Rabbi Joseph S. Ozarowski

Jewish Healing Network of Chicago

Jun 14, 2007

Rabbi Dr. Joseph S. Ozarowski serves as Rabbinic Chaplain to the Jewish Healing Network of Chicago, a program run by Jewish Child and Family Services and several other Jewish Federation agencies.

For over 25 years Rabbi Ozarowski has enjoyed a distinguished career as a pulpit rabbi, educator, author and chaplain. An engaging teacher and speaker, he has served congregations in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, California and the New York area. He was honored for his service by the Orthodox Union at its National Rabbinic Centennial Awards Dinner in 2001. He most recently served as Executive Director of the Chicago Rabbinical Council and administrator of its Beth Din (Rabbinic Court).

Rabbi Ozarowski is a leader in the field of pastoral care and Judaism. He was the past chair of the Pastoral Care Committee at Franklin Hospital Medical Center, Valley Stream, NY, has been a governing board member of the (New York) Metropolitan Coordinating Council on Bikur Holim, and also a member of the New York UJA/Federation task forces on Pastoral Care and Hospice. He served as Staff Jewish Chaplain at New York University Medical Center, where he created for the first time a professional Jewish presence at the extensive hospital campus.

Based upon his wide-ranging rabbinic experience, he adivses his junior colleagues that, "besides the usual things (keep up your own learning, make time for yourself and your family), get good training and experience in pastoral matters. They do not teach these enough in most Yeshivot. But in the end, how you shape and affect people Jewishly comes from the pastoral relationship."

Rabbi Dr. Ozarowski received his undergraduate degree from Loyola University of Chicago, his rabbinic ordination from Chicago’s Hebrew Theological College, and his doctorate from Lancaster (PA) Theological Seminary. While still a rabbinic student, he served as an award winning Chicago Regional Director for the National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY). He also served as founding president of the Lancaster (PA) Jewish Day School. He says that as a pastor, "my greatest challenge is trying to remain personally true to Halacha and traditional Torah beliefs while ministering to a very wide variety of Jews in times of illness and loss, many of who do not share these beliefs and are often not even aware of them. What sustains me in this journey is the deep faith and firm knowledge that the Torah has something to say to people in trouble. My job is to be the conduit for Hashem’s teaching and comfort from above for these people."

Rabbi Ozarowski has served as a national officer of the Rabbinical Council of America in which he has been active in a wide variety of areas for thirty years. He is also an active member of numerous other rabbinic, professional and community organizations. A prolific author, Rabbi Ozarowski co-authored Common Ground and has written numerous other articles. His first book, To Walk in God’s Ways - Jewish Pastoral Perspectives on Illness and Bereavement, is considered a standard in the field of Judaism and Pastoral Care.

Rabbi Ozarowski is married to Chicagoan Ashira (nee Rapoport), and is the father of four children and the grandfather of three.