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Option 18

Welcome to Option 18, the organ donor education initiative of Ematai.

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

The numbers 1 and 8 also symbolize the important message that 1 person can save up to eight lives with the gift of posthumous organ donation.

The Option 18 initiative includes:

Support for Families

Providing support for Jewish families making real-time decisions regarding posthumous organ donation and helping them cope with their loss. The Option 18 initiative, like all of Ematai’s programming, caters to the entire Jewish community.


Creating educational material and programming catered toward raising awareness about organ donation within the Jewish community.


Working with hospitals, healthcare providers, and organ procurement organizations (OPOs) to understand the sensitivities of organ donation within the Jewish community.

Ematai has created an OPO kit which includes:

Guide for Healthcare Professionals

FAQ pamphlet for families

A unique prayer to say before a loved ones organs are donated

The guide includes educational materials for OPO staff about the different religious and cultural denominations within Judaism and their various approaches to organ donation.

Please let us know if you would like to set up a Zoom meeting for your OPO to learn more about the Option 18 kit and provide an in-service training session

Option 18 utilizes and adapts the work of the Halachic Organ Donor Society (HODS). The HODS website includes a treasure trove of videos, articles, and other resources on this topic.

To receive educational material regarding Judaism and organ donation, support for local programming, or to schedule an in-person or online lecture, please contact option18@ematai.org.

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