You are here

Judaism, Health, and Healing Community Resource Conference

Judaism, Health, and Healing Community Resource Conference


For more information contact:   

Brian Zimmerman | 312.322.1724
Betsy Gomberg | 312.322.1756


April 14, 2013 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at
Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership

(Chicago) To help both individuals and professionals understand healthcare issues that impact the Jewish community, Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, DePaul University College of Law Center for Jewish Law & Judaic Studies , and University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine are bringing together experts in the fields of healthcare, law, and Judaism for a daylong conference titled Judaism, Health, and Healing. The conference, which is presented in cooperation with the Jewish Healing Network of Chicago, Metro Chicago Hillel, and the Center for Jewish Genetics, will address health-related issues in relation to science, economics, legal and government policy, demographics, religion, and community resources.  

The conference, which is open to the public, takes place on Sunday, April 14, 2013, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at Spertus Institute, 610 S. Michigan Avenue.Discount parking is available for $10 with Spertus validation at the Essex Inn, two blocks south of Spertus. 

Tickets are $36 ($25 for Spertus members and $15 for students with ID) and include both morning and afternoon sessions and a kosher boxed lunch. Tickets are for sale online at and by phone at 312.322.1773.

According to Spertus Chief Academic Officer Dr. Dean P. Bell, “Spertus is proud to host the Chicago Community Resource Conference on Judaism, Health, and Healing, providing an opportunity for healthcare professionals, lawyers, Jewish communal professionals, and the general public to come together to share research, resources, and perspectives about some of the most pressing issues of our day. The conference reflects Spertus Institute’s commitment to professional development, meaningful Jewish content, application of theory to practice, and creative partnerships that strengthen our community.”

The conference is designed with two morning sessions, each featuring a selection of presentations and discussions on specific topics. For the first session, from 9 to 10:30 am, topics include the medical and legal implications of the debate over circumcision, obsessive-compulsive disorders, spirituality and health, and preventive care and genetic testing as ways to guard health.

The second session, from 10:45 am to 12:15 pm, includes presentations and discussions on organ donations and transplants, clinical and pastoral responses in Judaism, abuse within the Jewish community across the age span, and comparisons between healthcare in the U.S. and Israel. 

Presenters for these sessions include: Dr. Sheldon Berkowitz of Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Jack Bierig of Sidley Austin LLP, Dr. Neil Bockian of the Adler School of Professional Psychology, Sherry Brandt-Rauf of the University of Illinois at Chicago, Rabbi Michael Broyde of Emory University School of Law, Dr. Aron Buchman of Rush University Medical Center, Nanette Elster of Spence & Elster, PC, Rachel Kohl Finegold of Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation, Rabbi Suzanne Griffel of the Midwest Palliative & Hospice Care Center, Stan Lapidos of Rush University Medical Center, Rabbi Dr. Joseph Ozarowski of the Jewish Healing Network of Chicago, Rabbi Steven Resnicoff of DePaul University College of Law, Joshua Sarnoff of DePaul University College of Law, Dr. Elan Simckes of The Fertility Partnership of St. Louis, Dr. Vivian Skolnick of the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis, Dr. Susan Zoline of Argosy University College of Psychology.

From 12:30 to 2:15 pm, a conference-wide lunchtime session titled Responding to Suffering at the End of Life: Lessons from Medicine, Law, and the Jewish Tradition will be facilitated by Dr. James Tulsky. Dr. Tulsky is chief of Duke Palliative Care and Professor of Medicine and Nursing at Duke University and a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Transforming Care at the End of Life. He will be joined on the panel by Dr. Sheldon Berkowitz, Rabbi Michael Broyde, Sherry Brandt-Rauf, and Dr. Aaron Buchman. 

The conference will close with the Alex and Klara Tulsky Symposium on the Jewish Future, an annual program that each year focuses on a specific challenge facing the American Jewish community. This year the Tulsky Symposium addresses Judaism and Reproduction. The symposium is open to conference attendees as well as members of the public who would like to attend only this session. The session will explore the many medical, legal, religious, and personal issues raised by infertility and assisted reproduction. The session will touch on topics including collaborative reproductive agreements, fertility preservation, the disposition of cryopreserved embryos, and disclosure issues in egg, sperm, and embryo donation. It will address challenges faced by Jewish religious couples who struggle with infertility and the interplay of reproduction assistance with Jewish legal, spiritual, and communal issues. Presenters include Nanette Elster, Rachel Kohl Finegold, and Dr. Elan Simckes. Tickets to this session on its own are $18 ($10 for Spertus members, $8 for students).

Resource tables will be available at the conference with information from healthcare organizations that serve the Jewish community.

DePaul University College of Law is an accredited Illinois MCLE provider. This conference has been approved for up to 6.5 hours of General Illinois Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit. The cost for these optional credits is $54.00 in addition to the pricing at above. 

University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Please visit the conference website for updates on up to 6.5 pending Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits.

The Judaism, Health, and Healing Chicago Community Resource Conference is made possible in part with support from The Charles & M.R. Shapiro Foundation. Spertus Institute is a partner in serving the community, supported by the JUF/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. 

#  #  #

Spertus offers dynamic learning opportunities, rooted in Jewish wisdom and culture and open to all. Graduate programs and workshops train future leaders and engage individuals in exploration of Jewish life. Public programs—including films, speakers, seminars, and concerts—take place at the Institute's Michigan Avenue facility, in the Chicago suburbs, and online. For more information, please visit


Conference LogoConference Logo

» preview 
» print quality

Dr. Sheldon BerkowitzDr. Sheldon Berkowitz

» preview 
» print quality

Nanette ElsterNanette Elster

» preview 
» print quality

Stan LapidosStan Lapidos

» preview 
» print quality

Dr. James TulskyDr. James Tulsky

» preview 
» print quality