Dr. Mark Goldfeder visits Sandler Family Campus for a trio of events

November 20, 2017

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The Norfolk Kollel, in partnership with United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Community Relations Council and Society of Professionals, hosted Dr. Mark Goldfeder for a series of events on October 17 at the Simon Family JCC on the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus.

Goldfeder, a senior fellow and project director at the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University and an ordained rabbi, taught a Continuing Legal Education class for attorneys, Secular Law v. Halacha: A Comparative Approach.

In some areas of Jewish law, it is required that secular law must not be broken. Goldfeder discussed how secular courts reprimanded individuals who used Jewish law as a defense for their actions and accused them of deliberately misinterpreting Jewish law.

At UJFT’s Society of Professionals’ Conversations Series, Goldfeder spoke about his work as a member of American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) to combat anti-Semitism and anti-Israel activities, particularly on college campuses. He urged any lawyer that wants to help ACLJ or other similar organizations to volunteer.

The day concluded with a standing- room only discussion about Israel’s relationship with the United Nations and legal aspects of anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) bills. Goldfeder noted that the UN and some of its committees have shown tremendous bias against Israel by condemning it more than any other country or organization.

Goldfeder provided significant context on a variety of issues with his audiences gaining a deeper understanding about Israel, Jewish law, and how everyone can assist with preventing anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiments.

“Judaism is as much about law as it is spirituality. Perhaps this accounts for why there are so many Jewish lawyers!” says Jeffery Brooke. “In any event, it was very gratifying to see Jewish lawyers turn out for the first ever UJFT-Norfolk Area Community Kollel continuing legal education seminar. I look forward to future such events and hope that attendance will grow over the years.”

- Wendy Weissman

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