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April 03, 2008 - Image 24

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2008-04-03

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Panelists from different faiths spoke about rituals surrounding dying: Dr. Urias Beverly, Rabbi Joseph Krakoff, moderator
David Techner, David Palmer, Cindy Goldman and Imam Achmat Salie.

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Diversity In Death


Jewish Hospice program explores
the rituals of various faiths.

Keri Guten Cohen
Story Development Editor


eath comes to us all, but
some are more experienced at
handling it than others. Enter
those in the hospice profession and the
related fields of social work, medical
personnel, clergy and volunteers.
More than 800 of these dedicated
professionals came together under
the "Caring Coalition" banner to
attend a daytime program, "The
Same, But Different: The Rituals of
Grief, Mourning & Bereavement:'
at Congregation Shaarey Zedek in
Southfield on March 27.
Sponsored by the Jewish Hospice
& Chaplaincy Network (JHCN), in
partnership with St. John Hospice
and Clover Hill Park Cemetery of
Birmingham, the program drew a crowd
that exceeded expectations by several
The synagogue parking lot was full;
people were parking on the grass and
on adjacent streets in the surrounding
neighborhood. "I got a call [from the
police]; they thought they'd missed the
High Holidays:' Rabbi Joey Krakoff of





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April 3 e 2008

Shaarey Zedek told the bemused crowd.
The lunchtime program offered a
panel discussion of how different faiths
cope with death and its aftermath, fol-
lowed by a moving yet comical keynote
address by Thomas Lynch, poet, author
and funeral director with his fainily
at Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors in
Before the panel discussion, Rabbi
Hershel Klainberg took the podium to
explain JHCN's mission.
"No Jew is ever alone; no matter
where that patient is, that Jewish pres-
ence that encompasses everything
— spirituality, religion, culture, emo-
tional and psychological support, even
financial support — is there he said.
"That's what Jewish Hospice does,
and it's a collaborative effort with all of
you. Our job is to provide care, and your
job is to access us. We educate you and
work with you to serve our population.
"No Jew stands alone because of
Jewish Hospice and you," he said in
appreciation of the various corporate
and individual partners in the room. "I
commend you. You are all doing God's
Before the panel discussion,

Congressman Joe Knollenberg, R-
Farmington Hills, presented a resolu-
tion, entered into the Congressional
record, recognizing the Jewish Fund,
created from the proceeds of the sale
of Sinai Hospital of Detroit in 1997,
which helped give birth to JHCN almost
10 years ago. Since that time, says its
president Michael Madden, the fund has
provided $707,000 to Jewish Hospice
and, in 2002, awarded the program the
Robert Sosnick Award of Excellence.

Death Traditions
JHCN President David Techner moder-
ated a panel that included Dr. Urias
Beverly of the Ecumenical Theological
Seminary in Detroit, Rabbi Krakoff,
Cindy Goldman of Hospice of Michigan,
David Palmer of Beaumont Hospice
and Imam Achmat Salie of Oakland
University. Each panelist gave an open-
ing statement about different faith
"In death situations, in my tradition,
many haven't made many plans even
though they talk about it — it's a sur-
prise," Beverly said. "Then we have a lot
of catching up to do and the energy is
put into planning and emotional out-
Hospice on page A26

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