Judaism and Health: A Handbook of Practical, Professional and Scholarly Resources


The first state-of-the-art, comprehensive resource to encompass the wide breadth of the rapidly growing field of Judaism and health.

"For Jews, religion and medicine (and science) are not inherently in conflict, even within the Torah-observant community, but rather can be friendly partners in the pursuit of wholesome ends, such as truth, healing and the advancement of humankind."
—from the Introduction

This authoritative volume—part professional handbook, part scholarly resource...

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Judaism and Health: A Handbook of Practical, Professional and Scholarly Resources

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The first state-of-the-art, comprehensive resource to encompass the wide breadth of the rapidly growing field of Judaism and health.

"For Jews, religion and medicine (and science) are not inherently in conflict, even within the Torah-observant community, but rather can be friendly partners in the pursuit of wholesome ends, such as truth, healing and the advancement of humankind."
—from the Introduction

This authoritative volume—part professional handbook, part scholarly resource and part source of practical information for laypeople—melds the seemingly disparate elements of Judaism and health into a truly multidisciplinary collective, enhancing the work within each area and creating new possibilities for synergy across disciplines. It is ideal for medical and healthcare providers, rabbis, educators, academic scholars, healthcare researchers and caregivers, congregational leaders and laypeople with an interest in the most recent and most exciting developments in this new, important field.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Reveals why healing without spirituality is a contradiction in terms.... Will inform anyone who cares about humane, compassionate healthcare, regardless of their religious affiliation.... I wish this volume had been available when I was a young physician."
Larry Dossey, MD, author, One Mind: Why Our Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters; executive editor, Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing

"Assembles wise teachers and professionals to muster the ancient wisdom of a resilient people on behalf of greater vitality and robust life."
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, DHL, author, God of Becoming and Relationship: The Dynamic Nature of Process Theology and Passing Life's Tests: Spiritual Reflections on the Trial of Abraham, the Binding of Isaac

“Fabulous—a very impressive collection, and a real contribution to the field.”
Rabbi Dayle Friedman, MSW, MAJCS, BCC, founder, Hiddur: The Center for Aging and Judaism; founding director of chaplaincy services, Philadelphia Geriatric Center; author, Jewish Visions for Aging: A Professional Guide for Fostering Wholeness

“As it is in life, it is in print too: Judaism and health are a proper and fitting pair.... Judaism informs health so that we all may live better.”
Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky, coeditor, Jewish Men Pray: Words of Yearning, Praise, Petition, Gratitude and Wonder from Traditional and Contemporary Sources; author, Jewish Paths toward Healing and Wholeness: A Personal Guide to Dealing with Suffering

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580237147
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/1/2013
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 500
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Rabbi Elliott N. Dorff, PhD, is the author of many important books, including The Way Into Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World), a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, and The Jewish Approach to Repairing the World (Tikkun Olam): A Brief Introduction for Christians. An active voice in contemporary interfaith dialogue, he is Rector and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the American Jewish University (formerly the University of Judaism), and chair of the Academy of Judaic, Christian and Muslim Studies.

Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff, PhD, is available to speak on the following topics:

• Jewish Medical Ethics

• Conservative Judaism

• Jewish and American Law

• Finding God in Prayer

• A Jewish Approach to Poverty

Rabbi Richard Address, DMin, is senior rabbi at M'kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

Rachel Adler, PhD, is professor of Modern Jewish Thought and Feminist Studies at Hebrew Union College Los Angeles. She is the author of Engendering Judaism:
An Inclusive Theology and Ethics
and many articles on feminist approaches to
Jewish theology and Halacha.

Ronald M. Andiman, MD, is director of the Headache Clinic, Department of Neurology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.

Barbara Breitman, DMin, is assistant professor of pastoral counseling at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, where she helped found the program in spiritual direction. A pioneer in the field of Jewish spiritual direction, she is cofounder of Lev Shomea, a training program at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, and coeditor, with Rabbi Howard A. Addison, of Jewish Spiritual Direction:
An Innovative Guide from Traditional and Contemporary Sources

(Jewish Lights Publishing). An experienced psychotherapist with a special interest in trauma, somatic awareness, mindfulness, and resilience,
she maintains a private practice with individuals and couples in Philadelphia.

Rabbi Anne Brener, MAJCS, MA, LCSW, is a Los Angeles-based psychotherapist and spiritual director who has assisted institutions worldwide in creating caring communities. A prolific writer, she is the author of the acclaimed Mourning & Mitzvah: A Guided Journal for Walking the Mourner's Path Through Grief to Healing (Jewish Lights Publishing). She is a faculty member at the Academy for Jewish Religion, California, and the Morei Derekh program of the Yedidya Center for Jewish Spiritual Direction.

Shelly Thomas Christensen, MA, is program manager of the Jewish Community Inclusion Program for People with Disabilities at the Jewish Family and Children's Services in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Rabbi William Cutter, PhD, is author of Healing and the Jewish Imagination: Spiritual and Practical Perspectives on Judaism and Health; Midrash and Medicine: Healing Body and Soul in the Jewish Interpretive Tradition, and is editor of Healing and the Jewish Imagination: Spiritual Perspectives on Judaism and Health. He has published widely on health and healing. He is former director of the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and professor of modern Hebrew literature and the Steinberg Professor of Human Relations at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion.

