The cover of the records of the Chevrah Kadisha of Pécs (1841)

Chevra Kadisha (the holy association) is one of the most important bodies of the Jewish community. Its main responsibility is to bury the dead and make all the ritual arrangements regarding the deceased. Often, these associations also provide assistance to the poor and the ill and maintain hospitals. To be a member of the Chevrah Kadisha is a great respect and often bears with it significant financial sacrifices. One could only become full members, bearing the right to vote and to be elected to office, following a probationary period. Services regarding the dead (recital of the prayers, cleansing and dressing the corpse and others) were performed by individuals who were selected by a draw. The outcome of the draw could not be appealed against.