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Option 18

The Jewish Organ Donation Initiative

Ematai, through its Option 18 initiative, is the only international Jewish organization educating about posthumous organ donation.

In Jewish culture, the number 18 symbolizes life (in Hebrew, חי, chai).

In medical societies, the numbers 1 and 8 signify the opportunity of posthumous organ donation. 1 person can grant up to eight gifts of life with 8 life-saving organs.

The Option 18 initiative includes:

  • Support for Families: Providing support for families making real-time decisions regarding posthumous organ donation and helping them cope with their loss.
  • Education: Creating educational material and programming catered toward the Jewish community.
  • Choice: Preserving the liberty of Jews to make decisions regarding organ donation according to their conscience and helping them record their preferences and implement those choices.
  • Collaboration: Working with hospitals, healthcare providers, and organ procurement organizations (OPOs) to understand the sensitivities of organ donation within different strands of the broader Jewish community.

Ematai has established relationships with different OPOs to provide the following services:

  • In-service programming for OPO staff to understand Jewish cultural sensitivities regarding organ donation
  • Realtime consultation for potential Jewish donor families
  • Prayers to be recited at time of death and before organ donation
  • Educational material for donor sabbath weekend and other local educational initiatives
  • Collaboration for local educational initiatives
  • Training for local ambassadors
  • After-care support for donor families

For more information about our services for OPOs, please contact us at office@ematai.org.