Book and Brief Bio



Encountering The Edge: What People Told Me Before They Died, published by Pen-L Publishing (April  2014). Free of religious agendas and pat answers, these are true quirky stories about my hospice patients and what they most cared about and believed in. Topics include how patients responded to my singing, and what some patients had to say about the afterlife. In the last chapter, I delve into the deeper reasons for choosing this “offbeat” line of work by imagining what it might be like for me to be on hospice and visit with my match, a chaplain.

You can get the soft cover and Kindle editions on Amazon or directly from the publisher at Audio is now available as well through Amazon or . Bulk rates for ten copies or more are available from the publisher. It is also available through Barnes and Noble both as a softcover and as a Nook book at Moreover, you can order it through your favorite  nearby bookstore. For more information you can email me at


Nutshell Biography

Ordained in 1992, I am among the first 200 female rabbis worldwide. In 2007 I became a board certified chaplain and served hospices for 7 years. I was a chaplain at United Hospice of Rockland in New City, NY, and at Princeton Hospice in New Jersey.  Endorsed by a reporter for The Huffington Post, you can see stories and commentary about how people deal with death on this blog. My goal in writing the book and the blog is to provide a gentle entree to a forbidding yet mesmerizing subject.

Currently, I am a chaplain at Center for Hope Hospice in Elizabeth, NJ. I also teach essay writing and grammar to speakers of English as a second language at Hudson County Community College in Union City, NJ and head  The Angry Coffee Bean  Writers’ Group 35 members strong. For my next book, I am writing a collection of compassionate science fiction short stories (no swords, no murderous robots).

To see two of my compassionate science fiction stories for free go to “Upward Spiral” is a story of yearning to enter a new dimension. By going to, you will read a story about bereavement and robots. -Karen B. Kaplan

You can reach me directly at

8 thoughts on “Book and Brief Bio

  1. Joel Grossman says:

    I am a hospice chaplain, an interfaith minister ( graduate of the Chaplaincy Institute for the Arts and Interfaith Ministry) and a born and practicing Jew (Conservative by background and local shul – only shul in the area, Renewal by orientation). I found your writing in the latest Hospice News Network, your “Payoffs of Pain” article, and look forward to reading your future postings. I would like to receive the “Encountering the Edge” excerpt.

    I have hopes of starting some kind of social media site to share positive Muslim – non Muslim relations events and need social media consultation. Might you provide such? If so, please email me to say how I can call you.


    Joel Grossman

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Karen, Your book sounds fascinating.


  3. Steven Masters says:

    Will you have an E-reader version? You have done something that some of us hospice chaplains have always threatened. I had one PT who was unresponsive so I was singing to her. She suddenly woke up and said “Quit your singing and bring me some food”. She died later that day. But it was still funny,


    • Pen-L Publishing told me that as far as ebooks are concerned, it will be available on Kindle in about a month. Would that fit the bill? If so, I’ll notify you. Interesting that you mention an anecdote where the singing went wrong, because I have a similar story in the book. How’s that for a teaser? As far as writing your own stories, if you wish to write one self-contained story, I could post you as a guest blogger.


  4. Jean Kim says:

    Good luck tonite at the Kearny library book event! Best wishes for your new book with its subtle but compassionate insights….pleasure to read your blog once in a while..Jean k.


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