Lessons of a Lifetime
An ethical will is a personal document, prepared as a gift for family and close friends, that details key experiences, beliefs, regrets, goals, advice, and accomplishments garnered over a lifetime. Ethical wills have existed for 3,000 years; they are even mentioned in the Torah. It should be noted that they are not legal documents. The hope and intent of an ethical will is that the people most important to you—in current and future generations—can draw from your wisdom to lead better, more fulfilling lives.
At Charles E. Smith Life Communities, "Lessons of a Lifetime™, the Ethical Will Project of the Hebrew Home" pairs residents with student volunteers, who, through conversation, record the seniors’ memories and insights.
The Ethical Will Project has won national awards. If you're interested in replicating this program at another nursing home, senior program or service organization, please contact Hedy Peyser, Director of Volunteers, at (301) 770-8332.
- Learn about Lessons of a Lifetime, the Ethical Will Project of the Hebrew Home™
- Read publications describing the Ethical Will Project.
- Download a list of 22 suggested questions we've compiled to help you compose an Ethical Will.
- Joshua Stanton "made a difference" as an award-winning volunteer at the Home, helping our Director of Volunteers frame and innitiate the Ethical Will Project. He's now a rabbi, making his mark on the world. Listen to Josh speak in this inspiring clip about the project and how it led him to his calling.