Walking In The Valley of the Shadow - And Not Being Afraid | Osher Marin Jewish Community Center

Walking In The Valley of the Shadow - And Not Being Afraid

Sat, December 31, 2016 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Part of a yearlong series of conversations around the Bay Area about everything everyone (Jews by birth, choice, or by association) needs to know about the Jewish way of life and death.





The Art of Comfort

Taught by Dan Fendel

Walking In The Valley of the Shadow – And Not Being Afraid

A Project of The Gamliel Institute, Sinai Memorial Chapel, & Lehrhaus Judaica

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

11:00 am - 12:30 pm

There is deep Jewish wisdom when visiting the sick (“What do I say?”) and consoling the mourners (“What do I do during shiva?)  Sometimes it’s not just family, but also supporting caregivers, comforting the self, and the gift of shiva and how to do it well.  Yes, there is shiva etiquette.



  • Open to all ages because death and grief has no age limit.  Young people as well as older adults lose partners, parents, friends, and family members.
  • Welcoming to individuals from the Former Soviet Union, Israel, Intermarried families, and Jews-By-Choice.  Many in our community are “born there and die here,” and differences in custom and manners can be confusing and frustrating, all the more so in days of grief.
  • Everyone has a place in the conversation, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • The session facilitators are healthcare professionals, rabbis, lawyers, mortuary directors, leaders in the Chevrah Kadisha, and chaplains.  

Six Topics Offered in Six Locations in 2016: The Other Conversation (end of life wishes), The Final Mitzvot (advanced planning), From Dying to Burial (what Jews do), The Art of Comfort, Mourning and Grief (Kaddish and Shivah), and Jewish views of the soul, afterlife, and memory.

You may select any topic in any location in any order.  Choose the topic you need.  You may take any number of topics: one or all six.

To view all topics at all locations around the Bay Area, please click here 

Cost:$10 per class

Co-sponsored by Lehrhaus Judaica, and the Aleph Society of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz.


Dan 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.

Location: Kurland/Gallery

Osher Marin JCC
200 N. San Pedro Road
San Rafael, CA 94903