Walking In the Valley of the Shadow

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For the third straight year, Lehrhaus, The Gamliel Institute, Sinai Memorial Chapel and The Bay Area Jewish Healing Center will address, with warmth and compassion, the challenging issues surrounding death and dying.

Open to all ages because death and grief has no age limit. Young people as well as older adults lose partners, parents, friends, and family. We welcome individuals from the Former Soviet Union, Israel, Intermarried families, and Jews-By-Choice. Everyone has a place in the conversation, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The session facilitators are healthcare professionals, rabbis, lawyers, mortuary directors, leaders in the Chevrah Kadisha, and chaplains. You may select any topic in any location in any order. Choose the topic you need. You may take any number of topics: one or all five.

Making Choices: Advance Directives and Planning a Funeral

This session will demystify advance planning, ethical wills, and ethical dilemmas: extending life, organ donation, genetic testing, abortion, autopsy, and stem-cell usage. We will also share practical knowledge regarding planning a funeral, choosing a cemetery, selecting a plot, and financial planning. We'll explore how we talk with/to our children/spouse/partner about end of life wishes and be sensitive to questions raised by immigrant (FSU, Israel, and others) and inter-married families.

Dying/Death/Burial: What Jews Do

There are so many things we were not able to learn as children, and here is an opportunity to become confident and comfortable with: Vidui (the Jewish way of last words), Jewish laws, customs and traditions about dying; performing taharah (preparing the body); the funeral service; and issues concerning burial and cremation.

Mourning And Grief: After The Death

In this essential session we will address Kaddish basics, what the Jewish tradition says about mourning and grief and memory, and how to gather community support. We will create a safe place to share special cases such as stillbirth and neonatal death; sudden, and traumatic death. We will explore the customs of the first year and talk about “When does grief really end?”

The Art of Comfort

There is deep Jewish wisdom when visiting the sick (“What do I say?”) and consoling the the mourners (“What do I do during shiva?") Sometimes it’s not just family, but also supporting caregivers, comforting the self, and the gift of shiva and how to do it well. Yes, there is shiva etiquette.

When Life is Over: Where is Your Soul? Jewish Perspectives on the Afterlife

In this conversation we will survey the diverse range of Jewish conceptions of the soul, the afterlife, resurrection, and reincarnation. We will also reflect on some of the big questions at the end of life: Do I fear death, have I lived a good life, will I be alone.