Ken Braiterman, of Concord, journalist, trainer and community mental health activist, succumbed after a long battle to ALS/Lou Gehrig's Disease Sunday, June 15, 2014, at age 65.
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Ken chaired the NH Mental Health Consumer Advocacy Council and was the first director of NAMI NH's "In Our Own Voice" program that trains people with mental illness to speak of their illness and recovery. He was a certified trainer for Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP).
Recent recognition for Ken's work includes the NH Police Standards and Training Academy, where he has taught over 2,000 police recruits from state and local New Hampshire police departments to rethink stereotypes of people with mental illnesses and address their particular needs. In 2013 Ken received a Lifetime Achievement award from the Riverbend Community Mental Health Center as a "Champion for Mental Health."
Ken graduated public schools in Baltimore, Md. where he was born and raised. He graduated Oberlin College with a degree in English, and completed the University of New Hampshire's masters degree in Newspaper Journalism. Ken wrote for a number of community newspapers in New Hampshire and was a general reporter, feature writer and editorial page editor for the Lawrence Eagle Tribute in Lawrence, Mass. Ken wrote until his final year of life, available online at kenbraiterman.com.
During his 20's, Ken served as Executive Director of Union for Reform Judaism's Camp Eisner in Great Barrington, Mass. where he helped transform the Reform Jewish camping program into a vibrant and active engine for educating youth in the excitement and vitality of being Jewish.
Ken leaves behind friends and family around the country, including his mother, Thea Braiterman, now retired from the faculty of New England College; his brother, Concord attorney David Braiterman; and David's partner, Mary Bergeron; his sister, Marta Tanenbaum, and her husband, Rabbi Irwin Tanenbaum of New York City; and five nieces and nephews ages 19 to 31.
Ken's great enjoyments were professional baseball, politics, folk music, and participating in choir and worship at Temple Beth Jacob.
Funeral services will be Wednesday, June 18 at 11 a.m. at Temple Beth Jacob in Concord, followed by graveside burial in Henniker.
The family also welcomes visits for Shiva on Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. at the home of David Braiterman, 104 North State St. in Concord.
In lieu of flowers, contributions from those inclined may be made to the Temple Beth Jacob Music Fund, 67 Broadway, Concord NH 03301.
The Bennett Funeral Home of Concord is in charge of the arrangements. Messages of condolences may be offered at bennettfuneral.com.
Published in The Concord Monitor on June 18, 2014