Kavod v'Nichum and Gamliel Institute provide resources, education, and training along the Jewish end-of-life continuum: from visiting the sick and pre-planning, to care for the body after death, to providing comfort to the mourners.
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Kavod v’Nichum Bookstore and Shuk

The Kavod v’Nichum Bookstore is presented below as a listing of noted teachers with a paragraph about their books, artwork, services and other items for sale. Each name is a hyperlink leading to more information. This listing is sorted alphabetically by last name. To visit the Shuk Store, click the link in the menu bar above.


Ellie Barbarash, et al       

Health and Safety Precautions for Taharah: A guide to understanding potential health risks and injuries while performing the holy work of the Chevrah Kadisha bEllie Barbarash CPEA,  Dan DoernbergElayne Kornblatt Phillips RN,PhD, Michael Rein MDDavid Zinner, and Darla Knight Low RN,BSN, provides a layperson’s overview of potential health risks and injuries related to the sacred task of washing and dressing the meit/ah (the deceased). The authors include health, occupational safety, and Jewish professionals with over 100 year of experience doing taharot and working to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Their recommendations are grounded in public health, workplace safety, and a commitment to respecting Jewish ritual.

 

Rabbi Rachel Barenblat     

Rabbi Rachel Barenblat, named in 2016 by the Forward as one of America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis, was ordained by ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal as a rabbi in 2011 and as a mashpi’ah ruchanit (spiritual director) in 2012. She is the author of eight books and many articles and publications. Beside Still Waters is a bilingual volume to support the journey of healing, loss, grief, comfort and renewal in both individual and communal contexts. Beside Still Waters offers materials for before death, stages of mourning and grief, remembrance and much more. It is a curated volume with traditional and modern liturgies, resonant new translations, evocative poetry and readings, and full transliteration.  It also offers prayers for a variety of spiritually difficult circumstances (miscarriage, stillbirth, suicide, when there is no grave to visit, mourning an abusive relationship) too often overlooked in the journey of memory and transformation. It features the work of some 40 contributors from across the breadth of Jewish life.

 

Sally Berkovic     

Sally Berkovic is the author of Under My Hat, a social commentary-cum-memoir outlining the challenges of raising daughters while straddling the ten- sions between an Orthodox religious life and the competing forces of secularism. Her latest book, Death Duties, explores the challenges and fulfillments of being a member of a Chevrah Kadisha. You can download a PDF of Death Duties here.

 

Rachel Braun    

Embroidery and Sacred Text introduces nineteen new designs in Judaic and Biblical embroidery, with captivating photographs of Rachel Braun’s original and colorful needlework. The author has embellished sacred texts from liturgy, piyyut (prayerful poetry) and Bible in creating her designs, in embroidery canvasses worked in ‘blackwork’ embroidery technique. Erudite and insightful commentary accompanies each piece and adds a spiritual dimension for appreciating the designs and for understanding the associations of sacred text and art. In addition, Rachel shares forty embroidery motifs for fellow needle artists to incorporate in their own projects, along with ten new embroidery alphabets for Hebrew and English lettering. A chapter explaining the mathematical considerations in embroidery design provides clear, accessible explanations of how geometric and algebraic factors underlie the shape of the embroidery patterns.

 

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Rabbi Mosha Epstein    Tahara Manual of Practices

This classic Taharah Manual is a detailed instruction as to how a taharah is performed and some of the reasons why these customs are observed. The manual also includes related issues to availus learned from Hagaon HaRav Moshe Feinstein.

 

Rabbi Avivah Erlick   

Today, families are asking their rabbis and hospice chaplains to improvise home-based death rituals based upon traditional taharah. They may want to perform the ritual themselves, for example; to insert original elements; or to perform it at home without traditional liturgy. Discussion of these issues has led to the question: How much modification can be allowed? At what point is the ritual no longer a Jewish purification, and by what standard? What bare-bones elements make taharah unique, and satisfy its requirements? Rabbi Avivah joins with Richard A. Light to explore these questions in Exploring the Soul of Taharah.

 

Dan Fendel, PhD           

Taharah practices have deep historical roots. Beginning in Mishnaic times, specific procedures and customs evolved in various locations and through many generations.  Chesed Shel Emet: The Truest Act of Kindness details the ritual of preparing a body for burial. The 3rd edition adds a liturgical understanding of the prayers that are said while performing a taharah. Too often, those who attend Jewish funerals, both as mourners and comforters, are not fully familiar with our traditions, practices and prayers. Nichum Aveilim provides guidance and insight, resulting in greater understanding, familiarity and awareness. Included in the booklet are explanations of burial, funeral, and shiva rituals, as well as Hebrew prayers and texts, with translations and transliterations.

