Welcome

  • Elena B. Langan, Dean and Professor of Law, Touro Law Center 
  • Samuel J. Levine, Professor of Law and Director of the Jewish Law Institute, Touro Law Center; Conference Organizer

9:10 - 9:55 am - Morning Keynote Address

  • Honorable Elyakim Rubinstein, Deputy President (Ret.), Supreme Court of Israel

9:55 - 10:00 am - Break


10:00 - 11:00 am - Substantive Comparisons

  • Ira Bedzow, Director of Biomedical Ethics and Humanities Program at New York Medical College -- Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Halakhic Responsibility for Physicians to Consult Data
  • Adena Berkowitz, Adjunct Professor, Rutgers Law School -- My Body, My Choice? A Look at Biblical, Rabbinic and Contemporary Halakhic Responses to Abortion
  • Steven F. Friedell, Professor, Rutgers Law School -- Is Negligence Part of Jewish Law?
  • Dr. Itzchak Kornfeld -- Let the Earth Teach You Torah: Environmental Sustainability in Halacha

11:00 - 11:10 am - Break

11:10 am - 11:55 pm - Comparative Jurisprudence

  • Dr. Amy Birkan, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem -- Aiding and Abetting in Rabbinic Law
  • Honorable Louis H. Kornreich, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge (Ret.), District of Maine; Of Counsel, Bernstein Shur -- Law and Narrative: Finding the Thread and Threading the Needle
  • Greg Randall Lee, Professor of Law, Widener University Commonwealth Law School -- Justice in American Hands and Through Jewish Eyes

11:55 - 12:30 pm -- Lunch/Break


12:30 - 1:30 pm -- Disability Access and Acceptance: The Intersection Between Torah and American Justice

Jewish Law Institute 2020 Distinguished Lecture

  • Rabbi Michael Levy, President, Yad HaChazakah -- Leave your Stereotypes at the Door--The Importance of Context in the Halls of Congress and the Garden of Torah
  • Shua Mermelstein, J.D. Candidate, Yale Law School '20; Rabbinic Ordination, RIETS '20 -- Accommodation: Meta-Principles and Legal Applications within American Law and Halakha
  • Yoni Mitnick, J.D. Candidate, Columbia Law School '20; Rabbinic Ordination, RIETS -- Disabilities in Halakha: Communal Accommodation and Support
  • Sharon Shapiro-Lacks, Founding Executive Director, Yad HaChazakah -- Moderator and Panel Organizer

1:30 - 1:35 pm - Break

1:35 - 2:20 pm -- Afternoon Keynote Address

  • Stephen Mark Shore, Clinical Assistant Professor, Adelphi University -- The 4 A's of Autism: Awareness, Acceptance, Appreciation, and Action as a Pathway to a Fulfilling and Productive Life

2:20 - 2:30 pm - Break

2:30 - 3:30 pm -- Comparative Political Theory

  • Mark A. Graber, Regents Professor, University of Maryland Carey School of Law -- On Being a Jewish and Democratic State
  • Daniel JH Greenwood, Professor of Law, Deane School of Law, Hofstra University - Social Partnership: The Kahal Instead of the Original Position
  • J.R. Rothstein, Esq. -- Jewish/Muslim Relations in Times of Muhammad
  • Steven L. Winter, Walter S. Gibbs Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law, Wayne State University Law School -- Medieval Jewish Governance and the Meaning of Democracy

3:30 - 3:45 pm - Break

3:45 - 4:15 pm - Beth Din in Comparative Context

  • Michael J. Broyde, Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law -- Religious Alternative Dispute Resolution in Israel and Other Nations with State-Sponsored Religious Courts: Crafting a More Efficient and Better Relationship Between Rabbinical Court and Arbitration Law in Israel
  • Keith Sharfman, Professor of Law and Director of Bankruptcy Studies, St. John’s University -- Attorneys' Fees in Beth Din Arbitration

4:15 - 4:30 pm - Closing Remarks

  • Elena B. Langan, Dean and Professor of Law, Touro Law Center
  • Samuel J. Levine, Professor of Law and Director of the Jewish Law Institute, Touro Law Center; Conference Organizer

To register or for more information, please email events@tourolaw.edu.

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