Beth El's Chevra Kadisha is charged with the responsibility of ensuring a 'proper' Jewish burial for our members as well as helping to train members of other local synagogues so that their congregations are also able to provide appropriate rituals for their members. The Chevra Kadisha is an all-volunteer group and there are many jobs which must be done when there is a death in the community. It is said that being a member of the Chevra Kadisha and being a part of all that happens when a death occurs is perhaps the ultimate mitzvah - since the deceased can never say 'thank you'.
Among our responsibilities are attending removal of the body from its place of death, sitting with the body from time of death until burial, performing the traditional cleansing and dressing of the body, arranging a time and place of burial, and acting as pall bearers when burial is in our cemetery. We also meet with the family of the deceased, arrange minyanim, a meal of condolence, and do whatever else might be necessary to help the family through this time of distress. We work closely with the rabbi, the family, and the funeral home. Different people accept different responsibilities within the Chevra Kadisha, but they are all important for our work to be successful.
At Beth-El, in addition to the core group of dedicated members, there are three sub-committees of volunteers who serve as:
3)`meal of condolence' providers
The mitzvahs involved in burying the dead are considered to be among the greatest for two reasons: God personally took care of burying Moses, and there can be no thanks given by the deceased. The Chevra Kadisha and its sub-committees welcome new participants in these mitzvot.
The Beth El cemetery (Durham Hebrew Cemetery) is located on Morehead Avenue in Durham.
Our Chevra Kadisha has an administration:
Overall chair and chair of the men's t'hara group:
Phone: (919) 967-3937
- Chair of the women's t'hara group: Shula Bernard
- Secretary: Sally Laliberte
- Treasurer: David Rubin
- Cemetery Beautification and Upkeep Chair: Gladys Siegel
Please feel free to contact any one of us
regarding your participation in Beth El Chevra Kadisha.