Everyday Ethics with Rabbi Adina Lewittes

Ethical questions of war and peace, climate change, housing and homelessness, and racial justice can be overwhelming. And yet, every day, consciously or not, we answer critical ethical questions as we listen to music, pay our employees, dine with our friends, and even shop online.

Join us for an exploration of the daily micro-decisions that may seem mundane but that shape the just society we seek to build. Led by Rabbi Adina Lewittes, each session will focus on a different social justice question raised by The Ethicist column of The New York Times Magazine and expand the deliberation with Jewish sources—ancient and modern—that awaken, motivate, and guide us to consider how the issue might be resolved from a Jewish perspective. You’ll gain an understanding of Jewish ethics as they apply in our complex world and make more informed and thoughtful personal choices as a result. 

Cosponsored by The Center for Jewish Living and West End Synagogue.

This program is offered both virtually and in person. All participants will be able to watch the program live and participate in discussions. In person spots are sold out.

Nov 3, 10, 17 + Dec 1, 7–8:15 pm, $70/$90 for the series, $20/$25 per session

Click here to sign up for the full series (virtual)

Topics will include:

Nov 3: Climate Change
Is it ethical to benefit financially from companies that violate your beliefs regarding our responsibilities to reduce the damaging effects of climate change and do more to preserve our planet? Is there a line to be drawn between personal and public morality?

Click here to sign up for the virtual session.

Nov 10: Separating the Art from the Artist
In an era of deepened sensitivity to sexual harassment and an explosive cancel culture, consuming media produced by those accused of serious ethical breaches has come under intense scrutiny. When listening to music or watching films, are we endorsing the views of their makers? Can we enjoy art without condoning the actions of the artist?

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Nov 17: Race + Affirmative Action
Identity has become more fluid than fixed; more curated than inherited. What ethical considerations shape the ways we claim our identities and align them with others? When might we allow ourselves to be identified by others, and when ought we assert our own identities?

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Dec 1: Homelessness
Where does our commitment to improve the lives of the homeless end and the agency of a homeless person begin? Does morality oblige us to provide the poor with the resources we feel are critical to life, or to provide someone in need with what they deem critical or desirable?

Click here to sign up for the virtual session

Rabbi Adina Lewittes was the founding rabbi of Sha’ar, a northern NJ/NYC-based, values-driven Jewish community oriented around the call to societal, environmental, and spiritual sustainability. Adina recently served as the scholar in residence at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in NYC, a synagogue renowned for its commitment to social justice and spiritual activism. Adina is also a member of the senior rabbinic faculty of the Shalom Hartman Institute, and of the Board of Trustees of the Abraham Joshua Heschel School.


All individuals age 12 and over are required to show proof of full vaccination (via NYS Excelsior Pass, NYC COVID Safe app, or vaccination card) each time entering the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan and JCC Harlem.