Jewish Prisoner Services International

Jewish Prisoner Services International [JPSI] is the foremost program operated by Congregation Shaarei Teshuvah. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, its volunteer outreach staffers work in conjunction with numerous associates around the globe.

JPSI is much more than a ‘chaplaincy’. While its primary focus is on pastoral care for Jewish prisoners, releasees and their families, it also provides services to synagogues and rabbis, Jewish social service organizations, correctional agencies, governmental entities (such as Israeli Consulates), etc. and even other faith groups. Furthermore, JPSI plays an important role in security of the Jewish and general communities.

Throughout this website, you will find more detailed information about JPSI.


Chaplain Gary Friedman Z”L – Founder

Chaplain Friedman was the founder of JPSI/Congregation Shaarei Teshuvah, he founded JPSI 1995 as an agency of B’nai B’rith International. For more than two decades, Chaplain Friedman has been a prominent figure in the realm of corrections, a much sought after authority and speaker whose accomplishments are too extensive to list, but here are a few highlights:

• 1992 to 2004 – First Jewish Chaplain, Washington State Department of Corrections.
• 1998 to Present – Communications Director, American Correctional Chaplains Association.
• 2005 – Corrections Industry ‘Chaplain of the Year’.
• 2010 to 2016 – Instructor, American Jail Association ‘Religious Issues in Jails’ training seminars.

Chaplain Friedman regularly advised prison and jail systems on various religion-related matters, and he was regarded as the foremost authority on institutional religious diet programs. He has also served on and chaired several corrections organization and governmental committees, and been an expert witness in numerous court cases and legislative hearings. He most enjoyed what he termed the “privilege” of being able to mentor former offenders.