Assistant Professor of Pastoral Counseling; Director of Training, Jewish Spiritual Direction Program
Lavy M. Becker Department of Practical Rabbinics - Pastoral Counseling, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
Barbara E. Breitman, D.Min, LCSW is Assistant Professor of Pastoral Counseling; Director of Training, Jewish Spiritual Direction Program at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She does innovative work at the interfaces of psychotherapy, pastoral care, spirituality and Judaism. Her current interests include interpersonal neurobiology, trauma and contemplative practice. She served as clinical social worker and program director at the Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Philadelphia from 1979 to 1989 and received the Lewis Kraft Award in Jewish Communal Service in 1983 for her work on Jewish identity formation in clinical practice. For 15 years, Dr. Breitman taught advanced practice at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work. She was instrumental in developing RRC’s program in spiritual direction and continues to supervise the spiritual directors. She is a founding faculty member of Lev Shomea, a program of Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, which trains spiritual directors in the Jewish tradition. She has a private practice in psychotherapy and spiritual direction in Philadelphia.
Publication: Breitman, Barbara. Foundations of Jewish Pastoral Care. In Dayle Friedman (Ed.) Jewish Pastoral Care. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, (2001).
Founder and Chair, Department of Pastoral Counseling, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
Dr. Michelle Friedman is the founder and chair of the Department of Pastoral Counseling at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. She is a highly respected psychiatrist who focuses on the Jewish community and has a special interest in the rabbinate and pastoral counseling. In addition to her private practice and her role at YCT, Dr. Friedman is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York.
Publication: Friedman, Michelle, and Yehuda, Rachel. "Psychotherapy and Teshuvah: Parallel and Overlapping Systems for Change." The Torah U-Madda Journal (2002): 238-53.
Professor of Education and Psychology, Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education; Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, Yeshiva University
Dr. David Pelcovitz holds the Gwendolyn and Joseph Straus Chair in Psychology and Jewish Education at the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration of Yeshiva University. He is also special assistant to President Richard M. Joel. In addition, Dr. Pelcovitz is an instructor in pastoral counseling at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. Serving for more than two decades as director of psychology at North Shore University Hospital-NYU School of Medicine and clinical professor of psychology at NYU School of Medicine, Dr. Pelcovitz has consulted extensively with the Jewish community in the United States, Europe and Israel on a wide range of issues facing children and adolescents. Dr. Pelcovitz, who received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, focuses his research and clinical specialty on family violence, the impact of domestic violence, stress management, transmitting values to children and adolescents and coping with trauma and loss.
Conference Materials: Chapter entitled "Gratitude"; Powerpoint presentations: 1) Forgiveness: Jewish and Psychological Perspectives; 2) Happiness: Jewish and Psychological Perspectives; 3) Positive Psychology in the Schools.
Director, Center for Pastoral Education, Jewish Theological Seminary
Rabbi Mychal Springer is Associate Dean and Director of Field Education of the Rabbinical School at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she holds the Helen Fried Kirshblum Goldstein Chair in Professional and Pastoral Skills. Mychal is a certified supervisor in the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education and a certified Jewish chaplain. Before coming to JTS she was the Associate Director of the Jewish Institute for Pastoral Care at the HealthCare Chaplaincy in Boston.
Rabbinic Director, National Center for Jewish Healing and New York Jewish Healing Center, Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services
Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub serves as rabbinic director of the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services. He has designed and led workshops on Jewish spiritual resources on confronting illness, training seminars for rabbis and health care professionals, and creative Jewish healing rituals. He has written and lectured widely on the use of traditional texts and practices for Jewish spiritual healing.
Publication: Weintraub, Rabbi, LCSW, Simkha Y., ed. "A Loss Worthy of Grief: Jewish Approaches to Bringing Comfort after Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Neonatal Death." The Outstretched Arm 9.1 (2010/5771): 1-8.
Conference Materials: 1) Musical Notation of "Tov L'hodot"; 2) 18 Scenarios: Who Can the Rabbi Consult for Guidance/Support?; 3) Syllabus for Advanced Skills in Pastoral Care and Counseling Course at Jewish Theological Seminary; 4) Syllabus for Behavioral Health Issues for Clergy Course at Jewish Theological Seminary; 5) The Rabbi as Pastoral Counselor-A Few Materials for A Very Brief Exploration (Keynote Presentation).
Clinical Director of the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling; Dr. Paul M. and Trudy Steinberg Distinguished Professorship in Human Relations and Counseling
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, New York
Rabbi Nancy H. Wiener, D.Min. (HUC-JIR/NY 1990) is the Clinical Director of the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling and holds the Paul & Trudy Steinberg Chair in Human Relations at HUC-JIR/NY. She also serves as the rabbi of the Pound Ridge Jewish Community in Pound Ridge, NY. Her publications include
“Insights about Self-Care from the Torah: Spiritual and Geographic Transitions of the Caregiver,” NAJC Journal, co-author Rabbi Jo Hirschmann, Beyond Breaking the Glass: A Spiritual Guide to Your Jewish Wedding (revised edition, anticipated Winter 2012), “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues,” in Relational Caregiving, Judaism for Two: A Spiritual Guide for Strengthening and Celebrating Your Loving Relationship, (co-author Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer), Meeting at the Well: A Jewish Spiritual Guide to Being Engaged, co-authored with Rabbi Daniel Judson, “A Reform Understanding of To’eivah,” CCAR Journal, “Counseling Same-Sex Couples as They Sanctify Their Love,” in New Menorah Journal, “Of Women and Mirrors,” in A Women’s Torah Commentary: 54 Women Rabbis on the Weekly Torah Portions, ed. Elyse Goldstein, “A Practical Theology of Presence, in Lesbian Rabbis: The First Generation, and “Jewish Marriage: From Legal Transaction to Spiritual Transition”, CCAR Journal.
