The National Center for Jewish Healing

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(212) 632-4500

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About Us

The National Center for Jewish Healing (NCJH) was established in 1994 in response to a national upsurge of interest in reclaiming ancient Jewish spiritual wisdom and resources that foster wholeness, hope, comfort and connection in the face of illness and loss. In 1997 the NCJH became a program of the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services (JBFCS).

The Jewish healing movement emerged in the early 1990's, spearheaded by three rabbis and two lay leaders, each of whom had themselves faced a serious illness or death of a close family member. Their personal struggles led them to conclude that as a consequence of modern life, Jewish families and individuals no longer had easy access to the spiritual and communal supports that had sustained previous generations of Jews through difficult times. They became committed to changing that reality.

In 1991, the founders organized a conference of rabbis and committed community leadership to share experiences and look closely at what Judaism had to say about illness and loss and what Jewish life had to offer those who were ill or bereaved. Shortly thereafter, the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center and the New York Jewish Healing Center were founded. This groundbreaking work that creatively integrates Jewish spirituality, tradition, and practices with psychological insights ignited the interest of rabbis, cantors, educators, medical and mental health care professionals, and synagogue lay leadership across the country. The NCJH opened in 1994 to help support and build the growing network of Jewish spiritual care and services throughout North America.

Currently there are over 30 healing centers in North America and a dynamic cadre of professionals offering education and consultation on Jewish healing and program development. Increasingly, Jewish healing community networks of care are being forged through partnerships between key communal organizations, such as Jewish federations, Jewish family service agencies, Jewish community centers, synagogues and human service organizations, to name a few. Jewish healing continues to be a vibrant and growing field.

Highlights of NCJH Accomplishments

  • Assisted in the development of over 30 local Jewish healing centers throughout the United States and Canada through consultation on program models, spiritual resources, publications, training and networking opportunities.
  • Created programs with and visited over 75 communities throughout North America to educate about the need to develop local Jewish healing resources. (Program topics have included: Jewish Responses to Suffering, Give Me Your Hand: Jewish Healing Sources and Resources, and Bikur Cholim: Creating A Caring Community.)
  • Through conferences and workshops, trained thousands of rabbis, cantors, chaplains, health and human services professionals, community leaders and volunteers in Jewish healing. (Topics include: Exploring Spiritual Care for the Ill, Services and Prayers for Healing, Death as a Teacher: Care for the Dying and their Loved Ones, and Seasons for Healing: Drawing Spiritual Resources from the Jewish Holidays.)
  • Provided one-on-one consultation to over 800 professionals on incorporating Jewish spiritual resources into their practices.
  • Shared information and materials with people seeking Jewish spiritual resources, services and referral to local healing centers and community resources.
  • Created fundamental and widely used Jewish healing publications, purchased by over 10,000 organizations, hospitals, professionals, lay volunteers and individuals.
  • Produced 15 issues of the newsletter, The Outstretched Arm, a publication devoted to themes of Jewish healing such as: Forgiveness and Healing, Caretaking, Great Miracles: Healing Lessons from/for Hanukkah, Jewish Principles of Care for the Dying.
  • Provided networking and collaboration opportunities between healing centers and professionals through a NCJH listserve and periodic teleconferencing calls on topics such as spiritual support group models, rabbi/social worker dialogues, program updates, fundraising, Bikur Cholim, care for the caregiver.
  • Developed a leadership cadre for the Jewish Healing movement through SeRaF (Senior Resource Faculty) in partnership with the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health (HUC-JIR, Los Angeles).

NCJH Partners

The development of a network of care throughout North America and beyond is grounded in strong collaborative partnerships with:

We work closely with seminaries, pastoral care and chaplaincy organizations, boards of rabbis, denominational movements as well as other Jewish spiritual care initiatives.


A beneficiary agency of
UJA-Federation of New York
The NCJH is supported by generous grants from The Nathan Cummings Foundation, UJA-Federation of New York, The Katzin Family Foundation, and individual contributors.

Please contact us about ways you can also become a partner in financially supporting this vital work both nationally and in your local area.

Jewish Connections Programs

©2011 The National Center for Jewish Healing
135 West 50th Street, 6th Floor · New York, NY 10020
Phone: (212) 632-4500 · Fax: (212) 399-2475 ·
[JBFCS site] [Jewish Connections Programs]