Palliative Care Volunteer Training Program


Lessons for Living. A Training for Life.

Seniors At Home, a division of Jewish Family and Children’s Services, provides support to older adults and people of all ages who have a serious or chronic illness, or are at the end of their lives. The focus of our Palliative Care program is improving quality of life for both our clients and their families by working with their medical team to provide an extra layer of support with information, care, and access to additional services.

Our community of specially trained Palliative Care volunteers is a key part of our service, playing a vital role in the lives of JFCS’ Seniors At Home clients and their families.

As a Palliative Care volunteer, you will:

  • Provide supportive volunteer services to people in need—simply sitting at a bedside quietly sharing tea and a story, running an errand, or providing respite for a caregiver.
  • Gain the skills and knowledge necessary to provide compassionate service to clients of JFCS’ Seniors At Home as well as to provide support for your own friends, neighbors, and loved ones.
  • Learn the Jewish values and customs behind bikkur cholim, providing comfort and support to the sick in Jewish tradition.
  • Become part of a community of volunteers and clinicians dedicated to attending to people of all ages with serious illness and those who are at the end of life.

To become a Palliative Care volunteer, you’ll need:

  • An open heart and mind
  • A willingness to explore questions of illness, life, and death within the context of Jewish tradition and community
  • The ability to show up, be present, and communicate clearly
  • To commit to 4 – 8 hours per month as a volunteer
  • To commit to quarterly support group/educational sessions with our Palliative Care volunteer community for one year following training

“I’m so grateful that I can help another human being, just by being with them.”


Upcoming Trainings

Wednesday, September 14, 7:00 – 8:30 pm (via Zoom)

Sunday, September 18, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm (in person)

Wednesday, September 21, 7:00 – 8:30 pm (via Zoom)

How the Training Works

Our Palliative Care volunteer training will take place during three sessions over the course of one week. One session will be held in person and two will be conducted over Zoom. We require that you make a commitment to the full training. The Sunday session takes place in person at Jewish Family and Children’s Services, 2150 Post Street, San Francisco. Food will be provided.

The fee for this training is $180. Scholarships are available. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.


After training, you are matched with an individual living in your local area. Your visits will be weekly for 1 – 2 hours, based on need and availability.

Quarterly volunteer meetings: New volunteers are required to attend quarterly volunteer meetings during their first year in the program. These meetings provide continuing education and support in the context of our larger Palliative Care volunteer community.

How to Apply

If you’d like to participate in our Palliative Care volunteer training, please complete an application online. Once we receive our application, we will follow up with you to set up an interview in our San Francisco office.

If you have any questions, please contact Gwen Harris at [email protected] or 415-449-3706.

Thank you for your interest in our program.

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