Kavod v’Nichum (Honor and Comfort), the Chevrah Kadisha Association of North America, provides education, training, advocacy, and information, along the continuum from illness and healing through dying, death, and bereavement, for Chevrah Kadisha groups, individuals and the North American Jewish community. We embrace the mitzvot of kavod hamet, honoring the body which held the neshama (soul) of a person who died; and nichum aveilim, comforting the community of the living after a death.
We look ahead to a time when every Jewish community is served by a Chevrah Kadisha and every Jewish person makes use of its services; when all Jews are educated about Jewish funeral, burial and mourning traditions; when each of us is visited when sick, supported when dying, and cared for after death; when every bereaved family is comforted and is provided assistance in funeral and burial planning; and when every Chevrah Kadisha is fully engaged in the cycles of na’aseh v’nishma, doing mitzvot followed by learning for the sake of doing more, and lilmod ulelamed, learning for the sake of teaching the practice of chesed to others.
Our goals are to:
1. Encourage compassionate and knowledgeable assistance to the ill and dying and their families, as well as the mitzva of nichum avelim, comforting those who mourn.
2. Promote the wider performance of the mitzvot of kavod hamet, honoring the dead, and chesed shel emet, the truest act of kindness, by teaching Jewish communities to perform Tahara, the beautifully simple ritual preparation of the dead for burial, and Shmira, the ritual guarding of the body after death until burial.
3. Develop and promote the KNIT (Kavod v’Nichum Information and Training) resource center to provide educational materials, guidance, and assistance in all areas associated with death and dying.
4. Enable communities to marshal the resources and expertise necessary to establish mutually beneficial relationships with funeral homes and cemeteries.
5. Develop and promote the Gamliel Institute, a premier educational curriculum for Jewish professionals and laypeople encompassing all aspects of this continuum of care.
6. Expand the cadre of inspired, dedicated and knowledgeable leaders in Jewish communities.
We have created a web site called Jewish Funerals Burial and Mourning at www.jewish-funerals.org where there are hundreds of pages of information.