Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health's "Judaism, Health, and Healing for Physicians" Launched in Phoenix

Monday, February 4, 2008

"Judaism, Health and Healing for Physicians" launched this past weekend with sixteen physicians from around the country attending a Shabbat retreat in Phoenix. The Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health and Temple Chai's Deutsch Family Shalom Center proudly kicked off their latest educational initiative designed to use Jewish study as a source of renewal to help physicians integrate clinical and spiritual life. The physicians will now proceed with ten weeks of online learning in chavruta partnerships before coming back together for a closing retreat in May. 


(Dr. Elizabeth Feldman and Dr. Karen Pierce engage is Jewish text study at Judaism, Health and Healing for Physicians, sponsored by HUC's Kalsman Institute and Temple Chai of Arizona's Shalom Center)

(Dr. Bruce Feldstein and Dr. Winslow Engel reflect on a chavruta study question)

(Rabbi William Cutter teaches from the Book of Exodus, parsha Yitro, on models of leadership)

The weekend helped the physicians reflect and renew, enhancing their ability to heal others – and themselves. Michele Prince, Kalsman Institute Director, explained that "the project is clearly filling a need to provide physicians tools to continue to re-humanize medical practice. The participants celebrated Shabbat and experienced a strong sense of connection and rejuvenation. They realized they were no longer alone, and created a supportive community."

"The program is clinician-centric," stressed Dr. Howard Silverman, who spearheaded the program. "Flexible real-time and online formats are used." He noted that the particular challenges innate in the practice of medicine led the design team to create a course of study to help defuse stress and prevent burnout, providing time for reflection and study. Silverman is an assistant dean at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. 

Additional courses for physicians and other healthcare practitioners will proceed in the fall. Please email kalsman@huc.edu for more details. 

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's first institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu