How do I easily say thank you for the immense love, support and assistance you gave to the both of us? Right when I was ready to fall down and fall apart, you were there to help in plans, help with my heart, and generous words to many friends and family. Thanks for supporting us and being a part of his memory.
On this the anniversary of my father’s passing, you provided healing for my decision of hospice for him. You explained how logically the body wants to act if we only put aside our own human logic, distracted by emotions and desire to control, and simply let the body do what it was meant to do. Finally, I understand that in sparing my father invasive treatments touching the path through which his beautiful voice once passed, I didn’t deny him anything, but gave him something, dignity to pass in peace while others sang to him to help him on his way.
— Miriam Cantor
We met you in our daughter Nancy’s apartment literally hours after her condition was deemed terminal, and her oncologist advised us that you could help us establish hospice care for her. Our coming together was truly beschert.
Carol, Nancy and I want to express to you directly, and to the Board of the Jewish Healing Center of Los Angeles, how grateful we are for all you’ve done and continue to do for us during this extremely trying time. We can’t over emphasize how very important your involvement has been and how much it has meant to us at each and every turn of our journey — your choice of a medical partner, shepherding us through the admittance process; continuously monitoring our satisfaction with medical services and immediately intervening with medical staff when dissatisfactions arose — even to the extent of going back to Nancy’s oncologist to seek a different recommendation of an anti-itch medication when others failed to provide relief. Beyond that, your weekly visits as our “social worker/therapist/spiritual guide”, which extended to the inclusion of our two older children, Cathy and Jon, opened lines of communication for us and forced us to confront extremely difficult and sensitive issues in a positive way and to draw strength from each other.
We feel blessed to have you in our lives at this time, and our thanks also go out to all at the Jewish Healing Center — your staff, the Board Members and the supporters of the Center — who altogether have made these services available.
— Carol, Nancy and Allan Mysel
I wanted to write and say thank you for your compassionate support this spring, during the months immediately after I lost my beloved mother. It has been a time of unimaginable sorrow, confusion, and regret. You have helped me navigate choppy, dark waters when I was drifting without oars.
My mother was sick, but was totally compos mentis and was doing well with 24-hour care, a weekly in-home nurse, acupuncture appointments, and frequent visits from me and my sister. Since my sister and I each live a plane-ride away, it was hard for us to fully understand her condition and the imminence of her death. We knew she was physically weak, but had no sense that her decline would be so rapid, so hadn’t yet brought in palliative or hospice care. Only with hindsight do we understand that there were clear signs. At the time we were clueless and in denial. We didn’t have the right kind of services or support to help us understand what was happening and to provide aid my mom, and us, in the process of dying.
We had thoughtful caregivers and were frequently in touch with mom’s doctors. My mom had many friends, a beautiful home, and the best of everything. But we lacked one key element: palliative care and hospice professionals to administer comfort to her, give us insight into her failing state, and help us all prepare emotionally and spiritually for what could come at any moment. Instead the experience of my mom’s death was shocking and rather brutal for me—as if my mother was ripped from life, and I from her.
My family and I would have benefited beyond measure from the conscious support, excellent services, and wise experience I now understand the Jewish Healing Center can provide. At the time I didn’t know it existed. I didn’t know to ask for this kind of help.
I will be recommending this incredible organization to everyone I know when they are faced with the possibility of losing a loved one. Getting thoughtful, gentle, expert guidance is the key to a smoother transition for both the dying and the living.
My sister Anne, at 54 years of age, struggled with a brain tumor. When treatment was no longer an option, hospice services were contacted. I met Rabbi Carla on the Sunday before Anne’s passing and then she returned on Monday to meet the rest of the family. Fortunately, she was in the house when Anne passed on Monday afternoon. Rabbi Carla provided support, guidance and management of all elements of my sister’s death. She developed a personal relationship with all members of the family and turned a terrible, awful situation into a spiritual experience. I know Anne would have been pleased with Rabbi Carla’s handling of her family and relatives and Anne would have enjoyed the memorial service with all of her friends being present. I know Anne is now smiling down on all of us now. Thank you.
I just want to drop you this note to thank you once again for everything the Jewish Healing and Hospice Center and you have done for Lee and me.
The situation was incredibly sad when we took on Hospice X at the recommendation of Hospital Y. The nurse and contact we met at the hospital were very misleading and falsely reassuring to my brother and me when we accepted them as our hospice provider. We had no idea—the Hospital never told us—that there were options for alternative hospice providers, let alone Jewish providers. Our experience from the beginning was less than professional with them and I was constantly calling and reminding them to send medicine and nurses and a doctor. I had too many bad days and experiences with them to repeat.
I am so grateful for the loving care and support I received after I fired that hospice and hired the Jewish Healing and Hospice Center. I received the immediate love and support from you and the nurses I needed to help Lee pass gently, pain free and lovingly. But also as important, you provided the vital support for my brother and myself to be strong for Lee at the hardest part.
This experience has left me a changed man with a new perspective on life. As I told you, I am seeing things clearer and am more sensitized to the process of spiritual home hospice and the essential compassion people like Lee and I require at a difficult time. Your support subsequent to Lee’s passing and the beautiful memorial you presided over has been a memory I will cherish forever. I look forward to getting involved with Jewish Healing Center as a tribute to Lee.
