Rabbi Nancy H. Wiener and Rabbi Jo Hirschmann's "Maps and Meaning: Levitical Models for Contemporary Care"

Monday, November 17, 2014


Rabbi Nancy H. Wiener and Rabbi Jo Hirschmann's Maps and Meaning: Levitical Models for Contemporary Care (Fortress Press, 2014) is rooted in the authors’ experience as clergy and chaplains and is relevant to those looking for a fresh perspective on biblical narratives related to the role of the priest, patients, soldiers, and others who spend time “outside the camp.”

Drawing on diverse fields, from neuroscience to anthropology, the authors consider the geographical, interpersonal, temporal, and spiritual transitions individuals experience when they move “in” and “out of the camp” and the impact their time outside the camp has on family and community. They offer a unique perspective on self-care for caregivers of different disciplines who negotiate these transitions in their work. And they explore the lives and transitions of patients and returning veterans. 

Drawing on contemporary explorations of stigma, the authors raise communal questions related to healthcare, returning veterans, and incarcerated people. They propose a societal approach that embraces the inevitability of life’s ebbs and flow and that draws maps to facilitate these journeys.

Rabbi Nancy H. Wiener, D.Min. is Clinical Director of the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling at the New York campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.  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.

Rabbi Jo Hirschmann is a board certified chaplain and an ACPE supervisory candidate. A chaplain who has worked in hospice and psychiatric settings, she is currently helping to develop a new Clinical Pastoral Education program at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City.

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading 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