Religion and Ethics in an Age of Terror

Straus Center Presents Pre-Purim Conversation with Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey on March 5

Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik will discuss “Religion and Ethics in an Age of Terror: A Pre-Purim Conversation” on Monday, March 5, 2012. The event begins at 7 p.m. and will take place in YU’s Schottenstein Cultural Center at 239 East 34th Street in Manhattan. It is free and open to the public.

Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey will speak at the March 5 Straus Center event.

The discussion is part of YU’s “Great Conversations on Religion and Democracy” series, convened by the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought. Mukasey’s presentation will mark the third talk in the “Great Conversations” series. Previous guests included Senator Joseph Lieberman and Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, chief rabbi of the British Commonwealth.

“I am honored that such a distinguished jurist and extraordinary public servant has agreed to visit Yeshiva and the Straus Center,” said Soloveichik, director of the Straus Center. “Throughout his career, Judge Mukasey has addressed the most critical national security questions of our age. He is the perfect person to take part in a conversation on religion and democracy, and to help us prepare for Purim, a holiday during which we are called upon to ponder how to deal with enemies who seek destruction. I look forward to an intellectually and religiously invigorating evening.”

Mukasey, who graduated Yale Law School in 1967, served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Criminal Division of the Southern District of New York during the mid-‘70s and then as chief of that office’s official corruption unit from 1975-1976. From 1988 to 2006, he served as a district judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, becoming chief judge in 2000. Mukasey served as the 81st attorney general of the United States from November 2007 to January 2009. He oversaw all activities of the Justice Department and advised on critical issues of domestic and international law.

Since February 2009, Mukasey has been a partner in the New York office of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, where he is a member of the litigation department and focuses his practice primarily on internal investigations, independent board reviews and corporate governance. The honors he has received include the Federal Bar Council’s Learned Hand Medal for Excellence in Federal Jurisprudence and an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Brooklyn Law School. He and his wife are members of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on Manhattan’s East Side.

The Straus Center is named in honor of Moshael J. Straus, an investment executive, alumnus and member of YU’s Board of Trustees, and his wife Zahava, a graduate of YU’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. The Center’s mission is to help develop Jewish thinkers and wisdom-seeking Jews by deepening their education in the best of the Jewish tradition, by exposing them to the richness of human knowledge and insight from across the ages, and by confronting them with the great moral, philosophical, and theological questions of our age.

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