Nancy H. Wiener - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Nancy H. Wiener, Rabbi, D.Min, MAHL, M.Phil

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Dr. Paul and Trudy Steinberg Chair in Human Relations; Founding Director, Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling, NY

HUC-JIR/New York

Rabbinical Program, New York; Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, New York; Doctor of Ministry in Interfaith Clinical Education, New York
Administration Department: 
Institutes, Centers & Projects
Academic Field: 
Professional Development
Research Interests: 
Judaism, Health and Healing; Jewish Pastoral Care; GLBTQ Issues in the Jewish Community; The Art of Creating Meaningful Worship; Moral Injury and Jewish Teachings

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Rabbi Nancy H. Wiener, D.Min. is Clinical Director of the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling HUC-JIR/New York.  She was named the Dr. Paul and Trudy Steinberg Distinguished Professor in Human Relations in 2012.  She also serves as the rabbinical program’s Fieldwork Coordinator.  Rabbi Wiener was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1990, where she received an M.A. in Hebrew Letters in 1988.  She earned a Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Counseling from HUC-JIR in 1994.  Dr. Wiener is a board certified chaplain with the National Association of Jewish Chaplains and holds a certificate in Pastoral Counseling from the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health, New York.  She earned an M.A. in History from Columbia University and her B.A. magna cum laude in 1980 from Brandeis University.

As the Director of the Blaustein Center, Rabbi Wiener has created a program that integrates coursework, fieldwork, supervision and mentoring, so that students can reflect on dynamic ways in which their work and study contribute to their intellectual, spiritual and psychological lives and the lives of those with whom they work. Dr. Wiener’s innovations have resulted in changes in the pastoral care and counseling and fieldwork programs at HUC-JIR’s other campuses and at other Jewish seminaries.  From the inception of the Blaustein Center in Jerusalem, Dr. Wiener has been a consultant and she taught its first cohort of Israeli professionals. For the past 20 years, Rabbi Wiener has found her part-time work with the Pound Ridge Jewish Community, a small chavurah in northern Westchester, fulfilling and a source of constant enrichment for her supervision and teaching, both in her pastoral counseling courses and in the course she co-teaches with Merri Lovinger Arian on The Art of Creating Meaningful Worship.

Over the years, Rabbi Wiener has co-led Bereavement Groups, volunteered as a Grief Counselor for The Names Project-AIDS Memorial Quilt, offered counseling at Ground Zero to first responders, and to individuals and families at emergency family centers following 9/11 under the auspices of the Red Cross Disaster Spiritual Care. She was also trained to train other clergy to respond to September 11.  Most recently, her interest in trauma care and post-trauma work led her to spend her spring 2013 sabbatical in Cape Town South Africa, studying with Father Michael Lapsley at the Institute for the Healing of Memories.  Rabbi Wiener also served as a part-time chaplain at a NY nursing home for 7 years. 

Rabbi Wiener helped draft the resolution passed by the CCAR on offication at ceremonies for Gay and Lesbian couples, created materials for CCAR members to use for pre-marital counseling and same-sex ceremonies, and helped draft the CCAR’s first official statement regarding transgender Jews.  She served on the UAHC (predecessor to the URJ) Gay and Lesbian Inclusion Committee, URJ Departments of Jewish Family Concerns and Outreach and Inclusion, committees, as well as a range of UJA/Federation Task Forces.  She is a partner of the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health and was one of 18 selected nationally by the National Center for Jewish Healing to be SeRaF (senior research fellows) Fellow. She has taught at national and international conferences.

She sits on the national board of T’ruah: The Jewish Call for Human Rights and the rabbinic council of Jewish for Racial and Economic Justice in New York City.


Selected Publications and Edited Works
Maps and Meaning: Levitical Models for Contemporary Care, MN: Fortress Press, 2014, co-authored with Jo Hirschmann.  Finalist National Jewish Book Awards.


"Seminary-Based Jewish Pastoral Education," in Judaism and Health, eds. Prince and Levin, co-authored with Julie Schwartz and Michele Prince, a Fall 2013.

“Pastoral Care in a Postmodern World: Promoting Spiritual Health Across the Life Cycle,” in Judaism and Health, eds. Prince and Levin, co-authored with Barbara E. Breitman, Fall 2013. 

“P’tach Libi B’Toratecha (Open My Heart to Your Torah): Jewish Pastoral Theology in Process,” CCAR Journal, Summer 2012, co-authored with Barbara E. Breitman and Mychal B. Springer. 

Beyond Breaking the Glass: A Spiritual Guide to Your Jewish Wedding (revised edition), New York: CCAR Press, 2012 

"Insights About Self-Care from the Torah: Spiritual and Geographic Transitions of the Caregiver," in NAJC Journal, Spring 2011.


Judaism for Two, VT: Jewish Lights, 2005

Toeivah: A Reform Jewish Understanding,” in CCAR Journal, 2005

Meeting at the Well. New York: UAHC Press, 2002

Current and Future Courses
Introduction to Pastoral Care and Counseling
Clergy Counseling for the Life Cycle I and II
Jewish Models of Care
The Art of Creating Meaningful Worship
Public Lecture Topics
Levitical Insights about Self-Care for the Caregiver
Through A New Lens: Looking at the Counseling Relationship in light of the Jewish Holiday Calendar
Stories of Healing/Stories that Heal
Creating a Caring Community
End-of-Life Decision Making