Dear colleagues,

With great pleasure, I invite you to register for the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Society of Jewish Ethics (SJE) in Louisville, Kentucky January 3-6. As always, the SJE Annual Meeting is held concurrently with the Annual Meetings of both Society of Christian Ethics (SCE) and the Society for the Study of Muslim Ethics (SSME), affording SJE members the opportunity to attend SCE and SSME sessions as well as SJE sessions.

This year the SJE has eight full sessions – two more than last year – starting Thursday evening at 7:00 pm in addition to a session on “SJE Works-in-Progress.”

Our sessions always feature original, cutting edge scholarship and I’m pleased to report that one of our members, Mira Wasserman, just won the prestigious Salo Baron Prize from the American Academy of Jewish Research, for her recent book, Jews, Gentiles, and Other Animals: The Talmud After the Humanities (University of Pennsylvania Press), which she presented on at last year’s conference. Dr. Wasserman will also present again this year – details below!

Full sessions include:

  • Session I: Environmental Ethics and Jewish Thought: Theory & Practice, featuring Adrienne Krone (Allegheny College) and Alex Weisberg (New York University) with  Laurie Zoloth (University of Chicago) responding and Aaron Gross (University of San Diego) convening
  • Session II: Jewish Ethics and Modern Philosophy, featuring Vincent Calabrese (University of Toronto) and Benjamin Ricciardi (Northwestern University)
  • Session III: Reading #MeToo in Classical Texts and Contemporary Discourses, featuring Ari Ballaban (Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion) and Mira Wasserman (Reconstructionist Rabbinical College) with David Brodsky (Brooklyn College) responding and Aviva Richman (New York University) convening
  • Session IV: What is the Opposite of Law? Perspectives on the Relationship between Halakhah, Personal Narrative, and Spirituality, featuring Sarah Zager (Yale University), Shira Billet (Princeton University), and Zalman Rothschild (Harvard University) with Deborah Barer (Towson University) convening
  • Session V: Rabbinic Texts and Marginal Bodies, featuring Wendy Love Anderson (Washington University) and Alyssa Henning (Luther College) with Rebecca Levi-Epstein (Washington University) responding
  • Session VI:  Imperfection and Responsibility, featuring Dustin N. Atlas (University of Dayton) and Alex Ozar (Yale University) with Randi Rashkover (George Mason University) responding and Elliot A. Ratzman (St. Norbert College) convening
  • Session VII: Death and Violence, featuring Yitzchak Schwartz (New York University) and Adam T. Strater (Emory University) with Emily Filler (Earlham College) responding and Aryeh Cohen (American Jewish University) convening
  • Session VIII: Maternal Experience as Resource and Challenge to Religious Ethics, is convened by Irene Oh (George Washington University) and features four panelists including two from SJE, Mara Benjamin (Mt. Holyoke College) and Michal Raucher (Rutgers University) and two from SCE, Sandra J. Sullivan-Dunbar (Loyola University Chicago) and  Cristina Traina (Northwestern University)
Our SJE Works-in-Progress session will feature Elias Sacks (University of Colorado-Boulder) and Amanda Mbuvi (High Point University) with Martin Kavka (Florida State University) responding.

Please go to the SJE website for a detailed program featuring times and paper titles. To get the best rate, join or renew your membership at the site, and then register for the annual conference at the reduced member rate. The best rates are available now, so register as soon as possible.

As valuable as our formal sessions are, the informal opportunities for networking, discussion, and colleagueship are what have made so many of us regular attendees. I especially encourage all attendees to register for our deeply subsidized Shabbat dinner (Friday) and lunch (Saturday). All are welcome regardless whether you are Jewish or regularly observe Shabbat.

The SJE has a limited number of scholarships available to assist with the costs of attending the conference, and you may apply online at deadline for scholarship applications has been extended to November 2 (we also accept late requests when funds are available). We are delighted that this year we will again be able to honor one graduate student as the Adrienne Asch Memorial Fellow.  Graduate students interested in the Asch scholarship should follow the special instructions on our scholarship application page.

We are grateful to all who can make a donation to help support these scholarships and graduate students attending the conference.  We hope that, while you register for the conference, you will also make a donation to the SJE or to our Adrienne Asch scholarship fund.  More information about donations is available at

I look forward to seeing you in Portland! Further details on the hotel are below.


Aaron Gross

SJE President

Please book your hotel room at the Louisville Marriott Downtown located at 280 West Jefferson, Louisville, Kentucky 40202 by December 10th in order to guarantee the following conference rate. 

  • $134 per night plus tax: single, double, triple, or quad

There is no paper form to reserve your hotel room. Attendees have until December 10, 2018, to make their hotel reservations. After December 10th, if the room block is sold out, you will need to pay non-negotiated rates. Rooms are limited so book early. Rates apply to the dates of the conference and the 3 days prior to and following the meeting. If you wish to extend your stay outside of these dates, you will need to book a separate reservation on the Web site or contact the hotel directly.

Hotel reservations in the SCE/SJE/SSME ROOM BLOCK may be made in one of the following ways:

Please know that we were again able to negotiate complimentary internet in guest rooms, complimentary access to the fitness center and indoor pool. The Fitness Center is open 24 hours.

If you experience a problem with making your reservation, please email Linda and she will assist you. If you get a message that the hotel is sold out, please contact Linda with the dates you desire, and type of room needed (king vs 2 beds) and she will contact the hotel to clarify the issue.

If the reserved block of rooms fills early, we may be able to add more rooms at the conference rate, but our negotiating leverage diminishes rapidly as we approach the December deadline. So book early!

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