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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Educational Programming

Creating educational workshops, programs, and presentations on Jewish death-related topics can be fulfilling. While it is a rewarding task, the time and effort to create a program from scratch can be made much easier by reviewing what others have done. Here are some examples of effective work in this field.

Drashot

Many congregational websites contain drashot on Jewish practices at the end of life, given by rabbis and other leaders throughout the world. When planning an educational program, your local clergy can also be fantastic resources of wisdom and teaching experience. Using their drashot honors them as teachers and invites them to get involved. Often such actions can evolve into fully developed synagogue programming.

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Movies

There are many movies these days that can be used as part of educational programming or to enhance workshops and conferences. Here are a few that have proven to be helpful to stimulate discussions and deeper thinking.

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Conversations and Discussions

Today there are many programs to help families enter into the sometimes difficult or awkward conversations about end of life, death arrangements, and the entire arena of facing mortality. (These are discussed further in the Engaging Clergy page.) Here are a few that have proven helpful.

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End-of-Life Planning

It is never too early to plan for the inevitable, and the process of doing death planning can be life-affirming and inspirational. Many who go through this process find that life is more precious afterwards, and they live their lives with more fervor and meaning. Here are some ideas and aids to help in this process.

  • Ethical Wills
  • Writing your own epitaph and obituary
  • Programs like Walking in the Valley offered in the Bay Area of Northern California

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