A Volunteer Organization: Please Join Us
The Ottawa Chevra Kadisha requires and welcomes new member volunteers to the organization can continue to perform its vital work for the community.
For information on how to become a member, men please call Issie Scarowsky at 613-729-4444; women, Anna Silverman 613-293-1003
Not every member performs taharas: some men serve only by taking part in funerals; some women serve only by sewing takhrikhim.
New volunteers willing to participate in taharas are asked to observe several, before being called on to participate. Then they work with and under the guidance of experienced members.
The time commitment can be between two and six hours a month. A call to volunteers from the chevra kadisha may come anytime from Saturday night to Friday afternoon for duties the next non-Sabbath/non-yom tov day or evening. Members may choose to decline a call because of family, work, or other personal commitments.
Traditional Fulfilment – Personal Meaning
Why would anyone wish to join the chevra kadisha? Is it not emotionally or physically difficult to deal with the dead?
The answer is: for many people, no.
And there are strong reasons why, if one can, one should offer one’s services as a member volunteer:
From a religious community perspective. If the Jewish community is to continue to ensure proper Jewish funerals and burial in the time-honoured manner, a community organization dedicated to that purpose must carry on the tradition.
From a social perspective. It is in many ways a privilege and an honour to be part of this ritual process, taking responsibility as a mature and caring member of the community.
From a personal perspective. There are times when members of the chevra kadisha perform their function for friends or people that they knew in everyday life. This last loving service can add extra personal meaning to the mitzvah that every member of the chevra kadisha performs for his or her fellow Jews.