The Forever Letter

In our current political climate, no matter where we find ourselves on the continuum, there's an urgent need for each of us to clarify, communicate, and live our values into action. The Forever Letter creates opportunities to connect with family and friends in a deep and long lasting way to share our values, express our feelings, deepen our relationships, connect more honestly with ourselves, and begin to live our lives with greater intention.

In The Forever Letter, Elana transforms and updates the little-known Jewish tradition of the ethical will into an important tool for anyone who seeks to live more authentically. Filled with personal stories, stories from people she has met along the way, and from literature, philosophy and psychology, this soulful book offers practical guidance and encouragement on the path of personal discovery. See sidebar for an excerpt.


I love this little book because it’s about writing real letters, a lost art in our time. Even more important, it’s about writing letters that matter to people who matter to us. What could be better than putting words to paper to tell people who we are and what we are becoming, and what it is that we cherish and value—thanking them for the way they helped point us toward our own North Star? Buy or borrow this deeply human book, and use it to write the letter of your life!
–Parker J. Palmer, author of Let Your Life Speak, A Hidden Wholeness, Healing the Heart of Democracy, and The Courage to Teach

More than any time in our recent history, it's critically important for families to come together and share their love and support for one another. Elana Zaiman's The Forever Letter offers tools, guidelines and examples for grandparents and parents to share their love, respect and values with the next generation.
–Jack Canfield, co-author of The Success Principles™ and Chicken Soup for the Soul®

Elana Zaiman has a mission: She loves connection, deep and personal, and wants others to experience the sweet joy she has lived of shared truth-telling. Her "forever letter" embodies the passing on of wisdom, humbling experience, dreams and love from one person to another. It is a beautiful concept that all of us should embrace.
–Julie Schwartz Gottman, Ph.D., Co-Founder of The Gottman Institute, author of Ten Principles for Doing Effective Couples Therapy

The Forever Letter is one of those rare books that could change your life. It is chock full of stories—from the author's own life and from the lives of hundreds she's worked with—that will inspire readers of all ages to reflect on what and who is important to them and to express these values and this bond in a letter to a loved one. The author's gorgeous writing is mesmerizing and intimate and insightful and will get you writing even if you are not writer. Highly recommended.
–Priscilla Long, author of Fire and Stone: Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?

The Forever Letter is an exceptional book. Rabbi Zaiman offers moving stories and profound insights that have the potential to enrich, even transform, your most important relationships. It's a book to read and to give to members of your family.
–Michael Josephson, Founder Josephson Institute of Ethics and CHARACTER COUNTS

One of the most important ways to support wise aging.
–Rabbi Rachel Cowan, co-author of Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience, & Spirit

In her beautiful book, The Forever Letter, Elana breathes critical life back into the healing art of letters. With joy and insight, she shows us how to use the written word to heal our relationships and live with greater intention. It is the perfect gift for our hectic and frenzied hearts.
–Rev. Susan Sparks, author of Laugh Your Way to Grace

When I finished reading The Forever Letter I was so inspired, I sat down to write a forever letter to my children.
–Rabbi Sherre Hirsch, author of Thresholds: How to Thrive Through Life's Transitions to Live Fearlessly and Regret-Free

Step-by-step, Elana guides us to bring the essence of who we are to the page.
–Rabbi Angela Buchdahl, Central Synagogue, Manhattan

Here is a book to help you clarify your deepest values, and transmit them. Rabbi Zaiman shows us how to leave not a legacy of possessions, but the legacy of a life.
–Rabbi David Wolpe, author of David: The Divided Harp

Writing my first forever letter was like building a nest of everything I wanted to relay to my daughter: my love for her, my vulnerabilities as a mother, my wishes of strength and beauty and a smoother road ahead. It's a truth-tellers love letter ~ not always easy to craft, not without wavering and tears, but the finish line is like not other.
–Ann Teplick, writer, workshop participant, Seattle, WA

Rabbi Zaiman showed me that forever letters are one of the most important gifts we can give to people we love and care about. Leaving words from our heart is just as important as passing on our material possessions. I will be recommending this book to clients and friends.
–Barbara A. Isenhour, Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorney, Somers Tamblyn King Isenhour Bleck

The Forever Letter is an invaluable resource for anyone involved in the estate planning area. I plan to recommend Elana's book to my clients as a matter of course. If more people composed thoughtful forever letters in conjunction with their estate plans, I believe many painful will and trust disputes could be avoided.
–William L. Fleming, estate planning counsel since 1985

The starting place for developing and implementing a successful family financial, wealth management or philanthropy plan is understanding our clients' core values. Elana Zaiman's book The Forever letter is a valuable addition to the advisor's toolkit for helping families clarify and prioritize their core values.
–John Goodwin, Founder Filament, LLC

I found Elana's approach to sharing our values thought provoking. It made me realize we do not share enough meaningful and heartfelt words with the people we love during life. Using her approach, we can keep clients centered on their values, on what they want their family to remember in the present and long after they are gone, especially if something happens unexpectedly and they are no longer able to communicate what is in their soul. A great gift for you and for your clients.
–Carolyn McClanahan, MD, CFP®, Life Planning Partners, Inc

As an attorney who brings years of experience as an occupational therapist into my elder law and estate planning practice, I've been seeking a way for my clients to communicate their love to their families that the passing on of worldly goods alone does not quite do. I am profoundly moved by how the writing of a forever letter encourages this communication. The Forever Letter will be a gift for each of my clients, and, I cannot wait to have Elana facilitate our first live workshop!"
–Stephanie Haslam, Compassionate Legal Care, Seattle


The Power of Letters, Historical Inspiration, This Book and it's Intent

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