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Home  »  Gamliel Student Projects

A Sampling of Gamliel Student Projects

Students of the Gamliel Institute learn and produce practical, hands-on material that helps bring their Jewish practices and values to fruition. A central component of our program is the support and mentoring of students in conceiving and carrying out useful projects related to the Chevrah Kadisha world, whether in their own community, congregation, business, or a larger scale.Courses offer students a way to make a difference and have a meaningful and positive impact; a “real-world” effect. The program includes material on principles of education and organizing; projects can range from academic research and writing, to community organizing, to creative and artistic endeavors.  Student project topics might include starting a new Chevrah Kadisha, educating the community about the Chevrah Kadisha’s work, teaching about the running of the local Jewish mortuary or cemetery, helping the Chevrah Kadisha to expand its services, producing materials for education, or to share the beauty and meaning of this work.

The list below is a collection of some of our student’s projects that have come from Gamliel classes over the past 8 years.  They are sorted by the last name of the student.

Teaching Shmirah to High School Students by Susan Barnes
A lesson plan that High School teachers can use to teach their students about shmirah.

Final Acts of Kindness by Theresa Bates
Creating a brochure to educate people about what Chevrah Kadisha is and does.

Death Awareness Education by Jean Berman
Discovering the beauty and power in death.

I’ve Got a Feeling by Robin Black
A presentation on processing post-taharah emotions.

Burial Beyond Bodies by Rabbi Joe Blair
An exploration and establishment of a burial site for holy objects.

Tea, Cake and Death by Rena Boroditsky
A model for using Death Cafés to explore peoples’ feelings about death and dying.

Reclaiming Your Right to Rest in the Earth by Deborah Brown
Educating about and creating a green Jewish cemetery.

An Unusual Journey by Nancy Dotti and Myrna Matsa
An Unusual Journey: New York, Prague, and Israel with the 2015 graduating class of the Gamliel Institute. Part I: New York

Sacred Waters by Rabbi Avivah Erlick
An exemplary model of home taharah and Jewish end-of-life rituals.

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Power in Numbers by Dan Fendel
Creating a regional Chevrah Kadisha consortium.

Would It Kill You to Talk About Death? by Joyce Friedman
Educating Oklahoma about Jewish death practices.

Time to Educate, Visit, Heal by Aurea Gonzalez and Rafael Ortiz
Bikur Cholim – a time to educate, to visit the sick, and to heal.

New Blood by Fred Helms
Bringing new life into an existing Chevrah Kadisha.

Seven Sacred Circles by Rabbi T’mimah Ickovits
A feminine translation of the hakafot ritual as found in sefer Maavor Yabbok.

Picture This by Rabbi Me’irah Iliinsky
Teaching end-of-life practices by illustrating the values they represent.

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Soul and Body by Rick Light
A transformational approach to Chevrah Kadisha participation and daily life.

Honor for a Vessel by Ingrid Mercedes
A basic introduction to the last great commandment: kavod hameit.

Index to Moed Katan by Isaac Pollak
A guide to those aspects of Babylonian Talmud tractate Moed Katan that inform mourning and burial practices.

Traditional Jewish Practices by Zoe Van Raan
Teaching teens and adults about the continuum of care and the afterlife.

Importance of Visiting the Sick by Gloria Doris Rivera
Measuring the importance of comforting and visiting the sick.

Taharah Motivational Survey by Rabbi Eva Sax-Bolder and Vickie Weitzenhofer
From tahor hu to taharah – What motivates us to participate in this holy work?

Best For Your Community by Rabbi Lori Shaller
Examining types of Chevrah Kadisha models for different communities.

Resources for Jews Considering Cremation by Sally Shannon
Resources for Jews Considering Cremation: the importance of Jewish values and practices.

Jewish Cemetery Survey by Michelle Siegel
A survey of “Cemetery Bylaws, Rules, and Customs” in the San Francisco Bay area of Northern California.

The Elephant in the Room by Edna Stewart
Teaching Jewish end-of-life practices

Wrestling With Paperwork by Kerry Swartz
A Chevrah Kadisha model that actively engages and assists ‘at-risk’ mourners.

Sacred Chant Circle by Deborah Zafman
Learn sacred chants and be “on call” to chant for those going through continuum of life events.


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