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Leading the Way to a New Jewish Path for Healing After Pregnancy Loss

While Judaism offers beautiful lifecycle traditions and rituals for those who are grieving, Jewish customs for pregnancy and infant loss are only now catching up with modern times.

Up to one in four women in the U.S. will experience at least one miscarriage, and many others will experience a stillbirth or infertility at some point. The rates are even higher in the Bay Area where many delay starting a family until later in life.

When this kind of devastating loss occurs, women—as well as their partners, families, and friends—have historically been left without a clear Jewish path for rituals, support, and guidance to respond to the gravity of their grief.

Two Bay Area women have mobilized the Jewish community to better help families after pregnancy loss, miscarriage, or infant death. Jewish Family and Children’s Services and Sinai Memorial Chapel are now working together to help.

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Sinai supports Jewish Community Federation study of Bay Area Jews

August 2016

The Federation announced that it is commissioning a large-scale population study of the Bay Area Jewish community that will assess needs and aspects of Jewish life, literacy and engagement.

This will be the first time the entire Bay Area is included in one demographic survey. It will focus on Jewish households in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Marin, Sonoma, Contra Costa, Alameda, Solano, Napa and Santa Cruz counties.

The study will include the size, geographic distribution, socioeconomic data and social service needs of the Bay Area Jewish population, and will be used by agencies and philanthropists to better serve the community. Led by a team of researchers, the study, titled “A Portrait of Bay Area Jewish Life and Communities,” will begin this year and be released in late 2017.

Funding the study will be the Jim Joseph Foundation, Laszlo N. Tauber Family Foundation, Koret Foundation, Newton and Rochelle Becker Charitable Trust, Levine-Lent Family Foundation, Lisa & John Pritzker Family Fund, Taube Philanthropies, and Sinai Memorial Chapel.
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Memory Garden to Provide a Place to Mourn Infertility and Fertility Loss

May 2016

Two San Francisco moms, Debbie Findling and Abby Porth, who both experienced fertility losses, co-created a project to develop a “memory garden” that’ll provide a place for reflection and mourning of an inability to conceive or are mourning miscarriages and stillbirths.
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‘Wheat Money’ ensures seders for prisoners, elderly

Thursday, April 14, 2016

A century ago, people lined up around the block at Sinai Memorial Chapel to receive bags filled with chickens, matzah and wine to ensure a sweet and kosher Passover. Today, through the practice of Ma’ot Chitim, or “wheat money,” Sinai still donates to agencies that serve the less fortunate. Please
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Local cemeteries promise to use less water

April 16, 2015

Four Jewish cemeteries in Colma and one in Contra Costa County have developed a plan of action that exceeds Gov. Jerry Brown’s recent order mandating a 25 percent reduction in water use, Samuel Salkin and James Carlson announced in a joint press release last week.
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Speaking well of (those who bury) the dead

March 12, 2015

Few would consider Jewish death rituals a natural conversation starter. But it was Topic A at a recent banquet in San Francisco to honor Sinai Memorial Chapel’s chevra kadisha, or Jewish burial society.
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Classes Demystify Jewish Customs Around Death

We know how to download music and we know how to get food delivered with the swipe of a finger on a smartphone — but we don’t know what to do when a loved one dies.
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