JFCS lecturers to focus on end of life wishes, traditions

Two experts on end of life issues will help answer questions such as “How can I be sure my Jewish traditions will be respected? What if I want my family to celebrate me and not mourn me?” when Jewish Family & Children’s Services presents “Embracing Culture & Traditions at End of Life” on Friday, Nov. 4, 2-4 p.m. at the Tucson Jewish Community Center.

Tani Bahti, RN, CT, CHPN, will deliver “An Exploration of How our Personal Lives, Values and Beliefs can Impact the End of Life Experience.”

Bahti has spent most of her 41-year career in nursing improving end of life care. A registered nurse since 1976, she recognized how fear, misinformation and lack of information can negatively impact decision-making and the dying experience. She wrote and produced the award-winning video “Living Through Dying — The Struggle for Grace,” is the author of “Dying to Know — Straight Talk About Death & Dying” and the producer of the “Straight Talk Series on End of Life Issues.” She founded and directed Passages – Support & Education in End of Life Issues, and continues to expand her work through community collaboration and national consultation.

Maribel Alvarez, Ph.D., will speak on “End of Life Multicultural Strategies.”

Alvarez is an anthropologist, folklorist, writer and curator. She holds a dual appointment as associate research professor in the School of Anthropology and public folklorist at the Southwest Center at the University of Arizona. She is a trustee of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and the executive director of the Southwest Folklife Alliance, an affiliate nonprofit of the UA. Alvarez teaches courses on methods of cultural analysis with particular emphasis on food, objects, oral narratives and visual cultures of the U.S.-Mexico border. In 2009, she was a Fulbright Fellow conducting research in rural Mexico and she writes and speaks regularly across the country about heritage and identity, food, Latino arts, informal cultural networks and community cultural development.

This presentation is the second installment of the 2016 Mel Sherman Institute on Mental Health lecture series. Irving Silverman established a fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona to honor his friend, Mel Sherman, who died in 2014. Distributions from the fund support JFCS in producing the lecture series, now in its second year.

RSVP at jfcstucson.org or 795-0300, ext. 2238.