A unique 4 Session, Monday night series taught and illustrated by Me'irah Iliinsky, artist rabbi, with time for discussion!
At the JCCSF, on November 18, at 9:30 am, I will be leading a meditation: Imagining Your Own Death. Participating in such a meditation has been a powerful and freeing experience for me, taking away fear of death. I cannot promise the same for you, but since it’s going to happen some day, this is a very useful preparation.
I will be giving a presentation on my artwork at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco on Wednesday, October 10, 1:00-2:00 PM. (parking available on site) In addition to the slide show, there will be some samples of original work.
What makes an artist pick up a brush and paint? And when they do so, how does a style come about? These paintings are influenced from a lifetime of exposure to medieval illuminated manuscripts, 19th C fairytale illustration, Turkish embroideries, Indian prints, Indonesian batiks, and botanical illustration. They come together for a purpose: to invite the viewer into a visual experience of sacred texts.
I am privileged to be presenting Journey of the Mourner/Journey of the Soul: A Map, at the JCCSF on April 22, 2:00-4:00 PM as part of the Bay Wide Reimagine Event. Using this four panel artwork, projected onto a big screen, I will track the psychological/spiritual experience of the first year of mourning, and Jewish traditions on the whereabouts of the soul within that same time frame. Many have found it to be a profound experience to locate themselves on the map. It's free, so come.
Blessings, Rabbi Me'irah
CORRECTION ON THE HOURS OF THE EVENT!
Rabbi Me'irah will be staffing a table for the Gamliel Institute at the JCCSF, (Jewish Community Center of San Francisco) at their annual End of Life Fair: Embracing the Journey. She will have on display the original of her four panel painting: "The Journey of the Soul/The Journey of the Mourner" and her slide show "Eight Jewish Values appearing at the End of Life," as well as being on hand from 10:30-2:00 to answer questions about Jewish end of life practice. A limited number of booklets on comforting mourners and the practice of taharah will be for sale. For more information see: Embracing the Journey, Gamliel Institute, Nichum Aveilim, Chesed Shel Emet, Kavod v Nichum.
Rabbi Me'irah will be doing two presentations, June 18 & 19
If art speaks to you more easily than a lecture, if you are a mourner, if you wonder what Jewish traditions say about the soul, come to this unique presentation.
Rabbi Me'irah will be one of the presenters at the day long Jewbilee, a day of learning sponsored by the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center in Los Gatos.
Basing her talk on a 4 panel-artwork "map," Rabbi Me'irah will lead participants through the unique experience of the mourner's first year, and will help us locate where, according to Jewish tradition, the soul of the deceased is located, and what it is up to! Portions of the artwork will be projected large enough for all to see. Question and answer period.
Some comments from previous participants:
“Information on Jewish beliefs and rituals I had not heard about before. Rabbi was compassionate in answering questions about grieving.”
“Inspiring, uplifting, hopeful. I’m not Jewish so I learned an aspect of Jewish tradition. Incredibly beautiful presentation.”
“loved her. The beautiful art and how she communicates concepts. Loved discussion about how we mourn.”
“Mind blowing Rabbi Me’irah. Very talented to guide us on a map of mourning.”
“I was pleasantly surprised at the artistic approach to this experience, the power of symbolism.”
How does liturgy "work"? Especially so in the Taharah room---where the body of the deceased is washed in an ancient Jewish ritual showing respect for the dead. Rabbi Me'irah has adapted the liturgy spoken by the team that performs the taharah into a play---the parts to be read by the participants who attend this workshop. Open to the public, free of charge. Come play an ancestor, God, a prophet, a sage, an angel, a demon. You will experience the power of how the liturgy helps a community "navigate" the liminal space between life and death.
Annual Craft Fair
Inspire the spirit, heal the soul with some artwork by Rabbi Me'irah. This venue is unique, as there are many of Rabbi Me'irah's original paintings in the B'nai Emunah Social Hall, some of which are for sale.
She will be on hand with giclee art prints and cards to help you find something special for that person who has everything.
Everything shown on the website can be ordered in time for Hanukkah/Christmas.
MEDICAL REALITIES, ETHICAL DILEMMAS, PERSONAL CHOICES Dec 7
A panel of experts
Most people fantasize a calm and poignant scene, family & friends surrounding the deathbed, dying person in full capacity, imparting words of love and wisdom. Tonight we will hear about more likely scenarios and compare the alternative offered by "life saving measures," palliative care, and hospice. We will ask, "What makes for a 'good death?'"
Dr. Dawn Gross, Palliative Care physician, Marshall White, hospice chaplain, and Rabbi Me'irah will serve as the panel. We will share some guidance regarding medical ethics and California's new law, the End of Life Option. Bring your stories and questions to share.
Rabbi Me'irah will be teaching and moderating a series, "Honor & Comfort: Coping with Various Aspects of the End of Life Experience." The series was designed with the help of Norisa Berardi. Free and open to the public: sponsored by Or Shalom Jewish Community in San Francisco.
Nov. 30, "The Art of Comforting Mourners"
time tested traditions
As we age, we will encounter more and more mourners in our community. While we all know how important it is to comfort mourners, HOW exactly, are we supposed to DO it? Our words feel like platitudes in the faceof enormous loss. Fortunately, a wonderful booklet has been written: Nihum Aveilim: A Guide for the Comforter, by Rabbi Stuart Kelman and Dan Fendel. We will read selections and pause for discussion. Grief counselors Marshall White and Rabbi Me'irah Iliinsky will be on hand to share experiences and take questions.
We will also view a precious short video, filmed by Max Stein in the manner of an Ethical Will, about his 99 year old great aunt: "Sarah Goldstein, Interview."
Booklets will be available courtesy of Sinai Memorial Chapel & Chevra Kadisha.
Rabbi Me'irah will be offering a hands-on collage making, Connecting With Your Inner Wisdom, at the second annual San Francisco JCC's event: Embracing the Journey: End of Life Resource Fair, an all day event highlighting topics and fostering discussion about the end of life. A slide show of her work depicting Jewish Values underlying end of life rituals will also be showing throughout the day.
As part of the Dying to Know event at the Peninsula JCC, Rabbi Me'irah will be presenting "Mapping the Journey of the Mourner/Mapping the Journey of the Soul" 3:15-4:40 PM (Note: There has been a time change. This is the correct time.)
In the Jewish tradition, the mourner's progression through time is ordered and ritualized. But did you know that the journey of the soul also has a progression? We will look at a "map," and see if we can find where the mourner (you, perhaps?) might be, and where the soul might be, and where and how you might meet. To register call 650-378-2703. The event is free. Course code is 47592. The overall "Dying to Know" event is from 12:30-5:30 PM.
Rabbi Me'irah will be a featured presenter at the 14th Annual Chevra Kadisha conference. Her prints and cards will be available for sale.
Rabbi Me'irah's artwork will be gifted to Barbara Boxer, retiring senator from California at Shalom Bayit's gala annual fund raising dinner.