Publication: Hirschmann, Jo and Wiener, Nancy. "Insights about Self-Care from the Torah: Spiritual and Geographic Transitions of the Caregiver.” NAJC Journal. (2011): Vol. 11.
Summer CPE Supervisor, Jewish Theological Seminary
Rabbi Alan Abrams is a certified full supervisor in the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. Rabbi Abrams is also a PhD candidate and Jim Joseph fellow in the Education and Jewish Studies program at New York University where his research interests involve increasing our understanding of how the development of empathetic skills and of spiritual leadership can be fostered through educational processes. He holds Masters Degrees both in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and in Public Policy, from Columbia University. He was ordained as a rabbi at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at American Jewish University. He has given workshops at chaplaincy conferences in both America and Israel on spontaneous prayer and “Working on the Midrashic Muscle.”
Publication 1: Doing Midrash with Pastoral Care Pros. Retrieved December 21, 2011, from http://abayye.blogspot.com.
Publication 2: Finding our voice at the edge of the unknown: a workshop at JTS. Retrieved December 21, 2011, from http://abayye.blogspot.com.
Senior Rabbi, Mkor Shalom
Rabbi Richard Address is the Senior Rabbi at Mkor Shalom synagogue as well as a specialist and congregational consultant for the North American Reform movement in the area of sacred aging. Prior to this, he founded and served as the director of the Department of Jewish Family Concerns for the URJ. He currently teaches at the New York branch of the HUC-JIR on the subjects of Jewish Family issues and Sacred Aging. Highly respected, he has received the “Sherut L’Am” Award from the Kalsman Institute and first places in “Best Practices in Older Adult Programs” by the National Council on Aging - Interfaith Coalition on Aging.
Publication 1: "The Next Frontier: Baby Boomers and Their Challenge to the Communal Status Quo." Contact 13.1 (Autumn 2010): 9.
Publication 2: Seekers of Meaning: Baby Boomers, Judaism, and the Pursuit of Health Aging, New York, NY: URJ Press, (2011).
Director of Pastoral Counseling, Yeshivat Maharat
Dr. Esther Altmann, Director of Pastoral Counseling at Yeshivat Maharat, is a clinical psychologist in private practice, specializing in psychotherapy with adolescents, young adults and couples. Formerly on the teaching faculty of New York University, Adelphi University and YCT Rabbinical School, she has also been a supervising psychologist at several New York City hospitals. She has served as an eating disorders consultant at several Jewish Institutions and helped develop the treatment program at the Renfrew Center for Orthodox patients. Dr. Altmann writes and lectures in schools and communities on mental health topics. She is currently on the teaching faculty of the Drisha Institute for Women.
Director, Relief Resources
Rabbi Benyomin Babad is the Director of Relief Resources. With a database of over 2,500 mental health professionals, Relief works to partner those is need with appropriate and optimal care.
Director of Bereavement and Crisis Intervention Services, Crisis Intervention Services, Chai Lifeline
For the last five years, Dr. Blumenthal has served as the Director of Bereavement and Crisis Intervention Services for Chai Lifeline addressing predominantly parental grief and loss of young parent within the Jewish community. He is also the Educational Director of the Harry and Bella Wexner Kollel Elyon and Semikha Honors Program of the Rabbi Isaac Elchonon Theological Seminary at Yeshiva University and Coordinator of Group Psychotherapy Training for Psychiatry Residents and Psychology Interns at the Zucker Hillside Hospital of the North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System. He has a private practice in Cedarhurst, New York. Recent publications include: Blumenthal, N. N. “Addressing the At Risk Adolescent” And “The Referral Process”: Two chapters in book in print Pastoral Psychology edited by Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski and Dr. Irving Levitz.
Assistant Director, The Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health
Adi Bodenstein is the Assistant Director of the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health. She is a macro social worker specializing in leadership, community building, research, conflict management and fundraising.
Publication: Prince, Michele and Bodenstein, Adi. A Program Assessment: Exploration of the Field of Judaism, Health, and Healing Through Program Review and Key Stakeholder Interviews. [Report presented at Kalsman Research Roundtable, January 2011].
Supervisory Education Resident, Center for Pastoral Education, Jewish Theological Seminary
Rabbi Mollie Cantor is a supervisory clinical pastoral education resident at The Jewish Theological Seminary. Until 2010, she served as the pediatric chaplain at the Kravis Children's Hospital at Mount Sinai Medical Center, where she was a member of the pediatric palliative care team, providing spiritual care to patients and families of all religious and cultural backgrounds. Rabbi Cantor received her Rabbinic ordination from The Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2001.
Spiritual Director, ALEPH
Rabbi Sandra Cohen has a doctorate in clinical social work and has a private practice in psycho-spiritual counseling. In addition she has been providing group and individual spiritual direction for the last ten years. She developed the Spiritual Direction program for the Jewish Renewal Life Center eleven years ago. She completed the Shalem Institute’s training program in Group Spiritual Direction in 2003, and received ordination as Mashpia Ruchanit (spiritual director) from Rabbi Zalman Shachter-Shalomi. She is currently on the faculty of the Aleph Hashpaah Training Program and is one of the Spiritual Directors. She provides ongoing supervision for Spiritual Directors and mentors individuals who wish to become Spiritual Directors.
