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 Chevra Kadisha  

Care, Comfort, Compassion, Community

“All that we have done is for your honor. And if we have not done our task properly, we beg your forgiveness.”

Chevra Kadisha (“Sacred Society”) is the traditional organization in a Jewish community that supports and assists families at the end of life and after, providing a continuum of care to the dying and those in mourning. The Maui Chevra Kadisha is made up of trained volunteers to provide K'vod v'Nichum (honor and comfort) including support for preparation of affairs, Shmira (watching over the deceased), Tahara (ritual purification),  and Levaya (accompanying to the grave). 

The Jewish Congregation of Maui owns and maintains the Jewish cemetery on Maui.

If you have any questions about Jewish end-of-life practices or if we may assist and support you and your family, please contact the Maui Chevra Kadisha at or the JCM office at 808-874-5397. 

Living Jewishly Means Dying Jewishly, Too

Jewish Practices for End-of-Life and Remembrance


Vidui—Confessional prayer 

Goses (m) or Gosesset (f)—Actively dying person (within 72 hours) 

From Guf to Meit/Meitah—From living body to deceased raiment 

K’vod Ha Meit—Respect for the body of the Deceased (commences at the moment of death) 

Neshamah—Level of Soul transcending death 

Niftar—Deceased Person (see also patar “exempt”) 

Aninut—Period between death and burial 

Baruch Dayan HaEmet—“Blessed is the True Judge” said upon hearing of a passing 

Onen—Bereaved person before burial (becomes Aveil, pl. Aveilim at burial) 

Kriyah—Rending of clothing or symbolic ribbon by Bereaved (at time of death or during funeral) 

Shmira—Watching over the Deceased (Shomer—one who guards) 

Taharah—Ceremony of purification of Meit/Meitah and dressing in ritual attire 

Levayah—Escorting/accompanying the Meit/Meitah to the grave 

Hesped/El Malei Rachamim—Eulogy and prayer for elevation of the Soul 

Kaddish Yatom—“Mourner’s” Kaddish; first recited at interment 

Aveil (pl. Aveilim) —Bereaved person after burial (Aveilut—State of being: bereavement) 

Se’udat havra’ah—Meal of consolation 

Ha Makom y’nachem—Blessing said by those offering comfort 

Shiva—7 day period beginning at time of burial 

“Get up” walk on 7th day 

Sheloshim—First 30 days (day of burial is first day) 

Aveilut—Prescribed period of mourning (for parents 11 months; for others 30 days) 


Yahrzeit—Anniversary of death 

Yizkor—Prayers of remembrance (Kaddish YaTom, El Malei Rachamim), said on Yom Kippur; Sukkot; Passover; Shavuot

reprinted with permission from Holly Blue Hawkins,


Maui Chevra Kadisha Wishes at End of Life Workbook, Click Here. 

Chevra Kadisha Maui Brochure, Click Here.

To learn how to create an Ethical Will, click here.   with permission from Rabbi Richard F. Address

For the "A Time to Prepare" workbook, click here.  with permission from Rabbi Richard F. Address

To read "A Letter to the Taharah Team" from,  click here

To see some interesting historical paintings of Jewish funeral practices, click here.

For information on related course offerings at the Gamliel Institute, click here.

To read "Holy Friends- The Jewish Way of Death" by Holly Blue Hawkins, click here.

"The Divine Image From the Inside Out" by Holly Blue Hawkins, Click Here.

Permission to post from Rabbi Me'irah Iliinsky

Serve on the Chevra Kadisha

If you are interested in serving in the Maui Chevra Kadisha,  contact us or sign up here.

Thu, July 25 2024 19 Tammuz 5784