Nearly Everything We Wish

Our Non-Jewish Supervisors Had Known

About Us As Jewish Supervisees.                                                                                              

Rabbi Bonita E Taylor, MA

ACPE Supervisor and Staff Educator

The Jewish Institute for Pastoral Care

The HealthCare Chaplaincy

307 East 60th Street

NYC , NY 10022

Rabbi David J. Zucker, Ph.D.

Chaplain, Director of Pastoral Care and Recreation

Shalom Park

14800 E. Belleview Drive

Aurora , CO 80015

                      © 2004 , Bonita E Taylor & David J. Zucker

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) developed out of a Protestant setting.  Much of its thinking and writing is heavily laden with Christian orientation and terminology. Sharing a general theological framework, most Christians read these words and think of the same – or similar –  ideas. However, Jews neither start with nor share the same theological beliefs. Jewish students perpetually ask themselves, “If the premise isn’t true for me, can the conclusion still contain meaning?”  Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Often, the resulting conflict leaves Jewish students feeling alienated from their CPE supervisors and peers. Few CPE supervisors realize that although everyone is reading the same material there are (at least) two “nations” present that are processing it differently.  This article by two National Association of Jewish Chaplains (NAJC) Board-Certified Rabbis presents twelve key points about Judaism and Jewish thought to help non-Jewish CPE supervisors and chaplains in their work with Jewish supervisees and patients (residents, et al).


  1. Winston Churchill is credited with succinctly stating an interesting problem: we are two nations separated by a common language.

  2. 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”.

  3. In Judaism, we partner with God.

  4. Judaism is a theology of deeds.

  5. In Judaism, deeds take precedence over creeds.

  6. Talking about God is newer to many Jews than working with God.

  7. God, God’s Presence and Lord are synonymous appellations for Jews.

  8. Only the unified, indivisible, unseeable God is Divine.

  9. Vicarious Suffering/Atonement are not part of mainstream Jewish thinking.

  10. In Judaism, Forgiveness and Repentance are personally achieved.

  11. Jews require different religious and spiritual awareness and resources.

  12. Prayer is offered directly to God.

  13. There is a Jewish conversational style.

  14. Jewish learning styles embrace challenge, debate and confrontation.

  15. In conclusion, this article has been an initial attempt by two NAJC Board-Certified Rabbis to present ...

  16. Footnotes



Powered by WareFore Analysis