Senior Fellow, Institute for Jewish Spirituality
Rachel Cowan is the Senior Fellow and past Executive Director of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. She was previously the Program Director for Jewish Life at the Nathan Cummings Foundation. Cowan earned her B.A. from Bryn Mawr College and Master’s degrees from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where she was also ordained as a rabbi in 1989. She has written Growing Up Yanqui and Mixed Blessings: Untangling the Knots in Interfaith Marriage (with Paul Cowan), as well as numerous articles in Moment, Sh’ma, and anthologies. Cowan has received several honors, including being counted among the “Forward 50” in 2000 and 2001.
Conference Material: "The Important Place of Resiliency and Self-Care in Pastoral Education."
Founding Director, The Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health
Steinberg Emeritus Professor of Human Relations, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
Rabbi William Cutter is the founder of the Kalsman Institute for Judaism and Health. He is Steinberg Emeritus Professor of Human Relations at HUC-JIR, and has held a variety of positions in his long career with Hebrew Union College. Rabbi Cutter recently published Midrash & Medicine: Healing Body and Soul in the Jewish Interpretive Tradition based on the conference of the same name. He has taught at HUC-JIR since 1965, and has served in several administrative capacities throughout his academic career including:
• Assistant Dean, 1965-1970
• Founding Director of the Rhea Hirsch School of Education, 1971-1981
• Director of the Louchheim School of Judaic Studies, 1973-1979
• Co Director and Co Founder (with Nancy M. Berman) of the Museum Education Program (MUSE) of the Skirball Museum, the precursor to the Skirball Cultural Center of HUC-JIR, 1977-1980)
Dr. Cutter has published over 50 scholarly articles and essays, and over 100 popular articles on literature, health and healing, and Jewish education.
Conference Materials: Poetry for Closing Remarks.
Spiritual Care Coordinator, Shira Ruskay Center/JBFCS
Rabbi Stephanie Dickstein, LMSW, is the Spiritual Care Coordinator of the Shira Ruskay Center of the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services in New York City. Rabbi Dickstein was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1989. She has Masters degrees in Social Work from Columbia University and in Jewish Communal Service from JTS, as well undergraduate degrees from the JTS/Columbia Joint Program. She is the author of the Jewish healing resource, With Sweetness from the Rock: A Jewish Spiritual Companion for Caregivers. Previously, she served as a rabbi in a number of different settings. She was the spiritual leader of the United Synagogue of Hoboken, and of Congregation Beth Ahm in Verona, NJ. She served as the Assistant Dean of the Rabbinical School of the Jewish Theological Seminary as well as an instructor there. She was a nursing home and hospital chaplain for the MetroWest, NJ, Federation. Rabbi Dickstein is the author of two tshuvot for the Rabbinical Assembly Committee on Jewish Law and Standards: Jewish ritual practice in the event of Neonatal death (1992) and Jewish ritual practice in the event of stillbirth. (1996) She was a SeRaF Fellow, a body of senior faculty for the Jewish Healing Movement.
I.H. and Anna Grancell Professor of Jewish Religious Thought and President, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, New York
Rabbi David Ellenson is the President of HUC-JIR as well as the Anna Grancell Professor of Jewish Thought. Rabbi Ellenson is a distinguished rabbi, scholar, and leader in the Reform Movement. He is internationally recognized for his publications and research in the areas of Jewish religious thought, ethics, and modern Jewish history. His areas of expertise and research are Modern Orthodoxy and Judaism's responses to modernity. He is a Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of Jerusalem and a Fellow and Lecturer at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Director, SYNERGY Regions, UJA-Federation-Westchester
Cantor Adina Frydman is the Director of SYNERGY for the UJA-Federation. She completed her cantorial training at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where she received a Master of Sacred Music. She completed her undergraduate studies at Stetson University in Florida, where she specialized in voice performance. Previously, Cantor Frydman was Director of Student Life and a music teacher at the Abraham Joshua Heschel High School in New York City.
Adjunct Faculty Member, Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, New York
Rabbi Kim Geringer is an adjunct faculty member at HUC-JIR and the Rabbi of Congregation Sha’arey Ha-Yam. She received her undergraduate degree from Brandeis University and a Master’s degree in clinical social work from Boston College. She then worked in the mental health field in a variety of capacities, primarily as a psychotherapist, but then later also as a supervisor of graduate students, staff trainer, and director of agency clinical services. After a decade or so, a combination of factors led her to apply to rabbinical school and she received her ordination from HUC-JIR in 1999. Following ordination she simultaneously served as rabbi at Temple Har Shalom in Warren, NJ and Assistant Director of the URJ’s Department of Worship, Music and Religious Living. Rabbi Geringer lives in Short Hills family, with her husband Colin Dunn and children, Rachel and Adam.
Co-founder, Dean, Chair in Jewish Thought, Mechon Hadar
Rabbi Shai Held is Co-Founder, Rosh Yeshiva, and Chair in Jewish Thought at Mechon Hadar. Before that, he served for six years as Scholar-in-Residence at Kehilat Hadar in New York City, and taught both theology and Halakha at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He also served as Director of Education at Harvard Hillel. A renowned lecturer and educator, Rabbi Held is a 2011 recipient of the Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education. He has taught for institutions such as Drisha, Me'ah, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, and the Rabbinic Training Institute, and currently serves on the faculty of the Wexner Heritage program. Rabbi Held has a PhD in religion from Harvard; his main academic interests are in modern Jewish and Christian thought and in the history of Zionism.
