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June, 2017

Dear Chevrah Kadisha Leaders,

Your commitment and dedication to serve those who have died and their families according to Jewish teachings and practice is inspiring. Does your willingness to serve extend to wanting to help more people in your community talk about what matters about the kind of care people receive before they die?

If so, we warmly invite to join an innovative virtual community team to design and implement advance care planning outreach efforts in your congregation and community. We’re calling it Kavod Conversations.

Kavod Conversations will be led by an expert team from The Conversation Project (TCP). Kavod v’Nichum and TCP will identify 10 Chevrah Kadisha groups to be part of Kavod Conversations. TCP staff will provide nine months of concentrated coaching, education, and support via live web-based meetings of each Kavod Conversation Chevrah Kadisha (KCCK). We are asking each Chevra Kadisha to contribute $500 to Kavod v’Nichum to participate.

This letter outlines the process and calendar of the year-long collaboration, and offers information about our organization and our expectations for participants on this team.

What is Kavod v’Nichum? Kavod v’Nichum is a North American non-profit that provides education and resources around all aspects along the end of life continuum. To now, much of our effort has focused on formation of Chevrah Kadisha groups, training and supporting taharah and shmirah. This project extends our work to encompass more of the continuum that we see in the historical Chevrah Kadisha.

What is The Conversation Project?  The Conversation Project, co-founded by Pulitzer Prize-winner Ellen Goodman, launched in collaboration with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI,) is a public engagement initiative with a goal that is both simple and transformative: to ensure that every one’s wishes for end-of-life care are expressed and respected. Too many people die in a manner they would not choose and too many of their loved ones are left feeling bereaved, guilty, and uncertain. The Conversation Project offers people the tools, guidance, and resources they need to process their final desires for their life and begin talking with their loved ones, in a comfortable setting, about their wishes and preferences. TCP works with individuals, professionals (health, faith, financial, legal…) and community leaders to spread these resources, and to encourage everyone to have these conversations early and often.

What are the goals of this initiative? To develop local strategies to increase awareness about The Conversation Project and advance care planning, and move people to action. We will support the development of leadership structures, strategies, and measurement, and hope to collect examples of best practices from participating regions. Kavod Conversations is unique in TCP work: this will be a virtual community of leaders from across the county, while other organizations we work with are geographically bound (e.g. The Florida Hospital Association).

What is the timeline for this initiative? Kavod Conversations is part of TCP’s Year 2 cohort which will receive concentrated support from July 2017- March 2018 but are encouraged to continue your engagement beyond March. Kavod Conversations project team will commence at the conference in San Rafael in June with a live plenary presentation by Rev. Rosemary Lloyd, TCP Advisor to Faith Communities, followed by a hands-on workshop.

What support will TCP offer the Kavod Conversation team members? TCP will offer coaching and support to develop your local advance care planning education programming. Once the 10 teams are identified, we will begin a series of monthly all teams, web-based meetings to identify who you want to reach, how you will reach them, what you hope they will do, and establish ways to measure success.

In addition to the monthly calls we will conduct with the entire team, TCP will provide the following:

  • Host monthly 1:1 calls with your team’s leader, David Zinner, who will also represent your team on sharing calls with other regional team members every other month
  • A professionally designed PSA campaign you may use to increase general public awareness through online and social media ad buys
  • Support for local printing of the Conversation Project starter kit

What are the expectations of the Kavod Conversations Chevrah Kadisha team members?

  • Identify a Team Leader.
  • Work with The Conversation Project team to develop and work from a local project plan to help people have crucial conversations about their wishes for care at the end of life so that those wishes may be respected

§  Based on the plan you create, we will help you identify ways to measure and track your success

§  Collect and share metrics with the TCP team (e.g. how many people attended a Conversation Starter Kit Workshop or sermon on a related topic), and provide summaries of work to-date for a mid-year and final report

  • Raise awareness within your congregation and community about your project
  • Participate in monthly calls and trainings designed specifically for your team’s regional leader
  • Help develop a comprehensive “end of life” checklist

 

Additionally, you may expand beyond the walls of your institution and

  • Help recruit partner organizations and identify key contacts for participation in community-wide efforts
  • Act as the communications relay point for The Conversation Project in your region
  • Identify and respond to emerging issues in your region; working with The Conversation Project team to relay information from the field back to TCP.

If you are interested in participating in Kavod Conversation or have any questions, please be in touch with David Zinner, Kavod Conversations Team Leader info@jewish-funerals.org. We hope to have fully formed our teams by the conclusion of the Chevrah Kadisha Conference, June 20, 2017

 

Yours in Peace

Rosemary Lloyd, BSN, MDiv
Advisor to Faith Communities for The Conversation Project
Institute for Healthcare Improvement
C 617-359-3372 T 617-301-4807
E rsmlloyd@ihi.org

 

B’ Shalom

David Zinner
Kavod v’Nichum Executive Director
410-733-3700
Info@Jewish-funerals.org