Moving Forward Towards the Ancient Sephardic Practice of DEI

March 23, 2021

Rabbi Daniel Bouskila, Rabbi/Director at the Sephardic Education Center introduced fellows to Classic Sephardic Judaism and examples of how Sephardic sages and leaders have created equitable, inclusive, and adaptive communities through the ages. He grounded his talk in lessons articulated by Rabbi Yitshak Chouraqui, a Sephardic Scholar from Jerusalem who noted the following:

” Faced with the social, cultural, and technological upheavals of the past two centuries, Sephardi rabbis in Muslim lands did not withdraw from modern society, and did not choose to create a strict, isolationist Orthodoxy. Instead they faced modernity exhibiting a spirit of openness and flexibility. Attention to the dynamic sources of human life is a central element in Classic Sephardi and North African jurisprudence. To put this approach into practice as a factor in halakhic decision making, a sage must exhibit love for those affected by his decision, and sympathy for their needs and circumstances.”

Rabbi Bouskila provided a detailed source document to benefit all fellows and those visiting this website

Rabbi Daniel Bouskila is widely known in the Jewish community for his dynamic lectures, thought-provoking sermons and creative articles on a wide variety of Jewish topics. His 26-year rabbinic career represents a unique blend of spiritual leadership, intellectual pursuits and Jewish communal professionalism.

From 1993-2009, he was the rabbi of the Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel in Los Angeles, during which he was also an instructor in Jewish Studies at Shalhevet High School (fun fact: he coached the Shalhevet Girls Varsity Basketball Team to back-to-back national tournament championships).

In 2009, he assumed the leadership of the Sephardic Educational Center (SEC), an international educational and cultural organization with its own historic campus in the Old City of Jerusalem. Under his leadership, the SEC has become a world renowned Sephardic think tank that translates and teaches the moderate halakhic approach and tolerant worldview of Classic Sephardic Judaism’s major rabbinic figures.

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