Conference Material: "The Spiritual Life Begins in Gratitutde and Culminates in Compassion-A Jewish Vision of Spirituality and Generosity" (Keynote Address).
Dean, Yeshivat Maharat
Rabba Sara Hurwitz currently serves as the Dean of Yeshivat Maharat and on the rabbinic staff of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale. Sara was officially conferred in a public ceremony at the Hebrew Institute in March 2009. At the Hebrew Institute, she is a full member of the rabbinic staff, where she fulfills all functions of a rabbi, including teaching, speaking from the pulpit, officiating at life cycle events, including funerals and weddings, and addressing congregants’ halachic questions.
Director of Professional Development and Placement, Hebrew College
Dan Judson, Placement Consultant, is currently a doctoral student in Jewish history at Brandeis University. Prior to coming to Hebrew College's Rabbinical School, he served for ten years as the spiritual leader at Temple Beth David in Canton, Mass. In 2003, he was the Daniel Jeremy Silver Fellow at Harvard University. He has co-authored a number of books on Jewish rituals, including The Rituals and Practices of a Jewish Life: A Handbook for Personal Spiritual Renewal.
President, National Association of Jewish Chaplains (NAJC)
Coordinator of Pastoral Care and Education, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York Presbyterian
Instructor of Chaplaincy, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
Naomi Kalish is the President of the National Association of Jewish Chaplains. She is a second year doctoral student at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development and a Steinhardt Fellow. She works as the Coordinator of Pastoral Care and Education at New York Presbyterian's Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital. In addition to providing direct pastoral care, Naomi teaches Clinical Pastoral Education, a nationally accredited program of study, to seminary students, clergy, and lay leaders. She has taught students from a wide spectrum of Jewish and Christian affiliations and she serves as an Instructor of Pastoral Counseling at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. Naomi is a board certified Jewish Chaplain through the National Association of Jewish Chaplains and a board certified chaplaincy supervisor through the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. In 2006 she received the Lennart Cedarleaf Award for an Outstanding Theology Paper. Naomi received her undergraduate degree from Tufts University in American and Jewish Studies, and her rabbinic ordination and a Masters Degree in Jewish Philosophy from the Jewish Theological Seminary. She is married to Rabbi Robert Scheinberg, a congregational rabbi, and they have three daughters. Naomi's research interests include the professional training of clergy, the history of pastoral counseling education, the interdisciplinary hospital team, and multicultural competency.
Publication 1: Kalish, Naomi. “Encountering the Other: Making Space for Learning,” Reflective Practice: Formation and Supervision in Ministry, Vol. 28 (2008). This article includes theory papers in Theology, Personality and Education for the supervision of Clinical Pastoral Education. It won the Lennart Cedarleaf Award for Outstanding Theology Paper through the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education.
Publication 2: Kalish, Naomi. "Evidence-Based Spiritual Care," Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care, edited by Ben Corn, Mary Vachon, Harvey Chochinov and Steve Lutz (forthcoming) on the topic of Psychosocial Care in Patients with Metastatic Cancers.
Planning Executive for Spiritual and End of Life Care, UJA-Federation of New York
Sally Kaplan serves as the Planning Executive for Spiritual and End of Life Care at UJA-Federation of New York, working to advance the field of palliative and hospice care and ensuring that individuals and their families who are facing illness, end of life, and loss have access to quality services. She stewards the Caring Commission’s initiatives to advance professional development of the spiritual care field throughout UJA-Federation’s network of health and human service agencies in New York and provides leadership in the development of this field in Israel. Sally has received training in clinical pastoral education through the HealthCare Chaplaincy, launched the Jewish Healing and Hospice Alliance, and through her work on the UJA-Federation End of Life Task Force, helped to establish the Zicklin Jewish Residential Hospice in Riverdale NY. She has been a featured speaker on end-of-life and spiritual care issues for health care, congregational, and community audiences.
ACPE Associate Supervisory & Chaplain, UCSF Medical Center
Allison is a chaplain and ACPE Associate Supervisor and Chaplain Supervisor at UCSF Medical Center at Mont Zion. She is board certified by the National Association of Jewish Chaplains and serves on the board of directors. Allison completed her chaplaincy training at UCSF Medical Center in 2007 and at the HealthCare Chaplaincy/St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital in New York City 2006. Prior to chaplaincy, Allison worked at UJA-Federation of New York as a strategic planner and grant maker for human service, health and spiritual care initiatives in New York and Israel. Allison holds Masters degrees in Judaic Studies and Non-profit Management/Public Policy from New York University.
Director of Spiritual Development, Yeshivat Maharat
Erin Leib Smokler co-leads the Integrated Pastoral Training program at Yeshivat Maharat. The program joins together clinical skills with Torah texts for spiritual counseling. She is also a Claims Conference Advanced Shoah Studies Fellow at the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago and an instructor of Jewish Philosophy at the Drisha Institute. Erin holds an MA from the University of Chicago and a BA from Harvard University. Her writing appears regularly in JOFA's Shema Bekolah, and has also been featured in The New Republic, The New York Times Book Review, The Jerusalem Report, and The New York Jewish Week.
