Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, awarded Rabbi Dayle A. Friedman with the Doctor of Divinity at Graduation Ceremonies in New York on Thursday, April 29, 2010, at Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York. Rabbi Friedman was honored for 25 years of scholarly distinction as an alumnus of HUC-JIR.
Rabbi Friedman is a pioneer in forging a Jewish spiritual response to the challenges and blessings of later life. She works to foster vibrant aging through scholarship, professional training, and spiritual direction. She is the founder and director of Hiddur: The Center for Aging and Judaism of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, where she also serves on the faculty.
Rabbi Friedman is the author of Jewish Visions for Aging: A Professional Guide to Fostering Wholeness (Jewish Lights, 2008). She edited Jewish Pastoral Care: A Practical Handbook from Traditional and Contemporary Sources (Jewish Lights, 2nd edition, 2005), which has become a standard reference for clergy, chaplains, and other professionals.
She began her career as founding director of chaplaincy services at Philadelphia Geriatric Center, where she created novel models for Jewish life and spiritual care in a community of 1100 elders. She has mentored rabbis and chaplains from all movements in Judaism and trained professionals on spiritual dimensions of later life in the US, Canada, and Israel.
Rabbi Friedman was ordained by HUC-JIR, where she also earned MA degrees in Jewish Communal Service and Hebrew Literature. She holds an MSW from the University of Southern California and a BA from Brandeis University. She was included in the Forward 50, a listing of influential American Jewish leaders, in 2008.