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Conference Workshop and Speaker Information

This is to formally thank you for agreeing to teach and sharing your wisdom at the 18th Annual North American Kavod v’Nichum Chevrah Kadisha and Jewish Cemetery Conference, June 7-10, 2020, in Pittsburgh, PA.

The Board of Directors of Kavod v’Nichum has chosen to respond to this time by being adaptable yet prepared for an uncertain future. We are considering various online formats for our historically in-person conference. It appears possible that we will not hold an in-person event this year but replace it with an online event instead of cancelling all together.

If we hold the conference as an online event, the schedule and layout of the conference sessions may change from our current in-person conference program design. The options we are considering are listed as a survey link below in which you can give us your preferences.

We want to know if you are willing to teach online, and if you have experience teaching online. We are also considering which topics and speakers fit the different online conference format options. Note that under some scenarios, not all of the planned speakers will be able to teach.

We will pick a specific alternative format and content of the conference by April 12th and have a Board decision on whether to implement that alternative by May 3rd.  For now, please assume that we still want you to teach, and for that reason ask you to send us your session information as detailed below.

Know that all conference registration fees are 100% refundable until May 15th, so we encourage you to register for the conference at your earliest convenience.


Required Session Information  (Please Read This!)

Each conference includes a Conference Program Booklet describing all of the sessions and their speakers. For this booklet, we request that speakers please fill out this form, through which you can give us the specifics of your session.  Please complete this form as soon as possible to help make our editing job easier, and certainly no later than May 1st, 2020. This form will ask you to provide the following information:

  • Speaker name – your name exactly as you wish it to be listed
  • Speaker biography (100-150 words)
  • Speaker head-shot photo (emailed separately to rlight@Jewish-Funerals.org), color photo preferred
  • For each session you are teaching:
    • Session title
    • Session description – a short overview of what you will cover in the session (100-150 words)
    • Session A/V requirements and room layout


Conference Session Structure and Nature

Please note that the information given here is based on in-person events.  Our online structure may vary from this.

To give you the scope of the landscape, here is an overview of the nature and flow of our past in-person conferences. The conference program includes pre-conference events, a post-conference Day of Learning, and the conference sessions themselves, which include plenary sessions and workshops. Click here to see the Preliminary In-Person Conference Program Design.

The current conference design includes plenary sessions. Plenaries are lectures to the entire conference and are located in larger rooms with appropriate seating and A/V for 150 or more attendees. Plenary speakers often use PowerPoint or other visuals while speaking with a cordless microphone attached to their clothing. Usually plenary sessions are an hour to an hour and a half in length (including Q&A at the end).  Plenary speakers are introduced prior to speaking.

Workshops make up the bulk of the conference experience. As you can see if you look at some of the previous conference program layouts, workshop sessions are usually divided into tracks focusing on specific topic areas.  Not all workshops in a track are limited to the track topic – this work is simply too complex, and many sessions overlap multiple track arenas. Each workshop is an hour in length, with an occasional conference structure allowing for some workshops to be longer. Workshops happen in smaller rooms that hold from 15 to 50 people. Speakers do not generally need microphones in these rooms, however, some workshop speakers do use PowerPoint or other visuals during these sessions. Some workshops are hands-on experiences, others are lectures, still others are discussions led by the speaker or possibly a panel of speakers. Workshop speakers define the room layout and the structure and content of their session.

Speakers may also sell books or art or other items in the Conference Bookstore. If you wish to sell in the Bookstore, please fill out the Vendor Participation Request Form.


Online Conference Contingency Plan Survey

Please click here to take the two-question survey about our possible online conference formats.


Questions or Concerns

Please contact us if you have any questions, concerns, or additional information to provide us about your session or the conference in general.

Rick Light, Program Coordinator


Conference Session Details Form

Please email a color speaker head-shot photograph to rlight@Jewish-Funerals.org in addition to completing the form below.


Conference Session Details

We are monitoring the evolution of the COVID-19 virus situation as it grows. If we offer the conference online as a virtual event, speakers will be expected to teach their sessions using their own computer at home (or where convenient). We plan to install handouts on the website so attendees can download them.

Under these circumstances we will expect that everyone will be patient with each other and help in other ways to make this successful. More information will be disseminated as soon as we know more. Your help and understanding is greatly appreciated.

Do you have experience teaching online?
Are you willing to teach your session as an online class via Zoom if necessary?

Specific Session Details

Room Layout Preference
Audio/Visual Requirements