We are all devastated by the tragic death of Rabbi Aaron Panken. Whether you knew Aaron personally as a friend, learned from his wisdom as a teacher, or honored him as the president of our seminary, we have all experienced a loss. We grieve as one community. We know that many of you have reached out to each other; we hope that you will continue to do so in the days and weeks ahead. At times of sorrow, the greatest gift that we can give each other is the opportunity to be together as a community.
The following are ways in which the CCAR will be providing resources and support for all of us as we process our grief in the weeks to come.
- We will offer webinars on three different dates and times that will provide an opportunity to share feelings and reflections about Aaron. Our colleagues Rex Perlmeter, Shira Stern, and Seth Bernstein will each lead one of these webinars. Dates and sign up information will be available shortly.
- We know that it can be difficult to lead others while you are feeling your own sorrow. Suggestions for how you might approach leading services and saying Kaddish this Shabbat, both personally and communally, are available on our website.
- David Stern’s eulogy for Aaron can be found on CCAR’s official blog, RavBlog. This is one of several eulogies that were given at the funeral. We anticipate others will be available soon.
- Study is being planned to mark the end of Shloshim on Wednesday, June 6th in collaboration with HUC-JIR. More information will be forthcoming.
- A special edition of The Reform Jewish Quarterly: The CCAR Journal will be dedicated to Aaron’s memory. More information will be forthcoming.
In addition, please click here and login as a CCAR member if you would like to reach out to Aaron’s family with words of condolences and need their contact information.
May these opportunities enable us to support one and other and honor Aaron’s memory.
Zeicher Tzadik Livrachah.
Rabbi David E. Stern Rabbi Steven A. Fox
President Chief Executive
Central Conference of American Rabbis