By Chance or By Choice: The Ethics of Pre-Natal Sex Selection

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950

October 10, 2007, New York, NY

Expectant parents often have secret, or not so secret, desires for a child of a particular gender. Now medical technology has caught up with parents’ desires and can virtually guarantee the sex of the child. What does this kind of decision making say about us as individuals and as a society?

“By Chance or By Choice: The Ethics of Pre-Natal Sex Selection,” a panel discussion, will address the current state of the art medically, and explore the religious, social, and cultural implications of these kinds of decisions. The program will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 8 at The Jewish Theological Seminary, 3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street), New York City.

Rabbi Leonard A. Sharzer

“By Chance or By Choice” is part of the "Bioethics Grand Rounds" series sponsored by The Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies of JTS. Speakers will include Dr. Barbara Katz Rothman, a professor of sociology at the City University of New York; Dr. Harvey Marchbein, an obstetrician/gynecologist at North Shore University Hospital; and Shoshana Ohriner, a fourth-year rabbinical student at JTS. Rabbi Leonard A. Sharzer, a physician and Senior Fellow in Bioethics of the Louis Finkelstein Institute, will moderate.

Admission is free; photo ID is required. For more information and to RSVP, please call (212) 280-6093 or email

Editors/Reporters: To cover "By Chance or By Choice" please contact Sherry Kirschenbaum in the Department of Communications at (212) 678-8953.

Since 1938, The Finkelstein Institute of JTS has maintained an innovative interfaith and inter-group relations program that advances dialogue among diverse communities about matters at the intersection of religion and public affairs. Founded in 1886 as a rabbinical school, The Jewish Theological Seminary today is the academic and spiritual center of Conservative Judaism worldwide, encompassing a world-class library and five schools. JTS trains tomorrow's religious, educational, academic and lay leaders for the Jewish community and beyond.