Authors Posts by Michael Helfand

Michael Helfand

Michael Helfand
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Dr. Michael (Avi) Helfand is an expert on religious law and religious liberty. A frequent author and lecturer, his work considers how the state treats religious law, custom and practice. He is currently an associate professor at Pepperdine University School of Law and co-director of Pepperdine University’s Diane and Guilford Glazer Institute for Jewish Studies. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School and his Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University.

His academic articles have appeared in numerous law journals, including the Yale Law Journal, New York University Law Review and Duke Law Journal. Professor Helfand also often provides commentary on clashes between law and religion, writing for various general audience publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the Forward, and has provided legal commentary for various news outlets, including the New York Times, PBS, and Huffington Post

In addition to his academic work, Professor Helfand is an executive board member of the Beth Din of America, where he also serves as a consultant on the enforceability of rabbinical arbitration agreements and awards in U.S. courts.

Why Religious Liberty Can’t Justify Torture, Even When It’s for a Get

Avi Helfand on when law trumps religious liberty, and for good reason.

The Realities of Religious Accommodation in the Workplace: A Recent Case and a Cause...

Michael (Avi) Helfand offers an analysis of the legal battle between Susan Abeles’s and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA).

Can a Court Really Ban Kapparot and Why it Matters for the American Jewish...

Michael (Avi) Helfand on a recent court case with implications for American Jews as members of both a religious and a minority community.

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