Managing Director, Caring Commission, UJA-Federation of New York
Roberta Leiner is the managing director of the Caring Commission of UJA-Federation of New York. Over the past ten years Roberta has charted a new course for how UJA-Federation might generate opportunities for network agencies and synagogues together to build caring, inspired and connected communities. She has authored a number of articles for professional journals on the new directions the Caring Commission has pursued including its groundbreaking role in Jewish spiritual care; Connect to Care, the Jewish community’s response to the economic downturn; end of life care; and Partners in Caring, an initiative which places UJA-Federation network agency human service professionals on-site in synagogues, day schools and Hillels. Before coming to UJA-Federation, Roberta served as Vice President for Behavioral Healthcare at Hudson River Health Care in Peekskill New York developing national models of treatment and preventive healthcare for high risk populations.
Executive Director, Educational Resources, UJA-Federation of New York
Lyn Light Geller is the Executive Director of Educational Resources and Organizational Development at the UJA-Federation of New York. She has spent over 30 years working for the Jewish community - as a Hillel Director, member of the national staff of United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and for the last 17 years, at the UJA-Federation of New York. Ms. Geller has also been involved in a number of planning initiatives including planning for the 9/11 related needs of the New York Jewish community, serving as the director of the Jewish Community Study of NY: 2002, and the reorganization of the UJA-Federation of New York. She is also secretary of the Board of the Jewish Communal Service Association of North America and co-chair of its Publication Committee. Ms. Geller holds an MSW from the University of Maryland and a certificate in non-profit management from Columbia University.
Rosh HaYeshiva and Dean, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School
Rabbi Dov Linzer is the Rosh HaYeshiva and Dean of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School. He studied for many years at Yeshivat Har Etzion, was a member of Yeshiva University’s Gruss Kollel Elyon, and received his ordination from the Israeli Rabbinate. He is a recipient of the Javits Graduate fellowship, and a doctoral candidate in Religion at Columbia University. Rabbi Linzer headed the Boca Raton Kollel for the first two-and-a-half years of its existence, giving classes to the rabbis of the Kollel, and lecturing throughout the South Florida communities. He has published halakha and machshava articles in Torah journals and lectures widely at synagogues and conferences on topics relating to halakha, Orthodoxy, and modernity. Rabbi Linzer spearheaded the development of the YCT Rabbinical School curriculum into an innovative four year semikha program which provides its students with rigorous halakhic study and sophisticated professional training in the context of a religious atmosphere which cultivates openness and inclusiveness. In addition to overseeing the Yeshiva's Torah curriculum, he teaches advanced halakha in a broad range of areas across all four sections of the Shulchan Aruch – including Kashrut, Ishut and Niddah, and Shabbat and Eruvin. Rabbi Linzer teaches advanced classes in Talmud and a year-long class in Contemporary Challenges of Modern Orthodoxy.
CEO, Sr. Provost, Professor, Touro University
Dr. Bernard Luskin is CEO, Senior Provost and Professor of Psychology and Education at Touro University Worldwide. Bernie Luskin is founding Chancellor of Jones International University, the first accredited fully web based university, founding president of Coastline Community College and president of Orange Coast College. He has taught at Claremont Graduate University, UCLA, Pepperdine University, Fielding Graduate University and the University of Southern California. In corporate life, he served as President and CEO of Philips Interactive Media and Philips Education and Reference Publishing. Dr. Luskin is licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist and School Psychologist. He received the 2011 American Psychological Association (APA) Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to the field of Media Psychology and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Irish Government and European Commission for contributions to media and education.
Publication 1: Luskin, Bernard. Media Psychology and Telemedicine: The Growing Professional Opportunity [Editorial]. (2006). Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare. P. 1-2.
Publication 2: Luskin. Bernard. “Media Psychology: A Field Whose Time is Here.” The California Psychologist. May/June (2003).
CEO, Ohel Children's Home and Family Services
David Mandel is Chief Executive Officer of OHEL Children’s Home and Family Services in New York City. OHEL provides an array of mental health services to the Jewish community since 1969, including education and response to child molestation through The RESPECT Program.
Specialist: Caring Community / Family Concerns, Union of Reform Judaism
Rabbi Edythe Mencher, LCSW serves as the Specialist on Caring Community and Jewish Family Concerns at the Union for Reform Judaism, offering consultation to congregations, lay leaders, educators and clergy. She writes regularly for Reform Judaism Magazine and presents regularly on issues related to leadership development, spirituality, health and family life at congregations, schools and organizations throughout North America. She recently served as Rabbinic Consultant to UJA Federation of New York in developing programming for congregations relating to mental health issues and wellness. Rabbi Mencher was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (New York) in 1999. She earned her Master of Social Work degree from Hunter College School of Social Work.
Publication: Mencher, Edythe, Shmilovitz, Yael and Howald, Michael. Resilience of the Soul: Developing Emotional and Spiritual Resilience in Adolescents and Their Families A Program and Resource Guide for Congregations. NY: URJ Press. (2007).
Director of Pastoral Volunteer Program/Supervisory Resident, Hebrew Senior Life Chaplaincy Institute
Rabbi Beth Naditch was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1999, and earned a Masters Degree in Jewish Education from J.T.S. that same year. Beth was certified as a professional chaplain by the National Association of Jewish Chaplains in 2003. She developed and directs pastoral volunteer education programs for Hebrew Senior Life and Boston area synagogues. She is currently a supervisory resident at Hebrew Senior Life, moving towards certification as an ACPE supervisor. Her particular interest is geriatric chaplaincy. In addition to her pastoral care work, Beth is a member of the faculty of the DeLeT/MAT program at the Mandel Center for Jewish Education at Brandeis University, where she teaches future day school teachers in the areas of tefillah, Tanakh, and spiritual formation. Recently, Beth co-authored and edited Halleli Nafshi, a siddur for elementary aged children. Beth, her husband, and their three young sons live in Newton, MA.
