Workshop: Advanced Planning


Advanced Planning Workshop will take place on Sunday, August 2 at 10am-1pm.

The BCC Education Committee is pleased to continue our series on Death, Mourning, and Living with an Advance Planning Workshop on Sunday, August 2. This class is taught by Aviyah Farkas, M.S., M. A. Please register through the temple office at

In March of this year, about 25 BCC members were blessed to experience Cantor Sue Deutsch’s profoundly moving workshop “The Healing Hand: Being Present for What Matters Most in Life and Death,” based on her book The Healing Hand: Five Discussions to have with the Dying who are Living.

We do not plan to replicate the level of intimacy and emotional intensity that Cantor Deutsch created. Rather, with the Advanced Planning Workshop, we hope to clarify our “end of independence” and “end of life” options.

A panel of representatives from Jewish mortuaries and cemeteries, senior assisted living facilities, and an in-home care agency will be present. We will clarify the difference between nursing homes and assisted living facilities; types and levels of in-home care; mortuary and cemetery services including burial and cremation; and organ donation.

We will allow plenty of time for questions to the representatives, including cost and ease of arranging for their services, and their comfort and acceptance of same-sex partnerships and marriages. We will also distribute valuable end of independence and end of life decision-making forms. One of the first things that my wife Marsha did after we were married was sit me down and show me her four-inch thick “Personal Document Planner.” This trove of crucial information was filled with forms Marsha had received at a series of BCC presentations held in 2007 or 2008.

You too will receive forms that will allow you to plan for what you want done when you can no longer do it for yourself. I have lived through the death of two sisters and my former wife, and can attest to the need to have your wishes in writing. It becomes a supreme act of love to be crystal clear about what you want. The loved ones left behind are in the most confused, even tortured, state that they will ever be in. To help them simplify the innumerable amount of decisions they will be forced to make is a true act of love.

Please note that we will not be discussing wills and trusts, ethical wills, or advanced health care directives at this workshop. Ginger Jacobs will cover advanced health care directives later in the summer in her four-part course.

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