Following increased demand for chaplains due to COVID-19, ten Chabad rabbis were certified by The US – NY Chaplain Task Force to serve as associate chaplains in the State of New York.
The US – NY Chaplain Task Force, an agency with 3000 Chaplains, has completed the certification of 10 Rabbis from the Chabad movement, US – NYCTF officials said.
This is part of a push by the United States – New York Chaplain Task Force to involve Chabad Rabbis (called Shluchim) in a nationwide Chaplaincy program, following increased demand for more recruits due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Shluchim are well-positioned to benefit from this opportunity. The nation is now in great need of social and communal services. The unique services provided by Shluchim around the United States to many communities and individuals, makes them stand in the priority line to serve as Chaplains,” said Chaplain Nathan Szpilzinger, Director of Inter-Governmental Affairs at the US – NYCTF.
The Chaplain program provides training for the standard Associate Chaplain degree, which is a 12-week program. In addition, Rabbis with outreach experience and who already hold a Rabbinical ordination can enroll in the “accelerated program,” which lasts 15 days and is offered at a reduced rate of 30% of the cost of the standard program.
This month, 10 Chabad Rabbi leaders from 5 different states enrolled in this Chaplain program. After completing online courses provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other online training courses provided by the US/NYCTF, the program culminated last week with a final exam and the official certification of 10 Chabad Chaplains.
These Chaplain certifications are administered in the States where each Rabbi resides, and Chaplains are appointed on a volunteer basis in a general capacity and are not nominated to serve in a specific territory or facility. Each Chaplain will design and implement their own mission on the ground.
Szpilzinger’s determination is palpable: “the US – NYCTF will help and support the Shluchim to get access and representation wherever they go, be it a hospital, a nursing home, a correctional facility, or just any organization around their state. We will continue to support this program and permit every Rabbi or Shliach to benefit from this opportunity.”