Bay Area Jewish Healing Center
2530 Taraval Street, Suite 202
San Francisco, CA 94116

jewishhealing@bajhc.org

Rabbi Eric Weiss (Executive Director) was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He attended the University of California at Santa Cruz where he received a B.A. in Biology and Judaic Studies with honors. He lived in San Francisco and worked in law offices before he entered rabbinic school at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He holds a Masters degree in Hebrew Letters and was ordained in 1989.

In addition to his rabbinic seminary work, he is formally trained in Jewish education, clinical pastoral care and spiritual direction. He is a spiritual direction supervisor. He is a co-founder of "Grief & Growing: A Healing Weekend for Individuals and Families." This weekend is co-sponsored by Sinai Memorial Chapel and the JewishLearningWorks. His writing has appeared in many publications. He has served on several boards among them the national board of the Central Conference of American rabbis (CCAR), the Reform movement's national rabbinic body. Rabbi Weiss has taught extensively throughout the Bay Area, and has been featured in local and national media. He lives with his husband Dan in San Francisco.

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Rabbi Natan Fenner, BCC is a board-certified chaplain and has been involved in Jewish healing work since 1992. He has a particular interest in Jewish spirituality and meditation, which he shares through individual counseling, music, Jewish text study, and workshops on blessings and healing. He has provided professional support and training to rabbinical students, para-chaplains and other volunteers in the essentials of chaplaincy and visiting the sick. In addition, he coordinates the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center's Torah Reflections series.

Rabbi Fenner is a graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. He holds Masters degrees in Community Planning and Hebrew Letters, and he has received specialized chaplaincy training in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). He recently served two terms as a board member of the National Association of Jewish Chaplains.

Prior to joining the staff of the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center, Rabbi Fenner served as the Director of Chaplaincy Services and oversaw religious life for the Philadelphia Geriatric Center. For several years he took part in the American Society on Aging's Forum on Religion, Spirituality and Aging. Before entering the rabbinate, he worked as a community organizer in Chicago, and as Planning and Allocations Associate for the Jewish Community Federation in San Francisco. He also spent two years living in Israel.

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Rabbi Jon Sommer has served for ten years as a Jewish Chaplain in the United States Air Force and began his professional training and work at the U.S. Air Force Academy, then later in Washington D.C. and at Air Force Space Command. He received the distinguished Air Force Achievement Medal. He is a graduate of both Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and the University of California at Santa Cruz . He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and a Masters degree in Hebrew Letters. Rabbi Sommer was ordained in 1998, and currently serves on the board of a Reform Movement think-tank that addresses critical and timely issues facing modern Jewish thought and practice.

Rabbi Sommer received his Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at UCSF - Mt. Zion , and prior to joining the staff of the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center he served as a Rabbi and Volunteer Coordinator at Congregation Shir Hadash in Los Gatos, California . Rabbi Sommer is passionately committed to the Chaplaincy as an institution through which all members of the Jewish community can be served. Because of its demands, needs, and rewards he understands Chaplaincy as the part of the Rabbinical profession which uniquely exemplifies Baruch Spinoza's observation that "all things excellent are as difficult as they are rare."

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Rabbi Elliot Kukla was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles in 2006. Before joining the staff of the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center he served as a Chaplain Resident at the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center specializing in mental health chaplaincy at Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute. Before moving to San Francisco, Rabbi Kukla was the rabbi of the Danforth Jewish Circle in his hometown Toronto, Canada. He has worked at very diverse congregations (from Texas to Los Angeles) and at Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE) in Los Angeles. He holds a B.A. in Religion and Fine Art with honors from the University of Toronto and before rabbinical school he worked as an arts journalist.

Rabbi Kukla’s writing on Jewish spirituality has appeared in various magazines including Shm'a: A Journal of Jewish responsibility, Zeek: A Journal of Jewish Thought and Culture and Lilith and is featured in a number of anthologies. He lectures and leads workshops across the US and Canada for spiritual leaders and health care providers on stigma and diversity in Jewish sacred texts. Rabbi Kukla is particularly interested in developing liturgy that sanctifies moments of loss and transition. His new lifecycle prayers are published widely and are used in congregations across the country. Rabbi Kukla is committed to accompanying individuals on their unique, non-linear journeys towards healing. He draws on expressive arts, mindfulness meditation, traditional and innovative rituals in his spiritual care.

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