Berkeley service to remember children who have died

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Congregation Beth El in Berkeley is inviting the community to a special Sukkot Yizkor service “in memory of all our children who have died.”

Beth El’s Rabbi Yoel Kahn explains that the service will be “in memory of children of all ages and stages of development who have died. We will recognize those stillborn, those lost as miscarriages, as infants, as children and as adults. Together, we will mourn and remember our children, and then gather together to plant a tree and dedicate Beth El’s new garden of comfort next to Cordonices Creek.”

The service, to be led by Kahn and Rabbi Rebekah Stern, is part of Project Nechama, the Reform congregation’s response to pregnancy and neonatal loss, grief and “trying again.” Nechama is Hebrew for “comfort.”

The project’s aims include outreach, disseminating resources and building awareness. Lists of support groups, books for adults and children who are grieving, websites, blogs and memorial events can be found at

Yizkor, Judaism’s communal service of remembrance and mourning, is observed four times a year: on Yom Kippur and at the conclusion of Sukkot, Pesach and Shavuot.

The free service will begin at 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12 at Beth El, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley. For more information on the service, visit or call (510) 848-3988.