The Rabbi Samuel Chiel (zt”l) Genesis Forum

Refuat HaNefesh, Refuat HaGuf (Healing of Soul and Body): A Jewish Look at Wellness

All sessions meet on Wednesdays, 12:00–1:15 p.m.
at CJP's Kraft Family Building, 126 High Street, Boston.

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is required.
Please feel free to bring your lunch. Beverages will be available.

Life, with all its joys and challenges, can wear down our spirit and our bodies. In this year’s Genesis Forum, each class will examine a different aspect of physical or spiritual well-being in light of both traditional and contemporary texts. Our teachers include rabbis and academics, all of whom will help us draw strength and meaning from Jewish perspectives on health and wellness. Our lunchtime conversation will be infused with lively debate as we explore ancient and modern Jewish wisdom.

Register online, email, or call 617-457-8694.


Access audio and materials from previous classes here

October 31
Teshuva: Returning to Our Best Selves
with Rabbi Marc Baker, President and CEO of CJP

November 28
First, Do No Harm: Jewish Views on Self-Endangerment
with Rabbi Dr. Benjamin Samuels, CJP Genesis Scholar and Rabbi of Congregation Shaarei Tefillah

December 12
An Introduction to the Issues Surrounding Informed Consent and Halacha (Jewish Law)
with Rabbi Lila Kagedan, Clinical Ethicist and Rabbi of Walnut Street Synagogue

January 23
Rejoicing in Being a Part: Sameach b’Chelko
with Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, President of Hebrew College

February 27
An Inside-Out Path to Health: Using Mussar Wisdom to Create a Life of Balance and Wellness
with Rabbi David Jaffe, Kirva Institute

March 27
Healing of Body and Spirit: The Wisdom of Bikkur Cholim (Visiting the Sick)
with Nancy R. Smith, MAJS, LICSW, BCC, Jewish Chaplain

April 17
Ancient Texts and Contemporary Dilemmas: Old Wine in New Bottles
with Michael A. Grodin, M.D., Professor of Jewish Studies, Psychiatry, Bioethics, and Human Rights, Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies, Boston University

May 29
Spiritual Frameworks in the Treatment of Anxiety
with David Rosmarin, Ph.D., Associate Psychologist and Director of the Spirituality and Mental Health Program at McLean Hospital, and Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

June 19
Wholeness and Holiness: The Many Meanings of Shalom
with Rabbi Dr. Benjamin Samuels, CJP Genesis Scholar and Rabbi of Congregation Shaarei Tefillah; and Rabbi Elyse Winick, Senior Director, Learning and Engagement, CJP


Rabbi Samuel Chiel (zt”l)

הרב שמואל בן שלמה ופרימט זצ"ל

Rabbi Samuel Chiel (zt”l) was CJP’s Scholar-in-Residence for many years and was instrumental in founding the Genesis Forum.

Rabbi Chiel left us with a glorious legacy of communal service and teaching. At the beginning of his rabbinical career, he also proudly served his country as a Jewish chaplain in the U.S. Armed Forces. He went on to become the beloved spiritual leader of Temple Emanuel of Newton for 27 years. 

He never stopped learning and teaching, and was involved in the training of young rabbis and the continuing education of mid-career rabbis through the Rabbinic Institute at Hebrew College, as well as serving as the Jewish Scholar for New Directions in Catholic-Jewish Dialogue, an interfaith program co-sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League and the Archdiocese of Greater Boston.

Rabbi Chiel was renowned for his unique combination of erudition, insight, empathy, and warmth. He was a master speaker and teacher of Torah, as well as a great believer in and advocate for the elevating and healing powers of spiritual practice. Through our study, we hope to memorialize Rabbi Chiel for eternal blessing.