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 illnesses.

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 – Rav, Machon Chayim Aruchim
  •  Rabbi Ben-Zion Leser – Menahel
  •  Rabbi Zische Aush, Dayan
  •  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 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.