Resources on Advance Care Planning

Hebrew Ethical Wills
Israel Abrahams, ed.
Jewish Publication Society, 2006
First published in 1926, this expanded edition includes new material and a bibliography of scholarship on ethical wills. Offers insights into the faith and feelings of Jews across the centuries, as well as inspiration for those who want to write their own ethical wills today.

So That Your Values Live On: Ethical Wills and How to Prepare Them
edited by Jack Riemer and Nathaniel Stampfer
Jewish Lights Publishing, 1994
Explains ethical wills and provide examples written by nearly 100 people.


Jewish Medical Directives for Health Care
Walks individuals through the steps of preparing an advance directive.

Matters of Life and Death: A Jewish Approach to Modern Medical Ethics
by Elliot N. Dorff
Jewish Publication Society of America, 1994
Discussion to guide medical professionals and lay people as they seek to reconcile medical technology and ethics with Jewish law and principles.


The Encyclopedia of Jewish Medical Ethics
edited by Avraham Steinbert
Feldheim Publishing, 2003
Comparative analysis of the Jewish and the general medical-ethical approaches to medical ethics. Also offers historical, scientific and medical backgrounds that constitute the basis for Jewish legal deliberations and decisions.

The Halachic Organ Donor Society
Encourages organ donations by providing education about the different halachic and medical issues concerning the practice.

Living Will, Agudath Israel of America
Living will form.


A Time to Prepare: A Practical Guide for Individuals and Families in Determining One’s Wishes for Extraordinary Medical Treatment and Financial Arrangements
edited by Richard F. Address
UAHC Press, 2002
Information and a workbook to help consolidate and record information needed to handle critical illness or death. Topics include durable powers of attorney, organ donation, wills, ethical wills and rituals for saying good-bye.

Resources on End of Life

The Death of Death: Resurrection and Immortality in Jewish Thought
by Neil Gillman
Jewish Lights Publishing, 2000
Combining scholarship with historical, theological and liturgical perspectives, traces the evolution of Jewish thought about bodily resurrection, spiritual immortality and relevance to life today.

Embracing Life & Facing Death: A Jewish Guide to Palliative Care
by Daniel Brenner, Tsvi Blanchard, Joseph Fins and Bradley Hirschfield
CLAL, 2002
Creates a dialogue between Jewish tradition and contemporary ethical and spiritual concerns facing today’s families—covering issues such as pain management, advance care planning and end of life ethics.

The Jewish Hospice Manual: A Guide to Compassionate End-of-Life Care for Jewish Patients and Their Families
by Maurice Lamm and Barry M. Kinzbrunner
National Institute for Jewish Hospice and VITAS Healthcare Corporation, 2003
Covers Judaism and the needs of terminally ill Jewish patients for professional and volunteer hospice caregivers.

Jewish Ritual, Reality and Response at the End of Life: A Guide to Caring for Jewish Patients and Their Families
by Rabbi Mark A. Popovsky
Duke Institute on Care at the End of Life, 2007
Guide to Jewish beliefs and practices around illness, death and loss—including practical suggestions for responding to the situations in which clinical, religious and cultural issues are entwined.

Jewish Views of the Afterlife
by Simcha Paull Rafael
Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2009
Explores how Judaism conceived of the fate of the individual after death throughout Jewish history. Among the topics discussed are heaven and hell, Olam Ha-Ba (The World to Come), Gan Eden, resurrection of the dead, immortality of the soul and divine judgment prior to end of life.

The National Institute for Jewish Hospice
Services include a 24 hour toll-free number that assists families, patients and caregivers and provides locations of hospices, hospitals, health professionals and clergy of all faiths. Also publishes information on issues such as truth telling and euthanasia; and provides insights into the “art of hoping,” techniques of caring and understanding pain.

The Shira Ruskay Center: Providing Comfort and Support for the Seriously Ill
Assists seriously ill patients, their families and loved ones through consultation, education, counseling and information and referral. Consultation and training is available for professionals and lay leaders.

Wrestling With the Angel: Jewish Insights Into Death and Mourning
by Jack Reimer
Syracuse University Press, 2002
Personal and practical writings by contemporary authors about the Shivah period, Kaddish, Yizkor, Yahrzeit and other practices to honor the dead and comfort the living.

Resources on Grief

The Jewish Mourner’s Book of Why
by Alfred J. Kolatch
Jonathan David Publishers, 2004
Explains death and mourning rites and rituals of all Jewish denominations.

The Jewish Mourner’s Handbook
edited by William Cutter
Behrman House, Inc., 1992
Explores meaning and compassion in the Jewish approach to mourning.

by Leon Wieseltier
Vintage, 2000
Spiritual journal recording the inner life during a year of mourning and the study of ancient, medieval and modern Jewish texts in pursuit of the Kaddish’s history and meaning.

Living a Year of Kaddish: A Memoir
by Ari Goldman
Schocken Books, 2006
Explores the emotional and spiritual aspects of spending a year in mourning from the standpoint of a husband, father and member of a community.

Saying Kaddish: How to Comfort the Dying, Bury the Dead and Mourn as a Jew
by Anita Diamant
Schocken Books, 1999
Offers ways to make Judaism’s time-honored rituals into personal, meaningful sources of comfort. Provides detailed instructions for the rituals of Yizkor and Yahrzeit, as well as information about caring for grieving children, mourning the death of a child, neonatal loss, suicide and the death of non-Jewish loved ones.

Resources on Serious Illness and Caregiving

The Coordinating Council on Bikur Cholim
Describes the wide range of activities performed by an individual or a group to provide comfort and support to people who are seriously ill, homebound, isolated or otherwise in distress. Also provides consultations, training workshops and follow-up support.

Jewish Paths Towards Healing and Wholeness: A Personal Guide to Dealing with Suffering
by Kerry Olitzky
Jewish Lights Publishing, 2000
Combines Jewish tradition and personal experience dealing with the illness and pain of other people to explore the relationship between healing the body and healing the soul. Includes insights, prayers, psalms, meditations and rituals focused on healing.

The National Center for Jewish Healing
Offers consultation, resource material, publications, training and referrals to community resources to meet the spiritual needs of Jews living with illness, loss and other significant life challenges.

When Bad Things Happen to Good People
by Harold S. Kushner
Anchor, 2004
Inspired by the author’s knowledge of his son’s rare and fatal disease, addresses where to find resources to cope when tragedy strikes—with an acknowledgment of the complications of acceptance and guilt and despair and helplessness.