Due to the acute shortage of individuals qualified to offer spiritual support to those suffering from ill health, life-threatening diseases, and facing old age and death, the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies established the Marpeh Pastoral Care Program in 2006 under the leadership of Dr. Einat Ramon. Based on Jewish values such as bikkur holim (visiting the sick) gemilut hasadim (deeds of loving-kindness), and grounded in Jewish tradition, students in the year-round Marpeh program include educators, clergy, and health care professionals. They offer solace and support to people across a wide spectrum of ages, religious backgrounds and cognitive capacities, both in cities and in rural areas. Clients served include Jews and non-Jews, hospital patients and their families, patients in hospice, the frail elderly, Holocaust survivors, Russian immigrants, high school students who have a family member with cancer, children with special needs and their parents and many more. A new supervisory track curriculum, funded by the New York Federation and advised by top experts from the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education in the U.S., has attracted four outstanding students – all veteran certified chaplains.

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