Pastoral Care: A Little-Known Benefit of Belonging to WHC

Pastoral care is a form of emotional and spiritual support that clergy provide to their congregants. Pastoral care is rooted in the traditions of the Jewish people and our sacred texts, and it uses resources such as prayer, study, and participation in the congregational community to help guide our congregants at moments of challenge and joy.

This spiritual exploration and support have the ability to foster wholeness, healing, and growth in those who are seeking clarity or more meaning in their lives. Washington Hebrew Congregation’s rabbis and cantors help our members — individuals, couples, or families — through pain, loss, and anxiety, as well as in their triumphs, joys, and victories. Pastoral care differs from clinical therapy in that our clergy do not provide diagnoses or long-term counseling; they can, however, provide referrals and resources in the community when pastoral care is not sufficient.

Interestingly, the only obstacle to receiving pastoral care is often that WHC members are unaware that this benefit of belonging to Washington Hebrew Congregation exists. If you would like to learn more or engage with one of our clergy for pastoral care, simply contact any of our clergies’ assistants, who can connect you with a rabbi or cantor.

Many times, we first learn about a congregant who is in need of our pastoral care through another WHC member who reaches out to let us know, confidentially, about this need. If you know someone in our congregation who could use our support, we ask that you call or email us (as noted above) so that we may reach out to this individual and provide the care and support that is needed.

In addition to private and confidential pastoral care, our rabbis and cantors have established additional programs, including Wise Aging and our Bereavement Support Group, to help WHC members heal and find more meaning in their lives.

On Saturday, February 23, we will host a Wellness Shabbaton at JBSC to help you reclaim the balance and flow in your lives. We invite you to join us! Click here to learn more and register. We hope to see you there.