Modern Loss: A candid conversation about grief featuring Rebecca Soffer

  • April 9, 2024 6:30PM April 9, 2024 8:30PM EST
  • Temple Shir Shalom
    3999 Walnut Lake Road, West Bloomfield, MI 48323

Join Rabbi Jennifer Kaluzny, Rabbi Michael Moskowitz and guest speaker, Rebecca Soffer, for a candid, warm, and even humorous conversation exploring Rebecca’s book, “The Modern Loss Handbook,” and the global movement to destigmatize the universal experience of grief while encouraging people to find meaning and live richly.

“The Modern Loss Handbook” offers a welcoming space in which to grow thoughts and feelings as they evolve and create a personal roadmap toward resilience. With warmth, wit and disarming humor, Rebecca and the rabbis will unpack the wisdom of the book and discuss how the long arc of loss can be woven into our lives in a way that is practical, creative, comforting, provoking, and, finally, hopeful.

This event is intended for adults and will include a conversation with Rebecca Soffer and the rabbis, followed by strolling refreshments and book signing. Due to the generosity of donors, there is no charge to attend, but registration is required.

Date: Tuesday, April 9, 2024
Time: Doors at 6:30 pm, light refreshments to follow
Location: Temple Shir Shalom, 3999 Walnut Lake Road, West Bloomfield, MI 48323

Temple Shir Shalom • Temple Israel • The Well • Reboot • Jewish Family Services


Rebecca Soffer is the cofounder of Modern Loss, which offers creative, meaningful and encouraging content and community addressing the long arc of grief. She is also the author of the bestselling “The Modern Loss Handbook: An Interactive Guide to Moving Through Grief and Building Your Resilience,” (Running Press, 2022) which Gayle King named a favorite read of the year. Rebecca is also coauthor of the book “Modern Loss: Candid Conversation About Grief. Beginners Welcome,” (Haper Wave, 2018). Her writing has appeared in outlets such as The New York Times, TIME, Glamour and NBC and she has spoken on loss and resilience around the world, including at Capital One, Amazon U.S. and UK, HBO, and SoFi. Rebecca is a Peabody Award-winning former producer for The Colbert Report and a Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism alumna.

Rabbi Jenniffer Kaluzny served Temple Israel since her ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2004. She is a proud Wolverine, having earned a degree in Judaic Studies from the University of Michigan in 1999. Rabbi Kaluzny feels lucky to be back at her home congregation. She was in the first nursery school class at Temple Israel, celebrated consecration here, became a bat mitzvah, participated in confirmation, and graduated from Temple Israel. On that same bimah, she married Ryan Kaluzny in 2007. In March of 2010, they welcomed their beautiful daughter Bayla Shy into their family. In 2012, Ryan, Jennifer, and Bayla welcomed twins into their family; Sage Ray z’l, and Asher Wolf. Ryan and Jen are unabashedly proud of their incredible, amazing, adorable children.

Rabbi Kaluzny shares her time at Temple Israel with the Jewish Hospice and Chaplaincy Network. She has been a rabbi in the network since 2001. Rabbi Kaluzny was deeply affected by the death of her beloved Aunt Pauline in a hospice in Chicago when she was 19, and promised then that her work as a rabbi would include working with hospice patients and their families. Rabbi E.B. ‘Bunny’ Freedman became a mentor for Rabbi Kaluzny when she was still in rabbinical school. Today, Rabbi Kaluzny helps guide Temple Israel families through the questions, decisions, and Jewish issues that might arise at the end of life. Through her work at JHCN and Temple Israel, Rabbi Kaluzny spends a great deal of time in nursing homes and assisted living facilities visiting older adults and helping keep them connected to Temple Israel and the Jewish community, as well as connecting them to services in the community they might need.

Rabbi Kaluzny also plans many events for young families, runs the 8th grade program on Monday nights, works with the shiva minyan core, serves as faculty at the URJ’s Camp George, and is currently working on Temple Israel’s latest writing projects. She has a hard time saying no to anything so chances are, she has her hands in everything! Temple Israel is a busy place, and Rabbi Kaluzny loves being a part of the action. It is truly a labor of love.

In the midst of her work life, Rabbi Jen loves being outside. You can often find her running on the West Bloomfield trails, in a yoga class, engrossed in a book, or writing for pleasure. Baking is also a love; it feeds the body and the soul. Rabbi Jen relishes time with her family; she believes in the ‘it takes a village’ method of raising a family. She is grateful for her village.i

Most often, you can find Rabbi Michael Moskowitz out in the community, engaged with our congregants, whether naming a child, studying together over coffee, serving dinner at a homeless shelter in Detroit, performing a wedding for a young couple he’s known since bar mitzvah, making a hospital visit or just getting together for a bite to eat. For Rabbi Mike, Judaism is about building relationships, connecting with one another through the time we share together and Temple Shir Shalom has grown through his living this mission, from 500 families when he came here in 1995, to over 900 families today.

A student of progressive values and innovation, Rabbi Moskowitz is game for trying new ideas and programs to celebrate Judaism and create holiness in our lives. From the dozens of Israel trips with teens and families to Shir Shalom retreats with our youth, wherever we find ourselves, there are always opportunities to live one of his favorite teachings—” to make the old new and the new holy.” He feels blessed that Temple Shir Shalom has been a gift in helping him live this vision since day one. From his roots in St. Louis to the Gothic playground of Duke University to even Hebrew Union College, each step of his journey has crystallized this passion. While he lives this every day, if he’s not with our members, there’s a pretty good chance you can find him with his wife, Leslie, and their children, Ellie, Asher, and Nathan.