News from HUC-JIR’s Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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News from HUC-JIR’s Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health

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Friday, May 13, 2011

CCAR Journal Seeks Papers on Judaism, Health, and Healing

The CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly is issuing a call for papers in order to put together a symposium issue on Judaism, health, and healing. Abstracts for the Summer 2012 publication are due Aug. 8, 2011.

The issue will be co-edited by Michele Prince, director of the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles, and Rabbi Nancy Wiener, clinical director of the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling at HUC-JIR in New York.

Plans call for the issue to offer theological, historical, and rabbinic reflections on the intersection of health and the Judaism — which has much to say about the effects of stress, isolation, and loss on the body, mind, and spirit — alongside a picture of contemporary congregational life.

Writers are encouraged to respond to the following guiding questions:

1) What aspects of Judaism and Jewish life are most relevant to health and well-being?

2) Why and how do Jewish faith and spirituality, and physical and psychological well-being, affect each other?

3) What is happening in our synagogues to foster wellness and to meet the needs of congregants facing illness and lifecycle challenges? What is happening in our schools and organizations? What are the legitimate expectations of temples and organizations for rabbis serving community members who encounter illness and loss or who wish to celebrate health?

4) Is Jewish religious diversity a factor to consider in the relationship between Judaism and health? Is there an association between one’s level of Jewish observance or involvement and one’s general well-being or quality of life?

5) How are rabbis, cantors, educators, nonprofit and pastoral care professionals trained in Judaism and health issues throughout North American seminaries?

6) How is the field of Jewish chaplaincy evolving?

7) Can connections between religion and spirituality, on the one hand, and physical and mental health and healing, on the other, studied and validated previously in general populations, be successfully extrapolated to the Jewish population? In what ways is a Judaism-health connection similar to connections between religion and health among other faith traditions?

8) How does theology inform our work in the area of Jewish health, wellness, and healing?

Article abstracts should be addressed to Michele Prince at by August 8, 2011. Completed articles will be due by October 31, 2011. Articles should be 2,500 to 4,000 words in length.


Journal Calls for Papers on Spirituality and End-of-Life and Palliative Care Practices

The Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care is dedicating its Summer 2012 edition to the importance of spirituality in end-of-life and palliative care practice. Articles are due June 30, 2011.

Submission of manuscripts that address a broad range of related topics is encouraged. These may include:

  • Quantitative and qualitative research studies that help answer significant questions about the role of religion and/or spirituality in quality of life/quality of dying
  • Theory that can help provide direction, such as transpersonal theoretical approaches
  • Theological and moral philosophies that could provide guidance to current end-of- life caregiving
  • Model programs focused on spiritual care
  • Existential doubt and spiritual suffering
  • Ethical issues related to spiritual care
  • Spiritual assessment and intervention, including development of assessment tools and evaluation of interventions
  • Inter-professional team functioning and team training around spiritual care assessment and provision
  • Policy development around the inclusion of spiritual care
  • Measurement of outcomes in spiritual care
  • Working with mystical experiences of clients
  • Rituals and family work around forgiveness, etc.
  • Spirituality, culture, belief systems, and views of death that may affect clinical work
  • Spiritual self-care needs of end-of-life practitioners.

Submissions should be sent electronically to editor Ellen L. Csikai at by June 30, 2011. Manuscripts must follow APA style of writing and should be no more than 20-25 pages (longer manuscripts may be considered). Address questions, such as whether your topic/idea is appropriate, to Csika or guest editor Holly Nelson-Becker,


Free Registration to 2011 Conference on Mental Health and Spirituality

The 10th Annual Conference on Mental Health and Spirituality with its theme of “A Time to Grow” will take place Thursday, June 2, 2011, at the California Endowment Center for Health Communities in Los Angeles.

Students and clergy will receive free registration through a partnership of the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles, and the L.A. County Department of Mental Health.

For more details about the conference, which includes such sessions as “Healing Effects of Meditation: Experiential Workshop of Buddhist, Jewish, and Sikh Traditions,” go to

Students: when you fill out the registration form, please write your title as “Student” and your organization as “Hebrew Union College;” please also check “Clergy” where it asks for that information and your fee will be waived. Clergy: when you fill out the registration form, please check “Clergy” where it asks for that information and your fee will be waived.

Any questions should be directed to assistant director of the Kalsman Institute, Adi Bodenstein, at or (213) 765-2131.


Request for Chaplains to Serve Tornado Victims in the South

The American Red Cross has sent an urgent appeal for chaplaincy assistance to support those impacted by the devastating tornadoes in Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.

Chaplains must be available to serve for two weeks, including travel. The Red Cross will provide transportation, lodging and daily maintenance. This is a hardship deployment, and those who respond may be asked to stay in staff shelters with colleagues serving this profoundly impacted population. Others trained in disaster response are encouraged to volunteer if able.

If interested and available for immediate deployment, please contact Earl Johnson, senior associate, spiritual care, disaster partnerships at or (202) 303-8642.

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 leaders to serve 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.