How To Form A New Chevra Kadisha

Rebutting objections to forming or joining a burial society--and practical steps on how to do so.

Print this page Print this page

6. At this second meeting, a date for a third--a hands-on demon­stration on a mannequin (a hospital often has such models available)--should be set.

7. If the professional funeral director in your town has been pro­viding halakhically-approved preparations [that is, those consonant with Jewish law], arrange for the leaders of the newly formed chevra to be called out two or three times to participate and to "learn on the job." If not, arrange for at least two men and two women members of your chevra-­in-formation to spend a day or two in a city where a good chevra kadisha exists. The congregation collectively, or a few sponsors, should cover the travel costs.

8. These four individuals will then become the teachers of some of the other volunteers at the local funeral home.

9. The chevra kadisha should now formulate its rules, regulations, and standards, specifying the type of caskets, shrouds, and so forth, which will be used. These rules, regulations, and stan­dards should be devised in cooperation with your rabbi and presented to him for subsequent dissemination to the congre­gation. The chevra should purchase the necessary equipment.

10. The rabbi will now announce the availability of the chevra kadisha services to the congregation in a sermon, in the syna­gogue bulletin, and in an interview with the local news media. This information should include the phone numbers of the heads of the chevra kadisha, and should urge the community to call upon the chevra whenever death intrudes into the life of their family.

Did you like this article?  MyJewishLearning is a not-for-profit organization.

Please consider making a donation today.

Rabbi Abner Weiss has served as a congregational rabbi in Beverly Hills, California, and London, and is a noted writer, lecturer, and halakhic authority. He has published a number of articles on Jewish bioethics.