A Selection of Featured Speakers from 2009 – 2019
At the NIJH Annual Accreditation Conferences
Rabbi Maurice Lamm, Founder NIJH
Author of five major books, President of the National Institute for Jewish Hospice, and Professor at Yeshiva University’s Rabbinical Seminary, where he held the Chair in Professional Rabbinics. He was for many years the rabbi of one of the largest Orthodox synagogues in the United States, Beth Jacob of Beverly Hills, California.
Rabbi Lamm’s most recent publications are Consolation and The Power of Hope, but he is most popularly known for his The Jewish Way In Death And Mourning, considered one of the seven best Jewish books by the New York Times. Rabbi Lamm also wrote The Jewish Way In Love And Marriage, Becoming A Jew on religious conversion, and Living Torah In America. xxOne of his most important contributions is the creation of NIJH, The National Institute For Jewish Hospice. NIJH provides accreditations for Jewish hospices and provides training for medical and health care staffs, and provides consultation with them on hospice and the Jewish community. Rabbi Lamm was Field Director of Military Chaplains for the National Jewish Welfare Board, and traveled for the U.S. Dept. of Defense with the civilian equivalent rank of Major General. His chaplain duties took him to military outposts around the world, from Greenland to Vietnam.
Shirley Lamm, President NIJH
together with her husband Rabbi Dr. Maurice Lamm, founded the National Institute for Jewish Hospice in 1985. She is also the Executive Director of NIJH and oversees all of its activities, fund raising and the NIJH emergency hotline. She consults with medical and lay organizations nationwide to create the programming for the NIJH Conferences. She oversees three offices (California, Florida, New York) on a daily basis. xxShe has counseled over 1,100 families in crisis through the NIJH hotline, offering guidance to terminal patients. She was the leader of many prominent synagogues together with her husband, most notably Beth Jacob in Beverly Hills, California. She was an officer and board member of many national and local Jewish organizations.
(The following speakers are in alphabetical order)
Sister Eileen Burke
Sister Eileen Burke, C.S.J.B., M. Div., S.T.M, BCC., is currently a Board Certified Unit Chaplain at Calvary Hospital, New York. She has served in the Health Care Ministry for over 35 years as a Chaplain, establishing and Directing Departments of Spiritual Care and as the Director of Chaplains for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, Long Island, New York. She has served on Ethics Committees since 1980. Her special interest areas are End-of-Life, aging and psychiatric issues in spiritual health care.
Throughout these years, Sister Eileen has been involved education of medical personnel and also served on all levels of the National Association of Catholic Chaplains, from its National Standards Committee to local and state level service.
Rabbi Amy Bolton
Rabbi Amy Bolton is a Spiritual Care Counselor with Visiting Nurse Service of New York Hospice and Palliative Care. She was the founding Chaplain and co-Bereavement Director of the Martin and Edith Stein Hospice in Somerset, NJ, and most recently served on the chaplaincy and bereavement teams at Holy Name Hospice and Palliative Care in Teaneck, NJ. Rabbi Bolton received her Rabbinic Ordination and MA in Jewish Studies from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at The American Jewish University.
Rabbi Dr. William H. Cutter
Rabbi Cutter is the Steinberg Emeritus Professor of Human Relations at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles, California. A founding member of NIJH, he is the founder and past president of Academic Coalition for Jewish Bioethics. He has published over 150 essays and articles.
Rabbi David Fohrman
Rabbi David Fohrman is an internationally renowned lecturer on Biblical themes and the principal educator at Aleph Beta Academy. He has served as an adjunct professor at the Johns Hopkins University, and as a lead writer and editor for ArtScroll’s Talmud translation project. He is author of “The Beast that Crouches at the Door,” a finalist for the 2007 National Jewish Book Award, and “The Queen You Thought You Knew.”
Rabbi Dr. Aaron Glatt
Rabbi Dr. Glatt is the Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Mercy Medical Center. Dr. Glatt is board certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases, and is the author of more than 200 articles, book chapters and abstract presentations. He is a professor of clinical medicine at New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York since 1998, and previously served as associate dean and director of graduate medical education at that institution. Dr. Glatt also is a spokesperson for the Infectious Disease Society of America and a well-known scholar and lecturer.
