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Senior Seminar: Learning About After Life Procedures through the Chevra Kadisha

  • Senior Seminar 2018

    Chevra Kadisha

As part of our second semester curriculum, our 12th graders are now in their third week of Senior Seminar, a program that was started last year to accommodate and provide the seniors' opportunities to experience and learn about topics that would not have been covered in a typical classroom. The ten week course covers topics such as Jewish life on campus, Agunot crisis, laws of Taharat Hamishpacha, CPR training, Chevra Kadisha, and much more.

This past week we have been engrossed in learning all about the Jewish laws and customs as it relates to burial. We had the privilege to go to Riverside Gordon Funeral chapel and learn about the process from start to finish from Rabbi Leibel Miller, the head of Chevra Kadisha of South Florida. The students learned about all the fine details and toured the facility and even the actual Tahara room.

This experience was very moving, and the following day, they all learned how to dress a dummy in burial shrouds from Mr. Larry Kuczynski. Many of the students were stunned by the number of careful details it entails to properly handle a deceased person. Rabbi Miller shared with the students that 90% of Jewish adults in their lifetime do not experience or learn about what the 12th grade just did in a few hours. According to Rabbi Miller and Mr. Kuczynski, close to 50% of Jewish people in America do not have a proper Jewish burial.

In their third day of the seminar, the students went through all of the details of the actual burial, and the beginning of the Shiva (mourning) period. As the students dressed the dummy, many of them kept emphasizing how sensitive this experience made them about how we should treat one another while alive, "If this is how much care we put into someone who died, it is alarming how much more so we should be towards one another every day", needless to say, this last quote put a big smile on my face. 

Rabbi Aharon Assaraf
High School Assistant Principal

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