Publication: Naditch Beth, and Paasche-Orlow. “Pastoral Volunteer Program: A Model for Training and Supervision in a Long Term Care Facility.” May (2010).
Conference Materials Presented with Rabbi Sara Paasche-Orlow: 1) "If I am not for Myself, then Who Am I-Identity and Dementia"; 2) "Portraits of Aging: Out of the Box - Case Study #1: Jacob Isaacson"; 3) Games.
Director of Religious and Chaplaincy Services, Hebrew Senior Life Chaplaincy Institute
Sara Paasche-Orlow is the Director of Religious and Chaplaincy Services at Hebrew SeniorLife (HSL) in Boston. She established the HSL Chaplaincy Institute, recently featured in Slingshot. The Institute includes a Jewish geriatric clinical pastoral education (CPE) program accredited by ACPE, Inc. and has trained chaplains, CPE students, and pastoral volunteers who provide care at all of HSL's eight senior care communities. Sara Paasche-Orlow was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and completed her chaplaincy training at Mass. General Hospital. She lives in Newton, is married to Dr. Michael Paasche-Orlow, and is the mother of three children.
Publication 1: Paasche-Orlow, Sara. Professional Development in Geriatric Chaplaincy: Revealing the Jewish Voice of CPE. In J. Michaels & C. Kozberg (Eds.), Flourishing in the Later Years: Jewish Perspectives on Long-Term Pastoral Care. Mishawaka, Indiana: The Victoria Press. (2009).
Publication 2: Paasche-Orlow, Sara. Hebrew SeniorLife Spiritual Assessment Tool. “Seven Basic Spiritual/Religious Issues and Corresponding Focuses for Pastoral Care.” Department of Religious and Chaplaincy Services.
Publication 3: Naditch Beth, and Paasche-Orlow. “Pastoral Volunteer Program: A Model for Training and Supervision in a Long Term Care Facility." May (2010).
Conference Materials Presented with Rabbi Beth Naditch: 1) "If I am not for Myself, then Who Am I-Identity and Dementia"; 2) "Portraits of Aging: Out of the Box - Case Study #1: Jacob Isaacson"; 3) Games.
Pearl and Ira Meyer Scholar in Residence at the Jewish Resource Center, UJA-Federation of New York
Rabbi Michael Paley is the scholar in residence and director of the Jewish Resource Center of the UJA-Federation of New York. He is an adjunct professor at the Columbia School of Journalism. Prior to his arrival at UJA, he was a professor of Jewish Studies and dean at Bard College and the vice president of the Wexner Heritage Foundation, where he remains a member of the permanent faculty. For many years, Rabbi Paley served as the university chaplain at Columbia University. Rabbi Paley was the founder and first director of the Edgar M. Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel, a program that brings together outstanding students from diverse Jewish backgrounds. He also served as the Jewish chaplain at Dartmouth College. Rabbi Paley earned his bachelor's degree at Brandeis and graduate degrees in Jewish and Islamic Philosophy and Science at Temple University.
Associate Dean, Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, American Jewish University
Since 2001, Rabbi Cheryl Peretz has served as one of the deans of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, teaching, counseling, advising and programming. She is also a regular contributor to Today’s Torah, the School’s virtual Torah learning program. In addition to her work at AJU, Rabbi Peretz has served as a pulpit rabbi in Los Angeles area synagogues such as Sinai Temple, and most recently as interim rabbi at Adat Shalom in West Los Angeles.
Director, The Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health
Michele Prince is the Director of the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health of the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. She is a licensed clinical social worker, specializing in oncology, and is co-founder of The Jewish Bereavement Project. Michele is determined to make a difference helping future generations of leaders meet the needs of the Jewish people around the areas of illness and wellness.
Publication 1: Levin, Jeff, and Prince, Michele F. "Judaism and Health: Reflections on an Emerging Scholarly Field." Journal of Religion and Health, May 12 (2010).
Publication 2: Prince, Michele F. "Judaism, Health, and Healing: How a New Jewish Communal Field Took Root and Where It Might Grow." Journal of Jewish Communal Service, Summer/Fall 84.3/4 (2009): 280-91.
Publication 3: Prince, Michele and Bodenstein, Adi. A Program Assessment: Exploration of the Field of Judaism, Health, and Healing Through Program Review and Key Stakeholder Interviews. [Report presented at Kalsman Research Roundtable, January 2011].
Senior Consultant, Aon-Hewitt
Dr. Reich is a clinical psychologist and a senior executive coach. In his work as a Senior Coach with Aon- Hewitt, he conducts executive assessments with follow-up coaching, all over the world - face to face and by phone. He is currently developing a program which will address the topics of effective parenting, promoting self-esteem in children and positive psychology. He also has an active clinical practice in Israel.