Nehama Glowgoer is a Chaplain at St. Joseph Mercy Of Ann Arbor, Michigan. A rabbi’s wife and rabbi’s daughter, she has been deeply involved in Jewish community life growing up in Portland, Oregon and over the past 25 years in Ann Arbor, Michigan. After teaching elementary and middle school Judaic studies for 16 years in Jewish day schools, she began Clinical Pastoral Education at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor in 2007.
Rabbi Dr. H. Rafael Goldstein
Rabbi Dr. H. Rafael Goldstein is the Executive Director of Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains (NAJC), a Jewish Chaplaincy Board Certification & Jewish Chaplaincy continuing education organization. He was the Director of Clinical Services for the Center for Spirituality and Health of Mount Sinai in Manhattan, where he built a Spiritual Care department of 35 people, and departments of Spiritual Care in three other hospitals.
Rabbi Dr. Goldstein has a Doctorate in Ministry (Pastoral Counseling) from Hebrew Union College. He is a co-author of published research articles, and has published four books, including “Being a Blessing: 54 Ways You Can Help People Living With Illness.”
Chaplain Margo Heda
Chaplain Margo Heda is a board certified chaplain and serves as the Jewish Chaplain of Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. She also co-facilitates Journey to Recovery, a support group for breast cancer survivors at St. John’s Riverside Hospital in Yonkers, New York.
Chaplain Heda also served as chaplain for Park Care Pavilion, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation in inner city Yonkers, New York. She mentors women chaplains and is a Board Member of Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains. She was profiled in Jewish Action Magazine, “Walking With Them in Their Suffering: An Orthodox Woman Chaplain Helps Patients On Their Journeys.”
Rabbi Me’irah Susan Iliinsky
Rabbi Me’irah Susan Iliinsky worked as a clinical social worker for 15 years and then received rabbinical ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2007. She then served as a congregational rabbi for 3 years before training as a chaplain at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. She has studied with the Gamliel Institute, and now serves as the Staff Rabbi and Chaplain with the Bay Area Region of VITAS-Innovative Hospice.
Her artwork has been exhibited in Portland, Philadelphia and the Bay Area at synagogues and Jewish community centers, and the Interfaith Art Exhibit and Jewish Community Library of San Francisco. She aspires to bring “visual access to sacred texts,” and now is focusing that work as it applies to caring for the sick and dying.
David Kessler is the world’s foremost expert on grief. He is the author of five bestselling books, including two he co-authored with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. His first book, The Needs of the Dying, a #1 best-selling hospice book, received praise by Mother Teresa. His newest book is You Can Heal Your Heart: Finding Peace After Breakup, Divorce or Death was co-authored with Louise Hay. His services have been used by Elizabeth Taylor, Anthony Perkins, and Michael Landon. David founded www.grief.com, which has had over 1 million visitors.
Dr. Barry Kinzbrunner xxDr. Barry Kinzbrunner is the Executive Vice President & Chief Medical Officer, Vitas Innovative Hospice Care. He is also a Consultant in JDC- Eshel Palliative and Spiritual Care, Jerusalem, Israel, and an Assistant Professor at the Miller School of Medicine Of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, Florida. A A national leader in defining the role of the hospice medical director, he has extensive experience developing professional performance standards, pain and symptom management guidelines, quality assurance, and hospice and palliative care education. He was the lead author of 20 Common Problems in End-of-Life Care, and has published nearly 30 articles in peer-reviewed journals.
Rabbi Bryan Kinzbrunner xxRabbi Bryan Kinzbrunner is the Campus Chaplain at The Oscar and Ella Wilf Campus for Senior Living, in Somerset, NJ. He was ordained by Yeshiva University, where he also received his Bachelors in History and Masters in Jewish Studies. He is a member of the National Association for Jewish Chaplains. He has lectured extensively on Hospice, end-of-life care and the spiritual challenges faced by patients and their families.
Rabbi Joseph J. Lieber xxRabbi Joseph Lieber has been involved in Jewish education, death and bereavement for over 30 years. He has been a Scholar-in-Residence, nationally and internationally for prominent Jewish organizations. He is the founding executive director of The Yaktzan Center for Drug Rehabilitation, in New York.
Rabbi Jonathan Perlman
Rabbi Jonathan Perlman is a chaplain and communal professional with more than 20 years experience in a wide variety of roles. He has a degree from Yale University in Religious Studies, and received his Rabbinical Ordination and Masters Degree in Hebrew Literature from the Jewish Theological Seminary, in New York.
