Naomi Kalish

Harold and Carole Wolfe Director of the Center for Pastoral Education; Assistant Professor of Pastoral Education

Department: Center for Pastoral Education



Rabbi Naomi Kalish is the Harold and Carole Wolfe Director of the Center for Pastoral Education and assistant professor of Pastoral Education. Prior to coming to JTS, Rabbi Kalish taught clinical pastoral education (CPE) at New York–Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) to students from diverse religious, denominational, national, and cultural backgrounds. Rabbi Kalish has served on the Interprofessional Education Faculty at Columbia University Medical Center, where she has taught a course, Spirituality and Healthcare, to students in diverse healthcare educational programs. She has taught chaplaincy and pastoral care courses and programs for the Academy for Jewish Religion, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, Yeshivat Maharat, and JTS.

At NYP, Rabbi Kalish served as manager of Pastoral Care and Education for the East Campus and coordinator for the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. She was the vice chair of the Pediatric Ethics Committee and the facilitator of the Schwartz Center Rounds. Rabbi Kalish worked previously as the Jewish Chaplain in Palliative Care at Calvary Hospital. She is a past president of Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains.

Rabbi Kalish has extensive experience in interreligious dialogue and its application for peace-building and community relations. She was a founding national co-chair of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom’s Sadaqah-Tzedakah Day. Rabbi Kalish received a JTS Seeds of Innovation Grant in 2018 for her volunteer work in coordinating teen interreligious dialogue activities in her home community of Hudson County, New Jersey, one of the most religiously and ethnically diverse communities in the United States. She has developed and incorporates diversity and inclusion in her chaplaincy and pastoral counseling teaching.

Rabbi Kalish earned her BA from Tufts University, an MA in Jewish Philosophy and rabbinic ordination from JTS, and PhD in Education and Jewish Studies at New York University. Her dissertation, Caring and Belonging: Jews and Clinical Pastoral Education, 1946-1990, was a historical study of the Jewish entry into the field of chaplaincy education. She is a certified educator through the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education and a board certified chaplain through Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains.


  • “LGBT Youth, Mental Health and Spiritual Care: Psychiatric Collaboration With Healthcare Chaplains,” with Stewart L. Adelson, MD, and Emilee Walker-Cornetta.Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry58:7 (2019): 651–655.
  • “Major Incidences and Code Reds,” in Mark Bartel and Sally Nash, eds., Paediatric Chaplaincy: Principles, Practices and Skills,(London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley, 2018).
  • “Existential Pain in Children and Teens,” ChiPPS E-Journal Pediatric Palliative and Hospice Care 46 (February 2017): 28–31.
  • The Tree of Me: A Spiritual Guide for Young Children, The Tree of Me: A Spiritual Guide for Kids, and A Tree Called Life: A Spiritual Guide for Teens (New York Presbyterian Hospital, August 2016), with Rosie Foster.
  • “Care of a Jewish Child and Family,” with Madeleine Parkes and Meir Salasnik, in Paul Nash, Madeleine Parkes, and Zamir Hussain, eds., Multifaith Care for Sick and Dying Children and Their Families: A Multi-disciplinary Guide(London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2015), 100–117.
  • “Jewish Healthcare Chaplaincy,” in Jeff Levin and Michele Prince, eds., Judaism and Health: A Handbook of Practical, Professional and Scholarly Resources (Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2013), 69–80.
  • “Evidence Based Spiritual Care: A Literature Review,” Current Opinion in Supportive Palliative Care 6:2 (2012): 242–6.
  • “Encountering the Other: Making Space for Learning,” Reflective Practice: Formation and Supervision in Ministry 28 (2008): 236–262.

Awards and Grants

  • Islamic Relief USA Silver Award, 2019, for local teen interfaith dialogue and community service program
  • KAICIID International Fellow and Grant, 2018, for local teen interfaith calendar
  • Alumni Seeds of Innovation Grant, JTS, 2017–2018, for local teen interfaith dialogue program
  • Doctoral Scholarship, Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, 2017–2018
  • Frankel Family Fellowship, Jacob Rader Marcus Center, American Jewish Archives, 2014–2015
  • Steinhardt Fellowin Education and Jewish Studies, New York University, 2008–2012