Ethics in Public Life

The Center for Ethics at YU Launches New Online Essay Series

To advance its mission of promoting thoughtful, informed discussion of contemporary ethical issues throughout the University and beyond, the Center for Ethics is initiating a series of online essays on Ethics in Public Life.  The series will feature relatively brief opinion pieces by faculty and other members of the YU community.  Some will be based on talks given at Center events.  Others will be written expressly for this online forum.  Original essays will be supplemented on occassion by articles previously published elsewhere.  Topics for discussion will include public leadership, academic integrity, business conduct and professional ethics.

The objective of the online series is to serve as a lively forum for discussion among various YU constituencies: undergraduates, graduate professional students, faculty, alumni, families, staff and others.  It aims to advance several important goals:

  • To show how ethical problems arise in many areas of contemporary society and how ethical analysis can aid our understanding of crucial issues in our public life.
  • To tap the into the rich intellectual resources of the Yeshiva University community, including but not limited to distinguished members of the faculty.
  • To promote the exchanging of ideas, not merely across disciplines, but across the University’s diverse schools, campuses and constituencies.
  • To demonstrate the unique contributions that Jewish law and ethics can make to broader public discussion of contemporary social issues.

Visit the Center for Ethics Web site to learn more about the new series and to read the inaugural essay by Chancellor Dr. Norman Lamm on The Ethics and Character of Leaders – From Biblical Sources.

There are also several essays based on a March 2010 panel discussion, hosted by the Center for Ethics, examining “Is the Financial Crisis a Moral Crisis?” Articles include The Global Recession and Jewish Law by Aaron Levine, the Samson and Halina Bitensky Professor of Economics and chair of the economics department at Yeshiva University; Financial Meltdown and a Crisis of Values by Moses Pava, the Alvin Einbender Professor of Business Ethics at Sy Syms School of Business; and Ethics and the Jewish Community: A Challenge by Leonard Shaykin, managing partner of Lambda Star Infrastructure Partners, LLC.

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