Reviews and Media Appearances


“In her new ‘career memoir,’ rabbi and hospice chaplain Karen B. Kaplan shares vivid descriptions of her day-to-day experiences of serving the dying and the grieving. Drawing upon a remarkable capacity for listening, a deep appreciation for the human story, and a penchant for  ‘comedy that flirts with sacrilege,’ Kaplan navigates the waters of meaning and emotion as she supports those standing at ‘the edge of the beyond.’ The result is a moving and beautiful account of what it means to listen, love, live, and die….”

“Encountering the Edge serves as a clear and needed reminder to reflect upon mortality in a culture built upon marketing the newest and latest stimulant and distraction. What meaning can be found when facing the end of life? What legacy does each individual leave behind? How can we live in a way that honors what matters most?”

“’Just as a magnifying glass intensifies the sun’s heat on any object beneath it, a funeral forces us into a highly concentrated examination of our mortality and its possible sequel,’ Kaplan observes. Encountering the Edge is not only a must-read for those involved in serving the dying and grieving — for all of us will one day stand at the threshold point between this existence and the mystery beyond. Kaplan’s work serves as its own magnifying glass focusing our attention, and inspiring reflection, upon the significance of death’s inevitability and the beauty of existence.”

Amy Wright Glenn, M.A., Author of Birth, Breath, and Death: Meditations on Motherhood, Chaplaincy, and Life as a Doula. Amy is a feature columnist for and authors a blog there also called “Birth Breath, and Death.” For the full review, please go to  This review was published on May 21st, 2014


“Karen Kaplan writes with the voice of a woman who knows her subject and its importance from real-world experience tending to the spiritual and human needs of the sick and dying. Her blog is a must-read on my list of regular sources as I cover death dying, grief and the end-of-life.”—Jaweed Kaleem, National Religion Reporter, The Huffington Post


“Karen B. Kaplan brings a refreshing balance of rare insight and wry humor to what people near the end of their lives shared with her for seven years at hospices in New Jersey and New York.”—Dr. Carol Orsborn, Ph.D., Baby Boomer Expert who appears regularly on The Oprah Show and is author of ­Fierce with Age. She edits a baby boomer digest of wisdom and spirituality at

“Even though I am overwhelmed with literature in the health field, I just cannot resist reading Chaplain Karen Kaplan’s posts. She offers an extremely novel point of view and an approachable style and voice.”—Dr. Consuelo Beck-Sague, MD, Former Associate Director for Minority and Women’s Health; National Center for Infectious diseases, CDC, Atlanta Georgia.


Radio:  February 16, 2015 on the program “Better Living”  with host Jeanne Pete of Homestead Hospice. Among the topics covered were how to “help by not helping,” when counseling grievers who feel stuck, myths about healthcare chaplains and hospice, and excerpts from my book. The youtube link for this audio interview is

Gail Rubin, the “doyenne of death,”  funeral planner and TV/radio host interviewed me on her program, A Good Goodbye” on  It first aired on February 11, 2015. She entitled my segment “A Talk with a Female Ordained Rabbi.”  The link is: Topics covered were the difference between hospice and palliative care, spiritual care, and some funny anecdotes from my book.

September 18th, 2014, grief expert Chaplain Chaz Wesley interviewed me for an hour about my career memoir on his weekly international radio program, From Grief to Grace.  This is the program link:  Author Karen B. Kaplan on ‘From Grief To Grace, with Chaz Wesley’

Major Newspapers

The New York Times invited me to write about spirituality and fear of death for their end-of-life series in the Sunday Review opinion page, which began February 2015. Full disclosure: My article did not fit the tone of the series, but even being invited to submit was an honor.

I was interviewed for a comprehensive article concerning Jewish perspectives on hospice, in the September 24th, 2014 edition of the Jewish Exponent:

I am a regular contributor to the blog,” Expired and Inspired,” in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal.  The link to my first post there on August 13, 2014 is: This and other posts has at times put the blog on  the paper’s “top trending blogs” list as well as the “top ten blogs of the week” list.

Regional Newspapers:

Ron Leir of The Observer interviewed me about my convoluted career path, hospice, and about the book on June 11th, 2014:

Art Schwartz of the Hudson Reporter did an in-depth interview that captures the nuances of my hospice chaplain career and how my book aims to do the same. He won a NJ press award for this interview. (Details forthcoming) The article appeared on December 14, 2014:




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