JCCV Jewish Immersion Day for Multifaith Spiritual Carers

September 9, 2016 by David Marlow
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The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) has hosted the annual JCCV Spiritual Health Care Jewish Immersion Day aimed at creating better understanding of the Jewish community and the needs of Jewish patients for spiritual care professionals in hospitals around Victoria.

The group

The group

The program is part of a spiritual care subject offered by Stirling College and the University of Divinity.  Fifteen spiritual carers from various religious faiths and hospitals participated, and they heard from a wide variety of speakers and had a rich immersion into Jewish history, tradition and explanation of Jewish pastoral needs.

Presenters included JCCV Executive Director David Marlow (JCCV), Rabbi Yosef Nerenberg (Jewish Care), Michel Laloum (Temple Beth Israel), Ephraim Finch (Melbourne Chevra Kadisha), Miriam Althaus (Mikvah) and Gabbi Sar-Shalom (Caulfield Hospital).

Topics covered included the diversity of the Jewish community, the nature of Jewish prayer, caring for Holocaust survivors, Jewish festivals and customs, end of life and palliative care issues, looking after the living, the role of women, and various rituals and Jewish spiritual care needs.

During a tour of the Temple Beth Israel Synagogue, Michel Laloum explained the Jewish connection with the Torah and the key elements of a Synagogue.

The program participants also toured the Jewish Holocaust Centre with JHC Executive Director Warren Fineberg and a Survivor Guide, which they found a very moving and meaningful experience.

The Rev Alan Niven, Vice Principal Pastoral and Ministry Studies at Stirling College stated, “What a great day! Full of wisdom, insight, diversity and above all, deep connection to people, spirit and G-d – wrapped up in terrific hospitality which is pastoral in itself.”

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