TDS: "Pet memorial services flourish in Palm Springs"

From The Desert Sun, September 18, 2015

Zach was a devout Jewish golden retriever who understood Hebrew, loved Shabbat and Hagim and had an addiction for challah.

“He knew when it was Shabbat. He would see me getting ready and sit down and his tail would start wagging. What he wanted was the challah,” said Ron Werner, one of Zach’s parents.

His full name was Zachariah Obediah Werner-Hering and he also loved to swim in the family pool, chase balls, go hiking and give his parents unconditional love.

He was more than just a furry companion — he was a member of the family. That made it all the more devastating when Zach got cancer and died.

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Offering Grief Counseling and Personalized, Non-denominational Memorial Celebrations

PALM SPRINGS – August 26, 2015: Rabbi Sally Olins is pleased to announce the launch of a new business venture called Pets At Rest, offering grief counseling and memorial services to those who have lost an animal companion.

The loss of a devoted pet can be a painful experience, and the personalized, non-denominational services offered by Pets At Rest are designed to help pet owners say goodbye to their cherished animal friends. Sally Olins draws on her love of animals and 26 years as an active congregational conservative Rabbi to help bring closure and healing during a difficult time.

Olins, who received a Masters Degree in Jewish Philosophy and was ordained a Conservative Rabbi in 1989, served as Rabbi for Temple B’nai Hayim in Sherman Oaks for seventeen years. She relocated to the desert in 2006 to become the spiritual leader at Temple Isaiah in Palm Springs, where her creative approach to religious services and commitment to community outreach brought a new energy and focus to Palm Springs.

Now as Rabbi Emeritus at Temple Isaiah, Rabbi Sally has more free time.  She’s devoting the majority of her time to establishing Pets At Rest.

“Losing a pet means losing a member of the family, and he or she deserves a loving final tribute to provide family and friends with a lasting memory,” explained Olins. As a spiritual, creative and animal-loving woman, she uses her sensitivity and professional experience as a member of the clergy to create a peaceful, one-of-a-kind memorial service at your home or pet cemetery. Because of the unique emotional relationship we have with our pets, their deaths produce a level of pain that is difficult to describe.

Rabbi Sally says “My hope is that even though nothing can bring your pet back, I can help you to get back your heart.”


In addition to Pets At Rest, Rabbi Sally – known as ‘The People’s Rabbi’ – is also available for all weddings, counseling, funerals/celebrations of life, and teaching.  She will host “Coffee House Rabbi,” informal conversations about the mysteries of life, including: faith & guidance, inspiration & motivation, community & consciousness, and truth & perception.  ‘Coffee House Rabbi’ conversations will be held upstairs at Lulu California Bistro, 200 S. Palm Canyon Drive @ E. Arenas Road at 10AM on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month starting October 4, 2015.

About Rabbi Sally Olins
Rabbi Sally Olins received her B.S. and M.A. from UCLA. She also has an M.A. in Jewish Philosophy from the University of Judaism in Bel Air, and was ordained in 1989, after completing her studies at The Academy for Jewish Religion in New York City. One of her greatest accomplishments was serving as one of 13 editors of the current edition of Etz Hayim, the Hebrew Bible. Also, Olins was the first woman in the 102-year history of the Rabbinical Assembly of the Pacific Southwest Region to serve as its president. Known as ‘Rabbi Sally’ around the greater Palm Springs area, her community outreach includes ministering to the LGBT community, feeding the homeless, actively supporting local charities, visiting the sick, and personal counseling. She brings true joy to all those she meets.


About Grief Counseling

Packages of Five Individual Sessions or Group Sessions (up to 4 people) are available.


About Memorial Services
(For pricing click here)

The memorial service packages available at Pets At Rest include:

STANDARD – Personalized Memorial Service and Booklets with inspiring and healing prayers and readings; Personalized Memorial Candle; Yearly Anniversary Reminder

DELUXE – Personalized Memorial Service and Booklets with your pet’s history, wonderful and warm memories, inspiring and healing prayers and readings; Personalized Memorial Candle; Remembrance Marker; Yearly Anniversary Reminder; Two hours of Grief Counseling

PREMIER/CUSTOM – All of the Deluxe package amenities plus an exclusive, handmade mixed-media remembrance book with personal photographs of your pet crafted and designed by a leading California artist.

For pricing and more information, please visit or call 818/388-8867.

Rabbi Sally - The People's Rabbi