Rabbi to speak at Temple Bat Yam
The art of healing and spirituality during times of illness and bereavement will be discussed by Rabbi Eric Weiss, an expert in the field, in a sermon during his first-time visit to Temple Bat Yam Friday night, July 28.
Executive director of the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center of San Francisco, the nation’s first full-service Jewish healing center, Rabbi Weiss will conduct a Friday night Sabbath service as part of the temple’s summer visiting rabbi program. The 7:30 p.m. service at the temple, 3260 Pioneer Trail in South Lake Tahoe, is open to the public.
“During times of illness and grief, we often look to spiritual traditions to help us cope. Jewish tradition offers many ways in which one can find comfort and community in God’s presence,” said Rabbi Weiss in commenting on his sermon topic.
The organization Rabbi Weiss heads is dedicated to helping fulfill the spiritual needs of Jews and interfaith families during times of illness and bereavement.
“We reach out not only to Jews who are ill or dying but also to their loved ones and caregivers, offering prayer, meditation, study, spiritual counseling and visiting the sick,” he said.
The organization also provides training and support for rabbis, chaplains, health care professionals and other care givers.
A native of Los Angeles, Rabbi Weiss graduated in biology and Judaic Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and was ordained as a rabbi from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York in 1989. He also received a Certificate in Spiritual Direction from Mercy Center, Sisters of Mercy, in Burlingame, Calif., and had formal training as a clinical chaplain.
At the Temple Bat Yam service, he also will discuss the specialty camp he founded called “Grief and Growing: A Healing Weekend for Individual and Families in Mourning,” which was named Program of the year by the Jewish Community Federation in the Bay area. The camp is co-sponsored by Jewish Family and Children’s Services, the Bureau of Jewish Education, Bay Area Jewish Healing Center and Camp Tawonga, a Jewish summer camp.
As director of the Jewish Healing Center for four years, he said, “I am interested in how we experience spirituality and how we respond to it.”
“Those involved with Jewish healing see a hunger among Jews who want to integrate spirituality with their medical treatment in order to heal their souls as well as their bodies,” he said, adding, “We don’t believe that prayer alone can cure physical illness, nor that it will necessarily cure when used as a complement to traditional medicine. But we do believe it can be a source of tremendous comfort and hope.”
Temple Bat Yam is the only Jewish congregation and community center serving Lake Tahoe’s South Shore, Carson City and the Carson Valley.
A dessert reception will follow the service.