Rabbi Avivah Erlick seeks to connect today's mostly unaffiliated Jewish public with the spiritual support they need, through all stages of life.
An entrepreneurial rabbi and board certified interfaith healthcare chaplain, Rabbi Avivah serves in healthcare, corrections, assisted living, congregational and private settings. She represents other clergy and officiants through her agency, Community Rabbis; and provides Jewish end-of-life ritual with her specialty team, Sacred Waters.
Through Community Rabbis, Rabbi Avivah matches groups and individuals with the qualified Jewish clergy and lay professionals they need to lead holiday programming; teach classes and tutor individuals; officiate weddings and other ceremonies; visit the sick, and more.
Sacred Waters is a modern take on a Jewish burial society (the organization that provides the traditional washing ceremony after death known as taharah). Rabbi Avivah created it as a response to Jewish hospice families wanting authentic rituals to express their love while demarcating the time when their caregiving concludes.
Rabbi Avivah has two masters degrees; one that came with her transdenominational rabbinic ordination (Academy for Jewish Religion, Calif., 2009); the other in journalism (she spent 20 years as a newspaper editor). She holds six units of Clinical Pastoral Education, and board certification (2013) from the Association of Professional Chaplains. In addition to her healthcare chaplaincy work, she serves as a Jewish chaplain to the LA County jail system (through a grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles).
Rabbi Avivah studied taharah privately and through the Gamliel Institute of Kavod v’Nichum, an international organization working to promote the development and success of interdenominational Jewish burial societies. She co-authored a book, Exploring the Soul of Taharah, a meditation on the boundaries for modification of this ritual. She speaks nationally and locally on taharah, Judaism, culture and spirituality, and is a regular contributor to the L.A. Jewish Journal (Torah Portion) column and the Expired & Inspired blog of Kavod v'Nichum.
Honoring in Community
Rabbi Avivah has for the past five years participated in the annual L.A. County Funeral for the Unclaimed, when the cremated remains of as many as 1,600 people are buried, and chaplains from many faiths and nations offer prayers.
Photo courtesy of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune