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“Called to Be Lonely? Loneliness of the Pastor/Rabbi”

Rabbi Dr. Laura Kaplan

SHORT OVERVIEW: Pastoral caregivers have a unique role in the community. They are called to be a spiritual role model, confidential advisor, and empathetic listener who supports everyone equally. Living into this larger-than-life role can lead to loneliness. But loneliness can become an opportunity for what depth psychologists call “individuation” — a psychological process of opening the ego to spiritual growth. These psychological concepts can help all of us use the challenges of caring for others as opportunities for growth.


 Rabbi Laura Duhan Kaplan, Ph.D., is Director of Inter-Religious Studies at the Vancouver School of Theology. Rabbi Laura, an award-winning educator and a spiritual director, is also Rabbi Emerita of Or Shalom Synagogue. She is author of The Infinity Inside: Jewish Spiritual Practice Through a Multi-Faith Lens (Albion-Andalus, 2018) and blogs at Laura lives in Vancouver with her husband, psychologist and musician Charles Kaplan. Together they enjoy hiking, making music, parenting their young adult children, and caring for a changing array of companion animals.