 

 

Rabbi Dayle Friedman    Jewish Pastoral Care 2/E: A Practical Handbook from Traditional & Contemporary Sources Kindle Edition Jewish Wisdom for Growing Older: Finding Your Grit and Grace Beyond Midlife Kindle Edition Jewish Visions for Aging: A Professional Guide for Fostering Wholeness Kindle Edition

Rabbi Dayle A. Friedman is a spiritual guide, scholar, and social innovator. She has pioneered a Jewish spiritual response to the challenges and blessings of later life. She offers spiritual direction, spiritual care, and consulting through Growing Older, her Philadelphia based, national practice, www.growingolder.net. She is an adjunct faculty member of the Wurzweiler School of Social Work of Yeshiva University. Her publications include: Jewish End-of-Life Care in a Virtual Age: Our Traditions Reimagined (2020), editor; Jewish Wisdom for Growing Older: Finding Your Grit and Grace Beyond Midlife (2015), author; Jewish Pastoral Care (2nd edition, 2010), editor; and Jewish Visions for Aging (2008). Her latest book was co-authored with Reb Simcha Raphael and Rabbi David Levin. Jewish End-of-Life Care in a Virtual Age: Our Traditions Reimagined is a rich collection of resources for clergy, spiritual caregivers, helping professionals, and families confronting death and mourning in unprecedented times. It offers historical insight on the evolution of Jewish death rituals in times of crisis; it provides guidelines for online spiritual care and death rituals; outlines approaches to bioethical dilemmas in a time of scarce medical resources; and features an appendix of innovative new end-of-life liturgies.

 

Karen Friedman

I have original artwork, including monotypes, drawings and paintings that are available for sale. This is work inspired by my experiences in the chevrah as well as imagery found in the liturgy we recite during taharah. Please feel free to contact me for further descriptions and with any questions.

 

Rabbi Mel Glazer, z”l   

Even the strongest among us can get stuck in the grief process, unable to heal and move forward. In And God Created Hope Rabbi Mel Glazer, z”l — a highly regarded and experienced grief-recovery counselor — gives comforting form to a crucial insight: That the messages of the Old Testament are a source of hope for even the most grieving among us. Drawing directly from the key books of the Tanach, Glazer marshals, in a completely nondenominational way, their most profound, age-old themes to the very hard work of moving through and beyond grief — and into a life of hope and fulfillment. Among the themes and early Biblical stories Glazer uses as his jumping-off point to explore the process of grief recovery are: Bargaining (from Jonah), shock and anger (from Leviticus), fear (from Exodus), wandering (from Numbers), faith and strength (from Job), forgiveness (from Genesis), joy (from Proverbs), growth (from Psalms), legacy (from Deuteronomy), creating a new family (from Ruth), grief without death (from Song of Songs), and tragedy (from Lamentations).

 

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Rabbi Shefa Gold    The Magic of Hebrew Chant

Rabbi Shefa Gold is a leader in ALEPH: the Alliance for Jewish Renewal and received her ordination both from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and from Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (z”l). She is the director of C-DEEP, The Center for Devotional, Energy and Ecstatic Practice in Jemez Springs, New Mexico. She teaches workshops and retreats on the theory and art of Chanting, Devotional Healing, Spiritual Community-Building and Meditation.  She is a pioneer in creating chanting to be used during taharah and other sacred Jewish rituals.

 

Rabbi Arnold M. Goodman   

The extraordinary story of a Minneapolis congregation who broke the mold of American death practices, returning instead to traditional Jewish practices.  This story and the resulting book helped propel a national revitalization and rebirth of Jewish practices around the end of life. A Plain Pine Box: A Return to Simple Jewish Funerals and Eternal Traditions is a powerful story of a cornerstone event in the history of Jewish death practice in America.

