Rabbi Dan Goldblatt
“You know you have loved someone when you have glimpsed in them that which is too beautiful to die.” – Dr. Gabriel Marcel
I have been privileged to serve as rabbi of Beth Chaim Congregation in Danville, CA since 1993. I have a passion for facilitating the sacred and continue to explore ways to enhance the richness of rituals that bring meaning to all of life’s transitions. I am honored to have studied with and been ordained by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”tl, and have been a leader of both ALEPH: the Alliance for Jewish Renewal and OHALAH: Rabbis and Cantors for the Renewal of Judaism.
When Yael, my wife of 38 years, died in 2016, I was devastated. As a way of turning her memory into blessing, I co-founded the AriYael Jewish Healing Center with my dear friends, Marc Mazer and Susan Talon Mazer who had lost their beloved son, Ari, earlier that year. Working through my grief has allowed me to greatly deepen my ability to help others do end of life work, grief work, and greatly expand my lived experience of healing. I am a trained Spiritual Director and Mikveh Guide and am honored to serve on the Board of Wilderness Torah which is doing the joyful work of renewing earth-based Judaism. My work with my beloved, Zoe Francesca, has taught me a great deal about the healing power of love, sacred intimacy and radical honesty.
“This is grief’s most piercing message: there is no way around–the only way is through.” Joanne Cacciatore, Bearing the Unbearable.
When my 23-year-old son Ari was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, our lives exploded into a million pieces and an abyss of fear. As a hospice and palliative care nurse for almost 30 years, I knew the precise impact of his diagnosis. I was now personally living what professionally I had witnessed. When Ari died, two and half years later, the grief felt unbearable. I sought help through numerous grief retreats, seminars, workshops, parent loss support groups and individual grief therapy. Ultimately I became certified in compassionate bereavement training. I have learned that you do not ever “get over grief”, but with hard work you can learn how to carry it. I have also learned the tremendous healing power of a supportive community. This is what we seek to share in the AriYael Healing Center.
Zoë Francesca Goldblatt
“I was the ocean before I was waved. I am the ocean as I am waved. And I will be the ocean after I am waved, but the only time there is a “me” to know this is now.” – Rabbi Rami Shapiro
I am an intuitive, arts-based Activity Therapist, End of Life Doula and Intimacy Coach with a focus on spiritual and soul connection. Working with people on a soul level gives meaning and purpose to my life. I began my career in the healing arts in 2009 as a hospice volunteer bringing my background in music, art and creative writing to enhance communication with the dying. From 2012 to the present, I have specialized in working with people living with dementia, brain injury and mental illness, helping them find acceptance, peace and resolution through connection with the arts and nature, as a solo practitioner with Z*O*E Activity Therapies. In 2022 I graduated from the Somatica Institute where I learned coaching skills for relationships, sex and intimacy to further serve adults in any stage of physical health or relationship status. I am married to Rabbi Dan Goldblatt.
“The best I can hope for is to provide a safe space for others walking a similar path… making connections with people, listening to them…this is the healing path.”
I am one of the co-founders of AriYael Jewish Healing Center. I have been active in the Contra Costa County Jewish community by serving on various boards including that of Beth Chaim Congregation, the Contra Costa Jewish Community Center, and various other boards involving the East Bay Jewish Federation. As an “almost retired” attorney with over 45 years of experience, including the representation of non-profit organizations, I will be directly involved with running the business end of the healing center. The journey taken with my son, Ari, while he was being treated for cancer and leading up to his death, has given me a profound need to share that experience with others. I believe that the healing process is not necessarily defined by accepted western medicine, but may also include the simplicity of providing others with a safe space in which to share their experiences. Thus, my involvement will also include ensuring that all who seek our help will be provided with that “safe” place for healing.
Dr. David Goldblatt
I was a private practice Neuroradiologist for more than 30 years. I retired at the beginning of Covid. I am completing a 3-year program in Jewish Spiritual Direction (Hashpa’ah). This primarily involves deep listening. My main interests are in the spiritual aspects of healing with a particular concentration in End of Life care. I am a devoted Grandfather of two amazing boys. My beloved wife Cooky and I are looking towards our next adventure. We are so proud to be involved with the AriYael Healing Center.
I worked for years as an advertising and marketing executive and as a foundational member of the Austin, Texas Jewish community. With roles on the architecture and building committees for two schools and a synagogue at the Dell Jewish Community campus, I have always felt that to truly be a community member requires service.
Now, I am honored to serve the AriYael Jewish Healing Center, melding my lived experience with my desire to help repair the world. As a musician and visual artist, I hope to bring light and beauty to this healing community.