In August of 2010 I lost my mother, my single parent, my only family, and felt utter despair and complete hopelessness. Since day one, Rabbi Carla Howard has supported me through this unbearable time, giving me hope and providing me with tools to live my life and live with my grief. I cannot even describe how immensely she and the Jewish Healing Center have helped me see the light at the end of what was an infinitely dark tunnel. For someone to step up and just help you for the sake of helping without requiring anything in return has changed my life. I am forever indebted to the Jewish Healing Center; I do not think I would have made it without them.
Rachel Danielle Gutson
The Jewish Healing Center is enormously helpful to families in times of crisis. By aiding in the selection of proper caregivers, conferring with physicians and helping individual family members cope with a variety of problems as they arise, JHCLA serves as a bulwark against the unknown. The spiritual care that they provide is essential in granting those who are sick — and their families — access to Judaism’s rich legacy of wisdom on healing and comfort.
Rabbi David Lieber, Ph. D. z”l
President Emeritus, American Jewish University
My friend B, who was as close to me as a sister, was in hospice with Rabbi Carla for three years. As a Clinical Social Worker who had done hospice work, I assumed I would think clearly, respond rationally and know what to say as my dear friend/”sister” and I faced her final days and hours of life. Rabbi Carla gave me the permission and support I needed to crumble. It was she who provided the wise words and solace for both my friend and me as we said our final good-byes.
— Judith Rivin, L.C.S.W.
JHCLA is without a doubt one of the most important resources on which I rely for my oncology practice and I can highly recommend their array of services to all physicians.
Daniel Lieber, M.D.
Angeles Clinic and Research Institute
When we didn’t know what to do for our ailing 98 year-old aunt, we once again called JHCLA, who had been there for our mother at the end of her life. They asked the right questions and put our minds at ease; they set up hospice service and followed our aunt with visits, calls and compassion. Twice they have been there for us and we would, without hesitation, call them again.
Carol and Gary Gleicher
This past Friday, many of us gathered at the hospital to send healing prayers to “J”, who remains in the ICU following her tragic accident, and to “M”, in treatment for breast cancer. Certainly, I speak on behalf of all who attended when I report that this prayer circle was more moving than words could possibly describe…. Rabbi Carla’s prayer for healing was incredibly impactful….
Please know that all of us, those who were able to attend Friday and those who were not, are constantly sending thoughts of healing and recovery and strength to “J” and to “M”, and your entire families. We are by your side.
The Morningstar Commission
Being fully present, reading poetry, telling a story, holding a hand, listening; these are some of the things I do when I visit a patient. Around ten years ago I began studying with Rabbi Carla Howard and became part of a group dedicated to visiting the sick. We visited patients in the hospital and in their homes. I continued studying and trained with a group at Santa Monica -UCLA Hospital on end of life or hospice care.
Sometimes I see a patient only once, sometimes several times and sometimes a relationship develops that is more long term. I am there to listen! The people I visit are artists, doctors, business owners, parents, grandparents, travelers and all have stories to tell. I listen!
I know that the people I visit give as much to me as they get and often, as Rabbi Howard says, “there is a question of who is healing whom?” Our Jewish tradition has many wise and wonderful things to say about healing; both in body and in spirit. It is a privilege to do the work of healing in this small way. I am grateful to Rabbi Howard for leading me on this path.
Bonita Selk, Pressman Academy teacher
MA in Jewish Education (American Jewish University) and recipient, Milken Family Foundation’s Jewish Educator’s Award
I can’t believe how simple this most difficult of moments was — one call and we were out of the hospital and home with my mom — everything was delivered as promised. What a gift you are to those of us in need.
— Sarah H.
“We so appreciate the priceless service you provided and making sure that our beloved mother was so well cared for over the past 3 years. You helped us navigate a care crisis and we are so grateful.”
— The Hoffman Family
“JHCLA assisted my mother and family during her hospice care. Rabbi Howard and Chaplain Scott were both supportive and caring during this difficult time. JHCLA provided excellent support services and were available when needed. The visits were always comforting.
JHCLA was like a safety net, I knew their services were readily available and could contact them at anytime.”
— Ellen Green
And for most, middle age seems a long time ago
Though our village is structured so that we all thrive
It is quite clear to us we won’t get out alive
I feel certain myself that my neighbors all know,
My throat cancer’s back and it’s starting to grow
Doctors offered to operate but I said no,
I would rather stay home ‘til it’s my time to go
No surgery, thanks, I politely decline
I have lived a full life and I’m past 89
I like dinner with friends at the end of the day
We can talk or be quiet, it’s good either way
I can nap in my chair as I’ve done all my life
I can play chess online, I can sleep with my wife
I can watch the old movies of love and of war
I remember the words ‘cause I’ve heard ‘em before
Thank you family and friends for the love you all gave
Please believe me I didn’t do this to be brave
Thank you neighbors and nurses, and this I must say,
Thanks to Hospice for helping me do it my way”
— Leo Arditte
“I hope this note finds you well. I am writing, once again, to convey my deep admiration for the critically important work that the Jewish Healing and Hospice Center does.[…]”
— Rabbi Kenneth Chasen