About the “Jewish” in our name

Can non-Jews use your service?

A significant portion of our client population heralds from other religions or no religious practice at all. Our spiritual counseling is custom designed for the needs and unique path of each client.

What’s Jewish about what you do?

Founded by a rabbi trained in the healing and contemplative arts, JHCLA is operated by ordained rabbis and chaplains on the principle that Jewish wisdom and tradition offer a wealth of guidance about healing. Text study, prayer and music are among our healing tools and no previous familiarity with Judaism is required. We provide teaching and guidance about Jewish end-of-life rituals for families when needed as well as officiating at funerals and shiva minyanim.

Are you a synagogue?

JHCLA is not a synagogue, but we often do joint programming with area synagogues, as well as Jewish cultural and community centers and other Jewish organizations.

Are you affiliated with any movement or stream of Judaism?

JHCLA is not affiliated with any particular movement or stream of Judaism, and our Rabbinic Advisory Board includes members of all movements.

What is the symbolism of your logo?


Within our logo, the Hebrew letter “samekh” is a form of the verb “somekh,” which means to support, as in the verse “The Lord supports all who stumble” (Psalms 145:14). The borders surround and envelop the letter samekh, mirroring the circle of supportive community JHCLA creates.

ps145 - lm

About Healing

What are the Healing Services?

JHCLA conducts Refa’einu Healing Services at Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles. These services, led by or under the direct supervision of ordained rabbis, allow any one seeking quiet, as well as those in crisis, to approach their challenges from a religious-spiritual perspective in a contemplative setting. Each service in this series is followed by an informational dialogue about a particular illness or spiritual challenge. Participation is free of charge.

What other healing services do you offer individuals?

JHCLA provides spiritual care and guidance in a variety of settings, including our office, hospitals, homes and nursing homes for those unable to be up and about. Spiritual care is as unique as the person seeking it. We tailor a plan of care to the specific needs of the individuals and their family members, using a multi-faceted approach. Jewish learning, prayer, and/or meditation are accompanied by the creative arts as well, such as writing, music, movement and art, to facilitate well-being in the midst of illness and other major life crises. We provide music at the bedside for those who would so desire. Canine visitors are also available. The community we create is an important factor in reducing the isolation that often accompanies such crises, and fosters a feeling of well-being and belonging.

In addition to the spiritual care discussed above, JHCLA personnel provide those in crisis and their families with support services, including:

  • referral to appropriate social service agencies;
  • interfacing with their health-care professionals in care and medical decisions;
  • providing complementary medicine resources.

JHCLA’s executive director has many years of experience in dealing with the medical and social service communities, and our health-care advisory board, composed of licensed health-care professionals in the community, is readily available for consultation.

Do you have group sessions and / or classes?

JHCLA offers group sessions in grief counseling, and in bikkur holim (visiting the sick) once or twice a year. We also aid synagogues in the formation, training and maintenance of a bikkur holim committee.

What is the cost of these services?

Many of JHCLA’s services are free to the participants and recipients, such as our Refa’einu Healing Services, our hospice chaplaincy service, music at the bedside, and canine visits. Other services are provided for a fee. We will do whatever we can to ensure that a lack of funds will not deprive anyone of needed services. Contact us at 310.277.1550.

About Hospice

What is hospice?

Hospice is the compassionate care for individuals as they approach the end of life. It is based on the principle that human beings have the right to live out their final days, weeks and even months free of pain and in familiar and comfortable surroundings. In hospice, the emphasis is on comfort, rather than on extreme measures to effect a cure. Hospice is not a physical location — individuals on hospice can be at home or in a long-term care facility.

Who is eligible for hospice?

Any person who is in the final stage of illness, when the goal of the medical care is comfort rather than cure, is eligible for hospice. The attending physician can write a prescription for hospice when in the physician’s opinion the patient is in the final six months of life.

Who pays for hospice care?

Hospice care is generally paid for by medical insurance, whether Medicare or private insurance. This insurance covers the doctors, nurses, social workers and chaplains (including the rabbis of JHCLA). Medical insurance does not cover the cost of every-day care-givers, although long-term care insurance does have provision for such care.

About Center

Where are you located?

JHCLA currently does not have a physical location, other than an administrative office. Our Refa’einu Healing Services, other classes and counseling sessions are held in cooperation with local area synagogues and other Jewish organizations, and on their premises.

How are you funded?

JHCLA is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and we receive contributions from individuals, and grants from foundations that support much of our work. We also receive fees for some of our services. Please let us know if you would like to make a donation, or if you have suggestions for foundations we might contact for support.

How can I volunteer?

If you are interested in volunteering for JHCLA, contact us at 310.277.1550. Most of our volunteer work is focused on bikkur holim (visiting the sick).

About Los Angeles

What areas do you serve?

JHCLA is located on the Westside of Los Angeles, and serves clients from the beach communities of the south (Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, etc.) up through the central and western portions of the San Fernando Valley.

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