The Kol Haneshama End-of-Life volunteer program is based on the belief that no one should have to die without companionship. Our volunteers partner with hospice patients in need of spiritual support. Kol Haneshama volunteers can be many things to dying people: confidants, silent companions, a consistent presence, and/or a much needed connection to the Jewish community.

“Kol HaNeshama T’hallel Yah”
-Psalm 150

Program details and application below.

The training was expert and timely, and full of grace. More than that, it gave participants the space for spiritual reflection in our own lives, together with others who are traveling through this challenging last-piece territory.
Kol HaneshamaVolunteer

Training

Volunteers receive forty hours of initial intensive training through the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center, in partnership with Zen Hospice Project and San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living. The volunteer training calls upon the participants to self-reflect on the nature of their experiences with, and reactions to, illness, loss and dying. Volunteers will also gain familiarity with Jewish spiritual care tools such as text study, meditation, listening, simple touch and spiritual assessment, which can facilitate a sense of emotional and spiritual wholeness at the end-of-life. There are no expectations about levels of religious observance or affiliation. The focus is on your availability as a compassionate presence.

Volunteering

We ask for a weekly commitment of four hours, for one calendar year. Each week, approximately three hours will be spent with patients, and one hour will be spent engaging in reflection and supervision.

After the initial training, volunteers meet for monthly continuing education learning sessions and weekly check-ins for peer supervision, mentorship and support. Our monthly teachers include rabbis, physicians, chaplains, social workers and other leaders in the field of end-of-life care. Past monthly learning sessions have included classes on the physiology of dying, working in an interdisciplinary medical team, the use of psalms at the bedside, understanding family systems, caring for people with addiction and mental illness, and many more.

We enjoy a primary site relationship with San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living and all of our volunteer gatherings take place at that site.

For more information contact Rabbi Elliot Kukla at (415)750-3440 or email: ekukla@bajhc.org.

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2019 program.

Older person holding a lift from hospital bed with attendant in the background