UCLA’s Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish studies honored author and educator Rabbi Elliot Dorff with the organization’s inaugural Leve Award Oct. 24 in Royce Hall.

Dorff, currently the rector of American Jewish University, distinguished professor of philosophy, and visiting professor in UCLA’s School of Law is recognized for his significant public service and leadership in building bridges across diverse communities. The award was established as part of Alan D. Leve’s 2015 endowment naming the Center for Jewish Studies.

Dorff is a board member and past president of Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles, a member of the Ethics committee at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center, a co-chair of the Priest-Rabbi Dialogue sponsored by the Los Angeles Archdiocese and the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, a past president of the Academy for Jewish, Christian and Muslim Studies, and a past board member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. He is a firm believer that rabbis find time for volunteer work.

“Communal service and philanthropy really do come out of the depths of our tradition — that this is not just something you feel inside you, but is something that is a continuation of our ancient heritage,” he said. “And it is up to us to ensure it continues far into the future.”