Answers about The Chevra
What is the Chevra?
Chevra Ahavas Chesed was founded in 1942 by refugees from Nazi Germany to assist members of the community in times of need and provide mutual assistance. Originally there was also a social component to the organization. As the years passed,, the social function diminished as its members were integrated into the general Baltimore Jewish community. When a young man in the community suddenly passed away and his family could not afford a proper funeral and burial, the Chevra realized the need for a cemetery for its members. Consequently, a small cemetery was purchased in the Rosedale area in the early 1940’s. Later, in about 1950, land for a larger cemetery was purchased in Randallstown and has been used ever since. In addition, our Emergency Fund thrives which provide
What are the Chevra dues?
The dues are $45 annually for a family and $25 annually for a single member.
Where is the cemetery located?
The main cemetery is located in the 9700 block of Liberty Road in Randallstown. Our old, small cemetery is located on Hamilton Avenue in Rosedale. There are no empty burial plots at that location.
Who do I call when a loved one dies?
Simply call the Levinson Funeral Home and inform them that the deceased was a member of Chevra Ahavas Chesed.
What happens then?
Employees of Levinson will pick up the body and take it to their facility. Levinson gets in touch with appropriate people from the Chevra to determine the burial location and to arrange for the t’Harah. A Levinson employee will contact the family to arrange a meeting to finalize funeral arrangements.
How do I join the Chevra?
Membership is open to anyone of the Jewish faith, Jewish by birth to a Jewish mother or Jewish via a conversion pursuant to Orthodox Jewish Halacha. Membership applications are available on line and are acted upon by the Board at a regular meeting. In a rare emergency situation, between Board meetings the approval of five Board members is sufficient to approve an application. There is a one time initiation fee on a sliding scale based on the age of the applicant, or in the case of membership for a family, the age of the oldest family member. Membership includes children up to the age of 22.
What do I get for being a member?
At the time of need, a cemetery plot is assigned at no charge. An adjacent plot is reserved for a surviving spouse. In the rare circumstance of an unmarried child passing away with both parents still living, adjacent plots are reserved for the surviving parents. At the time of death, our members perform a t’Harah (preparation of the body for burial) at no charge. We permit the use of only the simplest of coffins, which are less expensive than other coffins frequently used.
How do I find where someone is buried in the cemetery?
There is a directory posted behind glass and updated about every year with field, row and lot of each individual buried in the cemetery.
The Chevra is run by an all-volunteer Board of Directors. The only paid employee is a part-time executive director who directs most of the day-to-day operations.