About the Perth Chevra Kadisha
The Chevra Kadisha (Jewish Burial Society) is the organisation within the Community which applies itself to caring for the dead in accordance with Jewish Religious Law (Halacha) and Tradition.
The Perth Chevra Kadisha Inc. is one of the oldest Jewish communal organisations in Western Australia having been founded in 1896 and having provided an uninterrupted service since then. It is worthy of note that unlike those in many larger cities, the Perth Chevra Kadisha is an entirely voluntary organisation.
For almost a century the Chevra Kadisha operated as a sub-committee of the Perth Hebrew Congregation. In 1985 as a reflection of the growth of the Community and of the establishment of additional Congregations, the Perth Chevra Kadisha incorporated as an autonomous and independent organisation.
Jewish burials in Perth were originally at the East Perth Cemetery and the Fremantle Cemetery but since 1899 they have been at Karrakatta Cemetery which is still in use today. The Chevra Kadisha’s Prayer Hall (Ohel) is located in the Jewish Orthodox Section at Karrakatta and may be accessed via the entrance in Smyth Road, Nedlands.
Perth Chevra Kadisha Locations
The Jewish Section at East Perth Cemetery is situated on the corner of Plain and Wickham Streets, East Perth and the Fremantle Cemetery is in Carrington Street, Palmyra (corner of Leach Highway).
Cohanim who wish to visit the East Perth Cemetery are advised that as the exact location of the actual graves is unknown and bears no relation to the position of headstones currently in place, they should remain outside and not enter.
The work of the Chevra Kadisha is an act of Chesed Shel Emet — true loving kindness. It is often referred to by our Rabbis as the greatest of all Mitzvot because the beneficiary can never know of, let alone thank the benefactor.
Those who participate in this Mitzvah are deserving of the highest praise but do not seek it, giving freely of themselves in time and effort leaving their employment, businesses, homes and families to carry out the Mitzvah of treating the deceased quietly, efficiently and with dignity in accordance with our ancient traditions.
Accordingly the Chevra Kadisha relies on the support of the Community for its continuation. Members of the Jewish faith willing to participate in our Holy Work are always welcomed.