Those Who Walked Beside Us


Those Who Walked Beside Us is a dramatic reading which introduces the audience to five Jewish characters each of whom is attending Yizkor for a different reason.  Each is struggling with loss and each has a different relationship with the ritual of Yizkor.  While each is struggling with a particular loss in his/her life, there are universal challenges that are expressed as a result of their losses:  how do we say goodbye, how do we cope with sudden loss, how do we remember someone with whom we were not emotionally close in life, etc.  

A complete set of materials including questions for discussion, suggestions for preparing and presenting the reading, additional ideas for follow-up activities to extend the discussion and additional resources are all provided to make this a successful and easy-to-produce program.

Those Who Walked Beside Us was originally commissioned in 2010 by Cantor Steven Stoehr of Congregation Beth Shalom in Northbrook, Illinois.

Those Who Walked Beside Us is ideally suited:

-to creatively introduce the Yizkor service;

-to prepare for the “work” of Yizkor;

-to trigger meaningful dialogue about Yizkor;

-to trigger dialogue about the role of memory and remembrance in our lives;

-to initiate a community project related to preserving the memories of congregants and their loved ones               

        as well as sharing those stories with others.

Those Who Walked Beside Us can be used at different times of the year and in different ways, including:

-Prior to the Yizkor service on Yom Kippur and other holydays;

-During Yom Kippur break-out sessions (often scheduled prior to the Yizkor service);

-During Selichot as a way to focus on the theme of remembrance (including how we 

         deal with forgiveness with those who have died);

-As an introduction to a program or community project designed to focus on the memories of the

          beloved no longer physically present in our lives.

For more information about bringing Those Who Walked Beside Us to your community, contact:

Jeff Bernhardt  or  (818) 909-0931

Praise for Those Who Walked Beside Us

“The reaction of the worshippers was just what I think we each had hoped for. There was deep reflection going on with each person allowed to relate to and personalize the narratives into their own experiences, or merely feel empathy for the storyteller...the work has sweet potential for many shuls to utilize. Comments included "That was so powerful ....”


Cantor Steven Stoehr, Congregation Beth Shalom - Northbrook, IL