Rabbi William Cutter, PhD, is available to speak on the following topics:

• What Is a "Reform" Way to Look at Social Issues

• What Do We Mean When We Speak about Narratives and Ethics?

• Therapoetics: Meanings for Spirituality through Reading Poems

• The Creation of Poetry: Is Every Person a Poet Waiting to Emerge?

• Biblical Themes in Modern Hebrew Poetry: The Schools of Amichai, Zelda and Zach

Click here to contact the author.

Rabbi Stephanie Dickstein, LMSW, is spiritual care coordinator for the Shira Ruskay Center of the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services in New York, New York.

Rabbi Stephanie Dickstein, LMSW, is spiritual care coordinator for the Shira Ruskay Center of the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services in New York, New York.

Elizabeth Feldman, MD, is medical coordinator for the Sheriff's Alternative Programs with Cermak Health Services of Cook County, a department of Cook County Health and Hospitals System in Chicago, Illinois.

Rabbi Naomi Kalish, BCC, is coordinator of pastoral care and education at New York–Presbyterian / Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital in New York, New York.

Rabbi Lynne F. Landsberg is senior advisor on disability issues for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, D.C.

Jeff Levin, PhD, MPH, holds a distinguished chair at Baylor University, where he is University Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health, and director of the Program on Religion and Population Health at the Institute for Studies of Religion. He also serves as adjunct professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University School of Medicine.

Judith Margolis, MFA, is an artist and writer, and art editor for Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues in Jerusalem, Israel.

Adina Newberg, PhD, is director of the Modern Hebrew Language Program and associate professor of Hebrew language at Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, Pennsylvania.

Kenneth I. Pargament, PhD, is a professor of psychology at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, and Distinguished Scholar in the Institute for Spirituality & Health at the Texas Medical Center.

David Pelcovitz, PhD, holds the Gwendolyn and Joseph Straus Chair in Psychology and Jewish Education and is a professor at the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration of Yeshiva University in New York, New York.

Steven Pirutinsky, MS, is a doctoral student of counseling and clinical psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University, in New York, New York.

Michele F. Prince, LCSW, MAJCS, is executive director of OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center in Los Angeles. She is a steering committee member and former director of the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health of Hebrew Union College. She is an oncology social worker affiliated with the Keck Medical Center of the University of Southern California.

Rabbi Stephen B. Roberts, MBA, MHL, BCJC, is the editor of Professional Spiritual & Pastoral Care: A Practical Clergy and Chaplain's Handbook and coeditor of Disaster Spiritual Care: Practical Clergy Response to Community, Regional and National Tragedy (both SkyLight Paths Publishing). He is a past president of the National Association of Jewish Chaplains. Most recently he served as the associate executive vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis, directing their chaplaincy program, providing services in more than fifty locations throughout New York, and serving as the endorser for both New York State's and New York City's Jewish chaplains. Prior to this he served as the director of chaplaincy of the Beth Israel Medical System (New York), overseeing chaplains and clinical pastoral education (CPE) programs at three acute care hospitals, one behavioral health hospital, and various outpatient facilities served by chaplains.

David H. Rosmarin, PhD, is an instructor of psychiatry and an assistant psychologist at McLean Hospital / Harvard Medical School in Belmont, Massachusetts, and director of the Center for Anxiety in New York, New York.

Fred Rosner, MD, MACP, is a professor of medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, New York.

Rabbi Julie Schwartz is director of pastoral care and clinical pastoral education at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Devora Greer Shabtai is a psychology major at Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University, in New York, New York.

Rabbi Mychal B. Springer holds the Helen Fried Kirshblum Goldstein Chair in Professional and Pastoral Skills and is director of the Center for Pastoral Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, New York.

Rabbi Dr. Shira Stern, MHL, DMin, BCJC, is a past president of and certified through the National Association of Jewish Chaplains and currently chairs the Ethics Committee. She has served on the CCAR
Board of Trustees as the vice president for member services. She currently has a private pastoral counseling practice in Marlboro, New Jersey, and serves Temple Rodeph Torah of Marlboro, New Jersey, as its educator.
Previously, she was the director of community chaplaincy of Middlesex County, New Jersey, and director of the Jewish Institute for Pastoral Care, part of the HealthCare Chaplaincy, providing programs for rabbinic and cantorial students, chaplains, and clergy in the field. She was trained by the Red Cross to serve on the SAIR team—Spiritual Air 450 The Infrastructure of Spiritual / Pastoral Care Incident Response Team (now the Critical Incident Response Team)— and worked for four months at the Liberty State Park Family Assistance Center in the aftermath of 9/11. Her selected works include "Visions of an Alternative Rabbinate," CCAR Journal, and “Healing Muses: Music as Spiritual Therapy,” Jewish Relational Care A to Z.

