The Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health convenes leaders in the Jewish healing, spirituality and spiritual direction movements to engage in dialogue, review resources and share tools while mining our rich tradition for sources on health and healing. 

"The Jewish healing movements emerged in the early 1990s. The work was spearheaded by professionals and lay leaders who came to realize that, as a consequence of modern life, many Jews no longer had easy or meaningful access to the spiritual and communal supports that had sustained previous generations of Jews through difficult times of illness and loss.  And, they started to change that reality. Services and resources were developed and provided to Jews in need, through communal organizations, grassroots groups and congregations. The movements are evolving today to encompass not only services and resources for those experiencing loss and illness but for those who wish to add reflection and spirituality to their lives. This spiritual awakening and education is fostered through study and ritual involving Jewish texts, practices and communal life."

"Jewish spirituality is a way of exploring the meaning and purpose of one's own life story in the context of the story of the Jewish people. Embedded in Judaism is a tradition of spirituality; a vision of well-being that is grounded in a fierce engagement with life; the importance of community, and a belief that sacred texts and rituals can be relevant to our modern dilemmas. It is both an intensely private experience and inextricably bound to the collective.

"In modern life the word 'spirituality' is sometimes associated with 'New Age,' but Judaism has always recognized the importance of care of the soul and its interactions with the care of the body. Jewish healing draws on a deeply rooted wisdom that has evolved for over 3500 years with much to say about the effects of stress, isolation, loss and hard times on the body, mind and spirit.

"The heritage that is being rediscovered is grounded in traditional Judaism, but it is also undergoing a new elasticity, stretched by movements like the search for a personal spirituality, demographic shifts, and feminism. The history and practice of authentic Judaism is an ever-evolving one; and today, the Jewish healing movement integrates modern psychology, medical science, complementary medicine and pertinent insights of other religious traditions."

For more details about Jewish spirituality and healing, click here to explore the National Center for Jewish Healing:

Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub, LCSW, Rabbinic
Director, and Susan J. Rosenthal, LCSW,
Coordinator of the National Center for Jewish
Healing, a program of the Jewish Board of
Family and Children's Services, JBFCS