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Rachamim: A Sacred Space for Grieving Parents

Rachamim is a project inspired by the tragic deaths of three young members of our community and shaped by the creative healing of their parents.  Rachamim comes from the Hebrew word Rechem, meaning womb representing the boundaryless love of a parent for her child.

Rachamim offers safe and comforting support for those who are grieving a child, integrating imaginative activities with Jewish teachings.   Healing is viewed as an engagement with the creative process that strengthens the capability to survive.

Jewish sacred texts emphasize creativity; in Torah the world is created and we are instructed to build spaces where we might encounter the divine.  Judaism teaches us that in the face of shattering loss, when we engage in creative work, we chose life.

The three founding members of this support group create memorials, legacies, memories and intimacy and, in so doing, find connection, hope and survival.   We meet monthly, in each other’s homes, at TIOH and on field trips to investigate creative and sacred places.  We welcome others who might find this kind of engagement helpful. Each of us is available for individual introductory meetings.

Allison Dworetsky is a teacher in LAUSD where she advocates for creative engagement in the curriculum.  Her daughter, Rebecca, died on July 5, 2019 at eighteen years old.

Sandra Klein is an artist whose images, whether captured with a camera or composited, portray a layered world that, though filled with anxiety and trauma, still is rich with joy. Her son Noah, died on June 5, 2017 at thirty-two years old.

Debra Linesch directed the Graduate Department of Marital and Family Therapy at Loyola Marymount University for over thirty years and is committed to the healing potential of the expressive arts.  Her son, Nico, died on January 3, 2017 at age thirty-one.

If you are interested or know someone who might be interested in learning more about Rachamim, please contact the clergy, and someone from our team will connect you.

Resources for Grieving Parents

Kintsugi for Rachamim

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