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Death Over Dinner

November 17, 2019, 5:00 pm

This year at Temple B’nai Israel we are going to experiment with Death Over Dinner: Jewish Edition. Next month we are offering a Sunday evening dinner at Temple to discuss Jewish life-skills for dying. There will be guided questions. You can come alone or with someone you love. You will get to practice sacred listening, and experience being listened to. You will enjoy a lovely dinner party where polite conversation focuses on something we all have in common. You will leave with vocabulary for Jewish life-skills for dying, increased confidence for discussing sensitive topics, and a checklist for how you can prepare answers to some of the inevitable questions.

“The way we die represents the most important conversation America isn’t having…. Whether you are a Jewish insider, more on the margins, or Jewish-adjacent, we welcome you to tap into some age-old Jewish wisdom around grieving and ritual, living and dying.”

The idea is that talking about death prepares us to approach life’s most challenging moments, and also helps us articulate and affirm who we are and what we ultimately care about, giving us a great appreciation for life.

For our first dinner November 17, we will have limited seating. Registration is already open on our Temple website. If our November 17 dinner fills, we will automatically put you on the list for the next dinner conversation.

It would be an honor if you joined us for dinner and conversation. Please note this isn't meant to be a morbid conversation, but a very human one, where we consider what we want, both in life and during its close. Let's talk about it - so we can lean into any fears we might have, get rid of inhibitions, and build deeper connections. To learn more about this one-of-a-kind project, visit


So that we have starting places for our shared conversations, below are some selected "homework" assignments for all of us to read, watch, and listen to before we gather at the table. They are very short, but are engaging, informative, and inspiring.

 My Mother's Death and Why Writing an Ethical Will is Important

Watch: A Good Goodbye

Listen: Contemplating Mortality

Wed, October 16 2019 17 Tishrei 5780