 

Rabbi T’mimah Ickovits         

Many fond memories are made by encircling in Jewish tradition – beneath a ḥuppah (wedding canopy) during wedding rituals, around a Torah with a lulav and etrog on Sukkot, dancing with a Torah on Simḥat Torah, or simply being in community while such rituals are happening. Each of these are joyful moments in Jewish life.  Seven Sacred Circles deciphers a meaningful and potent final act of honor. Seder Ha-Hakafot (the order of encircling) is taken from the first and most respected Hebrew book on end-of-life care – Sefer Maavar Yabbok – authored by Rabbi Aharon Berekhiah z”l in 1626.  This book includes two versions of Hebrew text – one adapted for use by women as well as the original text written for men. In addition, the book includes English translation and transliteration for both versions.  Seven Sacred Circles begins with step-by-step explanation of the Kabbalah behind the ritual. First, the number seven is contextualized from both secular and Jewish perspectives. Then, a light is shined on hakafot – sacred circling with intentions for each orbit. Next, the structure and movement are illuminated through a sacred poem. Finally, the powerful liturgy for seven hakafot is presented.  The structure outlined in this book is useful every time a ritual of seven hakafot is done. The methodology is therefore applicable beyond this particular ritual. Shahareet for Weekdays uniquely offers layers of meditative kabbalah methods based on translated from Siddur Oz haT’fillah and other sources into English for the first time. It offers a complete traditional liturgy with heart opening translations.  If you seek to cultivate depth and nuance in your prayer practice, this siddur is for you.  This is as an invitation to cultivate your personal prayer practice.

 

 

Rabbi Me’irah Iliinsky             

Rabbi Me’irah Iliinsky, MSW, was a psychotherapist before going to rabbinical school.  She is one of the Jewish educators at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, and serves as the Rabbi at Rhoda Goldman Plaza Assisted Living Center. Rabbi Me’irah was part of the first graduating class of the Gamliel Insitute in 2015, and has presented at many conferences over the years. She is also an artist, making visual portals to sacred texts. Her artwork can be seen in paintings, prints, educational presentations, books and online videos.  Mapping the Journey: The Mourner and the Soul is a visual map of our journeying – as a mourner after a death, and the accompanying travels of the soul during the same period – a powerful and beautiful understanding of living and dying.

 

 

Marjorie Ingall   

Marjorie Ingall is the author of Mamaleh Knows Best (which the New York Times called “rich, insightful” and Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, called “engaging” and said “will help parents, Jewish and not, raise children with a hearty dose of confidence and laughter”).

 

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Rabbi Stuart Kelman          

Taharah practices have deep historical roots. Beginning in Mishnaic times, specific procedures and customs evolved in various locations and through many generations.  Chesed Shel Emet: The Truest Act of Kindness details the ritual of preparing a body for burial. The 3rd edition adds a liturgical understanding of the prayers that are said while performing a taharah. Too often, those who attend Jewish funerals, both as mourners and comforters, are not fully familiar with our traditions, practices and prayers. Nichum Aveilim provides guidance and insight, resulting in greater understanding, familiarity and awareness. Included in the booklet are explanations of burial, funeral, and shiva rituals, as well as Hebrew prayers and texts, with translations and transliterations.

 

Rachel Kodanaz   

Rachel has been speaking passionately to national audiences of all sizes for 16 years, addressing all aspects of change, growth, and acceptance that comes with embracing life challenges – those expected and unexpected.  She has two books available that are directly related to her talks at the conference:

 

Rabbi David Levin   

David Levin is a reform rabbi ordained from the Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion (NY). David serves the community of Greater Philadelphia. He also devotes his time to special projects including Jewish Sacred Aging, teaching and free speech issues on the college campus. David worked with the Union for Reform Judaism in the Congregational Network as a Rabbinical Director serving the East Coast congregations. He also had the honor of working at Main Line Reform Temple in Wynnewood, PA. David Levin is a Fellow with Rabbis Without Borders, an interdenominational rabbinic group affiliated with CLAL. His latest book was co-authored with Reb Simcha Raphael and Rabbi Dayle Friedman. Jewish End-of-Life Care in a Virtual Age: Our Traditions Reimagined is a rich collection of resources for clergy, spiritual caregivers, helping professionals, and families confronting death and mourning in unprecedented times. It offers historical insight on the evolution of Jewish death rituals in times of crisis; it provides guidelines for online spiritual care and death rituals; outlines approaches to bioethical dilemmas in a time of scarce medical resources; and features an appendix of innovative new end-of-life liturgies.

 

Richard A. Light               

Mr. Light is a senior instructor and Staff for the Gamliel Institute, on the Board of Directors for Kavod v’Nichum, and has published seven widely respected books, four of which are on Jewish rituals and practices relating to death and dying. His acclaimed Jewish Rites of Death: Stories of Beauty and Transformation won a 2016 Nautilus Book Award. His widely used taharah manual, To Midwife a Soul, has been revised to include new liturgies in addition to the established liturgy based on Ma’avar Yabbok. These include liturgy for Taharah Ruchanit – when we must honor the dead but do not have or cannot be close to their body, and non-binary liturgy to support all gender identities. Chevrot wishing to purchase multiple copies of Mr. Light’s books get them at printing costs plus shipping; contact the author for details. Mr. Light’s latest book, Sebastian, is an intriguing fable (part ethical will, part autobiography, part novella) about spiritual awakening, an inspiring work that is especially salient today.

