Scholarship Funds for the Chevra Kadisha and Jewish Cemetery Conference
Chevra Kadisha Conference
Seven years ago with tremendous support
from Chevra Kadisha groups all over North America, Kavod v’Nichum held its
first annual North American conference. Our interdenominational
organization was born out of the need for individuals who were largely
involved in not-for-profit aspects of death and dying, Chevra Kadishas,
throughout North America, to come together for the first time in history for
the purpose of learning and fostering the mitzvoth of k’vod hamet (respect
for the dead) and nichum aveylim (comforting the mourner). Attendance at
each of the last 7 conferences has averaged 150 attendees from all over the
The need is great and urgent:
we believe that creating Chevra Kadishas throughout the community
will not only assist in fulfilling these mitzvoth, but also bring about true
synagogue transformation. We have witnessed this in many
synagogues. The need is also testified by the fact that
by June 2009, more than 1 million people have visited our web site.
A remarkable number by any standard! And proof of
the quest for knowledge by lay and professional alike.
We in the [fill in region] have xx
functioning Chevra Kadishas. We could easily have more. Conference
attendance is usually from both lay people and Jewish professionals.
This is a unique opportunity for us here to be able to bring local
people to this conference for the purpose of training and organizing and
meeting others from around North America
who have similar interests. Hence, our request is to
provide scholarships of $1000 for 5 individuals to attend this conference.
It is a unique opportunity.
Furthermore, at this conference we
will have students of the Gamliel Institute, a three-year, on-line
credential program in Chevra Kadisha work. Parts of the
conference program will demonstrate this eLearning model.
Once people leave the conference, they will have the ability
to continue their learning focusing on history, text sources, current models
and extensive resources in the areas of Chevra Kadisha, Organizing and
Education, Funeral and Burial, Jewish traditional practices, ritual washing
and guarding, and providing comfort.
Funding Priorities of the
Foundation and Federation
Our work is a blend of Jewish
Education, Community Outreach, and Social Services. We educate families
about traditional Jewish practices and provide service and comfort at their
time of need. We address issues such as affordability of high funeral
prices, end of life rituals for those who are intermarried, and traumatic
and early death. Our work strengthens the bonds between families and their
synagogue community. We see a deepened understanding of communal
responsibility and startling new insights into spirituality. This
transformation of communities can only occur by a redefinition of how we
view this time of life. We prefer to view this as
continuum of care – thus providing a more holistic approach to what has
typically been called end-of-life.
In the development of the Conference
and the Gamliel Institute we have received the total support of the [fill in
region] Board of Rabbis. [fill in funeral home] has been part of our
discussions. Obviously, the existing Chevra Kadishas have full knowledge of
our plans – and a number of members have participated in previous
conferences. We intend to be in touch with [fill in
Jewish Family Services, hospice, etc] as well as the synagogue community to
promote both the Conference and Gamliel Institute.
At every conference we ask
attendees to provide both oral and written feedback. Responses are uniformly
enthusiastic with issues addressed ranging from what participants have
learned to what they will bring back to their communities. Contacts with
others involved in this holy work are especially noted.