The 4th annual TEAM SHABBOS is well under way. Last year, our small but dedicated staff successfully engaged some 450 Shuls in over 200 communities throughout the US and Canada. These Shuls used Parshas Vayechi as a teaching moment utilizing thought provoking sermons, enlightening Shiurim, Divrei Torah, discussions, and events. We addressed 13 topics dealing with end-of-life, creating awareness and preparation on these very uncomfortable but extremely important subjects. A national program makes it that much easier to broach and expound on these ideas.

The primary theme, “Respect Life – Here and Hereafter,” has inspired thousands across the country to learn about these subjects and to take responsible action that we tend to delay. Each topic is a “Call to Action.”

We are expecting to increase the participation and the scope of TEAM SHABBOS this year.
Working together with talented rabbis, local Chevra Kadisha, and national organizational leaders we hope to involve lay leadership to encourage action and promote events in many communities across the US.

Some new ideas and innovations to enhance this year’s TEAM SHABBOS are:
1. A new brochure to be distributed in Shuls on Parshas Vayechi will elucidate each of the issues we highlight with an emphasis on AWARENESS and PREPARATION.
2. Community-wide programs engaging Shuls, Bikur Cholim groups, other Chesed and Kiruv organizations, etc. Some titles may include: “A Conversation for Mortals”; A discussion on The Celebration of Life “Here and Hereafter,” and other thought provoking topics.
3. A nation-wide call to sign Halachic Medical Directives/Living Wills, for ages 18 to 98, utilizing our easy-to-use Sign-Up Toolkit for Shuls and communities to run these programs.
4. The TEAM Shabbos program will be more directed at the individual using this time to take practical steps. We will be looking to the Rabbis and Shuls as the promoters and enablers of these important and responsible decisions and follow through.

We hope you will join us and encourage others to join and make this the most impactful and successful TEAM SHABBOS to-date.