 

Rabbi Steven Moss       

I have 2 books that I recently published and are available on Amazon.com. They are: “God is With Me; I Have No Fear” and “A Poetical Journey Through the Sefirat HaOmer“.  The first book shares my experiences with God in my life and engages the reader to think about God in his or her life. The second book is my 49 poems reflecting on the interaction between the Sefirot of the week and the day during the counting of the Omer.

 

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Rabbi Lisa Rappaport       

This book guides the mourner toward meaning and transformation. Using the ancient road map as a template, Divrei Nichum explores this terrain with modern eyes. The language is current, accessible, honest. While exploring the themes associated with loss primarily from a Jewish perspective, Divrei Nichum is intended to reach all who grieve the loss of loved ones. The poems in this collection affirm there is only one essential truth that binds every living creature–the cycle of birth and death. We are birthed into existence, we live for some time on Earth, and then we die, leaving this world. While we all share this fundamental truth, navigating the terrain of loss can be overwhelming, frightening, alienating. These poems attempt to connect us all through the pain of loss and the mystery of death.

 

 

Simcha Raphael, PhD         

Reb Simcha Raphael is the founder of the Da’at Institute for Death Awareness, Advocacy and Training. He sells books and  music on his website. He is available for  adult education and professional development programs on death awareness education, bereavement counseling skills, rituals of death and mourning, and the spirituality of afterlife, near-death experiences, and reincarnation. He also offers bereavement counseling in person or by video conferencing. His groundbreaking Jewish Views of the Afterlife is now available in a 25-year anniversary edition. His latest book was co-authored with Rabbi David Levin and Rabbi Dayle Friedman. Jewish End-of-Life Care in a Virtual Age: Our Traditions Reimagined is a rich collection of resources for clergy, spiritual caregivers, helping professionals, and families confronting death and mourning in unprecedented times. It offers historical insight on the evolution of Jewish death rituals in times of crisis; it provides guidelines for online spiritual care and death rituals; outlines approaches to bioethical dilemmas in a time of scarce medical resources; and features an appendix of innovative new end-of-life liturgies.

 

Rabbi Ariel Stone    Because All Is One by [Rabbi Ariel Stone]

Rabbi Ariel Stone has been Shir Tikvah’s spiritual leader since the congregation’s founding in 2002. A caring and vibrant leader, she is an exceptionally knowledgeable teacher of Torah and a recognized scholar of Jewish mysticism. Rabbi Stone is also currently the chair of Hesed Shel Emet (the Oregon Jewish Indigent Burial Society), Rabbinic mentor for TischPDX  and Convener of Portland Interfaith Clergy Resistance. She serves as adjunct faculty with the Judaic Studies department at Portland State University. Dying is not a moment at the end of life, but instead a path lined with opportunities to reflect, explore, and contemplate. In her insightful guidebook on the meaning of death, The Alef-Bet of Death Dying as a JewRabbi Ariel Stone shares spiritual commentary, Jewish stories, and other writings that provide information and inspiration about the process of death as seen through the prism of Jewish learning and culture. In her other book, Because All Is One, Rabbi Stone reveals within the teachings of Jewish mysticism a grounding for the scattered parts of modern human identity. She has created a guide for individual tikkun, self-repair, out of the ancient Jewish doctrine of the sefirot.

 

Elisa Udaskin   

Elisa has a new book to share, Be A Mensch: Unleash Your Power to Be Kind and Help Others

Who doesn’t want to be a mensch? Someone who exudes kindness, integrity, and honor. The type of person who knows what to say when a friend’s loved one passes away or how to react with empathy and grace when someone at work is being a total schmuck. The kind of person your bubbie or grandma would be proud of. Getting into the mensch mindset takes practice. But simple shifts in your approach to everyday interactions can help you find your inner mensch, revitalizing and strengthening your personal and professional relationships and the values you pass on to your family. A collection of humorous stories and practical advice—sprinkled with a healthy dose of Yiddish humor—Be a Mensch shows how to incorporate kindness into your daily life and help others through difficult situations. It challenges you to get off your tuches and get involved, not only to help others but to improve your own life too.

 

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