**************************************************************************************************Dear Simcha, Your presentation on “Jewish Ghost Stories and Views of the Afterlife” was utterly delightful. Clearly there was a hunger for more than lox and bagels at Congregation B’nai Harim today. People were bubbling with excitement afterwards. Even the most extreme rationalists were willing to entertain the possibility that there might be something more out there than science and reason can explain. Thank you for a lovely morning/afternoon of teaching.

Rabbi Peg Kershenbaum
Congregation B’nai Harim
Pocono Pines, PA

Dear Simcha, Thank you again for the wonderful series of programs you presented here in Duluth last weekend.   We have had much positive feedback from our congregants and other community members who attended.   Many were surprised and impressed to learn about the richness of Jewish traditions concerning afterlife and olam haba.Your divrei torah, story telling and talks were well received and have triggered many deep discussions in our community. We are so appreciative of your visit and I would heartily recommend you as a potential scholar-in-residence for other Jewish congregations. B’shalom,

Rabbi David Steinberg
Temple Israel
Duluth, MN

Dr. Raphael is an incredible workshop leader. He engages the participants and gains a sense of where they are at and what they need from the workshop at the start. His use of stories and his wonderful ability to tell stories is an extremely useful and powerful tool. Reference to text and history helped to put into perspective from where our connotations of the theme originate. He has a very real philosophy about dealing with the topic and especially in dealing with children which is not to be afraid to talk about death but also be aware of the developmental ability of the child to process the information.

Amy Geboff, M.S.W.
Director Youth and Family Education
Congregation Ohev Shalom
Orlando, FL

Dr. Raphael please accept our sincere appreciation for your outstanding presentation on “Spirit in Hospice Care: Moving from Apologetic Discomfort to Deathbed Soul-Guiding.” This program was highly anticipated and had the largest participation of any program in our year-long series, Living with Dying. The mission of this continuing education programming is to open dialogue about end-of-life experiences, particularly raising issues that are less commonly discussed. Our audience of healthcare providers crossed many disciplines from nurses to administrators, chaplains to social workers. Your professional ability, both as a speaker and educator, raised everyone’s level of consciousness to a new awareness of the deathbed experience.  Your captivating energy and passion for the subject moved the audience to embrace spirit as a larger concept of existence than life itself. For this audience who deals with death on a regular basis, they felt suddenly empowered to assist beyond the physical and emotional support that they provide to their patients and families. They came away understanding the concept of soul-guiding.

Ritajean Reed, M.A.
Director of Volunteer Services
Wissahickon Hospice
University of Pennsylvania Health System
Philadelphia, PA

Last week our Miami spiritual care initiative sponsored with our Board of Rabbis a Yom Iyun with Rabbi Simcha Raphael, author of Jewish Views of the Afterlife. Simcha brought up again and again that Jews have so many questions regarding the soul and the afterlife, and are under the impression that Judaism has nothing to say about it. He mentioned the poverty of discourse around these issues. If you are looking for a fascinating scholar-in-residence, I highly recommend Simcha. He has programs which are eclectic and original, deal with both standard Jewish ritual as well as Kabbalah.

Rabbi Frederick L Klein, MPhil, BCC
Director,  Mishkan Miami: The Jewish Connection for Spiritual Support
Executive VP, Rabbinical Association of Greater Miami

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