Our History

A project of Agudath Israel of America, Chayim Aruchim was originally founded in 2010
to create a legally sound medical directive to protect the religious rights of critically ill
Jewish patients. Since that time, Chayim Aruchim has continued to evolve as a vital
resource, using years of halachic, medical and legal expertise and political advocacy to
champion the rights of the Torah observant community.

Our Mission

Also known as the Center for Culturally Sensitive Health Advocacy and Counseling,
Chayim Aruchim is dedicated to helping members of the Orthodox Jewish community
make health care decisions in keeping with halacha. With a team of medically trained
rabbonim, doctors, legal experts, patient and pastoral care professionals and high-level
government policy advocates, Chayim Aruchim upholds the constitutionally guaranteed
religious rights of Torah observant patients, giving them the ability to live out every
moment of life in accordance with Jewish law.

Chayim Aruchim’s 24 hour hotline is staffed by members of its Machon, a hand picked
group of rabbonim who have undergone extensive medical training to complement their
vast halachic knowledge. The Machon receives hundreds of calls each year regarding
end of life situations, its members working closely with medical providers and family
members to ensure optimum treatment at the most suitable facility, prioritizing the
preservation of life at all times. Similarly, Mahon Hayim Aruhim, serves the unique
needs of the Sephardic community.


  •  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 – Machon Coordinator.
  •  Rabbi Zische Aush
  •  Rabbi Eliezer Gewirtzman
  •  Rabbi Menachem Horowitz
  •  Rabbi Naftali Katz
  •  Rabbi Ahron Wajsfeld

Mahon Hayim Aruhim

  •  Rabbi Raymond Beyda
  • Rabbi Raymond Haber
  • 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

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.