Rabbi Richard F. Address is the senior rabbi at Congregation M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ. Called to the congregation after 33 years with the Union for Reform Judaism, he previously served as the specialist and congregation consultant for the North American Reform movement in the program areas of Caring Community and Family Concerns. His work has been based on the belief that a congregation, to be a true “caring community”, must be founded on a theology of sacred relationships. (Read Rabbi Address’ blog for M’kor Shalom, “Chai from Rabbi Address.”)
A major part of Address’s work has been in the development and implementation of the project on Sacred Aging. This project has been responsible for creating awareness and resources for congregations on the implication of the emerging longevity revolution with growing emphasis on the aging of the baby boom generation. This aging revolution has begun to impact all aspects of Jewish communal and congregational life.
Rabbi Address was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnati (1972) and served congregations in California before joining the staff of the Union for Reform Judaism (formerly the Union of American Hebrew Congregations) in 1978. He directed the Union’s Pennsylvania Council from 1978 through 2000. In 1997 he founded the Department of Jewish Family Concerns and went full time in New York in January of 2001.
Rabbi Address received a Certificate in Pastoral Counseling from the Post Graduate Center for Mental Health in 1998 and his Doctor of Ministry from HUC-JIR in 1999. He also received his honorary Doctorate from HUC-JIR in 1997.
In January of 2007 he was awarded the “Sherut L’Am” award by the Kalsman Institute for Judaism and Health. He teaches classes in Jewish Family issues and Sacred Aging at the New York campus of HUC-JIR.
In March 2010, Rabbi Address was awarded a Best Practices in Older Adult Programs: First Place by the National Council on Aging-Interfaith Coalition on Aging.
He has contributed articles and chapters on Judaism and Aging for numerous publications including:
- Jewish Lights
- Journal of Central Conference of American Rabbis
- Newsletter of American Society of Aging’s Forum on Religion, Spirituality and Aging (FORSA)
- The Journal of Religious Gerontology
- The Jewish Forward
- “Jewish Relational Care” (chapter on “Jewish Relational Care and Healthy Aging”)
- “Aging, Spirituality and Religion, Vol 2” (chapter on “Making Sacred Decisions at the End of Life: AN Approach from Sacred Jewish Texts”)
Rabbi Address has edited and co-authored:
- “Jewish Relational Care with Healthy Aging”: in Jewish Relational Care. Jack Bloom. Haworth Press. 2006
- “Creating Sacred Scenarios: Opportunities for New Rituals and Sacred Aging”: in Religion, Spirituality and Aging: A Social Work Perspective. Harry R Moody, Ph D, Ed. Haworth Press. 2005
- “The Human Body and the Body Politic”: in Midrash and Medicine. Dr. William Cutter, ed. Jewish Lights. 2011
- “What Elders in Congregations Need From Spiritual Leaders”: in Journal of Religion, Spirituality and Aging. Vol. 32. Jan.-June, 2011
- “The Unbroken Path: Emerging Issues for the Care-giver”: in Broken Fragments: Jewish Experiences of Alzheimer’s Disease. Doug Kohn, ed. URJ Press. June 2012
- “Standing in Life Before God: Report on One Congregation’s First Steps for Creating a Congregation=Based Program on Health and Wellness” in CCAR Journal. Journal of Reform Judaism. Summer 2012
- “Contemplating A Theology of Healthy Aging”: in Healing to All Their Flesh: Essays in Spirituality, Theology and Health. Dr. Feff Levin and Dr. Keith Meador, eds. Templeton Press. Fall 2012
- “To Honor and Respect: Programs and Resources for Congregations on Sacred Aging” ( Union for Reform Judaism Press. 2005)
- “That You May Live Long: Caring for our Aging Parents, Caring for Ourselves.
- Jewish Perspectives On Caregiving” (with Rabbi Hara Person. URJ Press. 2003)
- “Caring for the Soul: R’fuat Ha Nefesh: A Mental Health Resource and Study Guide. (URJ Press. 2003)
- “A Time to Prepare”. A Practical Guide for Individuals and Families in Determining One’s Wishes for Extraordinary Medical Treatment and Financial; Arrangements. (URJ Press. 2001)