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Registration for Course 2 - Chevrah Kadisha: Taharah and Shmirah

Tuesdays,  January 3 – March 21, 2023; 8:00pm EDT, 5:00pm PST; 90 minutes per class 

Pricing: Early-bird rate $400 until Thanksgiving; then $500 normal tuition

The central elements of Chevrah Kadisha practice include the rituals of taharah —preparation of the body for burial; and shmirah—the watching (or “guarding”) of the body between death and burial. This course addresses liturgy, training, safety, and more.

The central elements of Chevrah Kadisha practice include the two important rituals of taharah, preparation of the body for burial; and shmirah, the watching (or “guarding”) of the body between death and burial. This course addresses liturgy, training, safety, and complications. This course examines the Jewish religious significance of what a Chevrah Kadisha does, as we examine the meanings of the rituals associated with taharah and shmirah. Students explore not only the physical and emotional aspects of these rituals, but also delve into the liturgy behind them and how to understand why the liturgy works the way it does. This course provides students with a tremendous amount of detail and useful information to take back to home chevrot and to help students develop a significantly deeper understanding of these sacred tasks.

Topic areas include:

  • Taharah and shmirah basics, common practices, variations, minhagim
  • Performing these rituals during a pandemic
  • Understanding tahor and tamei
  • Chevrah and taharah leadership
  • Chevrah policy considerations
  • Taharah complications
  • Handling emotional aspects of this work
  • Liturgy and taharah manuals, mystical foundations, how liturgy works
  • Tachrichim and Aronot
  • Health and safety precautions for taharah
  • Emotional aspects of this work
  • Taharah and shmirah facilities

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Rabbis, cantors, kohenot, and chaplains get a discounted course tuition rate.
The Core Curriculum includes the following courses: Course 1 - Origins and Evolution; Course 2 - Taharah and Shmirah; Course 3 - Education and Organization; Course 4 - Nechamah; Course 5 - Liturgy and Practice.

Welcome to the Gamliel Institute! We are delighted to have you in our community.

Please know that Kavod v'Nichum values inclusion and respectful conversation. When you attend a Gamliel course, you enter into a holy space that might include multiple denominations, religious observances, and political thoughts. Please be sure that your comments and questions are respectful and aware of the kaleidoscope of learners and views around you. 

To help guide you through your engagement with our classes, you will be assigned an advisor to whom you can address questions about your participation as well as any concerns you might have. To become familiar with the Gamliel Institute policies and practices, please refer to the Academic Bulletin.

To get started, please answer a few questions for our student information database. Thanks for your help and welcome aboard.


Please include how you plan to use what you learn.

Please read and agree to the Gamliel Institute behavioral norms

We ask all students to be familiar with and agree to our Expected Standards and Norms of Behavior.  If you need more background info, please also review information about the Gamliel Institute and about Kavod v’Nichum.


Please reconsider your answer. In order to participate respectfully in the Gamliel Institute courses, all students must agree to abide by the code of conduct indicated in our Expected Standards and Norms of Behavior.

In order to complete this registration, we ask that you read and agree to these standards.  If you do not wish to agree to this, please contact the Kavod v'Nichum Executive Director at to discuss your concerns. We would love to include you in our courses.

Until you agree with this, your registration cannot be completed at this time.

Thank you for your understanding.



Multiple Chevrah Member Discount

When three or more members from the same chevrah register for a course, they each receive 20% off the full course registration. Please select the Multiple CK Member registration amount below, and fill in the number of members for which you are registering as the quantity.

Note: you can register for yourself plus 5 other people through this one form submission. If you are registering for more than 5 additional chevrah members, please enter additional form submissions to accommodate everyone. 



To pay by check:

Make check payable to "Kavod v'Nichum" and mail to:

Kavod v'Nichum 
P.O. Box 1206
Maplewood, NJ 07040

Click "Submit Registration" button below, then click the "Back" button on the payment page. At this point your registration has been submitted awaiting payment. Close the registration payment browser window and mail in your check.