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Jewish Choices, Jewish Voices: Sex and Intimacy

By Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (editor), Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff (editor)

Thanks to The Everett Foundation for making publication of this book possible.


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In the newest addition to the Jewish Choices, Jewish Voices series, co-editors Elliot Dorff and Danya Ruttenberg have brought together a diverse group of Jews to comment on how Judaism affects their views and actions regarding sex.

Contributors range from adult movie actor Ron Jeremy, to renowned feminist scholar Martha Ackelsberg, to noted writer and blogger Esther Kustanowitz, as well as rabbis, doctors, social workers, and activists. They discuss issues of monogamy, honesty, and communication in dating and marriage; testing for and disclosure of STDs; abortion, sex education, sex work, and sexuality.

Each volume in this series presents hypothetical cases on specific topics, followed by traditional and contemporary sources. Supplementing these are brief essays, written by contributors of various ages, backgrounds, and viewpoints to provoke lively thought and discussion. These voices from Jewish tradition and today’s Jewish community present us with new questions and perspectives, encouraging us to consider our own moral choices in a new light.

About Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg

Danya Ruttenberg, Rabbi is the author of Surprised By God: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Religion (Beacon Press, 2008), nominated for the 2010 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, and editor of The Passionate Torah: Sex and Judaism (NYU Press, 2009) and Yentl’s Revenge: The Next Wave of Jewish Feminism (Seal Press, 2001). With Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff, she is the co-editor of three volumes in the Jewish Choices, Jewish Voices series published by JPS: Sex and Intimacy; War and National Security; Social Justice (2010). She is also a contributing editor to Lilith and to the academic journal Women and Judaism and is on the editorial board of Jewschool.com. In 2010, Jewish Week recognized her as one of the "36 Under 36" (36 of the most influential Jewish leaders under the age of 36). Rabbi Ruttenberg received her Rabbinic ordination from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles and her B.A. in Religious Studies from Brown University. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and son, serves as the Senior Jewish Educator at Tufts University and teaches and lectures nationwide.

Rabbi Ruttenberg's speech topics include "What's Surprising About God," "Yentl's Revenge," "Judaism, Feminism and the Future," "I and Thou: On Jewish Sex," "Hard Torah: The Challenge of Secred Text," "Counterculture Judaism: 50 Years of Revolution." She is available to speak to both young adult and adult audiences.

$1,000 Minimum Honorarium Required; Willing to Travel

About Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff

Elliot N. Dorff, Rabbi (Jewish Theological Seminary), PhD (Columbia University), is rector and Sol and Anne Dorff Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the American Jewish University (formerly the University of Judaism) in Los Angeles. Among the twelve books he has written are four award-winning books on Jewish ethics and law published by The Jewish Publication Society: Matters of Life and Death (1998) on Jewish medical ethics; To Do the Right and the Good (2002) on Jewish social ethics; Love Your Neighbor and Yourself on Jewish personal ethics; and For the Love of God and People: A Philosophy of Jewish Law (2007). He has also edited 10 books, including Contemporary Jewish Ethics and Morality (Oxford, 1995) and Contemporary Jewish Theology (Oxford, 1999), co-edited by Louis Newman, who also co-edited with Dorff the first three volumes of the Jewish Choices, Jewish Voices series. Since 1984, Rabbi Dorff has served on the Rabbinical Assembly’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, and has served as its Chair since 2007. He has also served on several federal advisory commissions dealing with the ethics of health care, sexual responsibility, and research on human subjects. He is a member of the State of California’s Ethics Committee on embryonic stem cell research.