Spiritual care rooted in Jewish tradition with the intent to comfort people who are ill, dying or bereaved no matter what their affiliation or Jewish background. We don’t meet with our clients to fix a problem but to accompany them in a challenging situation with an assumption that a caring connection can transform suffering through relationship and reflection.

Rabbi Renee holds lulav and etrog
JSS Shabbat Sukkot celebration for seniors.

Chaplaincy at Jewish Social Services
JSS’s chaplaincy program provides spiritual care, support and comfort for Jewish individuals and families who are coping with illness, aging, loss or other life challenges and do not have access to another rabbi. Much of the support is provided through individual connections with Rabbi Bauer who visits clients in the community, at continuing care facilities, at in-patient hospice and in the hospital. Having a rabbi on staff allows JSS to meet the requests of families would like Jewish funerals, memorial services and unveilings but are not currently connected to the organized Jewish community.

To provide continuing connections to Jewish life, JSS hosts Shabbat and holiday celebrations at select senior care facilities and delivers of holiday baskets on Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah and Purim to homebound individuals. The chaplaincy program is also creating a scaffolding of spiritual support throughout the community by providing information and training to organizations and institutions working with Jews as well for members and professionals in the Jewish community.

Testimonials From Clients:

“Rabbi Renee came to visit my Mom twice – both times, my Mom was sleeping, but our connection was instant. I was preoccupied with someone else’s care, lost in my own community, and Rabbi Renee offered a sense of belonging and Jewishness. The third time Rabbi Renee visited, my Mom was in her new comfort space… We finally attached my Mom’s mezuzah to her door, and, together, we said the prayer over it. Little gestures, big hearts, precious memories rekindled. I didn’t even know how to ask for these things, but am so grateful the connection still exists for my Mother and for me, within the Madison community.”
— Daughter of a JSS Client

“Thank you for your visit today. It’s always a pleasure talking with you. It perks me up and I went out for a short walk and to Target after you left.”
— Chaplaincy Client

Rabbi Renee Bauer and two new fathers
Rabbi Renee performing a double bris

When should you call:
When you or a family member are struggling with mental or physical illness or bereavement. When you want to reconnect with your Jewish heritage or to connect with the local Jewish community.

How to make contact:
(608) 442-4081(main)
(608) 424-4033 (direct

The chaplaincy program has been made possible by grants from the Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman Foundation and from Tim and Kathy Mazur.