One of the most interesting developments in recent years has been the growing interest, on the part of baby boomers, in issues of health and wellness.
Whatever it is, the interest is there: from outward bound adventure vacations to yoga and meditation to changes in diet; we seem to be more focused that ever before on issues of health.
Part of that interest has also been drawn to issues of mental health. Indeed, a national mental health week is celebrated in October and I just wrote a small piece on Judaism and Mental Health for the NAMI newsletter that includes the resources available if your congregation or chavurah or group wishes to study the issue from a Jewish text perspective.
About 30% of all the workshops and seminars I will be doing this program year, will include a major component on Jewish approaches to health. This is a result of congregations becoming more aware of the issue and some even devoting major program time during the year, such as Temple Sinai in Atlanta, which has declared the current year of 5771 as “Sinai’s Year of Wellness”, and will include discussions on Nutrition and Health, Yoga and Meditation, Exercise and Humor. The Union for Reform Judaism has also produced a congregation and personal Health Audit that lists 4 pages of tasks that a community and individual can do to become healthier in mind and body and spirit (available through firstname.lastname@example.org)
We hope to explore some additional aspects of this subject during the coming year. In the meantime, my best to all of you for health and joy and peace
Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.MIn
Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min, is the Founder and Director of www.jewishsacredaging.com. Rabbi Address served for over three decades on staff of the Union for Reform Judaism; first as a Regional Director and then, beginning in 1997, as Founder and Director of the URJ’s Department of Jewish Family Concerns and served as a specialist and consultant for the North American Reform Movement in the areas of family related programming. Rabbi Address was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1972 and began his rabbinic career in Los Angeles congregations. He also served as a part time rabbi for Beth Hillel in Carmel, NJ while regional director and, after his URJ tenure, served as senior rabbi of Congregation M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ from 2011-2014.