The Ottawa Chevra Kadisha is a volunteer organization that provides traditional burial services for the Ottawa Jewish community, is looking for Jewish men to join its ranks.
Since 1918, the Ottawa Chevra Kadisha has continued Old World traditions in preparing and burying the dead according to Ashkenazi Jewish halakha (law) and minhag (custom). The Ottawa Chevra Kadisha currently has about 70 members, Jewish men and women of all ages. It is a cooperative that provides its service to all Jews regardless of background or affiliation. Its members come from across the community and all walks of life. Their voluntary participation is a mitzvah traditionally referred to in Hebrew as khesed shel emet (a true act of loving kindness).
At this time, the men’s group of the chevra kadisha needs new member volunteers so it can continue to perform its vital work for the community.
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:
New volunteers observe taharas before being called on to participate, and receive coaching from 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/yom tov day or evening. Members may choose to decline a call because of family, work or other personal commitments.
For information on how to become a member, please call Issie Scarowsky at 613-729-4444.