Director of Clinical Pastoral Education and Professor of Chaplaincy, Academy of Jewish Religion, California (AJRCA)
Rabbi Rochelle Robins earned her smicha at the New York campus of the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in 1998. Her past employment has included serving as the rabbinic Staff Chaplain at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and the Supervisor of Pastoral Education and Co-coordinator of the Jewish Hospice Program at Samaritan Hospice of So. New Jersey. Rabbi Robins is a certified Supervisor of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE, Inc.). Rabbi Robins is Co-founder and the Executive Director of Bat Kol, an organization that began as Jerusalem’s first feminist yeshiva. Bat Kol has expanded its mission to include interfaith coalition building and health care education in the United States. Whether Rabbi Robins is teaching text, assisting patients and family members, training chaplains, or administrating Bat Kol projects, healing and wholeness is at the heart of her rabbinate.
Conference Material: "Help Write HaMakor: A Resource Guide for Jewish Chaplains and their Non-Jewish Supervisors."
Program Coordinator, Caring Commission, UJA-Federation of New York
Jodi Ellenbogen Rosenberg, LMSW, is the Program Coordinator of the Caring Commission at UJA-Federation of New York. She received her undergraduate degree from Brandeis University and a Masters of Social Work from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work.
Executive Vice President & CEO, UJA-Federation of New York
Dr. John S. Ruskay first came to UJA-Federation in 1993 and served in several positions before being appointed executive vice president and CEO in October 1999. Dr. Ruskay has written extensively and speaks nationally on how the American Jewish community can most effectively respond to the challenges and opportunities of living in an open society, the critical role of Jewish philanthropy, and the central role of community. He has served as a senior consultant to the Wexner Foundation and the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Foundation, and has chaired the Publication Committee of the Journal of Jewish Communal Service and the Professional Advisory Committee of the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program. Dr. Ruskay is a recipient of the Bernard Reisman Award for Professional Excellence from Brandeis University’s Hornstein Program and the Mandelkorn Distinguished Service Award from the Jewish Communal Service Association of North America.On December 8, 2009, Dr. Ruskay’s 10th anniversary as executive vice president and CEO, and UJA-Federation’s work in that time, was commemorated with a symposium and a special issue of the Journal of Jewish Communal Service.
Group Facilitator, Organizational Consultant, Co-Chairperson, Israel Jewish Spiritual Care Network
Adi is a graduate of Yerushalim College in Education, a trained organizational advisor by the Freud Institute, Hebrew University and a group facilitator. Adi was the Educational Programs' co-director at 'Machon Meir', 'Nishmat' and for the last 18 years at the Rothschild Foundation. As part of her position Adi is now co-director of the Training Program for Community Rabbis and their wives, putting an emphasis on Spiritual Care training for community Rabbis. Adi is also the co-chair of The Israel Jewish Spiritual Care Network sponsored by the UJA-Federation of NY. She is married to Rabbi David Samson, a mother of seven and grandmother of eight.
Director of Strategic Initiatives: Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community, Ohel Ayalah
Rabbi Samuels serves as the Director of Strategic Initiatives at Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community. Prior to assuming this role, Rabbi Samuels served for six years as the rabbi of Congregation Habonim in New York City, where her leadership was instrumental to revitalizing the community. A sought-after teacher and speaker, Joanna has taught at Drisha, the JCC of Manhattan, Yeshivat Maharat, The Society for Advancement of Judaism, The Natan Fund, The Samuel Bronfman Foundation, and the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America. She received rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where she was a Wexner Graduate Fellow.
Mrs. Bronya Shaffer is a noted lecturer on Jewish women's issues, and serves as a personal counselor and mentor for women, couples and adolescents. Mrs. Shaffer, a responder for Chabad.org’s Ask the Rabbi Service, lives with her ten children in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
Adjunct Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati
HUC-Cincinnati welcomes back Rabbi Julie Schwartz. Rabbi Schwartz now heads the campus’ Pastoral Care and Counseling program, which she established while on the faculty of the academic, spiritual and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism from 1989 to 1999. The Cincinnati HUC accredited Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) center had a successful summer unit and is in the midst of an extended academic year unit. The center now has the ability to offer Cincinnati students the opportunity to earn four full units of CPE prior to ordination. This means that they can leave HUC with the requisite number of units to qualify for Board Certification as chaplains in the National Association of Jewish Chaplains and the Association of Professional Chaplains.
Coordinator of Professional Rabbinics, Advancement and Placement
Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, Yeshiva University Center for Jewish Future
Rabbi Gideon Shloush served in several roles for Yeshiva University's Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, including coordinating rabbinic alumni, internships, and professional rabbinics programs and placement. He is currently leading Congregation Adereth El, located in the heart of New York City. Rabbi Shloush comes from a long line of distinguished Rabbanim.
Director, Rabbis Without Borders, CLAL
CLAL – The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership
Rabbi Rebecca W. Sirbu, is the Director of Rabbis Without Borders at CLAL – The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. Rabbis Without Borders provides rabbis with cutting edge methodologies for addressing the challenges people face today and supports rabbis as they become creative entrepreneurs, thinking outside the box to use Jewish wisdom in innovative ways. Rabbi Sirbu directs two rabbinic fellowship programs, teaches seminars to rabbis, rabbinical students, and lay leaders across the country, and coaches individual rabbis in attaining their career goals. She was the founding director of the ground breaking MetroWest Jewish Healing and Healing Center at JCC MetroWest which offered mind, body, and spirit programming from a Jewish perspective, and the Center for Jewish Life at JCC MetroWest in West Orange, NJ which pioneered a variety of adult Jewish educational offerings. In addition to her roles as chief administrator and program developer, she coordinated and facilitated support groups, adult education classes, a women’s group, a program of congregational nursing and provided pastoral and bereavement counseling for individuals. In addition, she is a trained hospital chaplain and speaks and writes on issues of health, healing, spirituality, and Jewish women. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Vassar College, she holds a Masters degree and ordination from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. She tweets at @rabbirebecca and @rwbclal, responds to questions on Jewish Values Online http://jewishvaluesonline.org/ and blogs at Rabbis Without Borders on MyJewishLearning.com http://www.myjewishlearning.com/blog/rabbis-without-borders/.
