Nissan Kornfeld, director and rabbi at Chabad Mercer Island. Courtesy photo

Nissan Kornfeld, director and rabbi at Chabad Mercer Island. Courtesy photo

Rabbi Kornfeld to delve into ‘Journey of the Soul’

Kornfeld is the director and rabbi at Chabad Mercer Island.

Nissan Kornfeld knew from a young age that becoming a rabbi was his calling. The Mercer Island resident considers himself fortunate that his father is a rabbi and helped lead his son into that realm.

It’s a labor of love when making a connection with people, Kornfeld said.

“I wanted to be there for people, to be able to enhance their life, support them in their religious lives and to facilitate their discovery of meaning,” he added

Kornfeld, who is the director and rabbi at Chabad Mercer Island, will teach a six-session course, “Journey of the Soul,” by the acclaimed Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) beginning at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10. To register for the Zoom course, which will conclude on March 17, visit

The course will focus on the question, “What happens when we die?”, and will delve into the Jewish perspective on life that begins before birth and lasts well after a person’s passing, according to a press release. The driving ideas of the course are marrying the deep heritage and traditions of Jewish learning and life together with psychological insights.

“Death is both our greatest certainty, but also such an enormous mystery,” Kornfeld said. “I believe that there is something after the moment of death and I believe that we can connect with our loved one after they die and with their memories and with their legacies. We’ll explore more what that means (in the course).”

Kornfeld said that people are thinking about death more during COVID times. It doesn’t have to be a dark, scary thing, he added. “It’s something we all do, it’s a journey: we’re born, we live, we die, it’s a reality.”

Rabbi Naftali Silberberg of JLI’s Brooklyn, New York, headquarters, said “the need has become even more pressing for a course that presents the uplifting Jewish perspective on mortality, death, and the afterlife.”

“Journey of the Soul” is an accredited course and medical professionals can receive up to nine continuing education credits. It’s open to the public, including those without any prior experience or background in Jewish learning.

Seattle native Kornfeld ventured from his home terrain to study in various yeshivas in the United States and abroad in England and Israel before returning to the states and then this region to open Chabad Mercer Island in the fall of 2015. The Jewish organization provides educational opportunities, Jewish celebrations and fellowship, and Kornfeld said it is one of more than 20 Chabad centers in Washington state.

For more information on Chabad Mercer Island, visit

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.


More in News

Women’s club is a vital organization, especially during the pandemic

Island fixture brings old and new residents together.

First-graders are back in their buildings

Mercer Island School District first-graders returned to in-person classes on Jan. 19.… Continue reading

West Point Treatment Plant in Seattle. Photo courtesy of King County
Power outages cause massive wastewater spill into Puget Sound, Lake Washington

King County estimates millions gallons of untreated wastewater overflowed into surrounding waters.

Democrats in the Washington State House are proposing to pay for transportation improvements partly by raising the gas tax by 18 cents. (Sound Publishing file photo)
House Democrats lay out massive $26B transportation package funded by gas tax hike

An 18-cent gas tax increase and a fee on carbon emissions would fund new roads and more.

File photo
Report: 70 percent of gun deaths in Washington are attributable to suicide

Research done at The Firearm Injury and Policy Research Program at Harborview… Continue reading

June 2018 algae bloom. Photo courtesy of Department of Ecology
Human-caused ‘dead zones’ threaten health of Puget Sound

Wastewater treatment plants account for about 70% of the excess nutrients.

Robert Allen, 61, had never been homeless in his life before 2019, when he lost his housing. The chef has been trying to get back on his feet, and hopes to open a nonprofit and make hot sauce. File photo
King County implements 0.01% sales tax to raise money for housing the homeless

Officials plan to buy hotels, motels and nursing homes for conversion into permanent housing.

Mercer Island retrofits City Hall with LED lighting

Mercer Island has implemented efficiency improvements and other maintenance projects during the… Continue reading

Most Read