Chaplaincy Staff

The Velva G. and H. Fred Levine Jewish Chaplaincy Program provides licensed, professionally-trained Jewish Chaplains for spiritual comfort and guidance.

We are here, we care about you.

Hope Lipnick, MA, LPC, CHTP

Director, Velva G. and H. Fred Levine Jewish Chaplaincy Program

For nearly 30 years, Hope has passionately provided professional counseling, spiritual development and direction, and spiritual care for patients at the Texas Medical Center and the Houston Jewish community.  She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Texas and a Licensed Psychological Associate in the state of Texas.

Hope believes in “mining the minerals and vitamins” from all faith traditions to bring healing to patients of all ages, religions, ethnicities and cultures.  Her expertise in the integration of the body, mind and spirit has brought wholeness and healing to many. Completed areas of professional training include:

  • Certified Healing Touch Practitioner
  • Reikii Master
  • Contemplative End-of-Life Practitioner - Naropa University  
  • Aging and Saging Facilitator
  • Jewish Shamanic (Kabbalistic) Healing Practitioner Training
  • Master Shamanic Energy Medicine Practitioner

Hope was born and raised in Iowa.  She graduated from the University of Iowa earning a BS in Dental Hygiene.  She moved to Houston in 1972 where she married Jerome Lipnick.  She is the mother of 2 children and 5 granddaughters.

Returning to graduate school in 1993, she earned her MA in Psychology and Counseling in 1996 from Houston Baptist University. She received the Outstanding Graduate Student Award upon graduation.

While in Graduate school, she started doing Bikkur Cholim for the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston. After graduation, she was accepted into the Clinical Pastoral Education Program at MD Anderson Cancer Center. She was the first Jewish Chaplaincy student ever enrolled and became the first Jewish Chaplain trained in Texas. She completed a year as a Chaplain Fellow and followed it with an Advanced Residency year, thus completing 8 units of training.

During her MDA training, she approached the Jewish Federation with a business plan to upgrade and professionalize the Jewish Chaplaincy program.  It was accepted.  While working for the Federation, she continued with her studies earning a MA Certificate in Jewish Studies from the Alvin and Laura Siegal College of Jewish Studies.

(713) 667-9336

Director, Velva G. and H. Fred Levine Jewish Chaplaincy Program
Hope Lipnick, MA, LPC, CHTP
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Rabbi Barry Cohen

Chaplain Manager, Velva G. and H. Fred Levine Jewish Chaplaincy Program

Barry Cohen was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1992. He then entered Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. In 1998, he received his rabbinic ordination, and shortly thereafter, married Jennifer Marwil.

Cohen began his career in Scottsdale, Arizona, as a congregational rabbi. In 1999, his professional life took an unexpected but wonderful turn to Jewish journalism. For more than four years, he worked at the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix. In 2004, Cohen returned to the congregational world by serving Temple B’nai Israel in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

On Dec. 7th, 2004, Jennifer gave birth to Gabriella and Ethan. After eight years, Cohen and his family moved to the greater Chicago area where he served as associate rabbi of Temple Chai in Long Grove, from 2012 to 2015. Tragically, Jennifer passed away in the summer of 2015.

Cohen’s rabbinical identity continues to evolve. To add to his relational skills and his ability to foster meaningful connections, he took part in a Chaplaincy Residency Program at a Chicago-area hospital. Cohen’s passions as a chaplain and a rabbi are to build relationships with individuals and families and attend to their pastoral/spiritual needs; to teach, inspire and motivate. In 2018, he used these skills as the first Jewish Communal Chaplain of the Greater Portland Area.

Cohen is now using what he has learned throughout his career as the Chaplain Manager of the Alexander JFS.

Cohen also loves story-telling, interfaith work and social action. He strives for spiritual moments while hiking or listening to jazz, blues or rock and roll.


Chaplain Manager, Velva G. and H. Fred Levine Jewish Chaplaincy Program
Rabbi Barry Cohen
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Velva G. and H. Fred Levine Shabbat Box Program

Local teens and adults decorate boxes to be delivered on Fridays to patients by adult volunteers. Volunters are always welcome to make Shabbat Boxes.