How We Talk About is a professional development podcast for educators who are teaching Jewish things in Jewish schools. We’re your hosts, Jen Stern Granowitz and Erin Beser, Jewish educators from New York City.

In this episode, Jen Stern Granowitz and Erin Beser speak about the Jewish views on death and dying with Rabbi Melanie Levav, founder and director of the Shomer Collective, a new Jewish organization focused on improving end-of-life experiences. Listen for some concrete language on how to talk about death with young children, older learners or even what we as adults need to understand about Jewish views on death and dying. In what turned out to be an uplifting and spiritually fulfilling conversation, Rabbi Levav discusses how this work gives us the opportunity to live lives of greater meaning and connection by recognizing our own mortality. Trigger warnings include talk of death, dying, cancer, the Holocaust, and how to speak about these topics with very young children.

Discussion and Reflection Questions

1. What are your own views on death and dying?

2. What were the conversations that you had about death and dying when you were younger in your family, at school, and in your community? If you could change or reframe those conversations, would you and how?

3. A question from Rabbi Levav (attributed to the poet Mary Oliver): What will you do with your own wild and precious life?




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