Teaching the art of pastoral care

Many people need clergy most during times of suffering.

That’s why the Jewish Theological Seminary in NYC has opened the Center for Pastoral Education — to “teach the art of pastoral care.”

The center will train clergy and seminarians affiliated with several Jewish and Christian institutions, including Auburn Theological Seminary, Union Theological Seminary, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the Rabbinical Assembly, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and UJA-Federation of New York.

A four-year, $500,000 grant from the Charles H. Revson Foundation was key to starting the center, which opened its doors July 1. The center is a satellite of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital Clinical Pastoral Education Program.

Rabbi Mychal B. Springer, the center’s director (that’s her), explains: “The center will bring clergy and clergy-in-formation into regular contact with people who are asking tough questions about their lives’ meaning. Students will receive in-depth supervision to help them to care for people, drawing on Judaism and other faith traditions as powerful resources for cultivating hope in moments of crisis.”

Springer has served as director of Pastoral Care and Education at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York and associate director of the Jewish Institute for Pastoral Care at the HealthCare Chaplaincy in Manhattan.

JTS Chancellor Arnold Eisen says: “Rabbis and laypeople around the country have identified expert pastoral care as an essential need in their communities. This is true in non-Jewish communities as well. The center will have a transformative effect on the Jewish community and well beyond.”

I’ll aim to write more about the center down the line, after I can pay a visit…

Tonight’s subject in New Rochelle: The cost of Jewish day schools

Young Israel of New Rochelle will host a program tonight (Monday, June 8) on one of the most pressing issues in Orthodox and Conservative Judaism today: how families can afford the costs of day schools.

The program — “Day School Education in Challenging Times: Family, Institutional, and Communal Responsibility” — is being presented by the UJA-Federation of NY’s Westchester Region.

Start time: 8:30 p.m.

From a release, here’s the line-up:


Gary Rosenblatt, editor of The Jewish Week (that’s him), will moderate the panel discussion, which will feature experts in the field of Jewish education: Amy Katz, associate director for the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education; Scott Shay, past chair of UJA-Federation’s Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal and chair of the Task Force on Communal Jewish Education; and Dr. Jon Woocher, chief ideas officer at the Jewish Education Service of North America.


Also co-sponsoring are most of the region’s modern Orthodox congregations: Congregation Anshe Sholom in New Rochelle, Hebrew Institute of White Plains, Young Israel of Harrison, Young Israel of New Rochelle, Young Israel of Scarsdale, and Young Israel of White Plains.

‘Israel at 60’ in Hartsdale

Polls show that American Jewish support for Israel is weakening somewhat, but nothing brings New York Jews together like Israel.

tjndc5-5b226th6fwz1bum16k3i_layout.jpgThe Westchester Jewish Conference, the UJA Federation of NY and others are sponsoring an “Israel at 60” celebration on Sunday (April 6) at the Solomon Schechter School in Hartsdale.

The picture is of a similar event a few years back.

On Sunday, Israeli Consul General Asaf Shariv will be there, as will officials from the AJC, AIPAC and other groups.

It will be all-Israel, all-day.