Rabbi Indigo Jonah Raphael Liberal Rabbi, Chaplain and Life Coach in North London


This is an opportunity to answer some of the questions I have recently been asked!

Q: Do I need to be "religious" to ask for a Rabbi to officiate at my simcha (celebration)?
What does "religious" mean to you? I am happy to support you in creating something that takes into consideration and reflects values of importance to you. I would want you to understand the options available to you and feel invested in, comfortable with and inspired by what we compile together.

Q: I have only attended funeral services - how do I go about organizing a Progressive Jewish funeral?
I officiate at both Liberal and Reform funeral services for people who are not members of a synagogue as well as members of synagogue communities. I can talk you through what needs organizing and decisions that need making and we can talk about the actual service, especially the hesped (eulogy). If you need to be put in contact with appropriate Funeral Directors, I can provide you with their details.

Q: Do you only work with Jewish people?
Actually I see myself as working with human beings as we have our humanity in common! As a Chaplain, I have supported people who identify as Jewish, people of other faiths, those whose spirituality is found in other sources and people who identify in a variety of ways.

Q: Do you work with Mixed-Faith couples?
Yes - both in my Rabbinic and Chaplaincy work.

Q: I have doubts and questions at this point in my life. Can you offer me any support?
As a Rabbi and Chaplain I work with people each of whom have unique life experiences and at times are confronted with particular challenges. I can offer an initial session and then a set number of sessions so that we can work together on specific areas of relevance for you.

Q: Do you offer talks, training or workshops?
Yes, I can offer these appropriate to and across the age ranges: in schools, synagogues - whether cheder (religion school), youth group or over an Oneg Shabbat and at NHS and private hospitals, hospices and GP surgeries.

Q: What advice do you give as a Life Coach?
The sessions are about your life and where you want and need to be! I don't dispense "aytsahs" (advice) as you are the focus, not me! However the Late Rabbi Hillel (z"l) had something useful to offer as part of the coaching process: "And if not now, then when?"

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