WAYS OF PEACE is currently working on the publication of Sacred Undertaking: A Natural Return to the Earth. This will be a book-length guide that integrates our burial fellowship education (see below and In the Media) with our unique simple funeral consultations and dialogues on cremation.
The publications below are available free of charge. If you find them helpful, we encourage you to support WAYS OF PEACE in the creation of additional resources.
Here are some time-tested practices for developing and sustaining a hevra kadisha / sacred burial fellowship within the Jewish funeral ecosystem, based on nearly two decades of education and organizing in communities across the United States. LEARN MORE
Our manual has guided caring community development from New England to New Zealand, and has even supported the coexistence of Jews, Muslims and Christians in Cairo (see below).
"Laying out the dead" is a time-honored process, both ritual and practical, that spans world cultures. Taharah, the Hebrew word for ritual purification, is also used to encompass all of the practices from washing and dressing to laying out the dead.
"This evening I participated in my first...tahara and we used your guide. Our [team leader], who has done it with her own synagogue guide, truly loved using yours, as did our Rabbi for whom it was also her first tahara. Your holy work is appreciated."
"Our [taharah team] felt very comfortable with it. The directions are very clear and additional readings are very appropriate and beautiful."
How our Taharah Manual helped honor the Jewish dead in Cairo
One of the most difficult situations we face in life is arranging for the funeral of a loved one. Today as in ancient times, families often feel pressured into spending huge sums of money on funerals, sometimes even going into debt—especially if they are making all the decisions about arrangements immediately after someone has died.
Jewish tradition stresses simplicity and affirms the equality of all human beings at death. We are encouraged to take the money that might otherwise be spent on a more lavish funeral and direct it toward life-giving tzedakah (just-giving).
This brochure reflects a funeral planning model that integrates simplicity and reduced costs with community support. READ MORE