“I am with you in times of trouble, I will strengthen you and honor you.” (based on Psalm 91:15)
During the most challenging of times, we ensure that life is honored, human dignity is respected and kindness is shown to individuals and families who are coping with illness, loss and grief.
JCFS Chicago's illness, loss and spiritual support services embrace the comfort of human connection, the spiritual support of Jewish tradition and a sense of community to alleviate loneliness and isolation. JCFS Chicago works in collaboration with the Chicago Board of Rabbis and CJE SeniorLife.
Support for the Community
- Jewish Chaplaincy Services offers welcoming, compassionate, easily accessible and professional spiritual support for individuals and families.
- Bereavement programs such as Nechama ("comfort" in Hebrew), a one-time session designed specifically to meet the needs of individuals who have experienced a recent loss.
- Loss-specific support groups.
- Pastoral counseling for those struggling with spiritual or religious issues related to illness, loss or other issues.
- An annual Grief Retreat filled with healing activities including meditation, music, study, contemplation and more.
Training and Education
- Bikur Cholim trainings for synagogue communities to help them learn the skills needed to sensitively and compassionately provide comfort and care to sick and struggling congregants.
- Community programs and professional trainings such as the annual Conference on Help, Healing and Hope after Loss feature expert speakers and opportunities for learning and discussion.
- Spiritual support for local hospices, ensuring that their advanced illness services are religiously appropriate, culturally sensitive and reflective of Jewish values.
- Trainings on illness and loss-related topics for social service and healthcare professionals, clergy, chaplains and synagogue leaders.
Information and Referral
- Prayer pamphlets for hospitals, nursing care patients and their families, hospices and other organizations including: Jewish Prayers and Reflections on Healing (English and Russian versions); Prayers for the Caregiver; Vidui—Prayers for the End-of-life; Prayer for Persistence for Those with Chronic Illness.
- Advanced Directives and other end-of-life resources and support.
- Connections to support and resources.
Support & Funding
JCFS Chicago's illness, loss and spiritual support services are made possible by the JF/JUF Fund for Innovation in Health (funded by the Michael Reese Health Trust) and The Albert and Lucille Delighter and Marcella Winston Foundation, a Supporting Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, The Lauri S. Bauer Foundation for Sudden Loss and other generous donors.
Video from The 6th Annual Conference on Help, Healing and Hope After Loss, presented by Illness, Loss and Spiritual Support and the Lauri S. Bauer Foundation For Sudden Loss
Illness, Loss & Spiritual Support Staff
Elizabeth Siegel Cohen, Program Manager, Illness, Loss and Spiritual Support or call 847.745.5404
Rabbi Joseph Ozarowski, Rabbinic Counselor and Chaplain or call 847.745.5433
Elana Boiskin, Jewish Chaplaincy Services Coordinator or call 847.745.5405