Rabbi Richard Address has devoted his career to helping transform synagogues into caring communities. Now, in Seekers of Meaning, his newest and most personal work to date, he explores how the notion of a caring community can be transformative for individuals, particularly baby boomers struggling with issues of aging and mortality.
“Who am I? Why am I here?” These are questions that guide us–or haunt us–our entire lives. As we age, these questions take on new relevance, all the more so as we face the daunting challenges of our aging society. We are seeing the health of our parents decline. We are deferring retirement in a difficult economy. We are becoming caregivers for loved ones. We are struggling with our own issues of health and wellness. Where do we turn for guidance in navigating these uncharted waters? Where do we now seek meaning in our lives?
The answer, argues Rabbi Address, is to be found in our relationships. Using key texts from the Torah, he shows that the foundation of a happy and healthy life is the meaning we seek in it in the community of others–our family, our friends, our congregations–and in our most fundamental relationship, with the very Mystery behind our own existence. This “theology of relationships” can bring much needed change to the Jewish communities that have nurtured us for so much of our lives, and help us make for ourselves an older adulthood that is healthy and sacred.
Other Books by Rabbi Address
Edited by Richard F. Address and Hara E. Person
The aging of a loved one can be a difficult experience for everyone. The language of diagnosis, hospitals, and old age homes is often distressing, even painful for all of those involved.
That You May Live Long: Caring for Our Aging Parents, Caring for Ourselves offers Jewish perspectives on helping those close to us as they grow older as well as perspectives to help us deal with our own feelings of confusion and anguish at such times.
That You May Live Long: Caring for Our Aging Parents, Caring for Ourselves attempts to provide guidance, support, solace and inspiration for those facing these difficult questions.
- Jewish responses to loved ones aging
- Essays on issues surrounding aging
- Textual references
- Practical advice concerning difficult issues
Americans are living – and enjoying life – longer than ever, a demographic trend that creates many challenges and opportunities for synagogues. To Honor and Respect is designed to help congregations respond to the longevity of revolution by helping older Jewish adults see their synagogues not just as places for life-cycle events but as sacred communities of meaning. A culmination of the sacred aging project of the URJ Department of Family Concerns, To Honor and Respect presents original rituals to mark the milestones of aging, suggests legacy and spiritual autobiography projects to hieghten community inclusiveness, examines the impact of medical technology, and provides practical and spiritual resources for caregivers. The book is a crucial guide for individuals and congregations working with aging – but still vibrant – populations.
Harriet Rosen with Rabbi Richard Address, Marcia Hochman and Rabbi Lisa Izes
Based on several years of developing and monitoring these programs, this guide from the Department of Jewish Family Concerns of the Union for Reform Judaism, will help your synagogue begin a Caring Community program and transform itself into a spiritual communal family.
This latest edition of Becoming a Kehillat Chesed includes revisions recommended by active and established Caring Community committees from across North America and features:
Caring for the Soul: R’fuat HaNefesh
A Mental Health Resource and Study Guide
Edited by Richard F. Address
Caring for the Soul: R’fuat HaNefesh was created as a response to the need to raise awareness of and reduce the stigma within congregations regarding individuals and families who are dealing with mental health issues.
This study guide is meant to be used by lay and professional leadership within congregations to create a variety of educational programs. It includes a selection of relevant sacred texts, traditional and modern readings for use in services and support groups, sample sermons, services and programs, background information on mental illnesses, related Reform responsa and URJ resolutions, and other resources for congregations and individuals.
Edited by Rabbi Richard F. Address and Commission on Jewish Family Concerns
Newly revised, A Time to Prepare is both an source of information and a workbook to help consolidate and record all the information you or your loved ones will need to handle critical illness or death. Topics include: durable power of attorney; organ donation; wills; ethical wills; rituals for saying “good-bye”, and more.