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Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health to Hold 2011 Roundtable on Judaism and Health Research, Funded by the John Templeton Foundation

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010


CONTACT: Michele Prince
Tel: 213-765-2149
Fax: 213-749-1192


Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health to Hold 2011 Roundtable on Judaism and Health Research, Funded by the John Templeton Foundation

For the first time ever, Jewish leaders, medical practitioners, and scholars across the denominations will convene for the 2011 Roundtable on Judaism and Health Research, sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation and organized by the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion/Los Angeles, on January 30-February 1, 2011.  Distinguished participants in the discussions on the health of the Jewish people and the importance of Judaism on health, healing, and medicine will include Rabbi David Ellenson, Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, Rabbi Arnie Eisen, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Rabbi David Teutsch, Rabbi David Wolpe, Dr. Alexandra Levine, Dr. Paul Root Wolpe, Dr. Jeff Levin, and Dr. Kenneth Pargament.     

The Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health is nearing the culmination of a two-year grant from the John Templeton Foundation in support of the Kalsman Institute Roundtable on Judaism and Health Research.  To date, in spite of the 20-plus-year investment and thousands of studies on religion and health, most of which have been funded by the John Templeton Foundation, there have been few studies to systematically focus on Jews.  The Kalsman Institute aims to change that.  With the support of the John Templeton Foundation, the Roundtable’s goal is to address these deficiencies.  The Jewish community cannot read itself into thousands of interfaith and Christian studies correlating religion and spirituality with experiences and rates of illness and wellness.  Jewish religious belief, spiritual practice and community involvement are conceptually distinct.  

The task of the 30 individuals gathered at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute is to collaborate together and deliberate on how to expand research efforts focused explicitly on the Jewish population.  The Roundtable, through its deliberations and its outcomes, will establish and provide creativity, direction, and leadership to this research field.  The Kalsman Institute was invited this month to submit a second grant proposal to the John Templeton Foundation to conduct research at the intersection of Judaism, health, and medicine.

The Kalsman Institute provides pastoral education to students at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion/Los Angeles, and Kalsman promotes awareness and facilitates discourse as a center for education, training, research, and dialogue on illness and wellness through conferences, workshops and collaborative dialogue at the intersection of Judaism and Health.


The mission of the John Templeton Foundation is to serve as a philanthropic catalyst for discovery in areas engaging life’s biggest questions. These questions range from explorations into the laws of nature and the universe to questions on the nature of love, gratitude, forgiveness, and creativity.

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, museums, 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.