Columbia, MD
Kavod v'Nichum
A Taste of Gamliel

Hosted by Kavod v'Nichum
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Encouraging Mourning Rituals for the Non-Traditional Mourner - Dec 15, 2013 [+] FREE
Every year, thousands of young people die, leaving in their wake circles of grieving friends in need of support. Many look to how rabbis understand loss but Judaism lacks a defined mourning process for non-family members. As fewer families live in geographic proximity, friends often fill an extended family role, compounding the loss when one dies. Rabbi Greyber is the author of a recently published book, Faith Unravels: A Rabbi's Struggle With Grief and God (, in which he addresses the profound pain experienced by a forgotten mourner, not by making an argument about God or by offering a recipe of rituals, but by sharing the poignant story of a rabbi’s faith lost and regained anew. In this session, Rabbi Greyber will speak about his book and explore how 21st century Jewish communities can best comfort all those in need. Daniel Greyber is rabbi at Beth El Synagogue in Durham, NC, and the author of Faith Unravels: A Rabbi's Struggle With Grief and God. In summer 2013, Greyber served as rabbi of the USA team for the 19th World Maccabiah Games in Israel. Formerly a Jerusalem Fellow at the Mandel Leadership Institute, faculty member at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles and the Executive Director of Camp Ramah in California, he currently serves on the editorial board of Conservative Judaism, and his articles have been featured in a wide range of Jewish publications. For more information, visit
Krovei Yisrael - Ritual Washing After Death of a Non-Jewish Spouse - recorded on 4/28/2013 [+] FREE
In modern Jewish society we are faced with an increasing number of interfaith families in which one partner is Jewish and the other is not. A Jewish child or partner may request comforting rituals based on Jewish tradition after the death of their non-Jewish loved-one or upon the death of a non-Jew who was very actively involved in the Jewish community. How does the Jewish community prepare a non-Jew after death? Many chevrei kadisha and synagogues simply deny any request, stating that Jewish practices of preparation and burial are for Jews only. Yet with so many families now expressing interest in this and an increasing number of cemeteries or sections of cemeteries now willing to allow such burials, it may be time to create a ritual specifically for these cases. This webinar will discuss the differences between traditional Tahara procedures and those proposed for the K’rov Yisrael, a non-Jew who lives among the Jewish community. We will discuss one example of preparation for burial in a dignified way that supports the desires of the Jewish family, balanced with the need to distinguish between rituals for Jews and non-Jews.
Tahara and Infection Control - recorded on 12/18/2012 [+] FREE
Presented by Dr. Joel Ackelsberg Healthcare providers have developed practices that can help prevent the spread of disease-causing micro-organisms from one person to another. These practices also protect medical professionals from unwittingly being exposed to known or unknown infections carried by their patients. Some disease-causing micro-organisms could be transmitted from a met(ah) to a tahara team member or unknowingly transported on clothing to their homes. If the methods routinely used in healthcare settings (“infection control precautions”) are incorporated into tahara activities, potential transmission risks can be reduced. This Webinar will review the limited potential infectious risks faced by chevra kadisha members and ways to reduce the risk of spreading infectious micro-organisms that might be present in a dead body.
Tahara Liturgy - recorded on 10/28/2012 [+] FREE
Tahara Liturgy - Unraveling the Secrets: Presented by Rabbi Stuart Kelman and Professor Dan Fendel Recorded on 10/28/2012 When the Tahara liturgy is recited the words are often said perfunctorily, if at all; sometimes in English, usually mumbled in Hebrew. We want to be able to take the recitation to a higher level, to gain a deeper understanding of the workings of the ritual, and ultimately, to release the mysteries of taharah. The liturgy gives us insight into Jewish theology as well as into how we care for the body of the met/metah. The liturgy is the response to subtle and often hidden questions. Our task is to decipher the underlying needs or questions and see how the prayer responds to those needs or questions. We will begin to unpack the prayers by understanding how they work and how they function, rather than what they mean. We do this by applying the principles of liturgical analysis to help show the beauty of these words and actions.
Tahara Team Leadership - recorded on 2/18/2013 [+] FREE
Effective Tahara Team Leadership: How best to help your team help the met. The practice of tahara is a complex process which places physical, emotional, and spiritual demands on a group of people who come together on an ad hoc basis. The stress of performing taharot can be eased by the presence of a skilled team leader. A good leader can help team members negotiate both the technical and the emotional/spiritual aspects of the process. In this session, participants will discuss their own experiences of team membership and leadership, both in the context of chevra kadisha and other life experiences. Out of this discussion, we will come to a deeper understanding of what it means to work as part of a team and how to lead a tahara more effectively. We will also discuss ideas of teamwork and leadership adapted from other disciplines.
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A Taste of Gamliel
Don’t have time for a full Gamliel class but want to learn more?  Want to help your community members learn more?  How about a taste of some workshops from past KVN conferences?  Using the same web-based portal as the Gamliel class, we are offering four sessions throughout the year on:

Sessions start at 8 PM Eastern, 5 PM Pacific and last for 90 minutes. These sessions will be free of charge but you must register (and if you enjoy them, feel free to use that as an excuse to support KVN!).

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