The Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health engages in America’s healthcare crisis at the level of public policy via public forums, dialogue and collaboration. The mandates to preserve and enhance life are integral to the practice of Judaism. The Jewish community is becoming more attentive to the crisis.

  • A broken healthcare system limits access, provides uneven quality and lags in technology.
  • Nearly 47 million Americans have no health insurance – over 8 million are children.
  • Disabled and chronically ill Americans do not receive the medical or spiritual attention they require.
  • Families struggle to provide medical and spiritual care to their loved ones.
  • Medical advances raise ethical dilemmas and fiscal complications.
  • The needs of the aging Jewish population must be met with creativity and dignity.
  • Fewer Jewish families live in close-knit, helping communities.

In April, 2005, the Kalsman Institute sponsored a forum on the politics of health. At that event, Dr. Steven Windmueller, Dean of HUC-L.A., stated:

“The politics of health is specifically significant to the Jewish community. Yet, there is little evidence that the significance and impact of this issue has yet to penetrate the policy or program initiatives of our national or communal agencies. Outside of but a handful of our major religious, membership and policy organizations, one cannot find this subject matter on the American Jewish communal agenda.”

Click here for the text of Dr. Windmueller's remarks at "The Politics of Health" forum (PDF)

Since that forum, there has been heightened attention and support of this critical area. At the 2007 Biennial, URJ President, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, called for the Reform Movement to support state initiatives to expand health coverage.

Click here for the text of Rabbi Yoffie's sermon (PDF)

Click here for the link to the URJ's health initiative: