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.
Home  »  Lecture Series Second Quarter Schedule

Taste of Gamliel Lecture Series Schedule for 2nd Quarter 2021

Mourning in Moed Katan
April 7, 14, 2021, with Isaac Pollak

Journey of the Soul in the World Beyond: Wisdom from Kabbalah
April 28, 2021, with Reb Simcha Raphael

Harvesting Your Life – Writing Your Own Obituary
May 12, 26, 2021, with Jean Berman



Please note:  The schedule of lectures for this quarter is still being completed.  Your patience is appreciated.


April Courses

Lecture Series
Two 90-minute Sessions
April 7, 14, 2021
8:00pm Eastern / 5:00pm Pacific
Course Fee: $72   

Mourning in Moed Katan with Isaac Pollak

This  will be a Textual study of pertinent  issues relating  to mourning  and  burial  practices in the Babylonian Talmud of the Tractate Moed  Katan. While the Tractate deals with the  laws  pertaining to the intermediate days of the festivals, it leads to the comprehensive treatment of  the laws of  mourning . The common denominator is what the community is allowed and not allowed when the event at hand calls  for a separation . The labors that are prohibited on the intermediate  days of the festival are similar to the labors that are prohibited during the mourning period as they are derived in a parallel manner.

Isaac Pollak

Isaac Pollak has been involved in the Chevrah Kadisha of the upper east side of Manhattan for 40 years, and does taharah for Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, and any other Jew desirous to meet his maker in the traditional fashion formulated by Aaron Berekhiah ben Moshe of Modena almost 500 years ago. In addition, Isaac collects and writes on Chevrah Kadisha material as well as cultural objects, and has a major collection accumulated over some 35 years, and has lectured in various institutions including, YU, JTS, Temple Emanuel, University of Vienna, University of Amsterdam, and Tel Aviv University, on the cultural and anthropological aspects of chevrah work and on objects in his collection. Professionally, Isaac is CEO of an International Marketing Company. His education includes MBA from City College, MS in Industrial Psychology and Behavioral Science from Long Island University, MA in Jewish Material Culture from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and MA in Art History from Columbia University.

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One 90-minute Session
April 28, 2021
8:00pm Eastern / 5:00pm Pacific
Course Fee: $36  

Journey of the Soul in the World Beyond: Wisdom from Kabbalah with Reb Simcha Raphael

Does Judaism believe in the afterlife? Unequivocally, the answer is yes! Unfortunately, in contemporary Jewish life we have lost touch with traditional Jewish wisdom on the afterlife. We shall explore Judaism’s teachings on life after death, particularly in Kabbalah – Jewish mysticism. Through discussion, storytelling and study of mystical texts, we shall explore the relevance of these teachings in dealing with the human encounter with death and the connection between Jewish teachings on the afterlife and traditional Jewish death rituals.

Reb Simcha Raphael

Simcha Raphael, PhD, is Founding Director of the DA’AT Institute for Death Awareness, Advocacy and Training. Adjunct Professor in the Department of Religion and Theology at LaSalle University, and Faculty on the New York Open Center’s Art of Dying Institute, he works as a psychotherapist and bereavement counselor, affiliated with Mount Airy Counseling Center, in Philadelphia. Ordained as a Rabbinic Pastor by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, he is author of numerous publications on death and Judaism including the ground-breaking classic,  Jewish Views of the Afterlife.

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May Courses

Lecture Series
Two 90-minute Sessions
May 12, 26, 2021
8:00pm Eastern / 5:00pm Pacific
Course Fee: $72   

Harvesting Your Life – Writing Your Own Obituary with Jean Berman

Let people know what has been important as you reflect on your life. Enjoy memories, reflect on meaningful experiences, think about where you are in your life, and how you would like to be remembered. Humor, things that people don’t know about you, the flavor of telling your own story can all impact those you know. This workshop will include exploring different styles of obituaries, writing to prompts and optionally reading aloud what you have written.

Jean Berman

Jean Berman has been drawn to end of life topics and experiences most of her life. She is currently board president of Kavod v’Nichum. Jean is a chaplain, and coordinates volunteers for Constellation Hospice in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. She is a lover of ceremony, cycles, and the natural world. Jean lives on Peaks Island, Maine, and sews buttons on her backpack.

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June Courses



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