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Gamliel Institute

Student Projects

sacred waters

An exemplary model of home

Tahara and Jewish end-of-life rituals

Project Abstract


Sacred Waters/Mayim Kedoshim provides a loving transition between the death of a family member and their departure from the home: the Jewish washing ceremony known as tahara, or purification.


Our Jewish clergy specialists guide families to cleanse, dress and bless their loved ones according to this biblical custom, now enjoying a resurgence for its environmental sensitivity, affordability and healing spiritual riches.

Rabbi Avivah Erlick is a transdenominational rabbi, attuned to the religious requirements of all categories of Jews. She is also a Board Certified Chaplain, a credential comparable to social work licensure that designates her as a qualified interfaith pastoral counselor.

When it comes to officiating weddings, she considers herself a liturgical artist. She designs original ceremonies that respond deeply to a couple’s wishes and sensibilities, and meld sensitive use of Jewish tradition with kindness, clarity and brevity. She plays guitar and is often complimented on her singing voice.


Rabbi Erlick loves helping people, especially in a crisis, so she have focused her career on chaplaincy. She founded a registry called LA Community Chaplaincy Services that connects families and institutions who need spiritual support with herself and other chaplains and clergy for hire, here in Los Angeles. Visit them at http://www.interfaithfamily.com/elgg/pg/groups/163078/la-community-chaplaincy-services/, or at their website, www.LACommunityChaplaincy.com.