Caring 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

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To get involved in our Chevra Kadisha, or if you know of someone who could use a little extra love, contact Moji Javid, Director of Synagogue Engagement, at 415.479.3441 or [email protected].  The Chevra meets monthly on second Thursdays, 6:00-7:00 pm.

Caring Community/Chevra Kadisha
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.

Mitzvah Kitchen – with congregant volunteer Chef Jeff Kirshbaum: In addition to Nichum, Chef Jeff and his crew of volunteers prepare hot meals and challahs every week that are delivered by volunteers to congregants who are ill, in mourning or celebrating a simcha.

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.

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.

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.  Read a couple of congregants' reflections on the work of shomrim.

Shiva Minyan Leaders: Chevra 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 get involved in our Chevra Kadisha, or if you know of someone who could use a little extra love, contact Moji Javid, Director of Synagogue Engagement, at 415.479.3441 or [email protected].