Our History

Chayim Aruchim – The Center for Culturally Sensitive Health Advocacy and Counseling, a
project of Agudath Israel of America, was created in 2010 to help the Jewish community make
end of life health care decisions according to their religious beliefs. The client profile of Chayim
Aruchim is a seriously ill patient where cure may no longer probable, but clinically appropriate
treatments can keep the person comfortable and alive for a significant amount of time. We have
seen patients who chose to be treated, live four, five or more productive years with their
Chayim Aruchim is rooted in the value of patient self-determination. Healthcare choices should
be made by patients and their family. Medical professional should offer a full range of
appropriate palliative care, aggressive care and any other clinically appropriate treatment options
in a timely, balanced and nonjudgmental manner to the patient and/or health care agent. The
decision to select the preferred treatment option is the autonomous prerogative of the patient
and/or their health care agent.

Our Mission

The mission of Chayim Aruchim, also known as the Center for Culturally Sensitive Health
Advocacy and Counseling, is dedicated to helping members of the Jewish community make
end-of-life health care decisions in keeping with their religious beliefs. With a team of medically
trained Rabbis, doctors, legal experts, patient and pastoral care professionals and high-level
government policy advocates, Chayim Aruchim upholds the constitutionally guaranteed religious
rights of patients.


  •  Rabbi Gedaliah Weinberger – Chairman of the Board
  •  Rivie Schwebel – Vice Chairman of the Board
  •  Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz – President

Machon Chayim Aruchim

  •  Rabbi Zvi Ausch, Yoshev Rosh Bais Horaa D’Karlsburg – Halachic Advisor
  •  Rabbi Ben-Zion Leser – Menahel
  •  Rabbi Zische Aush
  •  Rabbi Eliezer Gewirtzman
  •  Rabbi Menachem Horowitz
  •  Rabbi Naftali Katz
  •  Rabbi Ahron Wajsfeld

Mahon Hayim Aruhim

  • Rabbi Raymond Beyda
  • Rabbi Raymond Haber
  • Rabbi Eliezer Harari
  • Rabbi Joseph Srour
  • Dr. Albert Matalon

General Counsel

  • Michael Korsinsky Esq.

Care Navigator

  • Mrs Leah Horowitz

Project Director

  • Rabbi Berish Fried

Medical Advisory Board

  • Neil A. Halpern, MD  FCCM, FCCP, FACP – Chief Critical Care Medicine, Medical
    Director of Respiratory Therapy Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  •  Yashar Hirshaut, MD – Mt Sinai Medical Center and Lenox Hill Medical Center
  •  Yitzchak Kupfer, MD – Assistant Director, Critical Care and Pulmonary Medicine,
    Maimonides Medical Center
  •  Howard Lebowitz, MD – Chief Medical Officer, Acute Care Health System’s (ACHS)
  •  Bernard Lee, MD – Chief Medical Officer of MJHS Hospice and Palliative Care,
  •  Danny A Sherwinter, MD – Director Minimally Invasive Abdominal & Bariatric
    Surgery Maimonides Medical Center
  • Dr. Mark Sonneshein, MD – Maimonides Medical Center

Advisory Committee

  • Rabbi Yaakov Weiner, Rosh Kollel, Jerusalem Center of Research
  • Mordechai Avigdor, Esq.
  • Dr. Marcel Biberfeld
  • Jacob Friedman
  • Dr. Yashar Hirshaut
  • Mark J. Kurzmann, Esq.
  • Dr. Seymour Lachman
  • Dr. Barbara Olevitch
  • Avi Schron
  • Rabbi Yeruchem Silber
  • Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel

Chayim Aruchim gratefully acknowledges the generosity of the Harry H.  Beren
Foundation of New Jersey, l’iluy nishmas Reb Tzvi Chaikel ben Reb Aharon Zev z”l.

Chayim Aruchim greatly acknowledges the support of The Sephardic Foundation on Aging.

Chayim Aruchim is an organization dedicated to providing religious and ethical guidance to
families who have a family member that is seriously ill. We try to help families handle such
situations and provide halachic guidance for these matters, but do not and cannot provide
medical or legal advice.