COMMUNITY LOSS ADAPTATION PROJECT: Queer Bereavement Spiritual Support Group

Thursdays, April 28th – June 9th | 7 Sessions

4:00-5:30 PM EST | 3:00-4:30 PM CT | 1:00-2:30 PM PST

facilitated by Rabbi Elliot Kukla

Applications have closed for this program.

Course Description:

Grief is a normal response to loss. Being with an understanding community can help bring comfort and healing to mourners. This group will provide a supportive, non-judgmental context with a queer spiritual framing to form empathetic connections.

This group is for people who are grieving the death of a person or people who were important to them. We will be honoring the experience of grieving in the context of pandemic and during this time of vast communal loss. We will also be naming the particular type of isolation that can come with queer mourning as well as celebrating the diversity and complexity of our relationships. We will use spiritual tools from Jewish tradition however no Jewish knowledge or identification is required. 

This is a small, closed group, which means no drop-ins. After you register, the facilitator will have a 20-30 minute one on one conversation with you to make sure this group is the right match for you, in this moment of your grieving.

This group is part of the Communal Loss and Adaptation Project (CLAP).

This course is “pay-what-you-can,” with a suggested sliding scale of $75-$350. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Your Faculty:

Rabbi Elliot Kukla (he/they), Faculty

Image Description: A white, non-binary person, with short brown hair and facial hair, wearing blue jeans, a dark yellow t-shirt, a flax-colored linen short-sleeved button down short and rectangular olive-colored glasses, holding a brown wooden cane, stands in front of shadows and trees. He is smiling and looking directly into the camera.Elliot Kukla is a rabbi, chaplain, author, artist, and activist. His writing appears in many places including The Forward, The Body is Not an Apology, and regularly in The New York Times and Sunday Review. He was the first openly transgender rabbi ordained by a denomination in Judaism, Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles, in 2006. Elliot was a rabbi at the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center from 2008 to 2021 where he co-directed Kol Hanshama, the multiple award-winning volunteer spiritual care hospice program (in collaboration with the San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living). He is currently the founder and director of the Communal Loss and Adaption Project (a project of SVARA). He is a visual artist with Sins Invalid, the political arts and education group that helped create the Disability Justice movement in the early 2000s, and he is active with a number of other BIPOC led Disability Justice groups. He lives on Oholone Land (otherwise known as Oakland, CA) with his partner, their kid, chosen family, two Boston Terriers, a cat named Turkey, and a few hundred house plants.

Enrollment and Tuition:

SVARA’s enrollment follows a multi-step process:

  • First, you will fill out an intake form.
  • Within two weeks, you will be notified if you are accepted or waitlisted for your program selection, based on availability. Upon acceptance, you will be asked to fill out a second form to pay tuition on a sliding scale.
  • The facilitator will have a 20-30 minute one-on-one conversation with you to make sure this group is the right match for you, in this moment of your grieving.

Through this enrollment process, we maintain a significant majority of queer- and trans-identifying people in each program, and we prioritize the participation of people of color and people with disabilities. Questions? Email James!

Accessibility Information:

All of SVARA’s programs utilize accessibility protocols and practices outlined here. Questions about access at SVARA? Email James!