Obituaries

David Kasem
D: 2017-09-18
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Kasem, David
Sam Negrin
D: 2017-09-16
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Negrin, Sam
Minnie Markowitz-Siegel
D: 2017-09-12
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Markowitz-Siegel, Minnie
Claire Heigh
D: 2017-09-11
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Heigh, Claire
Esther Yablon
D: 2017-09-11
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Yablon, Esther
John Kandl
D: 2017-09-09
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Kandl, John
Tanya Sanford
D: 2017-09-07
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Sanford, Tanya
Amy Kaplan
D: 2017-09-03
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Kaplan, Amy
Philip Spector
D: 2017-08-31
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Spector, Philip
Harriet Cerrito
D: 2017-08-31
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Cerrito, Harriet
Barry Neidoff
D: 2017-08-30
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Neidoff, Barry
David Glass
D: 2017-08-29
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Glass, David
Herbert Schilsky
D: 2017-08-29
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Schilsky, Herbert
Sara Barrett
D: 2017-08-28
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Barrett, Sara
Elaine Liebmann
D: 2017-08-20
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Liebmann, Elaine
Sylvia Landesman
D: 2017-08-20
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Landesman, Sylvia
Melvin Pitkowsky
D: 2017-08-18
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Pitkowsky, Melvin
Elaine Weisberg
D: 2017-08-18
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Weisberg, Elaine
Leslie Rudman
D: 2017-08-10
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Rudman, Leslie
Suzanne Hamberry
D: 2017-08-09
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Hamberry, Suzanne
Clara Kleinfeld
D: 2017-08-08
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Kleinfeld, Clara

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Jewish Funeral Etiquette

What do you know about Jewish funeral etiquette? We can tell you this much. As Emily Post wrote, "If ever there were a place for decorum to be maintained, it is at a funeral, memorial, or graveside service". This is especially true when attending a Jewish funeral.

So, In General, What is Etiquette?


"Grounded as it is in timeless principles, etiquette enables us to face whatever the future may bring with strength of character and integrity." So began Emily Post, in the classic book Emily Post's Etiquette, originally published in 1922; now in its 18th Edition. "Civility and courtesy," she continued,"the outward expression of human decency, are the proverbial glue that holds society together–qualities that are more important than ever in today's complex and changing world."

In other words, whether you are invited a wedding, working in a congested office, or attending a funeral–knowing the right things to do or say–in other words, knowing proper etiquette–will certainly make the situation easier.

Funeral Etiquette Involves Respect


Many people believe that today's hectic lifestyle and technology have combined to make us rude. Certainly, there has been a shift in social etiquette since 1922, when Emily Post first published her widely-popular book, Emily Post's Etiquette. (Now it its 18th printing, the book is over 700 pages long.) What is the fundamental essence of social etiquette? Conscious awareness of the importance of your actions. It's about knowing how to respond in ways that are courteous, respectful, and above all, kind.

That means when you attend any funeral, it's important to be on your best behavior. Be aware of how your actions affect others, which means thinking twice before doing or saying anything. Other tips to guide you when attending a Jewish funeral include these:

  • Dress respectfully.
  • When arriving, you need to be a few minutes early or on time. That's because a Jewish funeral will begin on time, and will usually be brief.
  • Leave your cell phone in your car. It has no place at this event.
  • Be mindful of where you choose to sit. Those seats at the front are for the family of mourners; friends and acquaintance take their place in the middle of the room, or near the rear.
  • If you arrive late, do not walk down the center aisle. Instead, enter a row from a side aisle. And, if the post-service processional has begun, wait quietly outside. Do not interfere or impede their progress.
  • When the service is over, stand up with the other guests. Remain standing throughout the time it takes for the family of mourners to leave the room.

Turn to Us for Assistance


We know how nerve-wracking it can be to feel out-of-place; to be concerned about offending someone without knowing it. If you need to attend a Jewish funeral and would like some additional recommendations about funeral etiquette, simply call us at (718) 377-7300. We would be delighted to assist you.

Online Sources:

Post, Peggy, et al, Emily Post's Etiquette, 18th Edition, 2011.

Emily Post Institute, "Funeral Etiquette: At the Service," 2013.

United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, "Guide to Jewish Funeral Practice," 2013.