Jewish Visions for Aging: A Professional Guide for Fostering Wholeness

Jewish Visions for Aging: A Professional Guide for Fostering Wholeness


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Discover the Jewish tradition's insights on growing older and eldercare in this groundbreaking resource—the only one of its kind!

"Judaism can be [tremendously] powerful for those searching for new meaning and roles, for perspective on life’s profound questions, and for solace amid the inevitable loss and change of later life…. It is time to forge a new paradigm for the Jewish response to aging."
from the Introduction

From the rapidly changing retirement years to the sometimes wrenching challenges of dementia and chronic illness, spiritual questions and needs among today’s elders and caregivers are central. This rich resource probes Jewish texts to offer solutions and suggestions for finding meaning, purpose and community within Jewish tradition.

With timely—and timeless—wisdom, this rich resource probes Jewish texts, spirituality and observance, uncovering a deep, never-before-realized approach to responding to the challenges of aging with a refreshing and inspiring vitality. The insights—spanning textual analysis and spiritual and pastoral perspectives—provide practical guidance in spiritual care and communal programming to dynamically engage and serve elders and their families.

Accessible and honest, Jewish and non-Jewish clergy, chaplains, elder- and healthcare professionals, volunteers and family members will find this guide an invaluable asset as they explore how to empower elders and their families through daily spiritual and communal life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683361541
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 08/01/2008
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 8.90(w) x 5.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Rabbi Dayle A. Friedman, MSW, MA, BCC, is a pioneer in forging a fresh vision for the second half of life. She is a spiritual leader, social innovator, scholar, author of Jewish Visions for Aging: A Professional Guide to Fostering Wholeness and editor of Jewish Pastoral Care: A Practical Handbook from Traditional and Contemporary Sources. She founded and directed Hiddur: The Center for Aging and Judaism of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Rabbi Friedman offers training, consulting and spiritual guidance through Growing Older (, her Philadelphia-based national practice.

Rabbi Friedman is available to speak to your group or at your event. For more information, please contact us at (802) 457-4000 or

Thomas R. Cole, PhD, is the McGovern Chair of Medical Humanities and director of the Center for Health, Humanities, and the Human Spirit at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. He is the author and editor of many books and articles on humanistic gerontology, including The Journey of Life: A Cultural History of Aging in America.

Rabbi Eugene B. Borowitz is the Sigmund L. Falk Distinguished Professor of Education and Jewish Religious Thought at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City, where he was ordained. His books include Renewing the Covenant: A Theology for the Postmodern Jew and A Touch of the Sacred: A Theologian's Informal Guide to Jewish Belief (Jewish Lights).

Table of Contents

Foreword by Thomas R. Cole, PhD
Preface by Dr. Eugene B. Borowitz
Introduction: Seasons of Splendor—New Visions for Jewish Aging

Part I: Text and Tradition
1. Crown Me with Wrinkles and Gray Hair: Traditional Views and Visions of Aging

Part II: Aging and Meaning
2. The Mitzvah Model: Meaning and Mission in Late Life
3. Everything I Need to Know I Learned in the Nursing Home: Torah for Confronting Fragility and Mortality
4. Seeking the Tzelem: Making Sense of Dementia
5. Lilmod U'lilamed: Elders as Learners and Teachers of Torah

Part III: Family Caregiving
6. Help with the Hardest Mitzvah: Spiritually Supporting Family Caregivers
7. Beyond Guilt: Perspectives from Tradition on Obligations to Aging Parents
8. Balancing Parents’ and Children’s Quality of Life: Ethical Dilemmas in Family Caregiving

Part 4: Livui Ruchani: Spritual Accompaniment in Aging
9. Enabling Their Faces to Shine: Spiritual Accompaniment with Aging Individuals
10. PaRDeS: Compassionate Spiritual Presence with Elders
11. Spiritual Challenges and Possibilities for Jews in Long-Term Care Facilities
12. An Anchor amidst Anomie: Ritual and Aging

Part V: Aging and Community
13. L’Dor Va-Dor: Living the Chain of Tradition through Intergenerational Programs
14. Weaving the Generations: Congregations as Communities for All Ages


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