To provide traditional end-of-life ritual services to the diverse Jewish community, with respect for the human dignity of the deceased.
Jewish traditions of burial and mourning honor the met/meta (deceased) with a simple and dignified funeral. In order to follow the time-honored traditions of our faith, the met/meta is not embalmed, but is maintained under refrigeration at the funeral home. The funeral is carried out as soon as possible after death. The Chevra Kavod Hamet offers its services to the Portland metropolitan Jewish community in the ritual preparation of the met/meta before the funeral. The trained men and women of the Chevra will respectfully perform the ancient ritual of tahara (washing and purification) and dress the met/meta in the simple burial garments, tachrichim (shrouds), before placing the met/meta in a plain wooden aron (casket). Earth from Israel is placed in the aron, and it is then sealed forever. There is no viewing at traditional Jewish funeral. In addition to providing for the ritual preparation of the dead, the Chevra, upon request, can also provide shmira (watching) of the met/meta from the time of tahara until the time of the funeral.
Members of the Chevra will perform tahara for any Jew from any congregation in the Portland metro area, as well as for those who are unaffiliated. Chevra volunteers operate without fee for their services, but costs for tachrichim and supplies ($60) will be billed directly to the family by the funeral home.
“There is a time to weep . . . a time to mourn” Ecclesiastes 3:4
What you can do to prepare for death and loss
Making plans for this unavoidable part of life may spare you and your loved ones unnecessary pain and worry. It is important to be informed and prepared before a loss occurs. Prearrangements may be made by calling the Synagogue’s Cemetery Admin at 503.246.8831 ; when you speak with the Cemetery Director, be sure to mention you are interested in the services of the Chevra. When a death occurs, you should call the Synagogue office at 503.246.8831. If there is no answer, call Rabbi Daniel Isaak directly at 503-228.8819, or Executive Director Fred Rothstein at 503.475.2934. If you or your loved one desire the services of the Chevra, please be sure to make your wishes known to the funeral home; they will then contact the Chevra coordinator who will arrange for a team of volunteers.
An Important Mitzvah
The Chevra Kavod Hamet serves the living and honors the dead. If you are seeking meaningful work, becoming a member of the Chevra can offer tremendous personal growth. New volunteer members are always welcomed and will be trained. For more information about working with the Chevra to provide tahara or shmira, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Educational programs presented by the Chevra concerning end-of-life issues include an annual seminar open to the community around the 7th of Adar (February or March) and special presentations to school groups and others who might be interested in these topics. To schedule a presentation for your group or school, please contact the Chevra at: email@example.com.
“A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters and flowing streams from Lebanon”