Yeshiva University Program for Rabbis Working in Gerontology and Palliative Care Explored on Seekers of Meaning Podcast

Rabbis and clergy are being called upon to intervene in complex life crises, especially those involving aging, serious illness, end-of-life care, and bereavement.

In this podcast, Rabbi Address speaks with Gary L. Stein, JD, MSW, Professor and Vice Chair, Social Work Hospice & Palliative Care Network, Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University, and Dr. Lynn Levy, Associate Clinical Professor at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, about the school’s continuing Rabbinic Certificate Program in Gerontology and Palliative Care.

Joining Profs. Stein and Levy in the conversation are several participants in the program.

Download a flyer explaining the Yeshiva University Online Rabbinic Certificate Program in Gerontology and Palliative Care. Yeshiva Rabbinic Certificate Program Flyer (PDF Download)

The program provides an opportunity for Jewish clergy to obtain training on the special needs of older adults, people with serious illness, and their families.  This is an important effort to bring the knowledge base of gerontology, palliative social work, bereavement, and basic counseling skills to rabbis, cantors, and student clergy who will be called on to serve the diverse needs of aging congregations.

About the Guests

Gary L. Stein, JD, MSW, is Professor at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work – Yeshiva University, where has taught social policy, health care practice, palliative care, health care ethics, law and social policy, and LGBT practice in the master’s and doctoral programs since 2006.  His interests include palliative and end-of-life care, bioethics, health care policy and practice, social policy, disability, elder care, and LGBT issues.  Prof. Stein has been Vice Chair of the Social Work Hospice and Palliative Care Network since 2006.  Most recently, he was awarded a fellowship with the Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program/Congressional Fellowship Program for 2016-2017; his projects were with the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging, and the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC).  Prof. Stein was awarded a Fulbright Specialist Program Award in 2010, through which he was guest faculty at the Lancaster University, U.K. International Observatory for End of Life Care.  He was a consultant on disability and health care planning for the RAND Corporation.  Prof. Stein was formerly the Executive Director of New Jersey Health Decisions, where he was responsible for developing projects to improve end-of-life care, promote more informed medical decision-making, and foster citizen involvement in healthcare and bioethics issues.  Prof. Stein is a recipient of the Social Work Hospice and Palliative Care Network’s 2017 Career Achievement Award, the Project on Death in America’s Social Work Leadership Development Award (2001), and the Rose Dobrof Award (2011) for his publication on LGBT older adults.  In 2018, he was appointed to the New York State Palliative Care Education and Training Council. Prof. Stein appeared on the Seekers of Meaning Podcast in August 2018. You can hear that conversation here.

Dr. Lynn Levy is an Associate Clinical Professor at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work where she received both her Ph.D. and MSW with a concentration in social group work and a certificate in Jewish Communal Service. Dr. Levy is the sequence chair for these core curriculum courses: Philosophical foundations of Social Work, Social Work Values and Ethics, Generalist Practice I & II, Human Behavior and the Social Environment, Spirituality and Social Work, and Ideology, a doctoral level course.  She developed the following courses: The Changing Jewish Family and Working with Individuals and Families with Disabilities. Dr. Levy’s clinical concentration has been in the area of strengthening families and couples through clinical and psychoeducational interventions.  She developed a premarital education program, The Aleph Bet of Marriage, for Jewish couples contemplating marriage that has been utilized across North America, counseled and facilitated groups for interfaith couples, and facilitated groups for couples considering conversion.  In conjunction with UJA Federation of New York, she organized a conference on Diversity in the Jewish American family in the 21st Century, and co-edited the publication of The Journal of Jewish Communal Services’ publication on the conference. She is currently the faculty advisor for Wurzweiler’s Student Life Association, the Peer Mentoring Program, and the faculty liaison for the New York chapter of NASW and the New York State Society for Clinical Social Workers. She recently wrote a book, The Resilient Couple: Navigating Together Through Life, with her husband, Dr. Philip Levy and has presented at the 92nd Street Y, the JCC of Manhattan, Meet the Authors, and has been a guest on several radio talk shows.

A widely pubished writer and liturgist, Rabbi Janet Madden earned her PhD in literature from The National University of Ireland. She has been named a UCLA Community College Scholar, a Fulbright Scholar and is a three-time National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow. She received her rabbinic ordination and Masters in Rabbinic Studies from The Academy for Jewish Religion-California. A member of the Editorial Board of The Menorah Review, she is a GreenFaith Fellow, a certified Grief Specialist, a Jewish Spiritual Director and has been trained in Hebrew sacred chant through Kol Zimra. A trained chaplain, she earned 4 units of Clinical Pastoral Education and is certified as a Palliative Care Chaplain. She is currently completing her final course with the Gamliel Institute and has just completed her final two courses of Yeshiva University’s Rabbinic Certificate in Gerontology and Palliative Care. A member of the Funeral Practices Committee of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California and a Governor of the Sandra Caplan Community Bet Din, she has served as a hospice rabbi and as a congregational rabbi in California, Arizona and Hawaii. Currently, she is serves as the Rabbi of Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA and as Rabbi of Fountainview at Gonda Westside, an independent senior living facility in Playa Del Rey, CA.

Rabbi Liz Rolle served synagogues in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut for over three decades. A little more than a year ago, based on her congregational and chaplaincy experiences, she created a company with a new model for serving older adults, Senior Concierge Services. The aim is to support older adults in remaining as independent as possible where they live, specifically by providing hard-to-find services that are not readily available in our community. Rabbi Rolle earned a B.A. in Hebrew from Indiana University; a Masters degree in Religious Education and ordination from the Hebrew Union College; and she is a certified Conservative Jewish Educator. She holds three credits in Pastoral Care Chaplaincy and is currently studying for a certificate in Gerontology and Palliative Care at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University. She serves as an on-call chaplain at Stamford Hospital on a weekly basis.

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