The National Center for Jewish Healing

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Senior Resource Faculty (SeRaF)

The Senior Resource Faculty (SeRaF) project was designed to support the development of both a leadership cadre for the Jewish healing movement and the publication of resources and materials for the field of Jewish healing.

Funding toward the initial printing and web posting of these publications/resources was provided by The Nathan Cummings Foundation as part of their support for SeRaF, a joint project of the National Center Jewish Healing of JBFCS and its partner, The Kalsman Institute of Judaism and Health of HUC-JIR.

Access to God: 54 Ways You Can Get Closer (Without the Internet)
Rabbi H. Rafael Goldstein, BCC
Summary: The purpose of this compilation is to help individuals connect with Jewish spirituality and learning through the portal of easily accessible Torah commentaries. Each Torah portion is an access point, a password that has the potential for enabling the reader to make a connection to God and stimulate an interest in further Jewish learning.

Advanced Jewish Healing Program (2nd year report of a 3-year project)
Sharona Silverman, MPH, Director, Deutsch Family Shalom Center, Temple Chai
Summary: The Advanced Jewish Healing Program was developed at Temple Chai in Phoenix as a three year project called "Lilmode, Lelamed, Lenakhm" or "To Learn, To Teach, To Comfort." The main goal of the program is to deepen the participants' understanding of Jewish healing practices and the mitzvot of healing. As a result, the participants have opportunities to explore and implement projects intended to bring healing to their personal and professional work as well as the congregation and the community.

Bringing Caring to the Synagogue with Jewish Congregational Nursing
Karen Kosarin Frank, RN
Summary: An introduction to Project Shin - an innovative and successful model of Spiritual Healing Integrating Nursing developed through collaboration between the Jewish Health and Healing Center of the JCC of Metro-West, New Jersey, local synagogues and Jewish senior center programs. It includes vignettes, program philosophy and methodology. This is an inspiring overview of how Congregational Nursing can help communities better respond to the needs of their elderly in a holistic manner and strengthen caring responses within synagogues.

Healing Circles: A Manual for Integrating Spirituality into the Workplace
Marjorie Sokoll, BSW, M.Ed.
Summary: Healing Circles created especially for the workplace were an outgrowth of Jewish Healing Connections at JF&CS of Greater Boston.  Since many of us face difficult challenges professionally and personally regarding illness or loss, Healing Circles are an innovative tool to provide support in the workplace.  Healing Circles are essentially a gathering time for staff to experience shared support, connection and self-renewal.  This "how to" manual provides a roadmap for offering Healing Circles in various workplace settings.

The Mitzvah of Bikur Cholim: A Model for Building Community In Contemporary Synagogues
Rabbi Janet Offel
Summary: The mitzvah of bikkur cholim, visiting the sick, is considered one of the most important obligations in Jewish life. Based on practical experience with a variety of bikkur cholim groups and as an outcome of an eight - week training program for volunteers, strategies and components of a needs-based model are proposed. The authors encourage synagogues to step back and re-envision a model of bikkur cholim that enables all members of the synagogue to be involved, each in his or her own capacity.

The National Center for Jewish Healing Website (www.ncjh.org)
Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub, LCSW and Susan J. Rosenthal, LCSW
Summary: This website provides an overview of Jewish healing, access to an international network of Jewish healing centers, training resources, click and print Jewish healing resources, approaches to starting a Jewish healing center, program samples and publications. New information and resources are added regularly.

A Public Health Prospective on Religion — Health Connection
Gila S. Silverman, MPH
Summary: Until recently, the Jewish Healing movement has primarily combined Jewish teachings and traditions, social work and counseling. Yet there are other fields that have much to offer to Jewish Healing, in terms of models for practice, potential for collaboration, and theoretical frameworks. One of these is Public Health, although the connection between Public Health approaches and Jewish Healing has been little explored. This paper seeks to begin to bridge this gap, by exploring the social epidemiology of religion and spirituality, and discussing the significance of incorporating spirituality and religion into public health programming

Out of the Depth: Jewish Spiritual Support for Parents of Estranged Children
Carol P. Hausman, Ph.D.
Summary: A journey through a multi-session Jewish spiritual support group for parents of estranged adult children complete with citations of biblical texts, stories and rituals used as triggers for exploring a broad range of complex feelings and issues. "The healing that took place with these parents arose from their connections to the ancient parents from their tradition; from the ability to comfort each other, from their having a place to tell their story and to be heard..."

Text as Shelter from the Storm
(excerpted from Jewish Pastoral Care, 2nd Ed. and also found in The Outstretched Arm on Shavuot)
Rabbi Sheldon Marder
Summary: An excerpt from the chapter entitled "God Is in the Text: Using Sacred Text and Teaching in Jewish Pastoral Care," which appears with complete citations in the volume Jewish Pastoral Care: A Practical Handbook from Traditional and Contemporary Sources (2nd Edition), Edited by Rabbi Dayle A. Friedman, MAJCS, MSW, available from Jewish Lights Publishing http://www.jewishlights.com/.

Theologies of Suffering: How Judaism Can Help You Cope
Rabbi Rebecca W. Sirbu
Summary: Anyone who is trying to find meaning in their suffering, or who has questions about God and is seeking support or help from the Jewish tradition will find this booklet to be an accessible and helpful introductory resource. All of us struggle with how to create meaning and this booklet offers a glimpse of some of the many resources within Judaism. Included are highlights of three different theologies of suffering, a series of exercises to help clarify notions of God and some tools for how to cope with suffering.

Torah, Torah Study, and Torah Reflections: An Introduction
Rabbi Natan Fenner, BCC
Summary: A brief and accessible introduction to Torah, Torah study and Torah Reflections, commentaries on the weekly Torah portion especially attuned to the themes facing individuals, family and friends facing illness, loss and other bumps in the road. This introduction includes a website address to the bi-weekly Torah Reflections organized and offered by the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center.

With Sweetness from The Rock
Rabbi Stephanie Dickstein, LMSW
Summary: Caregiving seldom happens in a straight line and the emotions of caregiving do not follow a pre-defined path. Joy and despair, success and failure, and a step forward and a step backward can all happen within one hour. This resources offers caregivers spiritual support from the sustaining well of Jewish writings and touches on some of the emotional an spiritual feelings that are common among caregivers. A sample of the Introduction and Table of Contents is presented as well as information on how to purchase this resource.

Jewish Connections Programs

©2011 The National Center for Jewish Healing
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