Exit Strategy

Exit Strategy

What’s one thing we’re all good at? How about not talking — or even thinking — about end-of-life issues.


April 3, 2024 20 mins

In January, New England and national radio and podcast personality Jordan Rich went public with his recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease — modeling for us how uncertainty and grief surrounding a medical diagnosis can evolve into a purposeful, expansive and uplifting resilience. Jordan speaks about his journey with Exit Strategy Host Stephanie Garry as we […]

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On the 23rd anniversary of Plaza Jewish Community Chapel’s 2001 opening, Exit Strategy host Stephanie Garry welcomes Rachel Schnoll, CEO of the Jewish Communal Fund — one of Plaza’s founding funders, whose support allowed Plaza to open its doors to serve the Jewish community and to elevate end-of-life conversations and issues. In this wide-ranging talk, […]

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New York’s first Reform Chevra Kaddisha (“holy society”) is introducing sacred end-of-life practices to a wider Jewish community, and elevating the mitzvah of caring for our dead. The Reform Chevra Kaddisha was established in 2023, and here its founders discuss its groundbreaking nature and its place and meaning within progressive Jewish communities and families. Speakers: […]

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On October 7, Hayim Yeshurun Katsman, 32, was among the over 1,200 people tragically lost in the terrorist massacre in southern Israel. In the days, weeks and months since, Hayim’s mother — Hannah Wacholder Katsman — has journeyed through grief and mourning at once private and public. In this special episode, Exit Strategy Host Stephanie […]

The post An Israeli Mother, Her Son … and a Personal and Collective Loss appeared first on ...

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As we begin 2024, Rabbi Gordon Tucker — Vice Chancellor for Religious Life and Engagement at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America — joins us for a wide-ranging conversation about the state and evolving place of end-of-life issues in our communal dialogue, and the imperative to advance it. Rabbi Tucker speaks with Exit Strategy Host […]

The post End-of-Life Conversations: A View from the Top appeared first on Plaza Jewish Comm...

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After her 15-year-old son Joshua was tragically struck by a car and died in 2002, Nancy Rothstein discovered a deep inner strength that led her to an affirming view of her life and Joshua’s ever-inspiring and growing presence in it. Nancy is the author of Rising in the Mourning: Ways to Celebrate Life (2022), in […]

The post After a Son’s Death, Finding Meaning in Life appeared first on Plaza Jewish Community Chapel.

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November 15, 2023 21 mins

A loved one develops dementia, and she is there, but she isn’t. Or he is abducted, and may come back, or he might not. And so we experience “ambiguous loss,” a grey, unresolved state that presents unique challenges to our mental and emotional well being … and that must be recognized and respected. In this […]

The post Ambiguous Loss: What We Need to Know appeared first on Plaza Jewish Community Chapel.

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We must all consider advanced age — for ourselves or our loved ones — and have conversations and make decisions leading to the best possible outcomes in later years. Hildy Sheinbaum, of H. Sheinbaum & Associates, is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse care manager who advises individuals and families on issues of care for […]

The post Advancing Age: What Should We be Thinking About? appeared first on Plaza Jewish Community Chape...

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An estimated one in four women will suffer loss of a child during pregnancy or infancy, opening a well of grief and sorrow that touches parents, families and their wider circles. As Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month is now marked, Exit Strategy Host Stephanie Garry speaks with Perry-Lynn Moffitt — author of the influential […]

The post The Silent Sorrow of Pregnancy and Infant Loss appeared first on Plaza Jewish Community C...

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As we absorb the atrocities and losses coming out of the unspeakable terrorist attacks in Israel on October 7th, how do we deal with our tremendous individual and community shock, trauma and grief … at this moment and in the long term? Rabbi David Ingber, Senior Director for Jewish Life at 92Y, Founding Rabbi at […]

The post After the Attack on Israel … Dealing with our Shock, Grief and Loss appeared first on Plaza Jewish Community...

