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Chaim Seidler-Feller

Chaim Seidler-Feller has been working with students and faculty as UCLA's Hillel Director for 34 years. He was ordained in 1971 at Yeshiva University. Chaim is a lecturer in the Departments of Sociology and Near Eastern languages and Cultures at UCLA and is a faculty member of the Shalom Hartman Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies in Jerusalem and of the Wexner Heritage Foundation. He was a rabbinic consultant to Barbra Streisand during the making of the film "Yentl."

Toward a Renewal of the Zionist Idea

Identity and Responsibility, Israel, Teen Approved

The last decade has seen an erosion and decline of serious Zionist thought among Israelis as well as among their Diaspora counterparts. More recently, A. B. Yehoshua has leveled a well-worn Zionist critique against the viability of the Diaspora Jewish community, while in Academic circles a new assault on the Zionist idea is being mounted. Yet, Zionism is arguably the most successful Jewish response to modernity. Through a consideration of classic sources and modern texts, including Isaiah Horowitz’ “Two Tablets of the Covenant” and Franz Rosenzweig’s “The Star of Redemption,” this session will offer a proposal for the reconstruction, reinvigoration, and healing of Zionism.

Shaping A New Jewish Sexual Ethic

Chaim Seidler-Feller, Doreen Seidler-Feller

Identity and Responsibility

Classical Jewish teachings regarding sexuality (homosexuality, pre-marital sex…) generate increasing individual conflicts and social consequences that demand our attention. As long as these tensions are not addressed, community members are confronted with a choice between all of the restrictions of the tradition on the one hand and the permissive orientation of contemporary culture on the other. This seminar intends to step into that breach by proposing a contemporary sexual ethic that maintains fidelity to the values of the tradition while promoting a more modern and discerning practice.

The Triumph of Orthodoxy:

What Can We Learn?

Identity and Responsibility, Text and Thought, Teen Approved

Fifty years ago, Jewish sociologists predicted the eventual demise of Orthodoxy. The reality, however, is that not only has Orthodox Judaism not disappeared but it has thrived and become the most vibrant denomination in America today. In this workshop, we will examine the demographic evidence for the Orthodox resurgence, identify the reasons that explain this success and develop a programmatic application for the general Jewish community.

"A Decade at Bernie's": The Ethical Crisis in Contemporary Jewish Life

Blu Greenberg, Yitz Greenberg, Chaim Seidler-Feller, Doreen Seidler-Feller

Identity and Responsibility

From Agriprocessors to Madoff to Tropper, ethical misconduct appears to be rampant in contemporary Jewish life. Is there an ethical crisis? What are its causes? Join panelists Blu and Yitz Greenberg and Doreen and Chaim Seidler-Feller for a discussion about what can be done to reassert the centrality of ethics in our lives.

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