Spiritual Care in Israel: Challenges and Opportunities to Caring for Diverse Ethnic and Religious Communities

Wednesday, March 23rd 2022, 10:30am
Online Event, 2400 Ridge Rd Berkeley, CA 94709

Please join the GTU's Interreligious Chaplaincy Program and Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies for a conversation on spiritual care in Israel.

Panelists include Michael Schultz, Khitam Keis, and Nabila Awad who will share their experience offering spiritual care and companionship to Jews, Muslims, Christians, and secular communities.

More details to follow.

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Nabila Awad is a Muslim Arab woman, secular, and a devout believer in God and His prophets with joy in life, ambitious, a fighter, independent. She is a divorced mother to two daughters and a son who are grown up and educated. Nabila's parents taught her that giving and loving others is the heart’s approach. Her code in life is to see every person as they are, regardless of gender, race, or religion. Nabila holds a BA in education and sociology and Teacher’s Certification in special education, and she is currently finishing her studies in chaplaincy at Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, Israel, doing clinical work in Heart Surgery and Oncology. Nabila works as a group facilitator, primarily as a coordinator at a shelter for abused women. One of the most significant things in her life, which gives her ongoing strength, is living in inner peace with herself and as a result living in peace with her surroundings and radiating that outwards.

Khitam Keis is a Muslim Arab living in Nahaf in the Galilee. She wears traditional dress, is a mother to triplets, a believer, a lover of nature with a deep connection to the land. Khitam really loves the interpersonal encounter, humor, laughing, and she finds it important to give an easy feeling. Her approach to the world is positive. Khitam holds a BA in the social sciences and an MA in education, and she has studied death, bereavement, and psychotherapy. She is a lecturer, teacher, counselor, and dyadic emotional therapist working with children and mothers. Khitam works with bereaved families through Merkaz Ela, focusing on families that have experienced loss through murder or traffic accidents. She is currently finishing her studies in chaplaincy at Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, Israel.

Michael Schultz is Head of Spiritual Care at the Oncology Institute at Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, Israel. After receiving his rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, Michael was a chaplain resident at New York Presbyterian – Weill Cornell in New York City. He and Rachael made Aliyah in 2009 to the Galilee, where they live with their three children in Mitzpe Netofa. Ever since, Michael has been working as a milaveh ruchani (chaplain) at Rambam Hospital in Haifa. Over the years, the spiritual care service has grown, and Michael was named director of the service, with a staff of 6 milavim ruchaniyim. Michael is certified as a milaveh ruchani and as an educator, teaching a professional training course in the hospital’s academic arm, Rambam College. He plays an active role in developing the field of chaplaincy in Israel, leading a committee of the Israel Spiritual Care Association to expand access to receipt of spiritual care.

Kamal Abu-Shamsieh is Director of the Interreligious Chaplaincy Program (ICP) and Assistant Professor of Practical Theology at the GTU. He founded Ziraya Muslim Spiritual Care and extensively traveled internationally to train chaplains in primarily Arab and Muslim countries. Since 2012, he has served as a chaplain at Stanford Hospital and Clinics. He completed four clinical pastoral education units (CPE) at Stanford Hospital and a Certificate in Palliative Care Chaplaincy from California State University Institute for Palliative Care. He completed a Ph.D. at the Graduate Theological Union in 2019 where he examined Prophet Muhammad's dying experience as a good death model for an Islamic practical theology for end-of-life care.

Deena Aranoff is Faculty Director of the Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA. She teaches rabbinic literature, medieval patterns of Jewish thought, and the broader question of continuity and change in Jewish history. Her recent publications engage with the subject of childcare, maternity and the making of Jewish culture.




This event is online only