Citation: Cadge, Wendy, and Bethamie Horowitz, with Sara Paasche-Orlow and Mychal Springer (2022). “Mapping Jewish Chaplaincy.” Chaplaincy Innovation Lab.

Abstract of “Mapping Jewish Chaplaincy”

This report offers a brief history of the work of Jewish chaplains, naming and recognizing the messy boundaries around that work. Much of the work of Jewish chaplains is unknown, even within the Jewish community. It is on the edges of communal life. Jewish chaplains work from and across branches of Judaism and across institutions. They do not conceive of themselves as a single professional group. In this mapping, we address the definitional complexities of the work and then outline where Jewish chaplains work today and where they might work moving forward. We focus on the people and the institutions key to Jewish chaplaincy with attention to the content, financial and institutional status, and long-term viability of their work. We conclude with observations about how this work interacts with other aspects of Jewish life and with recommendations for strengthening it in the future. All of this is offered in the context of changes in the work of chaplains and in American religious life that are leaving people – Jewish and not – less likely to be religiously affiliated and involved in local religious organizations.

A brief version of this report, titled “Leading Where Life Happens,” is available here. A webinar presenting these documents publicly was held October 19, 2022 and can be viewed below.

We thank the Charles H. Revson Foundation for its support of this work.

More working papers

See our growing bibliography of working papers here. Our working papers are meant to stimulate discussion and advance both academic and applied conversations in the field of spiritual care.

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