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New B’nai Sholom Course Examines Jewish Beliefs and Customs Surrounding Death and Afterlife

A new course taught by Rabbi David Katz at B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation in Albany will look at Jewish beliefs and practices surrounding death and afterlife.

“Life After Death: Beliefs and Customs” will be offered four Wednesdays beginning Feb. 17, 7-8 p.m. via Zoom.

Does Judaism teach that there is life after death?  If so, what is it supposed to be like?  What if we don’t believe in a “world to come”?  What should we say to our children or grandchildren if we ourselves have doubts?  When a loved one dies, what are the first things to do – or not do? 

This four-week course will explore many of the Jewish beliefs and practices surrounding death: the meaning behind placing pebbles on gravestones; the best yahrtzeit candle; why a ribbon is torn before the funeral and what the words mean to the blessing recited before it is cut; why the door at a house of mourning is left ajar and what should be said or not said to a mourner; and more.

“Life After Death: Beliefs and Customs” is open to the public.  Registration is required.  Cost: $20; for B’nai Sholom members, it is just $15.  Registrants will receive a confirmation email with links to access the course.

For more information or to register, contact the B’nai Sholom office: 518-482-5283 or

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