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…