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Gamliel Institute

Student Projects

power in numbers

Creating a regional
Chevra Kadisha consortium

Project Abstract


Often a region has several Chevra Kadisha groups, each primarily serving its own congregational community, each working independently, with little knowledge of what the others are doing. In such a situation, the support and services provided to the region may be enriched by creating a Regional Chevra Kadisha Consortium, with each Chevra Kadisha as a participating member.


Such a Consortium can strengthen the individual groups, through mutual cooperation and understanding, and provide enhanced service to the region through joint community education projects. The Consortium can also create a greater sense of pluralism, tolerance, and mutual respect among the Consortium’s members and their individual communities.

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 Directors. He and Nina have enjoyed traveling widely, including Japan, Vietnam, Bali, Kenya, Bhutan, Thailand, Cuba, and Ireland.


Project Link:

Creating A Regional Consortium.pdf


Recent Publications*


• Nihum Avelim: A Guide for the Comforter


Chesed Shel Emet: The Truest Act of

      Kindness — Exploring the Meaning

      of Taharah (Expanded 3rd. Edition)


* in collaboration with Rabbi Stuart Kelman