The CJLS is launching an exciting new program, the International Day of Halakhic Study, a movement-wide day on which Conservative/Masorti congregations, communities, and schools will come together to study a specific teshuvah of the CJLS. During the Jewish year of 5778 (2017-2018), the recommended day for the International Day of Halakhic Study is Sunday May 6, 2018 / 21 Iyyar 5778.
The teshuvah selected by a survey of RA members is "Halakhic Perspectives on Genetically Modified Organisms," by Rabbi Daniel Nevins. Our focus this year will be on the rapidly developing realm of genetic engineering. What do halakhic norms and values teach about the remaking of life?
The video has four parts:
- Meet Rabbi Daniel Nevins
- What is Genetic Modification?
- Genetic Modification and Jewish Values
- Conclusion (to be watched after the group study)
Here are resources to help you:
Rabbi Daniel Nevins, "Halakhic Perspectives on Genetically Modified Organisms" YD 297.2015
Study guide in English on ”Halakhic Perspectives on Genetically Modified Organisms"
Rabbi Daniel Nevins, "Appendix: Study Sheet of Major Primary Sources"
Doudna, Jennifer A. and Samuel H. Sternberg, A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution (RA member use only)
Translation of the teshuvah into Hebrew
The International Day of Halakhic Study is designed to generate energy and excitement around the Conservative/Masorti halakhic process that defines our movement’s approach to Torah. The goals are to emphasize the importance of halakhah and the study of halakhah among Conservative/Masorti Jews, to create a sense of a world-wide community among Conservative/Masorti congregations, communities, and schools, to show how our halakhic decisions develop from our spiritual values and ethical ideals, and to raise the profile of the CJLS.
Participants may gather in a congregation or regionally with congregations coming together to study (or whichever way it works best for your community). Rabbis who are educators may want to schedule the program for a weekday when school is in session. Participants will engage in a number of the key texts of the teshuvah. After studying the teshuvah, the rabbi and participants will discuss the merits of different approaches. (We anticipate that a number of rabbis may feel that a different day works better for their communities, so we have prepared the materials in advance.)
Please register your congregation, school, community, or organization below.