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The Center for Ethics

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Center for Ethics


The Center for Ethics at Yeshiva University was created in 2006 to foster research and public discussion on ethical issues and the integration of ethical analysis into the curriculum on a university wide level.

"The fundamental mission of Yeshiva University is to preserve and strengthen the core ethical values — social justices, kindness, civility, doing the right thin — that characterize Judaism's contributions to the world. These ethical values are central to our individual lives, to the education we provide at YU, to the broader Jewish community, and to society.

"As an important new university-wide enterprise, the Center for Ethics at Yeshiva University has a vital role to play in advancing the University's core mission."

Richard M. Joel
Yeshiva University

Ethics and the University

We develop specialized courses and infuse content on ethics across the curriculum. We present undergraduate students with opportunities to reflect on the moral purposes of knowledge in all disciplines. We encourage graduate and professional students to explore the moral questions they will confront in their careers in law, medicine, social work, education, psychology, and the biological sciences.

We seek to dispel the notion that science, religion, and humanistic values are incompatible. In Yeshiva University's tradition of Torah Umadda—the partnership of Torah study and secular learning—we invite thinkers steeped in Jewish tradition to participate on equal terms with other scholars in discussions of ethics and public policy. Issues new and old are examined with insights from a rich textual tradition that is alive and vital here at the University. We are committed to taking advantage of all that this rich and diverse community offers.

Ethics and Public Life

The Center's success is ultimately measured by how ethical values translate from the world of the University to the world at large. By making ethical thinking central to every educational program, we seek to place YU graduates at the forefront of advancing a broad moral agenda for social,change throughout society.

To explore where ethics intersects with many areas of societal concern, we bring leading thinkers to campus to speak about contemporary moral issues in the fields of science, business, law, and politics. Our annual scholar-in-residence program invites students, faculty, and the wider community to interact with a renowned scholar and join in a learned conversation about the issues that matter the most to us as involved citizens.

And, to honor those who exemplify the application of principled, ethical thinking in their professional lives, the Center sponsors the Living an Ethical Life Award and brings them to the University to share their experiences and inspire students by their example.

A Unique Perspective

In all of our activities, the Center is deeply informed by the marginalization and oppression that Jews have suffered. Through faculty seminars, student/faculty workshops, professional conferences, and publications, we explore complex ethical problems with scholars from varied disciplines and diverse perspectives, always seeking to include voices often excluded from public debate.