Spiritual health and wellness can provide the keys to successfully facing life’s many challenges. Through the Jewish Community Chaplaincy program, JFS reaches out to individuals and families coping with on-going health and healing concerns and urgent crises by offering the spiritual resources of community and tradition.
The Chaplaincy program provides the following services:
Direct Pastoral Care: The Community Chaplain is called on in times of personal crisis, often related to a health issue, an ailing relative or a death in the family. He also visits and counsels individuals and their families in their homes, hospitals, and elder-care centers. Working in concert with the program’s Spiritual Care Volunteers, the Chaplain provides visitation and consultation services and facilitates funerals and memorial services for all community members, regardless of affiliation.
Spiritual Care Volunteers: The Community Chaplain trains and oversees a community-wide Spiritual Care Volunteer Program made up of trained lay persons to visit the sick and isolated. Volunteers come from nearly every area congregation, with a total of 15 volunteers to date. Spiritual care volunteers have been placed at four area hospitals and five elder-care centers.
Resident JFS Chaplain: When JFS clients express a need for spiritual counseling or when such a need is identified by JFS staff, the Chaplain is available to visit with them and help them connect to community and tradition. Additionally, when JFS is asked to present a program on health and wellness, the Chaplain provides the spiritual component. For example, he has participated in the Sacred Aging program and the Eating Disorders Task Force.
Collaborates and Consults with the Health Care Community: The Community Chaplain serves as a vital resource for area health care institutions, helping them become more culturally sensitive to Jewish patients and better able to provide for the spiritual comfort of their patients and residents. Additionally, the Chaplain works with health care institutions to develop training and a variety of educational presentations for staff members and patients.
Collaborates and Consults with the Jewish Community: The Community Chaplain is available to the entire Jewish Community as an educational and spiritual resource. He is a speaker and participant in programs dealing with a spiritual issues, health and wellness, aging, Jewish rituals and celebrations, and more. Additionally, when the Chaplain encounters a Jewish patient in a hospital who is affiliated with a congregation but has not informed the congregation about their illness, he often serves as a referral resource and, with the patient’s permission, contacts the appropriate rabbi and lets them know about their congregant’s situation.
Funding: The Jewish Chaplaincy program is funded through generous support of: the Jewish Heritage Foundation, the Menorah Legacy Foundation (Tradition Keepers Fund and the Jewish Community Funding Group), the Jewish Community Foundation, Menorah Women’s Foundation, and the Jewish Federation of Kansas City.
Major Funding Provided By:
• Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City
• Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City
• Jewish Heritage Foundation of Greater Kansas City
• Menorah Legacy Foundation
Major Health Care Sponsors
• Children’s Mercy Hospitals & Clinics
• HCA Midwest Health System
• Saint Luke’s Health System
• University of Kansas Medical Center
Supporting Health Care Sponsors
• Carondelet Health
• Shawnee Mission Medical Center