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Jewish Death Practices:
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Chevra Kadisha:
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Tahara Manuals and Procedures
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Organ Donation


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2018 - Chevrah Kadisha and Jewish Cemetery Conference

16th North American Chevrah Kadisha and Jewish Cemetery Conference

Click here to register

Location - The conference will be at Congregation Beth El in Bethesda, Maryland (just north of Washington, DC) - 8215 Old Georgetown Road, 20814

Dates and Times - The main part of the conference will be from noon on Sunday June 3 to 1pm on Tuesday June 5, 2018. There will be tours and hands-on workshops on Sunday morning. The Gamliel Day of Learning will be from Tuesday at 2pm through Wednesday at noon.

Who Should Attend? Consider attending the conference if you:

  • are interested in the fields of community organizing, consumer advocacy, bikkur cholim, chaplaincy, rabbinic texts, thanatology, hospice care, grief therapy, funeral direction, cemetery management, and legacy planning
  • recognize the importance of liturgy and ritual in ensuring that the spiritual dimension of the end-of-life continuum is appreciated, and that the work of the Chevrah Kadisha is done with full regard for the respect and dignity of all involved
  • want to learn more about the entire end-of-life continuum - dealing with life-threatening illness, legacy and preparation of ethical wills, preparing for death and at the time of death, care for the body- taharah and shmirah, care for relatives and friends, funeral and burial, mourning, grieving, remembering and providing comfort - with underlying themes of communal obligation, care for the poor and elderly, consumer protection, and Jewish continuity.
  • believe it is essential to shift the culture surrounding continuum-of-life issues in the Jewish community – from an attitude of denial and neglect around death, to a more open attitude towards death that includes increasing awareness, acceptance, and healthy integration into family and community life.
  • want to participate in the development of a strong Jewish corps of professionals and volunteers to become communal leaders who work to inspire, support, organize, teach, and advocate for the full range of Chevrah Kadisha work in synagogues and communities.

Program - Preliminary Program as of April 4. Pre-conference extras Gamliel Day of Learning

Registration - Advance registration rates are extra-low, but they are only available until April 28th. Register early to get the best rates, and to help us plan. 

Organization Pricing - is available if three or more members of an organization are attending the whole conference and the organization has paid membership dues of $180. You can cover the cost of organizational membership right on the registration form. Even if you don't have three members attending the conference, we appreciate your organization's support as a member. 

Books - This year you can pre-order and pre-pay for books right on the registration form. 

Exhibits - If you, or someone you know, would like to exhibit at the conference, let us know by sending us an email -

Conference Timing - 
    Noon to 10pm on Sunday
    7am to 10 pm on Monday
    7am to 1 pm on Tuesday.   

Meals - In addition to Sunday brunch, we provide six supervised Kosher meals as part of the conference registration. Please let us know if you have allergies or special dietary needs.

Flights - Many cities have direct flights to National (DCA), Baltimore Washington (BWI) and Dulles (IAD). 

Train - Amtrak from Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Richmond arrives at Union Station, where there is any easy transfer to the Metro red line. 

Buses - Megabus, Bolt and Greyhound arrive at Union Station. Some buses will arrive in Rockville.  

Ground Transport from the Airport -  Direct connections to the Metro are available from National Airports. BWI has an express bus to the Greenbelt Metro. Dulles has a direct bus to the Silver line. All airports have supershuttles. 

Hotel - We have negotiated a great hotel rate at American Inn. Contact them at 301-656-9300 and give them group booking code KNG or email or phone our hotel contact who is at extension 111. Our group rate is $139 plus 13% tax per room per night for singles or doubles. There are a limited number of doubles.  

Home Hospitality - will be available. Let us know if you are interested.

Shabbat - If you would like to be connected to a family for Shabbat dinner, home hospitality, and synagogue services, let us know. 

Refunds: 90% of the registration fee will be refunded if you cancel in writing before May 1; 80% before May 15; 50% May 15 or later, and only if you have a really good excuse!

Jewish Funeral Practices Committee of Greater Washington