A Taharah Manual is a guidebook filled with steps and prayers for those providing taharah, the ritual washing and dressing of the deceased.
Manuals are also extensions of the Chevra Kadisha, the Sacred Community of those who provide care and comfort during end-of-life transitions. The language and choice of liturgy reflect each Chevra’s values and culture.
Below is a selection of different manuals from across the United States and Canada that have been shared with Kavod v’Nichum. No two manuals are identical because no two Chevra Kadisha are exactly alike. We offer a range of manuals to reflect the range of tradition that exists within Chevra Kadisha in North America.
An important companion piece is the Community Hevra Kadisha of Greater Boston’s “Towards a Gender Inclusive Hevra Kadisha,” which includes resources and learning around expanding language and policies to be inclusive of all members of our communities.
We also recommend:
- “Chesed Shel Emet,” written by Rabbi Stuart Kelman, Co-Founder of the Gamliel Institute, and Dan Fendel, serves as a manual and offers a comprehensive exploration of the liturgy
- “To Midwife a Soul,” written by Richard Light, is a full-color manual that offers various liturgies and chanting options from Rabbi Shefa Gold.
We hope these are helpful resources. If you’d like to see your Chevra’s Taharah manual included here, please feel free to email us firstname.lastname@example.org
Park Slope Jewish Center Hevra Kadisha, Brooklyn, NY
This manual was updated in 2009. Park Slope Jewish Center is affiliated with the Conservative movement.
New Community Chevra Kadisha of Greater Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
The New Community Chevra Kadisha (NCCK) of Greater Pittsburgh was founded in 2004 and is made up of and serves a diverse spectrum of individuals from the greater Pittsburgh Jewish community.
Adat Shalom Chevra Kadisha, Bethesda, MD
Adat Shalom is a Reconstructionist Congregation.
Valley Chevra Kadisha, Los Angeles, CA
The Valley Chevra Kadisha (VCK) serves anyone living in the San Fernando and Conejo Valley Communities. They were formed in 2022.
Beth El Chevra Kadisha, South Orange, NJ
A Chevra Kadisha, part of a Conservative Synagogue and community. Written in 2009.
Tikvat Israel Congregation, Rockville, MD
Tikvat Israel is a Conservative Congregation in Rockville, Maryland.