Jordanna Cope-Yossef is the Director of the Advanced Talmudic Institute for Women at Matan-The Women’s Institute for Torah studies in Jerusalem. She holds a law degree from Hebrew University and has been a member of the Israeli Bar for the past 21 years. Cope-Yossef is a senior lecturer in Talmud and Jewish Law at Matan, and has lectured world wide at synagogues, colleges and major Israeli institutions such as Tal Nursing School, Elul, Pardes, the I.D.F., The Steinsaltz Center, and at conferences such as Kolech and the Jewish Law Heritage Seminars. Her primary fields of research and lecture include Jewish Law and ethics such as the ethics of war, medical ethics and aging, and Hassidut and the Jewish life cycle. In 2005, Cope-Yossef established and currently heads the Mifnim Center for Legal and Halakhic solutions. The Center provides seminars for professionals and lay people as well as pro-bono legal counseling on prenuptials as a preemptive solution to the problem of Get refusal. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, she has lived for the past 23 years with her husband and 6 children in the pluralistic community of Tekoa, Israel.
David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) and I.H. and Anna Grancell Professor of Jewish Religious Thought, is a distinguished rabbi, scholar, and leader of the Reform Movement. He is internationally recognized for his publications and research in the areas of Jewish religious thought, ethics, and modern Jewish history. Rabbi Ellenson’s extensive publications include Tradition in Transition: Orthodoxy, Halakhah and the Boundaries of Modern Jewish History (1989), Rabbi Esriel Hildesheimer and the Creation of a Modern Jewish Orthodoxy (1990) (nominated for the National Jewish Book Council’s award for outstanding book in Jewish History, 1990), Between Tradition and Culture: The Dialectics of Jewish Religion and Identity in the Modern World (1994) and, After Emancipation: Jewish Religious Responses to Modernity, which won the National Jewish Book Council’s Award as the outstanding book in Jewish Thought in 2005. His work, Pledges of Jewish Allegiance: Conversion, Law, and Policymaking in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Orthodox Responsa, co-authored with Daniel Gordis, is forthcoming from Stanford University Press in 2011.
David Hazony’s first book, The Ten Commandments: How Our Most Ancient Moral Text Can Renew Modern Life, was published by Scribner in September 2010. An American-born writer based in Jerusalem, his writings have appeared in The New Republic, the Forward, Commentary, Moment, CNN.com, The Jewish Chronicle, The New York Sun, Policy Review, the Jerusalem Post, and others. From 2004-2007, Hazony served as editor-in-chief of Azure, the quarterly journal of Jewish public thought published by the Shalem Center. He has completed his doctoral work in Jewish Philosophy at the Hebrew University, where he focused his research on the thought of Eliezer Berkovits, he also edited two volumes of Berkovits’ writings, Essential Essays on Judaism and God, Man, and History.
Marc B. Shapiro
Marc B. Shapiro holds the Weinberg Chair in Judaic Studies at the University of Scranton. A graduate of Brandeis and Harvard Universities, he is the author of numerous articles and reviews. He has also written Between the Yeshiva World and Modern Orthodoxy and The Limits of Orthodox Theology, both of which were National Jewish Book Award Finalists. Other books of his include Saul Lieberman and the Orthodox and Studies in Maimonides and His Interpreters.
David Shatz is Professor of Philosophy at Yeshiva University, editor of The Torah u-Madda Journal, and editor of the series MeOtzar HoRav: Selected Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. After graduating as valedictorian of his class at Yeshiva College, Prof. Shatz was ordained at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and earned his Ph.D with distinction in general philosophy from Columbia University. He has edited, co-edited, or authored fourteen books dealing and has published over sixty articles and reviews, dealing with both general and Jewish philosophy. His work in general philosophy focuses on the theory of knowledge, free will, ethics, and the philosophy of religion, while his work in Jewish philosophy focuses on Jewish ethics, Maimonides, Judaism and science, and twentieth century rabbinic figures. A book of his collected essays, titled Jewish Thought in Dialogue, was published in 2009. In recognition of his achievements as a scholar and teacher, Dr. Shatz was awarded the Presidential Medallion at Yeshiva University.