Rabbi David Teutsch, Ph.D. | Reconstructing Judaism

Rabbi David Teutsch, Ph.D.

RRC: Professor Emeritus and Senior Consultant, Center for Jewish Ethics

Rabbi David Teutsch, Ph.D., was the founding director of the Center for Jewish Ethics of RRC and is a widely known author and organizational consultant. His most recent book is A Guide to Jewish Practice: Shabbat and Holidays. Teutsch edited this second volume in the proposed three-part series from the RRC Press; the book opens vistas of meaning that will inspire readers to shape their own approaches to each milestone of the Jewish calendar. In 2011, volume one of the series, A Guide to Jewish Practice: Everyday Living, won the Myra H. Kraft Memorial Award, the National Jewish Book Award for Contemporary Life and Practice.

Teutsch’s previous contributions to the Guide series were published in 2000 [Kashrut], 2005 [Bioethics], 2005 [Tzedaka], 2006 [Ethics of Speech], 2007 [Organizational Ethics and Economic Justice], 2009 [Community, Gemilut Hesed and Tikun Olam], and 2010 [Family and Sexual Ethics and Everyday Spirituality].

He also is the author of Making a Difference: A Guide to Jewish Leadership and Not-for-Profit Management(2009) and Spiritual Community: The Power to Restore Hope, Community and Joy (Jewish Lights, 2005). He is the editor in chief of the groundbreaking seven-volume Kol Haneshamah prayer book series (Reconstructionist Press, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2001) and of Imagining the Jewish Future (SUNY Press, 1992).

Teutsch is a past president of the Academic Coalition for Jewish Bioethics and of the Society of Jewish Ethics. He has served as a member of the Professional Advisory Council of the United Jewish Communities Renaissance Pillar and as a board member of the National Havurah Committee and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. He previously served as rabbi at Ramat Shalom in Spring Valley, NY; director of program administration for the National Jewish Resource Center (now CLAL, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership); and director of special projects and vice president of the Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation.

A graduate of Harvard University, Teutsch received his Master of Hebrew Letters and rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City and earned his Ph.D. at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where his work focused on organizational ethics. He served as president of RRC from 1993 to 2002, following appointments as executive vice president and dean of admissions.

Teutsch regularly contributes articles and reviews to various Jewish publications. From 1982 to 1986, he served as the executive director of the Federation of Reconstructionist Congregations and Havurot (which later became the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation).

A Vital Foreign Policy Tool Under Threat

Rabbi David Teutsch urges support for foreign aid in the upcoming federal budget.

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Judaism and Journalistic Ethics - Video with Transcript

Video and transcript of conversation on journalistic ethics and Jewish values

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Jewish Tradition and Journalistic Ethics Audio

Rabbi David Teutsch, Ph.D., discusses the role of the free press in the Jewish community and American society, and what Jewish values can teach us about journalistic ethics.

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Jewish Values and Journalistic Ethics

Rabbi David Teutsch, Ph.D., discusses the role of the free press in the Jewish community and American society, and what Jewish values can teach us about journalistic ethics.

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Each of us can work to preserve dignity in the public square

[Our religious traditions] all believe in the importance of these values: speaking the truth, the sanctity of human life, and the obligation to treat every person with dignity.

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Author Interview: Guide to Jewish Practice

Interview with Rabbi David Teutsch, Ph.D., about the issues addressed in the new Guide to Jewish Practice

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Attitudes, Beliefs and Values Shaping Jewish Practice

A list of traditional and contemporary values shaping the process of Values-Based Decision Making. This article is excerpted from the Guide to Jewish Practice

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Values-Based Decision Making

Values-based decision making (VBDM) provides a way for individuals and groups to think through and express their policies, procedures and behavior, informed by Jewish values and contemporary insights. It has been used within the Reconstructionist movement for more than 20 years and is most recently embodied in A Guide to Jewish Practice.

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A History of Reconstructionist Zionism

Rabbi David Teutsch reviews an 80-year span of Reconstructionist approaches to Zionism and the State of Israel.

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Understanding Transgender Issues in Jewish Ethics

Drawing on the surprisingly sophisticated classical Jewish perspective on sex and gender, Rabbi David Teutch advocates for celebration and inclusion of transgender people as a fundamental issue of justice.

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