Chevra Kadisha

The Chevra Kadisha (literally “holy society”), cares for the dead and prepares the dead for burial by ritually washing the body and dressing it in shrouds (tahara), and guarding it from the time of death until burial (shmira). Establishing a Chevra Kadisha was often the first concern of any new Jewish community, even before the establishment of a synagogue. We are able to provide these services to any member of Sha’ar Zahav who wishes them for themselves or a close loved one.
The Chevra Kadisha also seeks to provide ongoing education to the Sha’ar Zahav community about traditional Jewish practices around death and burial, and to educate the community at large about the specific needs of LGBTQ Jews in this regard. For more information, contact Howard Steiermann.

Sha’ar Zahav Chevra Kadisha
Mission/ Vision Statement

The Sha’ar Zahav Chevra Kadisha is a holy community that cares for our congregation’s dead and provides comfort to the mourners.

Our vision is to care for our dead by providing tehara and shmira (the ritual preparation and guarding of the body). We are committed to being open to and respectful of the wishes of the congregant in performing these rituals. The Chevra Kadisha also seeks to provide ongoing education to our congregation and the community at large about traditional Jewish practice and the specific needs of LGBTQI Jews around death and burial.


Resources from May You Live to Be 120: Talking About Death


Judaism and the Afterlife

May the Angels Carry You

Deathbed Wisdom of the Hasidic Masters


Death, Awareness, Advocacy, and Training

Sinai Memorial  (first to call when someone dies)



Date: Sunday, May 17
Time: 3:00-6:00 pm
Location: Via Zoom

Jews often bless each other with the phrase “May you live to be 120!” and we hope you do! If you do live that long, however, you still need to make plans for when the time comes. We’ll explore the legal, ethical and spiritual aspects of end-of-life decisions. Planning is especially crucial for LGBTQI, single adults, or anyone in relationships that may not be guaranteed legal, financial, and medical protections. Click Here to Register.

This workshop is brought to you by Rose Katz, Shoshana Levenberg, Karen Schiller, Andrew Ramer and Rabbi Copeland on behalf of Sha’ar Zahav’s Chevra Kadisha (Burial Society)

Opening Plenary
3:00-3:50 PM
Introduction by Rabbi Mychal Copeland
Transforming Images of Death: Envisioning a “Death-Positive” Judaism
Reb Simcha Paull Raphael, Founding Director of the DA’AT Institute for Death Awareness, Advocacy & Training, author of Jewish Views of the Afterlife

Breakout Room Choices – Session 1
4:00-4:50 PM
Exploring Jewish Views of the Afterlife, Reb Simcha Paull Raphael
Preparing for Burial, James Carlson (with Sam Salkin of Sinai Memorial Chapel)
How to Write Your Own Obituary, Andrew Ramer
Communicating Your End of Life Choices Part 1: Creating a Power of Attorney, Ora Prochovnick Esq. specializing in LGBT family law, tenant advocacy and civil rights (with Shoshana Levenberg)

Breakout Room Choices – Session 2
5:00-5:50 PM
Communicating Your End of Life Choices Part 2: Creating a Will, Ora Prochovnick, Esq.
Writing Your Ethical Will, Paul Cohen
Trusts & Planned Giving, Deb Kinney, Esq. Johnston, Kinney & Zulaica LLP (with Irene Ogus)

The course is free for members with a suggested donation of $25 for non-members participating.
Thank you!