Death and Mourning: Jewish Roots and Contemporary Ritual | Reconstructing Judaism

Death and Mourning: Jewish Roots and Contemporary Ritual

In collaboration with Ritualwell

Facilitated by Rabbi Linda Holtzman

Wednesdays, 1 p.m.–2 p.m. EST: Jan 9, 16, 23

$108 for three sessions

What do we want done with our bodies after we die? Burial or cremation? In a casket or a green cemetery plot? What kind of ritual do we imagine taking place? In what variety of ways can we celebrate someone’s life once they have died? Or can we do something while they are still alive? What if the goodbye is for a family member who isn’t Jewish? How does traditional shivah work? Are there alternatives to shivah? We will explore a range of approaches to creating rituals that help us mark the final journey from this world. We will examine traditional Jewish approaches to death and mourning and the values that underlie them. Through study, discussion and the option of designing our own rituals, we’ll delve into the many ways we can create meaning around this sacred transition.

Rabbi Linda Holtzman is a Reconstructionist rabbi on the faculty of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, focusing on Rabbinic Formation. She is the rabbi of the Tikkun Olam Chavurah and the founder and organizer of the Reconstructionist Chevra Kaddisha of Philadelphia.