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Jewish Death Practices:
Overview / Summary
Origins and History
Visiting the Sick or Dying 

Phases of Death Observance
    Approaching the Time of Death
    Between Death and Burial
    Burial and Cremation 
    Mourning Practices

Spiritual Aspects
Funeral Homes
Funeral Contracts


Chevra Kadisha:
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Tahara Manuals and Procedures
Tahara Training
Tahara Stories
Tahara Supplies Lists
Funeral Home Supplies


Organ Donation


Infection Control


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Learning & Resources:
Gamliel Institute

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    Catalog of Articles
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FAQ About Death and Dying
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Community Education

Gamliel Institute - Taharah and Shmirah


Gamliel Institute
Taharah and Shmirah Course
Registration is Now Open

Gamliel Institute's Course 2 - Chevrah Kadisha: Taharah and Shmirah is an in-depth study of ritual washing, liturgy, and ritual guarding, part of the work of the Holy Society. This 12 week course is open to anyone interested: experienced Taharah team members and those who have never performed a taharah, lay leaders, clergy and professionals.

Instructors: Rick Light, Rena Boroditsky, & Kerry Swartz

* Online preview session: Monday, August 14, 2017 - 8 PM EST /5 pm PST

* Online orientation session: Monday, September 4, 2017 - 8-9:30 pm EST/5-6:30 pm PST

* Twelve online regular sessions: Tuesdays, September 5 - November 21 - 8-9:30 pm EST/5-6:30 pm PST  

Course Content includes:

  • Moving stories and films about first person taharah and shmirah experiences
  • Jewish concepts of Ritual Purity - tahor and tamei
  • Traditional texts about taharah and shmirah
  • Chevrah Kadisha leadership, techniques for both community education and taharah team training
  • Developing Chevra Kadisha policy
  • Taharah liturgy, ancient and modern taharah manuals.
  • The impact of Shmirah and Taharah on the community and on the members of the Chevrah Kadisha
  • Practical aspects of Taharah, complications and team safety
  • Taharah facilities and working with funeral homes

Weekly homework includes about 3 hours of reading, forum postings, and work with a study group.

More information is at - click on the link for the Gamliel Institute. Register at for Gamliel Institute Course 2.

Questions?:  410-733-3700

Jewish Funeral Practices Committee of Greater Washington