Torah & Texts

Explaining Jewish Mourning Rituals: Chevra Kadisha

What is a “Chevra Kadisha” all about? A Chevra Kadisha (חברה קדישא “holy group”) is a volunteer Jewish burial society that takes responsibility for the ritual cleansing and subsequent dressing of a body for burial. When Susan’s husband, Morton, passed away, the Chevra Kadisha group at her synagogue stepped up and offered support during this incredibly difficult time.

In this short informational video Susan explains her experience of the Chevra Kadisha when her beloved husband passed away. As Susan remembers the experience, “It was a beautiful, nontraditional farewell. People from the Jewish community gathered together, read his poetry – his prayers – as they all remembered him together.”

This particular video helping to explain Jewish mourning rituals like the Chevra Kadisha is part of a larger series exploring the basics of Jewish Lifecycles. Jewish tradition is often specific. There are a myriad of Jewish subcultures and people, and the conversations in this series explores the array of choices people make in interpreting ritual today. Learn more about Jewish Wedding traditions, Jewish Mourning Traditions and Jewish Baby Traditions.

This project was made possible with generous support from The Koret Foundation, as part of its Initiative on Jewish Peoplehood.

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