Calgary Chevra Kadisha prepares for post pandemic

Entrance to the Erlton Jewish Cemetery in Calgary.

By Susan Dvorkin and Harold Lipton

(AJNews) – With declining cases of COVID and rates of hospitalizations, the provincial government has now entered Step 2 of public health measures, which includes the lifting of the mask mandate as well as removing limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings, such as at funerals.

While the Calgary Chevra Kadisha maintains a priority on the safety of its volunteers and staff, and the community, it is preparing to move forward to provide grieving families with the same level of services they received before COVID. The chapel at 37 Street, closed to the public during the pandemic, will re-open as of April 1 for funeral services. Attendance restrictions will be lifted for funerals at the cemeteries at Erlton and 37 Street. We must stress again that if you are feeling ill, please refrain from attending funerals and provide comfort to the mourning family in a safer way.

​Health experts now recommend that communities must learn to live with COVID since they believe it will not completely disappear. In order to minimize infection transmission, the Chevra Kadisha is suggesting that funeral attendees continue to wear masks, especially when attending a service inside the chapel.  Another precaution includes wearing gloves if participating in the mitzvah of burial.

Chevra Kadisha Executive Director Rick Pollick noted the anguish mourning families experienced over the last two years when they were not able to meet with him to make arrangements in-person and when attendance at the funeral of their loved ones was restricted. He recently commented that “we thank the entire community as well as officiating clergy for their support. We will continue to keep current with COVID information as well as obtain the opinions and advice of the medical profession as we continue to find a balance between being safe and sustaining the vital role we serve for the community. We will continue to follow guidelines from health and government, including re-instituting restrictions should there be another major outbreak.”

As the festival of Passover approaches, the Chevra Kadisha encourages everyone to keep their vaccinations updated and wishes everyone a safe, happy and joyous holiday.


Be the first to comment on "Calgary Chevra Kadisha prepares for post pandemic"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.