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Disaster Chaplaincy Community Training

Date: Wednesday, November 1
Time: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm (EDT)
Aidekman Jewish Community Campus, 901 Route 10, Whippany

Within the Jewish community, spiritual care is a specialized component in responding to disasters – whether natural or an act of targeted violence. The better trained we are, the more seamless the response. In this program we will bring together synagogue clergy, community chaplains, and local law enforcement to create an emergency pastoral response team prepared to respond to traumatic events. Topics covered will include best practices in Pastoral Trauma Response, psychological first aid, creating an emergency coordination plan, Office of Emergency Management protocols, and hands-on role play. Kosher luncheon served.

This training is for Greater MetroWest chaplains, rabbis, and cantors.


Presenter Rabbi Shira Stern was one of the first women to be ordained by the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in 1983 and earned her Doctor of Ministry in 2004. She has served in two pulpits in New Jersey and was a hospital and hospice chaplain. She was the Director of the Jewish Institute for Pastoral Care, part of the HealthCare Chaplaincy, in both an interfaith and Jewish context. She was trained by the American Red Cross (ARC) to serve on the Spiritual Air Incident Response Team and worked for four months at the Liberty State Park Family Assistance Center in the aftermath of 9/11. She has also deployed to the Boston Marathon explosion, Super Storm Sandy, floods in West Virginia, North Carolina, Pittsburgh – Tree of Life and Texas disasters as well as to local deployments. She now trains Disaster Spiritual Care providers through the Red Cross and writes about compassion fatigue, building resiliency, and dealing with grief.
She is a Board Certified Chaplain and is a Past-President of the Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains. She is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor in private practice, providing individual and family therapy, specializing in Bereavement issues. She currently volunteers for the Red Cross as lead for Disaster Spiritual Care (DSC) in Massachusetts, as an Advanced Trainer in Disaster Spiritual Care  and is the DSC Deputy Division Advisor for the Northeast region, serving on their National Leadership team.


Questions? Contact Rabbanit Jennifer Geretz at jgeretz@jfedgmw.org.

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