The Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) wanted to normalize end-of-life conversations. While difficult, these conversations can help family members be responsive to one another's medical needs and preferences, and also enhance family connection, healing, and affection. JHF developed the Closure initiative, as well as underwrote a PBS documentary and a Creative Nonfiction anthology, and runs a Fellowship on the topic.

The Closure initiative draws attention to the conversations that are desperately needed as we approach end-of-life. Offering information and resources so that people can make educated decisions about end-of-life care, the Closure initiative aims to change expectations for care at the end-of-life. The Closure program uses education, outreach, and advocacy to help providers, patients and family caregivers, clergy, hospice workers, and long-term care professionals engage in meaningful dialogue about goals of care.

Read more about Closure

The Last Chapter 
JHF underwrote a PBS documentary that take viewers inside the hospital, hospice, homes and lives of palliative and hospice care patients ranging in age from 9 months - to 88 years. Medical, ethical, practical and spiritual issues are explored from several different perspectives as we find out how patients seeking palliative and hospice care are taking an active role in their own End of Life planning; making decisions about their treatment and telling care providers what they need.



Creative Nonfiction
The modern healthcare system has become proficient at staving off death with aggressive interventions. And yet, eventually everyone dies—and although most Americans say they would prefer to die peacefully at home, more than half of all deaths take place in hospitals or health care facilities. At the End of Life tackles this conundrum head on. These twenty-two compelling personal-medical narratives explore death, dying and palliative care, and reveal the inner workings of a system in which doctors, patients and their loved ones battle to hang on—and to let go.



Death & Dying Fellowship
This programs prepares Fellows to deal with death, dying, and grieving families as it relates to their roles as healthcare professionals. Using JHF's "Closure" model, Fellows participate in six sessions (featuring faculty experts from the community and site visits to local healthcare facilities) that will help them confront key issues related to death and dying in a low-pressure environment, where they can process information and ask questions. In the final session, Fellows convert their lessons learned into an action plan for our community, and for their own careers and institutions. This annual Fellowship runs January-March.

To Apply


Contact: Nancy Zionts