Conversations About Death: Halloween for Thinkers in New York

For more information:
Ronald Gross
Conversations New York



“Would It Kill You to Spend an Hour Talking About Death?”  

That’s the conversational challenge to New Yorkers in the period leading up to Halloween!

Conversations on the subject of Death will be hosted by organizations and institutions  including the New York Society for Ethical Culture, Trinity Church, and the Death Café of NY which has been featured on the front page of The New York Times.* 

In addition,  individuals and informal groups throughout the five boroughs are encouraged to organize their own conversations.   Easy-to-use instructions are available at and

“These conversations will be celebrations of life,” says Ronald Gross, director of Conversations New York (CNY), the organization which is promoting the events.   “They are inspired by the classic dictum: ‘Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life.’  (Bertolt Brecht)

Events will be listed on the CNY calendar at starting October 5th.

Ninety percent of Americans think it’s important to have such conversations, according to a report issued by the Institute of Medicine earlier this month, but fewer than 30% actually have them.  

Gross will conduct a final event  at Columbia University on Thursday, Oct. 30th, the day before Halloween, at 4 pm, in 305 Russell Hall – to reserve a place, RSVP to


Conversations New York ( is  a community of volunteers which organized a Conversation Day celebration in Bryant Park on August 30th,  in conjunction with similar events in San Francisco, London,  and  Paris, and earlier this year held a symposium on The Power of Conversation at Columbia University.

* Dates/times/locations (please check ahead to confirm that there’s been no change in scheduling):

Sunday, October 12,  1:30 pm – 4:00 pm, New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 W. 64th St., Ceremonial Hall – 4th Floor, Moderator, Barbara Simpson.  A gathering in a relaxed and safe setting to discuss death, drink tea, and eat delicious cake. $5 suggested donation,   Also offered on Wednesday, October 22,  same time/place.  RSVP:

Wednesday, October 15,  6 pm – 7:30 pm, Death Cafe meets  at Hunan Manor, 339 Lexington (bet. 39th and 40th Street, Hosted by Nancy Gershman and Audrey Pellicano.   

RSVP to 

Price $11:00 per person includes endless pots of tea and small plates of savory foods, vegetable soup and fresh fruit.

Monday, Oct. 20, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Trinity Church, 74 Trinity Place, 2nd Floor Parlor, Facilitated by Jane Gignoux.  Join us for an informal gathering where you can safely share with others your questions, concerns and/or experiences regarding any of the many aspects of death—our birthright.   There’s no intention of leading participants towards any particular conclusion, product or course of action. All are welcome.   RSVP:

Thursday, October 30, 4 pm – 5:15 pm,  Teachers College, 525 West 120th St., Russell Hall Room 305, with Ronald Gross.