The Community Hevra Kadisha of Greater Boston (CHK) is an independent, non-denominational organization of individuals, synagogues and other Jewish institutions committed to making the full range of burial rituals accessible and available to the entire Jewish community.
TAHARA: The Truest Act of Kindness
חסד של אמ hesed shel emet
You are not alone. In the face of loss, Jewish tradition offers customs and rituals to guide you through a difficult time. Based in ancient wisdom and used for centuries, these practices are the heritage of all Jews, religious and secular alike.
The Jewish customs surrounding death are based upon two basic principles: respect for the dead and comfort for the bereaved. Judaism teaches that between the time of death and burial, the person who has died should be treated with the utmost respect and dignity and prescribes a series of simple, beautiful rituals.
One of these, tahara, includes a ritual washing, dressing the deceased in white garments and placing him/her in a simple pine casket. Trained volunteers from the Community Hevra Kadisha of Greater Boston perform the tahara with respect and tenderness.
Traditionally, tahara teams are organized by gender- men prepare the bodies of men, women prepare the bodies of women. Recognizing that this binary gendered system does not reflect the reality of gender diversity, we now follow the guidelines put forth in our document, "Toward a Gender-Inclusive Hevra Kadisha," which supports the involvement of transgender and non-binary Jews, and advises on the care of transgender and non-binary bodies.
Brezniak Funeral Directors can arrange for a tahara by the Community Hevra Kadisha. You can call them at 617-969-0800.
Support our sacred work and community education programs by sending a donation or having your organization become a member.
Rabbi Shahar Colt
Community Hevra Kadisha
of Greater Boston
9 Piper Road
Lexington, MA 02421
The Community Hevra Kadisha of Greater Boston (CHK) has been recognized as a tax exempt public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to CHK are deductible under section 170 of the Code