Partners in Torah is an amazing free mentoring program enabling thousands of Jewish adults to explore their Jewish heritage one hour a week, either in person or over the phone. The partners learn the Torah portion, Jewish philosophy, holidays and customs, prayer, Mishna, Jewish law, history, and about marriage and childrearing. Partners often learn for years developing deep friendships.
Unfortunately, two Partners in Torah mentors were recently shocked to learn that their students were cremated after they had died. I was called during both of these crisis situations. Despite all their beautiful Torah learning, the subject of death, eternity of the soul, and Jewish burial had not come up. Crying to me on the phone, it would never have occurred to these teachers that forty percent of all Jews choose cremation – fifty Jews every day.
Yet there is hope. From these wake-up calls, the National Association of Chevrah Kadisha and Peacefulreturn.org took immediate action, together with Partners in Torah, to create an inspirational and informative curriculum with Torah sources explaining the importance of Jewish burial. Educators and rabbis can use this curriculum, available at www.peacefulreturn.org, to explain the critical importance of burial. The website also offers burial vs. cremation articles, videos, as well as a free PowerPoint presentation available by calling or emailing me.
Don’t put it off. Have the conversation about choosing Jewish burial by teaching a class or doing one-on-one learning. The resources are available for you right now to prevent further cremations. Please feel free to contact me via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.