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Explaining Jewish Mourning Rituals: Chevra Kadisha

Recommended for older teens and adults

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.”

Gratitude for this Chevra Kadisha Video

The Lifecycles Project was made possible with generous support from The Koret Foundation, as part of their Initiative on Jewish Peoplehood. Based in San Francisco, the Koret Foundation supports groups like G‑dcast that contribute to a thriving community enhancing the quality of life for all. Many additional thanks to our G‑dcast writers, narrators, producers, directors, sound engineers, musicians, educational advisors, artists and animators for working so hard on this project. A very specific thank you from everyone at G‑dcast to Camille Angel, Barbara Barza, Mayana Bonapart, Ben Bromfield, Rachel Brodie, Blaire Brown, Tammy Chang, Menachem Creditor, Lisa Finkelstein, Danielle Foreman, Roni Handler, Peter Kachtik, Stu Kelman, Julie Bernstein Klein, Deborah Kolben, Sarah Lefton, Chai Levy, Rachel Levinson, Aaron Mandel, Liz Nord, Russel Neiss, Matthue Roth, Emily Savage, Matt Savage, Dan Schifrin, Jeremy Shuback, Ilana Sichel, Lindsey Silken, Jeanne Stern, Oren Stevens, Brett Vanderbrook, Marilyn Wacks, Lesley Wynn, Leah Yamshon, David Zeeman, and David Zinner.

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. To learn more about Jewish Wedding traditions, Jewish Mourning Traditions and Jewish Baby Traditions please take a look at our collection of 20+ videos about rituals – old and new – presented through animation and interviews, here on our site.

Koret Foundation

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