When a person dies, Chevra Kadisha members (men for a male, women for a female) visit the funeral home and prepare the body of the deceased for burial according to the centuries-old customs of our people. The Chevra Kadisha embodies our shared communal values of gemilut chesed (performing acts of loving kindness), egalitarianism, individual participation in ritual life, and the teaching of tradition from one generation to the next. The Chevra Kadisha affirms both our ability and our need to take this mitzvah into our own hands by honoring the dead and by comforting the living who remember them.
The OPT/WST Chevra Kadisha was established in 2013. It is a volunteer organization composed of members of Oak Park Temple B’nai Abraham Zion and West Suburban Temple Har Zion. The Chevra Kadisha is supported by grants from both congregations, individual contributions and a small fee charged for each tahara.
Any member of either Oak Park Temple or West Suburban Temple need only ask their clergy or funeral director to contact the Chevra Kadisha. We have working agreements with Jewish funeral homes in the Chicago area. The funeral directors and/or clergy will contact the Chevra Kadisha to arrange tahara. The OPT/WST Chevra Kadisha serves the needs of our member communities. As resources permit, we are open to serving other Jews in need.
To learn more or to volunteer, please contact: Cantor Julie Yugend-Green at 708-386-3937.