Resource Center for Jewish End of Life Care

These posts are part of a series sponsored by and developed in partnership with UJA- Federation of New York to raise awareness and facilitate conversations about end of life care in a Jewish context.

Hands of Two People Holding Coffee Mugs and Talking

How to Talk to Loved Ones About Your End-of-Life Wishes

Conversations about end-of-life decisions are delicate, personal and unique — and rarely if ever, begun and completed in one sitting. One thing is certain, given the mobility of our society, the advances in medical technology and the continuing cultural denial of death: The need for these conversations has never been more profound.
Drawing of a Couple Sitting Away from One Another

Why Jews Should Talk About Death

Conversations about end-of-life wishes are easy to procrastinate. But you shouldn’t. It’s not easy to face our own mortality, and perhaps even harder to imagine losing our loved ones. Which is why many of us just avoid the issue.
Hand Writing Using Quill and Ink

Writing an Ethical Will: How to Get Started

Writing an ethical will can feel like an overwhelming process. How does one begin to summarize a lifetime of lessons and beliefs? Where should the focus of the message be? Read Exercises and tips for creating this document to share with your loved ones.
Notary Seal on Will

Jewish Ethical Wills (Tzava’ot)

A rich tradition, these free-form documents can provide comfort to the dying and their loved ones. For centuries, Jewish parents have passed down wisdom and values to their children by crafting end-of-life documents called tzava'ot or "ethical wills."
Chalkboard Illustration of Patient in Hospital Bed

Judaism, Hospice & Palliative Care: Questions & Answers

What you should know about Jewish approaches to end-of-life are.
Question Mark in Marker on Clipboard

Must-know words and phrases related to end-of-life care

Navigating any stressful and significant situation requires effective communication and clear understanding. All the more so when that scenario involves life-and-death decisions and the stress, guilt, grief and unfamiliar surroundings that often entails.
Noah and the Rainbow Painting by Marc Chagall

End of Life Care in the Bible

The Torah is called Etz Chayim, a tree of life, because it provides values, ethics and laws by which Jews are commanded to live. But how we die is also part of how we live. And so when we face death, our biblical ancestors can serve as models for how we approach the end of [...]
Hillside Road with Evergreens Lining the Roadway into the Sunset

Jewish Perspectives on End of Life Care

Decisions concerning medical care in the final stages of life present a range of Jewish ethical and legal conundrums. They are often messy and complicated, and they have vexed ethicists, medical professionals and religious leaders alike.