This article is an initial attempt by its authors to present “Nearly Everything We Wish Our Non-Jewish Supervisors Had Known About Us As Jewish Supervisees”. Each of us has taken at least 4 CPE Units and is a Board Certified Chaplain by the National Association of Jewish Chaplains (NAJC). One of us is a Conservative Rabbi and an ACPE Supervisor and the other is a Reform Rabbi and a Director of Pastoral Care and Chaplain at a senior care center.

We are offering our framework in an effort to support Jewish supervisees who are seeking enhanced personal growth and pastoral formation through CPE as well as Jewish patients (residents, et al) who are hoping for religiously-sensitive care by non-Jewish chaplains. We intend to accomplish our purpose by presenting several key points about Jews and Judaism that are true of the thinking of most Jewish supervisees and patients (residents, et al).

Within Judaism, as in any religious system, there is a wide spectrum of thought among its adherents. This is as true for Judaism as it for Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and other religious systems. To ensure that this article articulates the viewpoint of mainstream Judaism - concepts that are generally acceptable whether the supervisee observes Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, Renewal or cultural practice - we have spent six years canvassing and receiving counsel from colleagues across the Jewish religious spectrum throughout North America . Please remember that we are not saying that “only” Jews think this way, but that most Jews absolutely do think this way.

We recognize that not all CPE supervisors are either Jewish or Christian. However, since CPE developed out of a Protestant setting, much of its thinking and writing is heavily laden with Christian orientation and terminology. Further, we live in a Western society where Christian undertones predominate. Consequently, depending upon its specific context in this article, the term “Christianity” may refer to Christianity specifically, or be a synonym for “non-Jewish.”

© 2004 , Bonita E Taylor & David J. Zucker

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