Keynote Presentations By:
Rabbi Joseph Telushkin
Joseph Telushkin, named by Talk Magazine as one of the 50 best speakers in the United States, is the author of Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People and Its History. The most widely selling book on Judaism of the past twenty-five years, Jewish Literacy has been hailed by leading figures in all the major movements of Judaism, and has been published in a third edition.
Rabbi Telushkin’s earlier book, Words that Hurt, Words that Heal became the motivating force behind Senators Joseph Lieberman and Connie Mack’s 1996 Senate Resolution #151 to establish a “National Speak No Evil Day” throughout the United States. It is being in a new and greatly revised edition n February, 2019.
In 2014, HarperCollins published Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History, a New York Times’ bestseller. Hailed by Ruth Messinger as “an astounding personal biography,” and by the Wall Street Journal as “mesmerizing,” the book, based on five years of research, tells the story of how Menachem Mendel Schneerson took over a small movement based in Brooklyn in 1951 and turned it into the most dynamic religious movement in modern Jewish history.
In 2016, Touchstone/Simon and Schuster reissued Why the Jews: The Reason for Antisemitism, which Telushkin co-authored with Dennis Prager, and which Rabbi Harold Kushner hailed upon publication as “the wisest, most original and provocative book on the subject I have ever read.” The recent edition makes the case as to how anti-Zionism, along with the BDS movement, have emerged as the most potent contemporary expressions of antisemitism.
He has also written Jewish Humor: What the Best Jewish Jokes Say About the Jews. Larry Gelbart, author of Mash and Tootsie said that “I don’t know if Jews are really the chosen people, but I think Joseph Telushkin’s book makes a strong argument that we’re the funniest.” Telushkin appeared in a CNN eight-part documentary on The History of Comedy in America broadcast in early 2017. In August, 2017, he was the featured speaker before 1,800 people at the nationally renowned Chautauqua Institution, speaking on “The 50 Best Jewish Jokes and What they Show About the Human Condition.”
In 2006, Bell Tower/Crown published the first volume of his monumental work, A Code of Jewish Ethics: You Shall be Holy, a comprehensive presentation of Jewish teachings on the vital topic of personal character and integrity. Richard Joel, president of Yeshiva University, called the book, “a gift to humankind,” and Rabbi David Wolpe hailed it “as a remarkable guide to goodness.” In 2007, A Code of Jewish Ethics won the National Jewish Book Award as the Jewish book of the year. Volume 2 of the Code, subtitled, “Love Your Neighbor as Yourself” was published in 2009 to great acclaim. In September, 2010, Telushkin published Hillel: If Not Now, When?
Telushkin’s The Book of Jewish Values: A Day by Day Guide to Ethical Living was the subject of a PBS special entitled Moral Imagination that aired throughout the United States. His book, The Golden Land, a museum–in-a-book, tells the story of the Jewish migrations to the United States. In 2004, Toby Press published his novel, Heaven’s Witness, co-written with Allen Estrin, a murder mystery which deals with the themes of reincarnation and life after death.
Telushkin is also co-author with Dennis Prager of one of the most influential Jewish books published in the last forty years, The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism, hailed by Herman Wouk as “the intelligent skeptic’s guide to Judaism.” In 1997, his novel, An Eye for an Eye, became the basis for four episodes of David Kelley’s Emmy Award-winning ABC TV series, The Practice, and he co-wrote three additional episodes of the program. He also co-wrote an episode of the TV series, Touched By An Angel, for Kirk Douglas, in which Mr. Douglas starred as a man who, after a lifetime of struggle with his faith, returns to God and Judaism. Telushkin was the co-writer with David Brandes and the Associate Producer of the 1991 film, The Quarrel. The film, an American Playhouse production, and the winner of the Santa Barbara Film Festival, was released theatrically throughout the United States.
Telushkin serves on the Advisory Council and Scholar’s Council for the World’s Jewish Museum, the iconic Frank Gehry-designed museum due to open in Tel Aviv in honor of Israel’s seventy-fifth anniversary. Telushkin has coined the museum’s adage, “Jewish ideas have changed the world without the world knowing it. Now it will.”
