Illness, Loss & Grief

“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, the Jewish Healing Network ensures that life is honored, human dignity is respected and kindness is shown to individuals and families who are coping with illness, loss and grief.

Jewish Healing Network provides a continuum of programs and services that embrace the comfort of human connection, the spiritual support of Jewish tradition and a sense of community to alleviate loneliness and isolation. A program of JCFS Chicago, JHN works in collaboration with the Chicago Board of Rabbis and CJE SeniorLife.

Support for the Community

  • Jewish Chaplaincy Services: The Jewish Chaplaincy Community Initiative 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

Support & Funding

JHN is supported by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, the Jewish Federation’s Fund for Innovation in Health (underwritten by the Michael Reese Health Trust), 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 the Jewish Healing Network and the Lauri S. Bauer Foundation For Sudden Loss

JHN Staff 

Elizabeth Siegel Cohen, JHN Program Manager or call 847.745.5404
Rabbi Joseph Ozarowski
, Rabbinic Counselor and Chaplain or call 847.745.5433
Elana Boiskin, Jewish Chaplaincy Program Jewish Chaplaincy Coordinator or call 847.745.5405