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Jewish Visions for Aging

A Professional Guide for Fostering Wholeness

Rabbi Dayle A. Friedman, MSW, MAJCS, BCC
Foreword by Thomas R. Cole, PhD
Preface by Dr. Eugene B. Borowitz

6 x 9, 272 pp, Hardcover, 978-1-58023-348-4

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Discover the Jewish tradition’s insights on growing older and eldercare in this groundbreaking resource—the only one of its kind!
“Judaism can be [tremendously] powerful for those searching for new meaning and roles, for perspective on life’s profound questions, and for solace amid the inevitable loss and change of later life…. It is time to forge a new paradigm for the Jewish response to aging.”
from the Introduction  
From the rapidly changing retirement years to the sometimes wrenching challenges of dementia and chronic illness, spiritual questions and needs among today’s elders and caregivers are central. This rich resource probes Jewish texts to offer solutions and suggestions for finding meaning, purpose and community within Jewish tradition.
With timely—and timeless—wisdom, this rich resource probes Jewish texts, spirituality and observance, uncovering a deep, never-before-realized approach to responding to the challenges of aging with a refreshing and inspiring vitality. The insights—spanning textual analysis and spiritual and pastoral perspectives—provide practical guidance in spiritual care and communal programming to dynamically engage and serve elders and their families.
Accessible and honest, Jewish and non-Jewish clergy, chaplains, elder- and healthcare professionals, volunteers and family members will find this guide an invaluable asset as they explore how to empower elders and their families through daily spiritual and communal life.
“Useful to anyone who is dealing with older people in a personal or institutional setting.”
Jewish Book World
“An essential book containing the wisdom of Jewish tradition about growing older.... Profoundly insightful and deeply Jewish.... Not only filled with moving rabbinical stories and admonitions on treating the elderly with kavod (honor), but with dozens of exquisite anecdotes of how much our aging loved ones long for companionship, respect, and often spiritual connection with their community and God.”
Kolel: The Adult Centre for Liberal Jewish Learning
“Compelling.... Authoritative.... Well-researched.... Offers readers a challenge and an invitation to imagine how we relate to our elders.”
“Teaches us how we may be present with our elderly regardless of their life stage. Compassionate and sensitive … a valuable and useful addition to the growing dialogue on the implications of aging for the Jewish community.”
Rabbi Richard F. Address, DMin, director, Department of Jewish Family Concerns, Union for Reform Judaism
“Powerfully argues that people advanced in years are ripe with possibilities for spiritual growth and offers guidance that is both practical and inspiring.”
Rabbi Mychal Springer, associate dean and director of Field Education of
the Rabbinical School, The Jewish Theological Seminary
“Impressive … draws on rich Jewish tradition to help reframe and revalue later life, a task now indispensable for our aging society.”
Harry R. Moody, director of Academic Affairs, AARP
“[Draws] a new map of old age … connects aging with meaning with caregiving with community and makes a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. [Will enrich] the American conversations about aging, wherever they take place.”
William H. Thomas, MD, president, Eden Alternative;
What Are Old People For? How Elders Will Save the World
“Wise and wide-ranging … addresses some of the profound challenges for all who care about the elders in our communities and institutions…. [Will] help bring about more skilled, sensitive, holistic engagement.”
Rabbi Natan Fenner, BCC, Bay Area Jewish Healing Center;
Torah Reflections
“An important text for social workers and chaplains of all faiths who seek to instill the wisdom and insights from a long heritage that honors our elders.”
Rev. James W. Ellor, PhD, editor, Journal of Religion, Spirituality and Aging; director, Center for Gerontological Studies
Thomas R. Cole, PhD, is the McGovern Chair of Medical Humanities and director of the Center for Health, Humanities, and the Human Spirit at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. He is the author and editor of many books and articles on humanistic gerontology, including The Journey of Life: A Cultural History of Aging in America.
Dr. Eugene B. Borowitz is the leading theologian of liberal Judaism. Distinguished University Professor at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, he is the author of many books and founding editor of Sh’ma: A Journal of Jewish Responsibility. He is the coauthor of A Touch of the Sacred: A Theologian’s Informal Guide to Jewish Belief (Jewish Lights).


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978-1-58023-230-2 Jewish Spiritual Direction: An Innovative Guide from Traditional & Contemporary Sources


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