Good Life

Congregation Brit Shalom to look at Jewish perspective on organ donations

In 1994, Ilene White’s husband suffered a cerebral aneurysm and died.

His passing was as simple, sudden and blunt as that sequence suggests — and so was what happened next.

White and her children donated their patriarch’s heart, kidneys, liver and corneas to patients who were walking that very fine line between life and death.

“It made me feel that the tragedy that our family went through would not be repeated in other families,” White said.

It made me feel that the tragedy that our family went through would not be repeated in other families.

Ilene White

White has since remained an active proponent of organ and tissue donation — and it was in that capacity that she helped jumpstart what would eventually become “Save a Life Shabbat: Organ Transplantation.”

Members of the community are invited to join Congregation Brit Shalom at 7 p.m. on May 19 for a service that will examine the Jewish perspective on organ and tissue donation.

According to Rabbi David Ostrich, who will deliver the evening’s sermon, most religions have been clear that the practice is acceptable.

It’s important to continue the campaign and expose people to the moral perspective.

Rabbi David Ostrich

“It’s important to continue the campaign and expose people to the moral perspective,” Ostrich said.

Following the sermon, there will also be a discussion with individuals who have been touched in some way by an organ or tissue donation.

White herself has remained in touch with a few of the beneficiaries of her husband’s organs.

“The heart recipient lived another 13 years. That’s like a whole other generation,” White said.

Frank Ready: 814-231-4620, @fjready

If you go

  • What: Save a Life Shabbat: Organ Transplantation
  • When: 7-9 p.m. May 19
  • Where: Congregation Brit Shalom, 620 E. Hamilton Ave., State College
  • Info: britshalomstatecollege.org
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