Gail Salinsky
D: 2018-03-14
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Salinsky, Gail
Morris Sier
D: 2018-03-08
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Sier, Morris
Ethel Reiss
D: 2018-03-07
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Reiss, Ethel
Fanny Glassman
D: 2018-03-07
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Glassman, Fanny
Dorothy Levine
D: 2018-03-05
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Levine, Dorothy
Alan Rubin
D: 2018-02-27
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Rubin, Alan
Charlotte Podrid
D: 2018-02-25
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Podrid, Charlotte
Esther Spector
D: 2018-02-20
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Spector, Esther
Sally Price
D: 2018-02-20
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Price, Sally
Eileen Edelstein
D: 2018-02-19
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Edelstein, Eileen
Harriet Mitgang
D: 2018-02-19
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Mitgang, Harriet
Miriam Ginsberg
D: 2018-02-17
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Ginsberg, Miriam
Cynthia Richter
D: 2018-02-16
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Richter, Cynthia
Lillian Karp
D: 2018-02-16
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Karp, Lillian
Inez Silverstein
D: 2018-02-14
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Silverstein, Inez
Holli Hupart
D: 2018-02-13
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Hupart, Holli
Morris Goldberg
D: 2018-02-10
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Goldberg, Morris
Margaret Goldberg
D: 2018-02-09
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Goldberg, Margaret
Gloria Kaweblum
D: 2018-02-06
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Kaweblum, Gloria
Elaine Wishnow
D: 2018-02-02
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Wishnow, Elaine
Richard Terker
D: 2018-01-29
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Terker, Richard


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Our Jewish Funeral Planning Guide

notebook Jewish funeral planning guidePlanning a Jewish funeral service is a process that involves specific rules and rituals. The Jewish faith has many customs and beliefs that need to be completed immediately following the passing of a loved one. There is not much time to prepare so it crucial to understand how to plan a Jewish funeral. Our Jewish funeral planning guide has been developed to outline each of the important steps in the process.

At Sherman’s Flatbush Memorial Funeral Chapel, we have helped hundreds of families plan a Jewish funeral for their loved one. Our team of caring and dedicated funeral professionals has helped hundreds of families say goodbye with loving and respectful funeral services. If you have any questions or are in need of assistance with planning a Jewish funeral service, please contact us. A member of our staff would be honored to assist you.

Listed below is our Jewish funeral planning guide detailing some of the important decisions you need to make. The guide is intended for a traditional Jewish burial and funeral. Of course, some steps will be different if you choose cremation or a less traditional Jewish service.  

Planning the Jewish Burial

  • Contact the funeral home to transport the deceased and begin the arrangement process
  • Find out if your loved one prearranged a plan for their burial and funeral. If there is a plan, review the plan and follow it accordingly.
  • Decide which cemetery you would like your loved one to be buried at
  • Decide if the deceased will be buried with their tallit (prayer shawl) or if the family will keep it as an heirloom
  • Flowers are generally not displayed at Jewish gravesites. In lieu of flowers, you can select a charity that donations can be made to on behalf of your loved one.

Informing People of Your Loss

  • Notify, in person if possible, the immediate family of the loss.
  • Phone out-of-town family members, but try to make sure they receive the news when they are at an appropriate location or when they are not alone.
  • Make a list of other people that should know about the passing. These types of people would be friends, employers, co-workers, neighbours, and extended family. A good idea is to have other family members help you make these phone calls.

Planning the Jewish Funeral Service

  • Notify your loved one’s synagogue of the passing
  • Choose who will conduct the ceremony
  • Consult the funeral home on exactly the type of service you want, i.e. choose between a graveside service or a more formal funeral taking place at a synagogue. Also discuss small add-ons you want with the funeral service such as prayer cards. Finalize the arrangement with the funeral director when you are fully satisfied and have made all your decisions.
  • Work with the funeral home and service officiant about the exact format of the funeral service, and how family and friends will participate in terms of giving the eulogy and other readings/prayers.
  • Estimate the number of guests that will be attending the funeral
  • Select pallbearers
  • As a family, decide who will deliver the eulogy
  • With the help of the funeral home, discuss logistics in terms of transportation to the synagogue and to the cemetery
  • As a family, decide if you will take part in the tradition of kriah. Kriah refers to the act of tearing of one’s garments to express your grief and anger at the loss of a loved one. Today, a black ribbon can be used instead of tearing a piece of your own clothing.  
  • Select pall-bearers
  • Make sure you notify guests of the time and location of the funeral service
  • Create a handout with the shiva information to be given to the funeral guests. Make sure to include the address of where shiva will be observed and the hours during which visitors are welcomed to visit.

Seudat Havra’ah (Meal of Consolation)

Many families have a traditional meal, called a “seudat havra’ah”, after the funeral ceremony for some of the guests. The purpose of the meal is so that the grieving family members are not left alone after the funeral. It shows that the community is there for them as they enter into a new stage of their lives without their loved one.

  • The rabbi, friends or extended family members should make arrangements for this light meal (not the mourners)
  • Provide directions to the family’s home or venue where the meal will be taking place at
  • Place a pitcher of water, a basin and towels outside the door for guests to use upon arrival
  • The food is simple and generally round such as hard-boiled eggs because this symbolizes the cycle of life

Plan the Shiva

Traditionally, Shiva is a seven-day mourning period where the immediate family stays home, refrains from work or school, and receives visitors.

  • Inform your employer of the need for your leave
  • Set a schedule for visiting hours and when additional services will take place
  • Discuss with the synagogue or funeral home any additional help you need
  • Click here for more details on how to sit Shiva.