He is the Chaplain at Forbes Hospice in Pittsburg, where he provides visitations and counseling to patients and families, serves the inpatient unit at West Penn Hospital, conducts memorial services and coordinates a volunteer team. He is also the Rabbi of New Light Congregation, a Conservative congregation in Pittsburgh.
Elise Powers R Elise Powers has worked in homecare and hospice for 30 years, first in New jersey and now in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. She has been an Executive Director of hospices since 1995. She has years of experience in demonstrated sales, marketing, creativity, leadership and relationship building in culturally diverse metropolitan regions. She built tenured teams that delivered the highest quality care, improved patient satisfaction, improved market share, profits, employee retention and morale. She grew census 30% of which 10% of the growth was the Jewish population.
Rabbi D’vorah Rose
R Rabbi D’vorah Rose is the Manager of Diversity Outreach and Development, at Vitas Innovative Hospice Care, at the San Francisco Bay Program. She has served as a Spiritual Care Coordinator, a Palliative Care Consultant, a Jewish Chaplain and as an Adjunct Lecturer in Spirituality and Health at Dominican University of California – San Rafael . She lectures and publishes widely on Judaism and health, palliative care/end of life care, and on multifaith chaplaincy.
The creator of ShivaConnect, a tribute to her Mom, who always gave support to her family and many friends, Sharon Rosen is a former New York City teacher, whose vision previously led to the creation of the “Designer Refferal Service” and “Design & Decoration – A South Florida Sourcebook.” She served as Florida Editor for “Showcase of Interior Design,” and Associate Publisher of “Florida Design Magazine.” She was also a Volunteer of the Year for the American Cancer Society / South Palm Beach County. Sharon and her husband Gary have been contributors and volunteers in many community and charitable organizations.
Charles Rudansky is the Director of Jewish Services and Pastoral Care at Metropolitan Jewish Hospice, New York. MJHS is one of the largest and most respected hospice and palliative care program in New York. He oversees the chaplain staff and coordinates with medical staff to meet the spiritual needs of the patients.
He has been involved in hospice since 1998. He worked for Cabrini Medical Center, Hospice; Continuum Hospice Care of Beth Israel; and Hospice Care Network. Prior to specializing in hospice, he was a chaplain in hospitals, prison and in the U.S. Army. He is certified as a medical chaplain and is also certified in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE).
Colleen Swick is the Regional Director of Business Development, Care Alternatives Hospice
Colleen has more than 15 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Her experience covers a wide variety of long-term care including Sub-Acute Rehab, Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Home Care.
Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb zzzRabbi Dr. Weinreb received his rabbinic ordination in 1962, his Masters degree in Psychology from The New School for Social Research, and his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. Rabbi Dr. Weinreb served as Assistant Supervisor of Psychological Services for the Prince George’s County Public Schools, as Chief Psychologist of the Potomac Foundation for Mental Health, and also maintained a private practice. He is Rabbinic Liaison for NEFESH: the North American Network of Orthodox Mental Health Professionals, and is a member of the Ethics Committee of the Veterans Administration Hospitals.
C. Leigh Wilkerson
- Leigh Wilkerson is an author, teacher and advocate of thoughtful preparation and compassionate passage through the last season of life. Her publications include “Considering Comfort Care: A Guide for Families” and “A Different Season: The Hospice Journey,” which are used by over 700 hospices across the country.
The life experience and wisdom shared by the hundreds of families she has served is the greatest gift of fifteen years in end-of-life care. These lessons have led to Leigh’s interest in communication which comforts and strengthens, rather than isolating those facing illness or dying.
David Zinner is the founder and Executive Director of Kavod v’Nichum, (Honor and Comfort), which works to restore to Jewish death and bereavement practice, the traditions and values of kavod hamet (honoring the dead) and nichum avelim (comforting the bereaved), and the founder and Executive Director of the Gamliel Institute, a center for leadership training and advocacy of traditional Jewish practice in the continuum of care at the end of life.
David was the conference coordinator for the first North American Chevra Kadisha Conference held in 2003. He has managed eleven subsequent Chevra Kadisha and Jewish Cemetery conferences across the U.S. an Canada. Since its inception in 1998, David has edited and managed the web site “Jewish Funerals, Burial and Mourning.” David teaches workshops on Jewish traditions and practices that relate to death and dying all over the United States.