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Gamliel Institute

Student Projects

Traditional Jewish Practices

Teaching teens and adults about the

continuum of care and the afterlife.

Project Abstract


All too often people hear about a Chevra Kadisha, or know about Jewish death and dying traditions without knowing why these rituals are performed.


For those who are not already involved, the result is that there may not be interest. The result, for Shomrim or those participating in a Tahara, is that the experience is not as meaningful as it could be, thus restricting the efficacy of the rituals.


This course offers an avenue into a more meaningful knowledge-base and thus experience with Chevra Kadisha work.

Zoe A. Van Raan is the director of services for the Chevra Kadisha of Northern New Mexico (CKNNM). She is a hospice volunteer, a caregiver for the elderly, and a rabbinical student.


The CKNNM is a conglomeration of Renewal, Reform, Traditional Reform, Chabad, and Orthodox communities. All of the shuls in Northern New Mexico are represented both on the board and as active members. Zoe is a dynamic force in promoting traditional Jewish death and dying in her town of Santa Fe and the surrounding areas. At the time of publication, Zoe has participated in and completed all of the Gamliel Institute’s courses thus far. She plans on completing the final two courses in the Spring of 2015.


Project Links:


Course Curriculum

Instructor Background Paper


Zoe Van Raan contact info:

zoevanraan@gmail.com (to be checked!!)