This painting was done at the Jewish Home for the Aging in San Francisco by Bella Newman. The art was done in water color.
What Are Pastoral Internships?
Pastoral internships provide a highly reflective method of learning pastoral counseling in a clinical setting under supervision. The internships generally take two basic forms:
  • CPE, or Clinical Pastoral Education, a 400-hour hospital unit, in medical centers in L.A. and around the country, held in small interfaith student cohorts
  • Jewish pastoral internships, 200-hour units, at hospitals and other healthcare settings in Los Angeles, focused on meeting the needs of Jewish patients and loved ones
From an educational standpoint, all pastoral internships provide a synthesis of academic, clinical and professional learning.
What Does Student Learning Look Like?
Pastoral internships take place in hospitals and other healthcare centers around the Greater Metropolitan Los Angeles area and around the country. A sampling of L.A. sites includes:

  • Los Angeles Jewish Home
  • Children's Hospital Los Angeles
  • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
  • Kaiser Hospice
  • Skirball Hospice
  • Our House Grief Support Center
  • UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica and Ronald Reagan Westwood campuses
We are in the process of adding additional sites in preparing for additional students. Students hold internships over one summer or over the fall through spring terms. The medical center fieldwork concentrates on time at the bedside, with students focused on learning how to enter and exit a hospital room, what it means to be a comforting and effective presence with patients and loved ones, how to use pastoral counseling skills practiced in the classroom, and how to effectively draw on Jewish texts, liturgy, and ritual to add meaning during experiences with illness and celebrations of wellness.

Students participate in individual and group supervision, reflection, and educational sessions. HUC-JIR and community faculty join with Kalsman staff to teach on healthcare ethics, health-related texts, prayer, death and mourning, and congregational and community support.
Pastoral Counseling and Chaplaincy Internships

Student internships demonstrate learning in several areas:
  • Embody Jewish values when working in the hospital setting, and communicate a vision for Jewish life connecting tradition to contemporary life, demonstrated through discussion about beginning and end-of-life matters, bioethical decision-making, and helping families find meaning in situations of celebration and loss.
  • Increase their familiarity with human development, family systems, group dynamics, counseling approaches and the role of rabbi as professional caregiver.
  • Are allowed significant reflection and experience in responding to critical comments and evaluation, often leading to the ability for self-analysis of strengths, weaknesses and awareness of the impact of students' actions and counseling.
  • Strengthen listening skills, and hone ability to be responsive caregivers and pastoral counselors.
  • Are provided interfaith and intra-faith experience, directly exposing interns to culturally and religiously diverse Jews and non-Jews, as well as patients, families and staff of diverse ages, abilities and knowledge.
  • Experience theological grounding via real-world counseling situations and crises coupled with interfaith dialogue.
  • Are exposed to scholarly writing and theory in the field of Pastoral Care and Counseling.
  • Receive ample training in working as part of a team.
If you are interested in applying for a CPE internship please click here.