Rabbi Telushkin was ordained at Yeshiva University in New York, and pursued graduate studies in Jewish history at Columbia University. He resides in New York City with his wife, Dvorah Menashe Telushkin. They have four children.
He lectures throughout the United States, serves as a Senior Associate of CLAL, and on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Book Council.
Rabbi Dr. Richard Address
Rabbi Richard Address was Ordained in 1972 by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He served congregations in California and New Jersey. For over three decades, Rabbi Address served on staff of URJ (UAHC) first as Regional Director of PA Council (1978-2001) and as Founding director fo URJ Department of Jewish Family Concerns (1997-2011). He earned a Doctor of Ministry from HUC-JIR in 1999 and Certification in Pastoral Counseling from Post Graduate Center for Mental Health (NYC) 1998. Founder of Jewish Sacred Aging®,LLC 2014 and host of weekly podcast “Seekers of Meaning.” Served on faculty of HUC-JIR in NYC for over decade. Chair Jewish Advisory Committee for “Sukkat Shalom” Jewish Hospice of South NJ. Chair Jewish Advisory Committee for Alzheimer’s Association Delaware Valley (greater Phila.) Co-chair Working Group on Spirituality and Diversity for C-TAC (Coalition to Transform Advanced Care. Washington, DC). Consultant with various congregations and organization on impact of aging on Jewish community. Author: “Seekers of Meaning: Baby Boomers, Judaism and the Pursuit of Healthy Aging” and editor of numerous books and articles on issues related to Judaism, aging and family concerns.
Rabbanit Alissa Thomas-Newborn
Rabbanit Alissa is a member of the spiritual leadership at B’nai David-Judea Congregation. She received her semicha from Yeshivat Maharat and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Brandeis University with a degree in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Classical Studies Archaeology and Ancient History. Rabbanit Alissa is also a Board Certified Chaplain (BCC) through NAJC. She has specialties in Psychiatric Care, Palliative Care, and End of Life Care. She has worked as a chaplain at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian Columbia University Medical Center, and Bellevue Hospital. Rabbanit Alissa is a member of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Clergy Roundtable and the Pico-Robertson Mental Health Neighborhood.
Rabbi Dr. Sandra Katz
Rabbi Dr. Sandra Katz, BCC currently serves as the President of NAJC. She is former Director of Chaplaincy at Jewish Senior Life in Rochester, NY. She has served on the NAJC Board for over 10 years, and has served as the Conference Chair, Treasurer, President Elect.
Rabbi Dr. Rafael Goldstein
Rafael is the Executive Director of Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains (NAJC). Before coming to NAJC in 2016, Rafael was the Director of Clinical Services for the Center for Spirituality and Health of Mount Sinai Health System in Manhattan. At Sinai, Rafael started with himself and the equivalent of one full-time priest, and was mandated to create a world-class Spiritual Care department. When Rafael left Sinai, there were 35 people in the department, including Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) educators, residents, interns, staff chaplains and a community engagement professional, and the departments of Spiritual Care of three other hospitals.
Rafael’s Doctorate in Ministry (Pastoral Counseling) is from Hebrew Union College, 2014. He holds Masters’ and Bachelor’s degrees from The Jewish Theological Seminary, and a BS in Social Work from Columbia University. He is a Board Certified Chaplain, certified by NAJC in 2004 (when he had no idea he would ever lead the organization) and by the Association of Professional Chaplains in 2011. He completed 5 units of CPE at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, where he served as the Jewish Community Chaplain.
Rafael is a co-author of five peer-reviewed published research articles, and has published 4 books, including Being a Blessing: 54 Ways You Can Help People Living With Illness. Rafael has taught Psalms in the Key of Healing (his D.Min. Project) at HUC in the D. Min. Program, at the Academy for Jewish Religion in New York, and as workshops throughout the country.
And Panel Presentations:
End of Life Considerations with:
Dr. Barry Kinzbrunner
Dr. Barry Kinzbrunner has cared for the terminally ill and their families since 1984, when he started at VITAS as the medical director and a team physician in the Broward County, Florida, program. As chief medical officer, he serves as liaison between VITAS’ many hospice programs and community physicians providing care to almost 14,000 patients each day.
