Assistant Professor of Pastoral Counseling; Director of Training, Jewish Spiritual Direction Program
Barbara E. Breitman, D.Min., does innovative work at the interfaces of psychotherapy, pastoral care, spirituality and Judaism. Her current interests include interpersonal neurobiology, trauma and contemplative practice. She served as clinical social worker and program director at the Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Philadelphia from 1979 to 1989 and received the Lewis Kraft Award in Jewish Communal Service in 1983 for her work on Jewish identity formation in clinical practice. For 15 years, Breitman taught advanced practice at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work. She was instrumental in developing RRC’s program in spiritual direction and continues to supervise the spiritual directors. She is a founding faculty member of Lev Shomea, a program of Elat Chayyim/Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, which trains spiritual directors in the Jewish tradition. She has served as a board member of Elat Chayyim and Spiritual Directors International, and she has a private practice in psychotherapy and spiritual direction in Philadelphia.
Breitman received a Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University, a Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania and a Doctor of Ministry from the Graduate Theological Foundation.
Breitman is co-editor of Jewish Spiritual Direction: An Innovative Guide From Traditional and Contemporary Sources (Jewish Lights, 2006). Her article on the implications of neurobiology for the mystery of presence and contemplative spiritual practice will appear in the upcoming Festschrift for Rabbi Shohama Weiner. She contributed chapters to Jewish Pastoral Care (Jewish Lights, 2005),Lifecycles: Jewish Women on Biblical Themes in Contemporary Life, vol. 2 (Jewish Lights, 1997) and A Mensch Among Men (Crossing Press, 1988), and articles and reviews for the Journal of Jewish Communal Service, The Reconstructionist, Conservative Judaism, Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction, Women and Therapy and the Shleimut Institute.