What services does the Chevra Kadisha offer?

Chevra members perform tahara, the washing and purification of the body - referred to as the met - in preparation for burial. The body is then dressed in a simple white cotton or linen suit called tachrichim and put into an unadorned, pine coffin. Chevra members also perform shemira (guarding), a continuous vigil of the met that takes place from death until interment. The shomer (guard) reads psalms or prayers, while a candle burns continuously at the head of the coffin. Both tahara and shemira are done in a very respectful and loving way according to Jewish law. They are meant to help survivors cope with their loss by honoring their loved one with dignity and to help guide the deceased on this last journey.

When do the services of the Chevra begin, and when do they end?

The Chevra’s services begin as soon as possible after death and end with burial. Please let your rabbi know if you need information about how to sit shiva (the way the family mourns together) or help planning a shiva prayer service.

Is it possible to have shemira without tahara and vice versa?

You may have shemira without tahara and tahara without shemira.

Is there a cost for the Chevra Kadisha’s service?

The service is free, but we suggest a $220 donation to support the Chevra Kadisha.

Do I have to be a member of a congregation in order to use the services of the Boulder Chevra Kadisha?

The Boulder Chevra Kadisha is available to serve all Jews in our community.

How do I include the services of the Chevra Kadisha in my own planning?

Discuss it with your rabbi and family. Write out a declaration of your intention.

How can I support the Boulder Chevra Kadisha?

The Chevra Kadisha needs and invites volunteers from the Jewish community. You can sit shemira without joining the Chevra Kadisha. Call 303.842.5365 to learn more.

How do I contact the Boulder Chevra Kadisha?

As soon as you learn that your loved one has died, or if you anticipate a death in your family and would like to make prior arrangements, call your rabbi, the rabbi of a local synagogue, or contact your desired mortuary. They will notify the Boulder Chevra Kadisha.