Sign In Forgot Password

Caring for our Community ~ Chevra Kadisha

"When I reach out to you and you to me, we become b'tzelem Elohim (the image of God)." Dan Nichols, Jewish rock musician and Rodef Sholom's artist-in-residence.

Traditionally, the term chevra kadisha has been used to refer to a Jewish burial society; at Congregation Rodef Sholom, we use it in its literal sense, that of a holy society, and the volunteer members of our Chevra Kadisha engage in all of the following sacred work.

Bikkur Cholim – Visiting our sick: Matches are made by clergy and then members of our Chevra Kadisha are asked to visit with congregants in their home or in the hospital as needed and to update clergy with any pertinent information. 

Nichum – “Comfort” in Hebrew: Our Nichum program organizes congregants to support each other with meals, phone calls and cards in difficult times and times of celebration. Our monthly Nichum Captains help to facilitate this and work closely with Moji.

Nichum Aveilim – Comforting the mourner

Chevra Kadisha members are asked to call those in mourning every Friday during shloshim (the first 30 days after a death), every month for the first 11 months, and then on the yahrzeit (one year anniversary) of their loved one’s death.

We also offer a Weekly Kaddish Minyan on Wednesday mornings at 9:00 am over ZOOM. Each Wednesday morning our community gathers to say healing prayers for those in need and Kaddish for those in mourning. It's a mitzvah to show up and "make a minyan" of ten people to support those saying the mourner's kaddish. It helps members of our community feel your love and support. Please join in to "make a minyan"!

Tahara – Purification: Our specially-trained Tahara team ritually washes and prepares bodies for burial. The idea is that just as a baby is washed and enters the world clean and pure, so should we leave the world in a pure state. Our Tahara team is always looking for more to take on this holy task. If interested in this holy mitzvah, please email Monique Epstein.

Shomrim – Guardians: Chevra Kadisha members do shmira, staying with the coffin before burial in the hours and days before burial. Traditionally, shomrim read psalms and other sacred texts of comfort during this time.  Please contact Rachel Mercer for more information or to assist.

Shiva Minyan LeadersChevra Kadisha members are trained by clergy to lead shiva minyans in the homes of families in mourning.

Azkarah (“remembrance”) Captains: The monthly captains work with clergy to identify and ask congregants to share a brief story about their loved one at Shabbat services on their loved one’s yahrzeit.

To become involved in any of the  Chevra Kadisha programs above, or if you know of someone who could use a little extra love, please email Moji Javid, Director of Synagogue Engagement, or by phone to 415.479.3441.

Thu, February 2 2023 11 Sh'vat 5783