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What is This Tool?

The Hineni tool is designed to give succinct information about Jewish death practices. The word, Hineni, is the transliteration of a Hebrew phrase used in the Torah, meaning “Here I am.” It was chosen to indicate this tool is here to give succinct, direct answers to everyone quickly and easily.

The information presented applies to all levels of Jewish observance and is intended for general user learning. This tool is not an official dictum as to the application of Jewish law (halacha) nor does it indicate what is allowed or not allowed. Rather, it is an educational tool intended to help people understand Jewish end-of-life practices.

Information presented in this tool was gleaned from many sources, specifically including those from many Jewish denominations. This tool was developed by JADE, the Jewish Association for Death Education, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping all Jews understand the use and depth of Jewish traditions around death.

Hineni is intended to be used by at least four audiences:

  • Death professionals: those who work with members of the Jewish community when facing a death, such as funeral directors, cemetery workers, hospice personnel, Jewish clergy, chaplains, death doulas, and hospital personnel;
  • Families facing a death: those who need immediate information to make decisions about the care of a loved one after death;
  • Those doing advance planning: families who are making arrangements for a future death and who want to understand traditional Jewish practices;
  • Educators: those who teach Jewish practices in the community and who can use this tool as a teaching aid and as a resource for drashot for services, lectures, or classes, along with Chevrah Kadisha workers who want to expand their abilities to share these practices with their community.

Acknowledgements
The Hineni tool was developed by the JADE staff as a part of ongoing community educational efforts to find the best ways to disseminate and share knowledge about Jewish end-of-life practices, rites, customs, and traditions. An acknowledgement of the contribution of our staff is shown below.

Concept: Rick Light
Prototype: Rick Light
Coordination: Isabel Knight
Content: HollyBlue Hawkins, Rick Light
Editing: Rick Light, David Zinner
Marketing: Isabel Knight, Susan Kramer
Implementation: Jordan Friedlander