A national leader in defining the role of the hospice medical director, Barry has extensive experience developing professional performance standards, pain and symptom management guidelines, quality assurance, and hospice and palliative care education. He is a voluntary consultant in palliative and spiritual care for JDC Eshel in Jerusalem, Israel, and a voluntary assistant professor of medicine at Florida International University school of medicine.
The lead author of End-of-Life Care: A Practical Guide, Barry has published nearly 30 articles in peer-reviewed journals. He is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology, and hospice and palliative medicine, and attained Fellow status with AAHPM in 2005. He has a master’s degree in Jewish studies from Barry University in Miami and was ordained a Rabbi in August 2002. Together with his wife, Anita, Barry created the Anita and Barry Kinzbrunner NAJC Distinguished Service Award.
Rabbi Jason Weiner
Rabbi Jason Weiner, BCC, serves as the senior rabbi and director of the Spiritual Care Department at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, where he is responsible for the chaplaincy team and all aspects of spiritual care. He has earned two rabbinic ordinations, as well as a master’s degree in bioethics and health policy from Loyola University (Chicago), where he is completing a doctorate in clinical bioethics. He is a board-certified chaplain through NAJC, and sits on the Association’s board. Rabbi Weiner is the president of the Southern California Board of Rabbis. He is a member of the Cedars-Sinai End of Life Committee, Organ Donor Council and Bioethics Committee, for which he serves on the internal advisory board. He is the author of Jewish Guide to Practical Medical Decision-Making (Urim Press) and Guide to Observance of Jewish Law in a Hospital (Kodesh Press).
Rabbi Jessica Shafrin
Jessica fell in love with helping others from an early age. She grew passionate about providing support for people in her community and abroad. Her commitment to care for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of others led her to pursue rabbinic ordination from The Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University as well as becoming a board certified chaplain by NAJC. She currently works as a community chaplain at Jewish Family and Children’s Service and has recently started Kolot Ha’Dor: A Midrash Project.
Rabbanit Alissa Thomas Newborn
Rabbanit Alissa is a member of the spiritual leadership at B’nai David-Judea Congregation. She received her semicha from Yeshivat Maharat and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Brandeis University with a degree in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Classical Studies Archaeology and Ancient History. Rabbanit Alissa is also a Board Certified Chaplain through NAJC. She has specialties in Psychiatric Care, Palliative Care, and End of Life Care. She has worked as a chaplain at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian Columbia University Medical Center, and Bellevue Hospital. Rabbanit Alissa is a member of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Clergy Roundtable and the Pico-Robertson Mental Health Neighborhood.
Long Term Care with:
Rabbi Michelle Stern
Rabbi Michelle Stern serves as the Rabbi and Chaplain for CJE SeniorLife, the Jewish communal agency serving elders in Chicago and its northern suburbs. She accompanies residents and their families through the aging process, providing pastoral and spiritual care as well as teaching classes on Jewish topics and leads worship. Rabbi Stern received her Bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College and holds a Master’s degree and ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She is a board certified chaplain through NAJC and serves on the Board. She also serves as a member of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association’s Ethics Committee. She is particularly fond of eldercare and exploring the intersection of spirituality and health.
Rabbi Dayle Friedman
Rabbi Dayle Friedman, MAJSC, MSW, is a founding and certified member of NAJC. She edited Jewish Pastoral Care: A Practical Handbook from Traditional and Contemporary Sources. Her most recent book is Jewish Wisdom for Growing Older: Finding Your Grit and Grace Beyond Midlife. Through Growing Older (www.growingolder.net), her Philadelphia-based, national practice, Dayle offers spiritual care for people facing dementia and frailty, spiritual direction for people beyond midlife, and consulting on medical decisions and end-of-life care.
Rabbi Sara Paasche-Orlow
Rabbi Sara Paasche-Orlow was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and completed her chaplaincy training at MGH. Before coming to Boston she worked at CLAL, the Bavli Yerushalmi Project and the Jewish Life Network. She now serves as the Director of Spiritual Care at Hebrew SeniorLife and is a founder of the HSL Chaplaincy Institute, focused on Jewish spiritual care and aging, dementia care, and end of life care. Rabbi Sara leads an LGBT aging initiative at HSL, training staff and community members to better serve and create welcoming and excellent health care services and community housing for LGBT elders. Rabbi Sara serves on the Executive Council of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis and is a former President of the New England Rabbinical Assembly. She is the author of articles on Jewish chaplaincy and aging and the co-author, with Rabbi Joel Baron, of Deathbed Wisdom of the Hasidic Masters, The Book of Departures and Caring for People at the End of Life, Jewish Lights Publishing, 2016.
