Academy for Jewish Religion, California - Clergy & Alumni Association

Position: Chaplain Intern


  • Baby Naming Ceremonies
  • Bereavement Counseling
  • Hospital Chaplaincy
  • Public Speaking
  • Spiritual Counseling/Spiritual Direction
  • Visiting the Sick/Bikkur Cholim
  • Writing/Editing


Thesis Title
Sustaining Hope and Courage in The Time of The Great Unraveling (2016)

Our generation has the unique ability to confront the deeply painful suffering of so many around the world by simply turning on our smart-phones.  With a swipe of my thumb, I have cried over the plight of refugees, the persistence of genocide, and the pestilence of slavery. I have lost sleep over the speed of climate change and the precarious future of our species.  I have been gripped by fear of fundamentalism and the violence of terrorism.  On the flip side, the gift of technology has also created plenty of distractions to numb our senses and protect our emotions.  In my exploration of ways to remain awake in a world of pain while also sustaining hope and courage, I was inspired to draw lessons from the poetry of the Jewish prophets. I was captivated by the poetry of exilic prophets because they embodied the kind of courage that I was seeking. What fascinated me is that they stood in the wreckage of devastation, but they managed not to collapse. They described the brokenness of the world and the ruin of war, but they did not cave in to despair. They gave voice to a traumatized nation, and yet they provided life­affirming hope. In its 2015 “review of the year” issue, The New York Times described it as “the year of the great unraveling”. The challenges that face our generation offer a distressing picture. My thesis is that exilic prophets were, among many of their other roles, communal spiritual caregivers in a time of their “great unraveling.” I hope to humanize the exilic prophets and make them relevant to a modern audience, as we have much to learn from them.

Email: Marita.anderson@gmail.com