Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, is pleased to announce the appointment of Rabbi Nancy H. Wiener, D.Min. as the Clinical Director of the newly established Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling. Based at HUC-JIR's New York School, the Blaustein Center will develop new educational opportunities in pastoral counseling for rabbinical students, preparing them to help congregants deal with critical issues they face throughout their lives.
"Rabbi Wiener brings special skills, advanced training, and a unique vision to her work. We look forward to pathbreaking accomplishments under her guidance and leadership," stated Rabbi Zimmerman.
As Director of the Blaustein Center, Rabbi Wiener will supervise the new approaches to teaching counseling skills by integrating practical field experience with Jewish text study. The New York School's rabbinical program will become the first to require students to complete a variety of supervised clinical experiences, including a year of congregational work and a pastoral counseling internship, and acquire an academic grounding in psychodynamics and pastoral counseling. The Blaustein Center, established in partnership with the Central Conference of American Rabbis, plans to train rabbis and lay leaders of congregations to be mentors for student interns and create continuing education and supervision opportunities for alumni. The development of the New York School's Blaustein Center will assist HUC-JIR's other stateside centers of learning, in Cincinnati and Los Angeles, to expand their current programs in this area.
Rabbi Wiener is currently the Field Work Coordinator and Instructor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at HUC-JIR. She manages the College-Institute's field work program, which involves placing 70 students at 50 sites annually. She created and now teaches a year-long integrated didactic/field work professional development course in hospital chaplaincy which includes Jewish text study. She also organizes student and HUC-JIR participation in interfaith initiatives. In addition to her responsibilities at the College-Institute, Rabbi Wiener serves as the rabbi of Pound Ridge Jewish Community in Pound Ridge, New York; the Bereavement Group Co-leader of the National Center for Jewish Healing/Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services in New York; and volunteers as a Grief Counselor at The Names Project of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. Rabbi Wiener received her Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Counseling in 1994 and her Rabbinical Ordination in 1990 from HUC-JIR/New York. She received her chaplaincy certification from the National Association of Jewish Chaplains and a Certificate in Pastoral Counseling from the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health in 1993.