AJR CAA

Academy for Jewish Religion, California - Clergy & Alumni Association





Member:

Position: Chaplin

I am a free-lance chaplain, providing spiritual care to individuals and their loved ones in times of crisis, loss and sorrow. My chaplaincy emphasizes aging and end of life issues. I am available for hospital and home visits, shivah minyanim, unveilings and more.

Specializations

  • Bereavement Counseling
  • Funerals, Memorial Services & Unveilings
  • Visiting the Sick/Bikkur Cholim

Other Specializations:

Advising and educating families and individuals on Eldercare issues they are facing so that they can make appropriate decisions, for example:
1. Can a loved one continue to live at home? What needs to be put in place for that to happen and how do we arrange it? What are the alternatives?
2. What if an adult child or their parent/elderly loved one refuses to acknowledge that a change is necessary?
3. What if siblings disagree on a parent’s care? Who will be in charge?
4. What resources are available, including financial?
The many components that may be necessary to address can be daunting without guidance.

Email: singerLA@aol.com

Thesis Title
END OF LIFE, A CHAPLAIN’S VIEW: Lessons from Torah, Blessings for Today (2009)

Abstract: Illness and aging, the dying process and death, grief and mourning, comfort and healing from loss affect each of us personally.  My thesis speaks to these end of life issues in a chaplain’s voice. The Jewish chaplain today guides individuals and loved ones through these crises, assisting them in meeting such challenges with grace and dignity.  In two parts, my thesis reflects this holy work.

Lessons from Torah

Utilizing traditional and modern sources, my own commentary on the Torah portion Chayey Sarah describes the precedents our first ancestors set for us as they grappled with the same end of life issues we do. With the backdrop of the Akedah and the subsequent death of Sarah at the beginning of Chayey Sarah, the personal responses of Abraham and Isaac show us ways to mourn, bury our dead, face loss and trauma, and come to a place of healing, even reconciliation. Imagining a chaplain’s work with our ancestors, part one also weaves my original midrashim throughout the commentary, assigning Abraham’s trusted servant Eliezer as the community chaplain.

Blessings for Today

In part two, I present eighteen original blessings, prayers and meditations that chaplains and others may use to help facilitate peace, acceptance and gratitude in various end of life situations. Specific readings include those for family members, friends, caregivers, and patients themselves. In addition, there are readings to prepare the chaplain for being fully present with those they are about to serve, and for viewing each person as b’tzelem Elohim, created in the image of God. Entering such intimate space, the chaplain, with skill and sensitivity, can create an environment for all involved that may lead to profound spiritual growth for the dying and maybe for their loved ones as well. With this goal in mind, I offer these “Blessings For Today.

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