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Rabbi David Teutsch Brunch & Lecture: Life and Death Decisions

Sunday, March 17, 2024 7 Adar II 5784

10:00 AM - 12:00 PMSan Francisco Jewish Community Center, 3200 California Street

Life and Death Decisions: A Jewish Approach to Medical Concerns in our Final Days

This is the inaugural lecture given by Rabbi David A. Teutsch for the Rosenzweig-Apelbaum Annual Ethics Lecture series in honor and memory of Stephen Gerard's parents (read more about this series here).

Who is this lecture for? This lecture will be most valuable for people who need, on their own behalf or on behalf of others, to make end-of-life medical decisions regarding when and how to use palliative care, and to those who need to fill out medical directives. We welcome anyone interested in the subject simply for Jewish learning, in addition to medical personnel, rabbis, social workers, end of life doulas, and chaplains who need to provide guidance to Jewish patients and their families.

What can I expect to learn? Rabbi David will examine the basic Jewish values and attitudes regarding medical care, when it makes sense to switch to palliative care, and the issues regarding feeding tubes, resuscitation, ventilators, pain medication, and assisted death.


  • 10:00 am – 10:30 am: Brunch
  • 10:30 am – 12:00 pm: Lecture with time for questions

About Rabbi David A. Teutsch: Rabbi David is Wiener professor emeritus at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, where he previously served as president for a decade, and later as director of the Center for Jewish Ethics. He also served as executive director of the Federation of Reconstructionist Congregations and Havurot, as program director of the National Jewish Resource Center (now known as CLAL), and as a congregational rabbi.

He is the editor in chief of the groundbreaking Kol Haneshamah prayer book series and of a three-volume Guide to Jewish Practice, the first volume of which won a National Jewish Book Award, as well as dozens of other books and articles. His latest book, co-written with Marilyn Price, is From Gratitude to Blessings and Back. He earned his A.B. with honors from Harvard University, his ordination from HUC-JIR in New York, and his PhD at the Wharton School, where his dissertation was on organizational ethics. He also holds four honorary degrees.

An internationally known consultant and trainer, primarily to not-for-profit organizations and synagogues, Teutsch has been helping organizations for over 35 years. A past president of the Society of Jewish Ethics and of the Academic Coalition of Jewish Ethics, he has served on a broad variety of boards and editorial boards. He is also an avid biker.

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Tue, April 23 2024 15 Nisan 5784