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Video: Tahara Ritual Demonstration Made Public
Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death, Funeral Expert Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death, Funeral Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Albuquerque , NM
Monday, November 13, 2017

Gail Rubin displays Jewish burial garments in her talk.

Gail Rubin displays Jewish burial garments in her talk.

Tahara, the ritual of washing and dressing a body in the Jewish tradition, is often held behind the scenes at a funeral home. It’s a great mitzvah — a good deed — to participate in a tahara. Because it is done anonymously, many Jews don’t know about this aspect of Jewish funerals.

Using a dressed-up plastic skeleton as the body, three members of Albuquerque’s Chevrah Kaddisha, the Jewish burial society, demonstrate the tahara ritual as practiced in Albuquerque. The participants are: Gail Rubin, coordinator of the Before I Die ABQ Festival (in black jacket), Libby Hopkins (in magenta sweater), and Charna Lefton (in striped shirt).

To protect the modesty of the deceased, the ritual is always conducted by women for a female who has died, and by men for a male. Tahara rituals may vary by community. For more information about funeral rituals and traditions for Jews, visit www.AGoodGoodbye.com and search for “Jewish funeral traditions.”

This tahara demonstration was part of the Inaugural Before I Die ABQ Festival, October 20-25, 2017. Recorded October 24, 2017 at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque, in partnership with the Jewish Federation of New Mexico.

Before I Die ABQ Festival Sponsors

Many thanks to the sponsors of the Before I Die ABQ Festival:

Gail Rubin, CT, is author and host of the award-winning book and television series, A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die, Hail and Farewell: Cremation Ceremonies, Templates and Tips, and KICKING THE BUCKET LIST: 100 Downsizing and Organizing Things to Do Before You Die.

Rubin is a Certified Thanatologist (that's a death educator) and a popular speaker who uses humor and films to get the end-of-life and funeral planning conversation started. She "knocked 'em dead" with her TEDx talk, A Good Goodbye. She provides continuing education credit classes for attorneys, doctors, nurses, social workers, hospice workers, financial planners, funeral directors and other professionals. She's a Certified Funeral Celebrant and funeral planning consultant who has been interviewed in national and local print, broadcast and online media.

Known as The Doyenne of Death®, she is the event coordinator for the inaugural Before I Die ABQ Festival. She also hosts A Good Goodbye Internet radio show and produces Mortality Minute radio and online video spots. Her YouTube Channel features more than 400 videos!

Rubin is a member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling, the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association, Toastmasters International and the National Speakers Association New Mexico Chapter. Her speaking profile is available at eSpeakers.com.

Gail Rubin has been interviewed about funeral planning issues in national and local broadcast, print and online media. Outlets include The Huffington Post, Money Magazine, Kiplinger, CBS Radio News, WGN-TV,  and local affiliates for NPR, PBS, FOX, ABC-TV, CBS-TV and NBC-TV.

Sign up for a free planning form and occasional informative newsletter at her website, AGoodGoodbye.com.

A Good Goodbye
Albuquerque, NM