Briefly In Religion

Medicine and Morals course

The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute will present "Medicine and Morals: Your Jewish Guide Through Life's Tough Decisions," a six-session course beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Chabad Jewish Center, 30804 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach.

The six lessons will include "Choosing Life: The Obligation to Seek Healing;" "Flesh of My Flesh: Organ Transplants in Jewish Law;" "Rolling the Dice: Risky and Experimental Treatments;" "New Beginnings: The Ethics of Reproductive Technologies;" "With You In Mind: Ethical Treatment of the Mentally Disabled;" "Secret Code: Genetics and the Ethics of Patient Confidentiality."

"As medicine advances and life expectancy increases, almost all of us will encounter an ethical dilemma in dealing with our own health or that of a loved one," said Rabbi Zalman Abraham of the JLI's Brooklyn headquarters. "But Jewish law creatively draws analogies with ancient paradigms to provide guidance through the maze of medical decision-making."

The course will examine contemporary case studies and compare secular and Jewish approaches as a means of developing understanding, he added.

All JLI courses are open to the public, and attendees need not be affiliated with a particular synagogue, temple, or other house of worship. For more information, call (949) 499-0770 or visit


Saffer to speak to Unitarians

Stuart Saffer, of Laguna Beach's online news source, will on "The Media's Role in Political Fairness" at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 429 Cypress Drive. The public is invited.

Saffer came to Laguna Beach from his native Virginia in 1966. After nearly 25 years in the real estate and mortgage business in Orange County, he turned toward writing. He wrote newsletters for various corporations and briefly started a business co-authoring autobiographies for everyday people.

In 1997 he began writing for the old Coastline News and its longtime editor, Jerry Ledbetter. He ran the paper after Ledbetter retired in 1998 until it was purchased by the L.A. Times in early 2002. In late 2002, he founded the Laguna Beach Independent and was its publisher and senior editor until the spring of 2009. Today, he publishes, writes and produces

The morning service will be followed by a sandwich lunch, to give those attending the opportunity to further discuss this topic with our speaker. Proceeds from the lunch are used to provide meals at the Homeless Shelter.

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