On this edition of the Jewish Sacred Aging Podcast, Rabbi Address speaks with Dr. Michael Freidman and Rabbi Daniel Roberts, authors of the book, Clergy Retirement: Every Ending a New Beginning for Clergy, Their Families, and Congregants.
Since retirement affects everyone in one’s immediate circle, this book offers insights and recommendations not just for the retiree but for his or her spouse, children, congregants, congregational leaders, and colleagues. The authors’ discuss how to prepare clergy for the emotional ups and downs during their transition, as well as the rewards that are to come during retirement.
ABOUT THE GUESTS
Rabbi Daniel A. Roberts, DD, DMin, FT, is rabbi emeritus of Temple Emanu El in Cleveland, Ohio, where he served for 35 years. Rabbi Roberts received his ordination from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati (1969) and his DMin from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary where his thesis was on comforting the mourner. He earned a Fellow in Thanatology Certification awarded by the Association for Death Education and Counseling and is its immediate past treasurer. In retirement, he was elected rabbi of a monthly congregation in Sharon, Pennsylvania, serving 10 years until he was able to help them successfully merge with a nearby congregation. In 2014 he served as the interim rabbi of Temple Adath Israel in Lexington, Kentucky. Throughout his career Rabbi Roberts has been intrigued with the field of Thanatology. He has lectured frequently at the King’s College International Conference on Death and Bereavement in London, Ontario, and has been a keynote presenter there, as well as at the Association for Death Education and Counseling’s National Convention. Rabbi Roberts has contributed to numerous books, (all published by Baywood) Personal Care in an Impersonal World: A Multidimensional Look at Bereavement (ed. John D. Morgan, 1993); What Shall We Do? Preparing the School Community to Cope with Crises (ed. Robert Stevenson, 2000); Ethical Issues in the Care of the Dying and Bereaved (ed. John D. Morgan, 1996); and Living, Loving, and Loss: The Interplay of Intimacy, Sexuality and Grief (eds. Brad DeFord and Richard Gilbert, 2013). He has also produced a video on teenage suicide prevention, “Inside, I Ache,” which has been used in schools throughout the country.
Michael P. Freidman, EdD, is an applied psychologist who served for more than 15 years in the public sector as an educator, psychologist, and administrator and has over 30 years of clinical experience. He created and manages an independent practice that provides a unique blend of organizational consulting and clinical intervention for individuals and families, as well as business and organizational leaders. He is both a certified school psychologist and licensed psychologist.
Dr. Freidman has an extensive background in organized congregational and community life. Active involvement in his own synagogue included serving as congregational president. He is past president of the Philadelphia Federation of the Union of Reform Judaism (URJ) and currently is a member of URJ’s North America Board of Trustees after serving on the Oversight and Long-Range Planning Committees. Michael has consulted with the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), American Conference of Cantors (ACC) and numerous congregations and organizations. He is particularly interested in applying his professional skills and experience to work with clergy, congregations, and organizations and has recently created Congregational Consulting Network as an independent service provider to the community. Dr. Freidman seeks to draw continued vision and purpose in these endeavors through greater understanding of the Bible and ancient texts. His current coaching with clergy includes those preparing for their retirement.