Past Programs

The Louis Finkelstein Institute is pleased to offer selected lectures and events as podcasts and transcripts.
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Louis Finkelstein


Event Information

Online Resources

April 12, 2011

"The State of Catholic-Jewish Relations in the United States"

The Most Reverend Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), delivers an address entitled "The State of Catholic-Jewish Relations in the United States." Archbishop Dolan is introduced by Dr. Burton L. Visotzky.

Following the address is a dialogue between Archbishop Dolan and JTS Chancellor Arnold M. Eisen.

View the video podcast.

Read the press release.

See photos from the event.

February 28, 2011

"GenNext: Religious Leadership 40 and Under"

A panel discussion on religious leadership in the next generation. Panelists include:

  • Dr. Burton Visotzky (moderator)
  • Reverend Elizabeth Garnsey (Protestant)
  • Rabbi Melissa Weintraub (Jewish)
  • Haroon Moghul (Muslim)

Live music by Girls in Trouble.

View the video podcast.

See photos from the event.

Watch a video of a performance by Girls in Trouble.

January 25, 2011

Death Panels? End of Life Issues and the New York Palliative Care Information Act"

This panel will discuss the issues we face as individuals or surrogate decision-makers in end-of-life situations.


  • Dr. Alan B. Astrow is the division director of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Maimonides Medical Center in New York.
  • Dr. Gabrielle Goldberg is assistant professor of Geriatrics and Palliative Care at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
  • Rabbi Myrna Matsa served as chaplain for the Calvary Hospice prior to becoming the pastoral- and trauma-care counselor for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
  • Dr. Alan Mittleman is director of the Tikvah Institute for Jewish Thought and professor of Jewish Philosophy at The Jewish Theological Seminary.
  • Rabbi Leonard A. Sharzer, MD (moderator), is associate director of the Louis Finkelstein Institute, responsible for bioethics programming.

Read the press release.

January 19, 2011

Preaching the Gospel of Martin Luther King Jr.

The Reverend Dr. James Alexander Forbes Jr. delivers a lecture entitled "Preaching the Gospel of Martin Luther King Jr."

Watch the video podcast.

Read the press release.

October 25, 2010

Judaism and Islam in America Today: Assimilation and Authenticity

The participants in the roundtable, this year's Jack and Lewis Rudin Lecture at JTS, include Arnold M. Eisen, chancellor of JTS; Sherman Jackson, professor of Islam at the University of Michigan; and Serene Jones, president of Union Theological Seminary. The moderator is Ingrid Mattson, former president of the Islamic Society of North America and director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary.

Enjoy highlights from this landmark roundtable on Judaism and Islam in America:


Watch the video podcast of the entire event.

See photos from the event.

Read the press release.

September 16, 2010

"Teshuvah as a Common Element in the Lives of
Jewish and Christian Thinkers of the Twentieth Century"

Professor Father Thomas Casey, SJ, director of the Cardinal Bea Centre for Judaic Studies of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome delivers the lecture.


April 12, 2010

"Health Care Reform: Where Are We Now? Where Are We Going? Does Judaism Have Guidance to Offer?"


  • Nancy Neveloff Dubler, LLB, Montefiore-Einstein Center for Bioethics

  • Dr. Paul Howard, Center for Medical Progress, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research

  • Dr. David Kraemer, Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian and professor of Talmud and Rabbinics, JTS

  • Dr. George McGurn, American Hospital in Tbilisi

  • Dr. Alan Mittleman, director, Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies and Tikvah Institute for Jewish Thought, and professor of Jewish Philosophy, JTS

  • Rabbi Daniel Nevins, Pearl Resnick Dean of The Rabbinical School of JTS; member, Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Rabbinical Assembly

  • Mr. Allan Sloan, Fortune magazine

Rabbi Leonard A. Sharzer, MD, senior fellow in bioethics, Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies, JTS, serves as moderator.

Watch the video podcast.

Read the press release.

February 17, 2010

"Religion, Science, and Wonder"

Speakers: Janna Levin, professor of physics and astronomy at Barnard College, is the author of the PEN/Bingham award-winning novel, A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines, which explores the borders between scientific knowledge and sheer wonder, faith and delusion, and genius and lunacy.

Rabbi Shai Held is cofounder of Mechon Hadar and the author of a dissertation on the thought of Abraham Joshua Heschel—one of the most profound Jewish thinkers of the last century.

Watch the video podcast.

Read the press release.

November 17, 2009

"A Conversation on Creation and Evolution"

Speakers: Lenn Goodman is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Vanderbilt University. His most recent book is Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself.

Philip Kitcher, John Dewey Professor of Philosophy and James R. Barker Professor of Contemporary Civilization at Columbia University, is the author of Living with Darwin and other works.

Watch the video podcast.

Read the press release.

March 12, 2009

"Have Doctors Lost Their Authority in American Culture?"

Speaker: Jonathan Imber, author of Trusting Doctors: The Decline of Moral Authority in American Medicine, and Professor of Ethics and Sociology, Wellesley College

Respondent: Dr. Nancy Berlinger, Hastings Center for Bioethics

Listen to the podcast.

Read the press release.

February 11, 2009

"What Does Human Personhood Mean in an Age of Sex Selection, Cloning, and Gene Therapy?"

Speaker: Eric Cohen, author of In the Shadow of Progress: Being HUman in an Age of Biotechnology, and director of the Tikvah Fund.

Respondent: Dr. Josephine Johnston, Hastings Center for Bioethics

Listen to the podcast.

Read the press release.

January 28, 2009

"What Are the Moral Crises That Arise Daily at Today's Urban Hospitals?

Speaker: Julie Salamon, best-selling author of Hospital, and former reporter and critic for the New York Times and Wall Street Journal

Joined by: Dr. Alan Astrow, Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York; Martin Payson, chairman, Maimonides Medical Center

Watch the video podcast.

Read the press release.

February 22–23, 2006

"The Renaissance of Jewish Philosophy in America"

Panelists: Leora Batnitzky, Princeton University, and Martin D. Yaffe, University of North Texas

Moderator: Alan Mittleman, The Jewish Theological Seminary: "'Coming After': American Jewish Thought in the Light of German Judaism"

View the video here:

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Player Icon 350K

Read the press release.

October 30–31, 2005

"Secular Europe, Religious America: Religion, Politics, and the Transatlantic Divide"

View the program guide.

Read the event transcript.

Read the press release.

March 15, 2005

"Vouchers, Charters, Choice: A Conversation About Education Policy"

Speakers: Dr. Jay P. Greene, Senior Fellow, Education Research Office, Manhattan Institute

Dr. Henry M. Levin, professor of Economics and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

Read the event transcript.

October 19, 2004

"American Jews and the Current Challenges of Church and State"

Panelists: Marc Stern, codirector, Committee on Law and Social Action, American Jewish Congress

Nathan Diament, director, Institute for Public Affairs, Orthodox Union

David Saperstein, director and counsel, Religious Action Center, Union for Reform Judaism

Respondent: Melissa Rogers, professor, Wake Forest University

Read the event transcript.

Read the press release.