Baruch Hashem, I’m An Atheist: Challenges and Opportunities in Providing Relevant
Spiritual Care in the United States & Israel
Rabbi Valerie Stessin
Rabbi Valerie Stessin was born in France in 1964 and made Aliyah when she was 17. At the Hebrew University she studied Special Education and Jewish Thought. When she began to study at the Schechter Institute, the rabbinical track wasn’t open to women and she had the honor to be the first woman ordained by the Masorti movement in Israel, in 1993. She worked at Midreshet Yerushalaim as director of informal education in the FSU. She has been working for fifteen years at the TALI Education Fund as vice-director and responsible of in-service training and the Rabbis program. She was the coordinator of Kehilat Shira Hadasha in Jerusalem. She is a board certified chaplain through NAJC. In 2010, she co-founded Kashouvot, a new organization geared to implement Pastoral Care in Israel. In 2015, she joined the Schwartz Center for Health and Spirituality and began to teach CPE courses to future Israeli spiritual caregivers. She is currently the CEO for both non-profit associations.
Chaplain Margo Heda
Chaplain Margo Heda, BCC is a NAJC board certified chaplain and serves as the Jewish Chaplain of Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Chaplain Heda co-facilitates Journey to Recovery, a support group for cancer survivors at St. John’s Riverside Hospital in Yonkers, New York. Prior to joining HSS, she served as chaplain for Park Care Pavilion, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation in inner city Yonkers, New York. Chaplain Heda has mentored Jewish women entering the field of chaplaincy and is a board member of NAJC. She was recently profiled in Jewish Action Magazine, “Walking With Them in Their Suffering: An Orthodox Woman Chaplain Helps Patients On Their Journeys” and in Ami Magazine, “Women to Know.”
Rabbi Joseph Telushkin
with The Anita & Barry Kinzbrunner Award for his contributions to Jewish learning and healing.
Rabbi Sandra Berliner
for her outstanding leadership in Chaplaincy
Rabbi Dayle Friedman
for her outstanding leadership in Chaplaincy
And These Exciting Workshops:
U’vacharta Ba-Chayim: Living the Full Catastrophe.
A Workshop in Jewish Mindfulness
Presenter: Rabbi Stephen Booth-Nadav
Mandalas of Spiritual Awakening: Stages of Change & the MARI
(Mandala Assessment Research Instrument)
Presenter: Cantor Rabbi Rob Jury, BCC
What Would You Do if Your Chaplaincy Position Were Eliminated
Presenter: Rabbi Steven Kaye, BCC
Living Torah and the Living Human Document
Presenter: Rabbi Mollie Cantor, BCC, ACPE
Best Practices in the Spiritual Carer of Transgender Patients
Presenter: Rabbi Jo Hirschmann, ACPE, BCC
Spiritual Assessment Through Spiritual Assessment Model
Presenter: Rabbi Sam Seicol, BCC
The Metaphors of Eicha as a Tool for Helping Mourners
in Their Grief Experience
Presenter: Rabbi Dr. Rena Arshinoff, BCC
What’s Jewish about Jewish Chaplaincy?
Rabbi Dr. Joseph Ozarowski, BCC
Moral Distress: Clinicians Implementing Orders
That Are Morally Offensive To Them
Presenter: Rabbi Lowell Kronick, BCC
Aphasia: Finding My Voice After a Stroke
Presenter: Avi Golden
Garnering Strength for the Avoda of Spiritual Care through Keva: Making a ‘fixed practice’ to Care for Ourselves as Caregivers
Presenter: Hana Levine
Pushing Away the Angel of Death: Death Anxiety in the Talmud and
Our Care for Patients and Staff
Presenter: Rabbi Eryn London
Bridge to Peace: Music and Chaplaincy
Presenter: Rabbinic Pastor/ Cantor Lisa Levine
Presenter: Rabbi Fred Klein, BCC