Hevra Kadisha & Mourning

The Hevra Kadisha performs all traditional functions of a Hevra Kadisha at a time of loss. Hevra members guide and comfort, and provide services for, the mourner through all aspects of the funeral, burial and mourning process, and provide kindness to the departed by serving as shomrim, watching over the body and reciting psalms until burial, by performing the tahara (ritual cleansing and purifying), and by dressing the person in takhrikhim (shrouds) for burial. It is a great comfort to the mourners to know that their loved one is cared for by the Or Zarua community.

Members of the Hevra provide the Se’udat Havra’ah – the first meal for the mourners upon return from the cemetery – provide low chairs for shiva, and provide the daily shiva minyanim with siddurim, kippot, and tallitot. The Hevra also educates and informs the community about Jewish laws, beliefs, and practices surrounding the end of life; it maintains on-line information about its services and Jewish law and tradition as well as references to support services during sickness or mourning.

Any congregant who would be interested in joining in any capacity is welcome; not all members perform all tasks and each person’s role is tailored to his or her comfort level. In addition, there are study sessions as well as a yearly Zayin Adar dinner, held on the yahrzeit of Moses.

Click here to see a detailed guide on the subject of mourning and the Hevra Kadisha’s activities.

In the event of a death, please contact the synagogue’s office at 212.452.2310 so that Rabbi Bolton can be informed immediately. Press Extension 14 for the Executive Director or Extension 12 for Deborah Wenger, the Rabbi’s assistant.