Rabbi David A. Teutsch, PhD, is the Wiener Professor of Contemporary Jewish Civilization and director of the Center for Jewish Ethics at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, where he served as president for nearly a decade. He was editor in chief of the seven-volume Kol Haneshamah prayer book series. His book A Guide to Jewish Practice: Everyday Living (RRC Press) won the National Jewish Book Award for Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice. He is also author of Spiritual Community: The Power to Restore Hope, Commitment and Joy (Jewish Lights) and several other books. He contributed to May God Remember: Memory and Memorializing in Judaism—Yizkor, Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un'taneh Tokef, All These Vows—Kol Nidre, and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (all Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, MD, a psychiatrist, rabbi, and frequent lecturer on a broad range of topics including spirituality and self-esteem, is author of over fifty books, including Happiness and the Human Spirit: The Spirituality of Becoming the Best You Can Be, A Formula for Proper Living: Practical Lessons from Life and Torah (both Jewish Lights), Waking Up Just in Time, The Spiritual Self, and Getting Up When You're Down. He is the founder and medical director emeritus of Gateway Rehabilitation Center. For more information, visit www.abrahamtwerski.com.

Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub, LCSW, is the rabbinic director of the New York Jewish Healing Center and the National Center for Jewish Healing at the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services in New York City. He is the author of Healing of Soul, Healing of Body: Spiritual Leaders
Unfold the Strength and Solace in Psalms
(Jewish Lights Publishing) and Guide Me Along the Way: A Jewish Spiritual Companion for Surgery (National Center for Jewish Healing).

Rabbi Nancy Wiener, DMin, is clinical director of the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling and Dr. Paul and Trudy Steinberg Distinguished Professor of Human Relations at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, New York.

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Table of Contents

Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff, PhD xi
Acknowledgments xv
Introduction: Judaism and Health
Jeff Levin, PhD, MPH, and Michele F. Prince, LCSW, MAJCS xix
Part I
Judaism, Medicine, and Healing

History of Jews in Medicine and Healthcare
Fred Rosner, MD, MACP 1
At the Bedside in the Babylonian Talmud: Reflections on Classical Rabbinic Healers and Their Approaches to Helping the Suffering
Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub, LCSW 8
An Overview of Jewish Bioethics
Rabbi David A. Teutsch, PhD 20
Words Worth Healing
Rabbi William Cutter, PhD, and Ronald M. Andiman, MD 38
Spiritual Resources for Jewish Healthcare Professionals
Elizabeth Feldman, MD 54

Part II
Jewish Pastoral Care and Caregiving
Jewish Healthcare Chaplaincy: Professionalizing Spiritual Caregiving
Rabbi Naomi Kalish, BCC 69
Jewish Pastoral Care
Rabbi Mychal B. Springer 81
Pastoral Care in a Postmodern World: Promoting Spiritual Health across the Life Cycle
Rabbi Nancy Wiener, DMin, and Barbara Breitman, DMin 93
Seminary-Based Jewish Pastoral Education
Rabbi Nancy Wiener, DMin, Rabbi Julie Schwartz, and Michele F. Prince, LCSW, MAJCS 108
Judaism and Caregiving
Rabbi Stephanie Dickstein, LMSW 128
The Jewish Professional as Personal Caregiver
Rabbi Stephen B. Roberts, MBA, BCC 141

Part III
Jewish Approaches to Coping with Challenge
Tradition, Texts, and Our Search for Meaning
Rabbi Richard Address, DMin 157
Bad Things Happen: On Suffering
Rabbi Rachel Adler, PhD 169
Judaism and Disability: R'fuat Hanefesh—The Healing of Our Souls, Individual and Communal
Rabbi Lynne F. Landsberg and Shelly Thomas Christensen, MA 174
Judaism and Resiliency
Rabbi Shira Stern, DMin, BCC 190
Doing Kaddish to Turn Mourning into Dancing
Rabbi Anne Brener, LCSW 205
Creativity and Healing in a Jewish Context
Judith Margolis 219

Part IV
Judaism, Psychology, and Health
Judaism and Addiction
Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, MD 239
Gratitude: Perspectives from Positive Psychology and Judaism
David Pelcovitz, PhD 251
Jewish Religious Coping and Trust in God: A Review of the Empirical Literature
David H. Rosmarin, PhD, Devora Greer Shabtai, Steven Pirutinsky, MS, and Kenneth I. Pargament, PhD 265
Population Research on Judaism, Health, and Well-Being
Jeff Levin, PhD, MPH 282

Part V
Jewish Communal, Organizational, and Policy Perspectives
A Program Assessment of the Field of Judaism and Health: Program Review and Key Stakeholder Interviews
Michele F. Prince, LCSW, MAJCS 301
Three Jewish Lenses for Work and Health
Rabbi Nancy Epstein, MPH, MAHL, and Adina Newberg, PhD 323
Jewish Ethical Themes That Should Inform the National Healthcare Discussion: A Prolegomenon
Jeff Levin, PhD, MPH 336

Notes 352
Suggested Reading 398
Credits 399
Index 400

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