Curious about how you might encourage your congregants to speak more openly about Jewish end of life care options? There are multiple ways to promote such awareness (via a sermon, congregational program, education initiative, etc.), and the Center for Jewish End of Life Care is happy to provide samples, suggestions, and frameworks you may find useful for your community.
Here are some samples of ways other Jewish religious leaders have approached the conversation in their congregations, synagogues, and communities:
- Amy E. Goodman weaves an exploration of aging into a Jewish perspective by invoking Dr. Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal into Parashat Shelach Lecha– with the entire people of Israel on the eastern bank of the Jordan River and poised to enter the land promised to them. She compares the fear of the unknown and tales of the shlichim of the Negev with the current day harbingers of aging. Please provide your email address to download Ms. Goodman’s d’var torah.
- Rabbi Janet Marder of Beth Am (in Los Altos Hills, CA) wrote an informative piece titled Facing the End Like a Mensch that both introduced hospice care to her community and highlights volunteer-efforts to provide emotional support.
- Congregation Rodeph Sholom in New York City prepared a useful booklet, Preparation and Consolation: A Jewish Guide to the End of Life, to both educate about end of life issues and help readers feel more comfortable discussing those issues. The booklet is available as a PDF for download on the congregation’s End of Life resources page. If you have any questions regarding the PDF or how to best implement it in your community, you can direct your queries to Rabbi Leora Kaye.
If you have already started the conversation in your community guides for Torah Study and Personal Reflection are available here.
Please share your examples with us.