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For those living with blindness, low vision or print disability, JBI International offers a free library of Jewish interest books and publications, including liturgical texts, enabling connection to the rich literary, cultural and religious life of the Jewish community. As an accompanying episode to host Stephanie Garry’s conversation with Edward Hirsch, Exit Strategy welcomes JBI […]

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October 3, 2023 38 mins

After his son Gabriel died in 2011 at age 22, acclaimed poet Edward Hirsch navigated grief by writing Gabriel: A Poem, a slim-book-length elegy that The New Yorker called a “masterpiece of sorrow.” Published in 2014, the work is a seminal piece in the literature of grief and a point of connection for others in […]

The post A Poet’s Loss, and Grief appeared first on Plaza Jewish Community Chapel.

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September 20, 2023 24 mins

Through beautifully curated poetry, ritual, music and textual wisdom, Rabbi Lisa D. Grant, PhD and Cantor Lisa B. Segal offer us a guided roadmap through the first year of loss in The Year of Mourning: A Jewish Journey …published in June with an accompanying app that deepens engagement and meaningfullness. Rabbi Grant, Director of the […]

The post Mourning, A Roadmap appeared first on Plaza Jewish Community Chapel.

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In the days after 9/11, Micki Pagano noticed a cloud above the World Trade Center site, and it made her wonder that maybe it wasn’t a cloud at all, but the collective souls of those who lost their lives that day. The image inspired her 2022 book, The Road To Beyond — a tale told through the […]

The post 9/11: Finding Meaning Through Magical Thinking appeared first on Plaza Jewish Community Chapel.

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August 21, 2023 29 mins

In her widely acclaimed debut book — Heartwood, The Art of Living with the End in Mind — author Barbara Becker tells stories of loss and leads readers into an enlightened perspective on death … and consequentially, of life. Among her many journeys, Barbara worked for years in the compassionate care sector and at age […]

The post Leaning In to Loss, and Life appeared first on Plaza Jewish Community Chapel.

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August 7, 2023 42 mins

Grief is generated from many types of loss … takes a variety of forms … and manifests in myriad ways. But as individuals and a society, we rarely talk about it. As National Grief Awareness Day approaches on Aug. 30th, Exit Strategy host Stephanie Garry welcomes Rivka Nissel, LCSW, Director of Jewish Community Services at […]

The post The Grief Puzzle appeared first on Plaza Jewish Community Chapel.

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When he discovered a trove of images taken by his father, a well-known photographer who died in 2000 from AIDS-related illnesses, Zander Masser embarked on an unexpected journey that led him to finally understand and reveal his unarticulated and repressed grief. The narrative photography book he produced, Unburying My Father, reflects not only loss, but […]

The post Confronting Grief With the Stories We Tell appeared first on Plaza...

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Comedy can soften the short and long term sting of death and grief … and can be a salve as we process, adapt and seek some sense and relief during one of life’s most profound challenges. Nick Kroll is one of today’s most sought-after comedians, creators, writers, producers and actors in film and television, and […]

The post Can Death be Funny? A Conversation with Nick Kroll appeared first on Plaza Jewish Community Chapel.

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June 12, 2023 20 mins

It’s LGBTQ+ Pride Month …and we’re talking about how respecting and honoring the sexual and gender identities of LGBTQ+ individuals is as important after death, as it is in life. Dubbs Weinblatt is a genderqueer trans Jew who writes, teaches and advocates for a more trans-affirming and just world for all LGBTQ+ people, and has […]

The post Living, and Dying …with Pride appeared first on Plaza Jewish Community Chapel.

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An estimated one-third of adults age 60+ live alone, and as solo agers they may lack a greater family support structure as they face inevitable challenges — from quality of life to end-of-life decision making. Claire Solomon Nisen, LMSW, is the manager of DOROT’s Lasting Impressions program in NYC, and Wendl Kornfeld created the Community […]

The post Aging Solo, Challenges and Opportunities: Claire Solomon Nisen and Wendl Kornfel...

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