At Etz Chayim, we are fortunate to have a compassionate and empathetic rabbi with three decades worth of counselling experience and two psychology qualifications.
Rabbi Allison meets with people in the synagogue, in cafes, at parks or the beach, does home visits with those or are infirm or unable to travel. She is available to be a support for people going through a difficult time personally or with a loved one, helping people going through a divorce, serious illness or impairment, chronic pain, or the death of a loved one. She helps couples and families in times of conflict. Her experience and approachability has afforded her the ability to relate to people of all ages and backgrounds. She also provides spiritual counselling and helps people work through their personal angst with G-d and religion without judgment, providing them with a safe space to explore their own spirituality.
In addition to our rabbi, we have a wonderful team of committed volunteers who form our Bikkur Cholim Committee, who also keep track of and regularly visit people who are unwell, in hospital, in special care facilities, or are primarily homebound. Their friendly presence often alleviates some of the loneliness or discomfort people can feel from time to time. At Etz Chayim, we want our members to know that we are here for them in good times and in bad.
Please let the office know if you, or anyone you know, would like a visit.
Visiting the sick
Etz Chayim has a long tradition of being a caring, warm and supportive community and one of the ways in which we meaningfully express this is through our Bikkur Cholim group. Members of this group provide comfort and support to those who are ill and the elderly by visiting them in hospital or at home. Please contact Beatrice Coleman via the Etz Chayim office if you would like to perform this mitzvah.
Progressive Jewish Funeral Service
Melbourne is privileged to have a Progressive Jewish Funeral service, namely Bet-Olam Jewish Funerals. Bet-Olam Jewish Funerals’ practices are grounded in the unshakable belief in the sanctity of human life, the dignity of the person, and the emotional and spiritual needs of the mourners.
Bet-Olam seeks to maintain the customs and traditions of the Jewish people, to help the mourners provide a funeral for their loved ones with the greatest respect and dignity, and to support the mourners. Our funeral services are generally held at Jewish Memorial Gardens which is part of the Springvale Botanical Cemetery and are conducted by Progressive Rabbis. Bet-Olam also conducts funerals in the Jewish sections of other cemeteries.
Bet-Olam seeks to honour the wishes of those people who prefer to be cremated rather than buried. By making your wishes known, whatever path you may choose, Bet-Olam Jewish Funerals can help your family at this most difficult time.
When a loved one passes away, the first point of call is to Bet-Olam Jewish Funerals on 9883 6237 who will, in consultation with the family, step in to organise all aspects of the funeral from meeting with the family, arranging for the family to meet with one of our Rabbis, to organising the cemetery.
On the evening of the funeral, minyanim (evening prayers, including memorial prayers for the deceased) are held either in the synagogue or in the family’s home. This service is an important occasion to both remember the deceased and provide the family with comfort and support.
Mourners sometimes find it difficult to cope with their grief, even after some months have passed. Please do not hesitate to contact our Rabbis and Cantor who are available to help and support you.
There are many excellent sources of information which give comfort and guidance. For more details please refer to the Bet-Olam web site: www.jewishfunerals.org.au
For all information about Bet-Olam Jewish Funerals please contact Rhonda Nirens, Executive Director of Bet-Olam. Rhonda, together with our Rabbis and Cantor, will guide you through this very difficult time. If you wish to discuss prearranged or prepaid funerals, please contact Rhonda Nirens on 9883 6237.
Living With Autism
At Etz Chayim, we aim to create an opportunities for meaningful engagement in Jewish life and ritual for all of our members.
We have worked with families with children with autism to create meaningful bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies that are sensitive to their needs, responsive to their abilities, and leave both the children and their families with a sense of pride, fulfillment, and pure joy. But don’t take our word for it. Read the journey and experience of a kvelling mother.