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Home  »  Living Jewishly Means Dying Jewishly Too


Living Jewishly Means Dying Jewishly Too

ELI Talk by Michael Slater

In much of society today, death is to be avoided at all costs – in polite company and modern medicine alike. Jewish tradition, explains Dr. Michael Slater, has a very different approach. In a talk that is part memoir, part history, part communal call-to-action, we see the wisdom of Judaism as not only life-affirming, but death-affirming, as well.

Watch the video

We hope that you found this ELI talk helpful and informative.

You may want to use this video to educate others in your community – for example, your synagogue board, education committee or religious practices committee; your local hospice or Jewish Family Services.

You can use this video to begin a discussion as an introduction to an adult education class or as an introduction to a Jewish death cafe. 

Learn more about Jewish traditions around death, funeral, burial and mourning, by checking out these links to articles on our web site:

Visiting the Sick
When Someone Dies
Burial and Cremation
Funeral and Burial Alternatives
Organ Donation
Non-Jewish Burial
Chevra Kadisha



ELI talks are highly produced, 12-minute presentations on innovative ideas and inspired Jewish concepts. The talks explore the central themes of Jewish religious Engagement, Literacy, and Identity, presented in light of their presenters own work, personal experiences, or Jewish or secular texts.

ELI Talks are meant to inspire Jewish people to become active participants of Jewish life and community – they are the starting point for new dialogue and exploration within the Jewish community. The innovative ideas presented in the talks provide food for thought, sparking follow up discussions and activities that encourage investment in Jewish life.

Michael Slater is the Board President of Kavod v’Nichum(Honor and Comfort,www.Jewish-funerals.org), a North American non-profit organization that provides funeral, burial and mourning education and resources for Chevra Kadisha groups and the Jewish community.  He is a founding member of the Progressive Chevra Kadisha in the Chicago Area. He and his family have been active members of non-denominational, peer-led chavurot over the last 30 years. As an emergency medicine physician, he practices at Mt. Sinai and Holy Cross Hospitals/Sinai Health System in Chicago. He is on the clinical faculty at Rosalind Franklin University/Chicago Medical School and the University of Chicago.

Follow this link for a full transcript of the video.