Publication: Sirbu, Rebecca. Theologies of Suffering: How Judaism Can Help You Cope. [Brochure]. Initial Printing funded by: Nathan Cummings Foundation. Retrieved from URL: http://huc.edu/kalsman/writings/
Conference Material: Presentation outline and resource sheet entitled "Pastoral Care in the Digital Age."
Research and Program Manager, Center for Pastoral Education, Jewish Theological Seminary
Rabbi Steyer works as the research and program manager in the Center for Pastoral Education and as adjunct lecturer at JTS. She is also the program director of the Yeshiva University Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where she also participated in a two-year gradutate fellowship in legal theory. Her research interest is in the development of ethical thought in rabbinic literature, the interplay between philosophy and halakha, and contemporary Jewish thought.
Conference Material: Paper abstract on Hester Panim.
Adjunct Lecturer, Academy of Jewish Religion
Associate Director of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), The HealthCare Chaplaincy, NYC
CPE Supervisor, Association of Clinical Pastoral Education
Spiritual Advisor, Congregation Gan EdenPlace.
Rabbi Bonita E. Taylor is Associate Director of the Center for Clinical Pastoral Education and staff educator in Department of Studies in Jewish Pastoral Care at HealthCare Chaplaincy. She is also High Holy Day Rabbi for Congregation Gan Eden in Maui, Hawaii, and Adjunct Faculty at The Academy for Jewish Religion. Recently, she has been published in The Journal of Pastoral Care, the Jewish Spectator, The Journal of Supervision and Training in Ministry, and Lilith. Rabbi Taylor is a Board-Certified Chaplain by the National Association of Jewish Chaplains (NAJC) and she serves on their Board as CPE Chair and Conference Commission Co-Chair; she is also a member of its National Certification Commission. She also serves on the Eastern Region ACPE Standards Commission.
Spiritual Care Coordinator, Westchester Jewish Communal Services
Rabbi Pamela Wax is the Staff Rabbi and Spiritual Care Coordinator at Westchester Jewish Community Services where she runs a healing center, provides spiritual counseling directly to clients, as well as consults with clinical staff about the spiritual needs of their clients. Formerly the assistant director of the URJ Department of Adult Jewish Growth, Rabbi Wax teaches widely and has been published in The Women's Torah Commentary as well as The Women's Haftarah Commentary. Rabbi Wax participated in a two-year spirituality institute for rabbis, sponsored by Metivta: A Center for Contemplative Judaism. She is also a writer of modern midrash.
Adjunct Lecturer, Adjunct Professor of Pastoral Counseling, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
Senior Director of Jewish Community Programs, Jewish Family Service, Los Angeles
Sally Weber is senior director of Jewish Community Programs and Special Needs Programs at Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles, where she oversees programs targeting specific and challenging needs of the Jewish community. Her programs emphasize the importance of collaboration among Jewish communal workers, educators and rabbis and building relationships with partner agencies in the Jewish and non-sectarian community. She is founder and facilitator of the Rabbi/Social Worker Roundtable, an award-winning interdisciplinary pastoral consultation project, now being replicated as an Interfaith Clergy/Department of Mental Health Roundtable. She is also professor of Pastoral Counseling at Hebrew Union College Rabbinical School. Ms. Weber is the recipient of the Jewish Federation Micah Award for Outstanding Jewish Professional and the Career Achievement Award from the Jewish Communal Professionals of Southern California and has authored several articles on the Jewish family and on multi-disciplinary collaboration. She is a founding member of the Kalsman Institute Advisory Committee and founding chairperson of the Valley Beth Shalom Healing Center/Caring Connection.
Publication 1: Weber, Sally. Hartman, Ann. Vogel, Stewart. "Celebration and Negotiation: Working with Separated, Divorced, and Remarried Families Approaching Bar/Bat Mitzvah Celebrations.” Journal of Jewish Communal Service. Jewish Communal Service Association of North America (JCSA). Winter/Spring (1994).
Publication 2: Weber, Sally. Wolf, Michelle K. "The Imperative of Collaboration: Partnering Together in Tough Times." Journal of Jewish Communal Service. Jewish Communal Service Association of North America (JCSA). Fall (2009): 292-301.
Publication 3: Weber, Sally. “The Rabbi/Social Worker Roundtable.” Journal of Jewish Communal Service 82, nos. 1-2, Winter/Spring (2007).
Professor of Talmud, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Jerusalem
Dr. Ruchama Weiss is the director of the Mezorim Program, a program within The Blaustein Center for Pastoral Care, at Hebrew Union College/Jerusalem which is developing the field of Jewish spiritual counseling and supports the professional training of rabbinical students in Israel. She is a facilitator for the Kolot Program to increase Jewish literacy, as well as Director of the Sugiyot Chaim center, a program run by HUC-JIR/Jerusalem and Beit Daniel in Tel-Aviv.
Conference Material: "A Dialogue on the Torah of the Soul-An Exercise in Bibliotherapy."