NEW YORK (Oct. 17)
The Jewish Theological Seminary of America has received a Grant Award of $98,334 from the National Institute of Mental Health to develop a special psychiatric training program for rabbis, it was announced here today. The purpose of this program is to equip Conservative Rabbis to function more effectively in their role of counselor to troubled people, without diminishing their basic identification with the rabbinical role.
It was emphasized that the aim of the program was not to equip rabbis to substitute for psychiatrists or to provide direct psychotherapeutic services. Students will be trained to recognize symptoms of mental disturbance, so that such cases can be skillfully and immediately referred to appropriate professional personal. Yet it was considered that a clergyman, acting as an understanding listener, giving support and concern to the problems brought to him, can provide relief to the moderately disturbed person.