AJR CAA

Academy for Jewish Religion, California - Clergy & Alumni Association





Member:

Position: Rabbi and Chaplain

Avivah Erlick serves the Jewish public, working in a wide variety of settings. Current positions include being the Jewish chaplain in a state psychiatric hospital, an interfaith chaplain for several hospices, and the owner of a Jewish clergy referral service, Community Rabbis  (www.CommunityRabbis.com). She is also a Jewish chaplain in the LA County jail system, a teacher of conversion to Judaism classes, and available on a freelance basis for weddings, funerals and baby namings.

Rabbi Avivah earned the credential of Board Certified Chaplain, the highest in the field of professional chaplaincy, from the Association of Professional Chaplains in 2013.

Specializations

  • Bereavement Counseling
  • Chevra Kaddisha/Post-Death Ritual
  • Corrections Chaplaincy
  • Dedications & New Home Blessings
  • Funerals, Memorial Services & Unveilings
  • Hospice Chaplaincy
  • Hospital Chaplaincy
  • Public Speaking
  • Senior Living Programming
  • Spiritual Counseling/Spiritual Direction
  • Teaching/Education
  • Visiting the Sick/Bikkur Cholim
  • Weddings
  • Writing/Editing

 

Thesis Title:
BREATHING LIFE INTO JEWISH BONES:
HOW TO DEEPEN JEWISH SPIRITUALITY
WITH YOGA-BASED CONTEMPLATIVE MOVEMENT (2009)

Abstract:
According to halacha, Jewish law, Jews must avoid the religious practices of other faiths. If an activity is considered avodah zara – literally “strange worship,” it can lead to soul punishments ranging from personal misfortune to eternal damnation, our teachings say. Yoga, a popular form of exercise derived from a Hindu mystical practice, has the potential to be objectionable to strict interpreters of Jewish law, raising the question: what exactly classifies as “strange worship” in the context of yoga? The goal of this thesis is to thoroughly explore the history and practices of yoga from the perspective of Jewish law, so as to help Jewish yoga practitioners come to their own understanding of what their faith has to say, and how they can authentically respond to these issues. Its conclusion: “It is perfectly possible to develop a Jewish Yoga practice that is kosher: not syncretistic or heretical, not ignorant or anachronistic, but authentically, deeply, respectfully Jewish, and therefore, kadosh, holy, for Jews.”

Email: AWE@CommunityRabbis.com