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Let’s talk about death: ‘End of Life Matters’ workshop in Newbury Park synagogue draws in around 80 attendees

PUBLISHED: 13:12 09 October 2018 | UPDATED: 08:23 12 October 2018

Dr Adrian Tookman, medical director of Marcie Curie Hospice, in Hampstead, delivers a keynote speech at End of Life Mattes workshop on Sunday, October 7. Photo: Brenda Soskin

Dr Adrian Tookman, medical director of Marcie Curie Hospice, in Hampstead, delivers a keynote speech at End of Life Mattes workshop on Sunday, October 7. Photo: Brenda Soskin

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From organ donation to rituals and practices, members of the borough’s Jewish communities and beyond gathered at a Newbury Park synagogue came together to discuss death.

A panel session entitled “What is a good death” was chaired by Rabbi Lisa Barrett of Swesrs, with input from Dr. Farrell Igielman, Anaesthetist and Head of Ethics at the BHR NHS trust, Rabbi Jason Demant of St.Francis Hospice and psychotherapist Andrea Wershof. Photo: Brenda SoskinA panel session entitled “What is a good death” was chaired by Rabbi Lisa Barrett of Swesrs, with input from Dr. Farrell Igielman, Anaesthetist and Head of Ethics at the BHR NHS trust, Rabbi Jason Demant of St.Francis Hospice and psychotherapist Andrea Wershof. Photo: Brenda Soskin

Around 80 people came together at the South West Essex and Settlement Reform Synagogue (Swesrs), in Oaks Lane, to attend an End of Life Matters workshop on Sunday, October 7.

Palliative care physician Dr Adrian Tookman delivered a keynote speech about the medical and emotional support hospices offer those with life-threatening conditions and their families.

The seminar also included discussions on the Jewish Joint Burial Cemetery, in Victory Road, Wanstead, and on “lasting powers of attorney” - a legal agreement which lets you appoint one or more people to make decisions on your behalf in the event you lack “mental capacity” to do so yourself.

The event was jointly organised by the East London and Essex Liberal Synagogue (Elels), in Marlborough Road, South Woodford; and Sukkhat Shalom Reform Synagogue, in Hermon Hill, Wanstead; as well as Swesrs.

A panel session entitled “What is a good death” was chaired by Rabbi Lisa Barrett of Swesrs, with input from Dr. Farrell Igielman, Anaesthetist and Head of Ethics at the BHR NHS trust, Rabbi Jason Demant of St.Francis Hospice and psychotherapist Andrea Wershof. Photo: Brenda SoskinA panel session entitled “What is a good death” was chaired by Rabbi Lisa Barrett of Swesrs, with input from Dr. Farrell Igielman, Anaesthetist and Head of Ethics at the BHR NHS trust, Rabbi Jason Demant of St.Francis Hospice and psychotherapist Andrea Wershof. Photo: Brenda Soskin

Rabbi Richard Jacobi, of Elels, said: “I think this event is going to help people move forward in terms of their conversations with loved ones and make sure they have wills and lasting powers of attorney in place so they are better prepared for death.

“Ultimately that means people will enjoy their lives more.”

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