About Kaddish

Kaddish is a monthly podcast hosted by Student Rabbi Ariana Katz that focuses on mourning ritual and customs, features first person storytelling and interviews, uses Jewish tradition to contextualize and deepens themes of the show, and holds space at the intersection of life and death. Kaddish aims to build a network of listeners and friends that will contribute stories and build online community.

This show includes topics like mourning chosen family, reproductive loss, illness, ritual writing, suicide, queer and trans burial, tattoos and conversion status, state violence. Also guests talks about their specific interests and storytelling from folks about loss or grief and healing.

There is a dearth of death education, and there is a romanticising, exoticizing, and sexualizing of death. Kaddish aims to stay in the muck, the complicated, unsexy, terrifying places, because those too are a part of grief.

Please use the form if you'd like to get in touch!



Kaddish Host

Ariana Katz is the host and creator of Kaddish the podcast. Ariana is a rabbinical student at Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia. She is a member of the Philadelphia Reconstructionist Chevra Kadisha (Jewish burial society) and a volunteer chaplain and board member at Planned Parenthood of South East Pennsylvania. Ariana is in training to become a soferet, scribe of sacred Jewish text. 


Inside This Episode

Episode 8: Kaddish Live!

Kaddish's farewell episode, recorded live at Kol Tzedek at the Calvary Center for Culture and Community on July 6 in Philadelphia, PA.

Evi Numen, thanatography.com
Christopher Bartlett, gayhistory.wikispaces.com

Noor Jaber, mapsforteeth.com/2016/12/31/noura-jaber

Music of:
Dan Blacksberg, danblacksberg.com
Evan Cory Levine, evancorylevine.com
Rachel Winsberg

Following this recording, Kaddish will be on a hiatus. Our website, kaddishpodcast.com, will remain live and episodes can be revisited on iTunes + Soundcloud.

Episode 7: Calling all dear ones

In this episode of Kaddish, listeners share their stories of chosen family and grieving the losses of loved ones.

Where is there room in the Jewish tradition to honor the role that chosen family, logical family, plays in our lives? How have others mourned the losses of chosen family?

Featuring the voices of Rabbi Vivie Mayer, as well as Rebecca, Noga, Meryl, and Sarah.

Music and lyrics by Ariel Wolpe and
Mariangela Mihai: youtube.com/watch?v=b5FImxqdlRc

Episode 6: Buried with Purpose

Graham Garner of the Friends Southwestern Burial Ground and Namrata Kolla of Coeio join episode 6 of Kaddish to share stories of synchronicity and celebrating identity in burial.

Learn more about FSWBG at fswbg.org/
Learn more about Coeio at coeio.com/

EPISODE 5: A container big enough to hold us

Naomi Leapheart and Christa Craven discuss queer reproductive loss in episode 5. They weave the body and spirit into our imaginings of what reproductive loss is- something that happens to queer bodies, and in queer families.

If you want to share your story of reproductive loss with the Kaddish community, you can call 240-KAD-DISH and for a listener episode.

Listen here.

EPISODE 4: Holding the space between

Jacqui Morton shares her story of reproductive loss, and the founding of Holding Our Space (holdingourspace.tumblr.com)

Listen here.

EPISODE 3: With Water and dignity

In this episode of Kaddish, guests Dr. Joy Ladin and Noach Dzmura discuss transgender taharah, the ritual washing of the dead before burial. "It takes some strength of soul and not just individual strength but collective understanding to avoid the void. And to stand up demanding to be seen and heard." Adrienne Rich

November 15 is Trans Day of Resilience: tdor.co
November 20 is Trans Day of Rememberence: tdor.info

Listen here.


What is it about the taharah ritual that can transition a person from this world tothe next? And why does it necessitate gallons of water? Rabbi Linda Holtzman,founder of the Reconstructionist Chevra Kadisha of Philadelphia joins Kaddish to talk about the origins of the local progressive community that washes and prepares the dead for burial. David Zinner, Executive Director of Kavod v'Nichum and the Gamliel Institute shares historical and contemporary context of the ritual.

Listen here.


A conversation with Deidre Scherer, textile artist that often focuses on the faces of the elderly, they dying, and the deceased. 
Content warning: storytelling includes audio of air raid sirens.

Listen to this bonus episode here.


This episode features the health, teaching, and sickness of Megan Andelloux, sex educator and hospice volunteer. This episode explores dementia, hospice, and advance directives. Supported by advertising from Years of Radical Dreaming, a 5777 Jewish calendar. Order yours at: bit.ly/radicallyjewishin5777

Listen here.


Dealing with Death
Jewish Exponent
October 5, 2016

In Times of Sorrow
Journeys, from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
September 2016

Top 10 Jewish Podcasts: Reader Edition
Moment Magazine
September 15, 2016

Death, Dying, and Podcasting
Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
July 19, 2016

Reconnecting with faith through washing of dead
March 9, 2016


Talking in Shul, Jewish Public Media
August 2016

Treyf: Short with Ariana Katz
July 20, 2016


For guest articles, profiles of the show, presentations, or perspective on issues of death, mourning, and identity, contact Ariana at ariana@kaddishpodcast.com.



Contact Kaddish

Please complete the form below with questions or comments, and Ariana will receive your message. Please note that the show is now in hiatus, so email is checked very occasionally.

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