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Dying/Death/Burial: What Jews Do

This course was offered in Winter/Spring, 2017.

There are so many things we were not able to learn as children, and here is an opportunity to become confident and comfortable with: Vidui (the Jewish way of last words), Jewish laws, customs and traditions about dying; performing taharah (preparing the body); the funeral service; and issues concerning burial and cremation.

This is part of a six-part series called Walking in the Valley of the Shadow, a project of The Gamliel Institute, Sinai Memorial Chapel, and Lehrhaus Judaica

View the complete chart of programs.


# Sessions
Date & time

Thursday, February 16
7:30 - 9:00 pm

Session Time Days Location Instructors
Feb 16 7:30 PM–9:00 PM Thu Temple Sinai Dan Fendel


Temple Sinai

2808 Summit Street

Oakland, CA 94609



Dan Fendel

Dan FendelDan Fendel is the men’s chair and co-founder of the Chevrah Kadisha in his own congregation, Temple Sinai (Reform; Oakland), and has been a member of the Chevrah Kadisha of Beth Jacob Congregation (Orthodox; Oakland) for more than 15 years. He was in the first cohort of the Gamliel Institute, and is now Dean of Students for Gamliel. He is co-author, with Rabbi Stuart Kelman, of Chesed Shel Emet: The Truest Act of Kindness — Exploring the Meaning of Taharah (Expanded Third Edition), and Nihum Aveilim: A Guide for the Comforter. He also did volunteer grief support work for the Shanti Project and Namaste in the San Francisco area for 20 years, and is now a Spiritual Care Volunteer at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland.

Dan has degrees in mathematics from Harvard (AB, 1966) and Yale (Ph.D, 1970). He worked for many years as a mathematics educator, primarily at San Francisco State University, where he is Professor of Mathematics, Emeritus. He is one of the primary authors of the Interactive Mathematics Program, a four-year high school mathematics curriculum, which was selected in 1999 by a U.S. Department of Education Expert Panel as one of five Exemplary mathematics programs in the country. He is also author or co-author of two college-level mathematics textbooks.

Dan lives in Piedmont, CA, with his wife Nina, who is a labor lawyer. Their children and families, including 6 grandchildren, all live in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is involved in a variety of activities at his synagogue, and is a member of its Board of Trustees. He and Nina have enjoyed traveling widely, including Chile, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Japan, Vietnam, Bali, Kenya, Bhutan, Thailand, Cuba, and Ireland.