ounded on the principle that health and healing are a fundamental
part of the Jewish religious experience, the Kalsman Institute on Judaism
and Health exemplifies HUC-JIR’s cutting edge research
resources. The Kalsman Institute is an educational
training center that has direct impact on
HUC-JIR’s students, alumni, Reform
Movement lay and professional
leaders, and all those committed
to spirituality and healing.
Lee and Irving Kalsman, of blessed
memory, and their children, Peachy
and Mark Levy, endowed the
Kalsman Institute in recognition of the
healing role played by a rabbinical
student chaplain, now Rabbi Judith
Schindler, during Irving Kalsman’s
hospitalization eleven years ago.
This innovative, national ‘think tank,’
based at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles,” noted
Dr. William Cutter, its Director, “is a
center for theological and philosophical discourse that provides a meeting
ground for exploring medical and patient provision aspects of health care,
advocacy around issues involving health care provisions and ethics, training
for future religious and professional leaders in these complex issues, and
new models of training for the broader field of health care in the United
States. Through dialogue, interpretation and progressive practice, the Kalsman
Institute embodies the deepest values of Judaism and the Reform Movement.”
The Kalsman Institute provides Jewish clinical pastoral education
CPE) for HUC-JIR’s rabbinical students in clinical settings,
learning environments, interfaith dialogue, and
supervision taught by HUC-JIR faculty in
conjunction with UCLA Medical Center’s
Department of Spiritual Care. Through the
Kalsman/Mayer Chaplaincy Internships,
established by Herbert Mayer, students
are placed in hospital, congregational,
and agency settings under the
supervision of on-site chaplains
and rabbis.
But the Kalsman Institute’s reach
penetrates the larger community, as well. In
January 2003, more than 80 partners of the
Kalsman Institute — agencies, organizations,
and individuals devoted to health and healing from
a Jewish and ecumenical religious perspective —
gathered for presentations that included “Thinking
About Stigma: What the Health and Human Rights
Movement and the Jewish Health and Healing
Movement Can Learn From Each Other.”
In May, 2003, an unprecedented gathering of 275 nurses, rabbis,
physicians, cantors, educators, artists, mental-health professionals,
students, laypeople, and others convened for a conference
on health and healing cosponsored with Temple
Chai of Phoenix.
In December 2003, the Kalsman
Institute sponsored a conference
on “Models of Cooperation:
Reflections on the Jewish Healing
Movement,” together with the Bay
Area Jewish Healing Center and
the University of California San
Francisco School of Medicine,
which presented models for creating
interdisciplinary teams within communities
to do health-related work.
The Kalsman Institute’s partnership with the National Center for Jewish
Healing, funded by The Nathan Cummings Foundation, is creating a “senior
faculty” for the Jewish Healing Movement. In it’s partnership with DeLeT,
Day School Leadership Through Teaching, the Kalsman Institute helps
day-school teachers weave Jewish traditions and values regarding health
and healing into general studies and Jewish studies curricula.
The Kalsman Institute, together with the HUC-UC Center for the Study
of Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems, is part of the Academic
Coalition for Jewish Bioethics, which is sponsoring a national conference
in February-March 2004 on “Addressing Quality of Life: A Challenge for
Jewish Bio-Ethics.” The Kalsman Institute is also working with
a national STAR-funded project, where nurses, rabbis, social workers,
and healthcare advocates convene to develop a
philosophy of, and training curriculum for,
congregational nursing.
The Art of Aging: Cultural Representations”
is the theme of the Kalsman Institute’s
forthcoming workshop on April 29 th at
HUC-JIR/New York. Healthcare and
social service professionals, clergy,
artists, writers, and the general public
will explore creativity and the aging
process in conjuction with the HUC-JIR
Museum’s exhibition, “The Art of Aging.”
The Kalsman Institute’s website:
provides an
encyclopedic directory of resources, conference
proceedings, projects, and partnerships. In
addition, the website offers
composed by rabbis and health care providers, as
well as essays and presentations on bioethics and
health care law.
Annual Report
Page 11
Mark Levy,
Dr. Bill Cutter, Lee
Kalsman, z”l, and Peachy Levy
l to r) at the inaugural Kalsman
Institute conference “Re-imagining
Illness, Re-imagining Health”
Hope and Healing:
The Kalsman
Institute on Judaism and Health
Dr. Bill Cutter (r) with participants at the
Kalsman Institute conference “Mining the
Jewish Tradition for its Healing Wisdom”