fbpx

Frequently Asked Questions

Video FAQ

Can You Tell Me About the Fees and Payment Plans?
Can You Tell Me About the Fees and Payment Plans?
03:28
What is Included in a Purchase at the Beth El Mausoleum?
What is Included in a Purchase at the Beth El Mausoleum?
01:02
Where Can I Have a Funeral Service?
Where Can I Have a Funeral Service?
02:31
What Do I Do When Family Dies?
What Do I Do When Family Dies?
02:08
Do You Offer Meals of Condolence?
Do You Offer Meals of Condolence?
47
What Other Memorial Opportunities Do You Offer?
What Other Memorial Opportunities Do You Offer?
03:13
Are Jews Allowed to be Cremated?
Are Jews Allowed to be Cremated?
01:06
What Jewish Traditions Do We Do During Funerals?
What Jewish Traditions Do We Do During Funerals?
01:02
What goes in a "Just In Case Letter"?
What goes in a "Just In Case Letter"?
59
What Can I Do Spiritually After a Loss?
What Can I Do Spiritually After a Loss?
02:15
How do I explain loss to children?
How do I explain loss to children?
02:08
What Does the Mausoleum Look Like?
What Does the Mausoleum Look Like?
01:53
When Is The Right Time?
When Is The Right Time?
01:11
What If I Have Adult Children Up North?
What If I Have Adult Children Up North?
01:54
I'm Just Not Ready.
I'm Just Not Ready.
01

Beth El Mausoleum Policies & Options

Yes, unfortunately, funerals can be very expensive.  One thing thing that sets the Beth El Mausoleum apart from just about every other mausoleum and cemetery in the area, or anywhere for that matter, is that we have no hidden costs. We’re a synagogue first, and we don’t want there to be surprises. 

In fact, everything is included here at the mausoleum. The only thing not included is the casket, or urn in the case of cremation, and the services of a funeral home who will pick up the deceased, prepare the body, and provide the body or cremation remains to the mausoleum for entombment.

Learn more about funeral costs and our “no hidden fees” policy in this video from our Mausoleum Director Mike Sirowitz.

A purchase at the Beth El Mausoleum includes everything, except for the casket or urn and required services of a funeral home.

Also with the purchase, non-members of Temple Beth El get a free one-year temple membership. We want you to be part of our community, not just once you’re gone, but while you’re alive and as long as you’re a member of the temple, all lifecycle events, whether it be a wedding, a bar mitzvah, funeral, baby naming, et cetera would be performed by our clergy at no cost.

Learn more about what’s included from our Mausoleum Director Mike Sirowitz.

There are several options of location for the funeral service:

  • Crypt- or niche-side, which is perfect for when there are very few people in attendance. Open to everyone, regardless of if you are a member or not.
  • Mausoleum chapel, located right in the mausoleum itself. This space can accommodate up to 100 people. Provided to anyone regardless of whether they are a Temple member or not.
  • Rabbi Merle Singer Sanctuary in our main temple building, which can seat up to 450 people, and can expand to accommodate up to 1,000 people. Available at no cost to Temple Beth El members only.
  • Beck Family Chapel, which offers flexible seating for up to 225 people. Available at no cost to Temple Beth El members; if a non-member wants to use the Beck Family Chapel, there would be a rental fee.
  • Senville Chapel, a small outdoor chapel right in the mausoleum. The Senville Chapel is provided for the funeral service at no cost, regardless of whether one is a member or not.

Learn more about our options for funeral services in this video with our Mausoleum Director Mike Sirowitz here.

When someone passes away, the first call should be to the funeral home. The family or the funeral home can then call our Mausoleum Director Mike Sirowitz to begin putting things in motion in terms of planning for the funeral. We will make every effort working with the family and the funeral home to set a time that is convenient and appropriate, ideally within 24 to 48 hours.

We will be with you every step of the way. We will work with the funeral home, the clergy, and the family, to create a very meaningful and appropriate funeral service for the loved ones who have passed.

Learn more in this video from our Mausoleum Director Mike Sirowitz.

Another benefit of the Beth El Mausoleum being part of, and on the grounds of, Temple Beth El is our ability to host a meal of condolence for as few as 25 guests and as many as several hundred. We have the facilities and an in-house caterer who will handle everything for you from start to finish. With minimal effort to set up and nothing to clean up, you can spend this important time with your family and friends. Learn more in this video from Mausoleum Director Mike Sirowitz.

We have many other memorial opportunities:

  • Beautiful Jewish-themed artwork inside the mausoleum.
  • Leaves on the Tree of Remembrance, which can be engraved with up to three lines of text.
  • Benches on the interior and exterior of the mausoleum, each with a plaque.
  • Bronze vases, personalized with the person’s name and a memorial phrase.
  • Memory niches, for those whose loved ones are not laid to rest here at the Beth El Mausoleum. Memory niches look like cremation niches, but instead of human remains, they are filled with personal items, artifacts, memories, and photographs by the family, so you are able to spiritually visit loved ones who are buried elsewhere.
  • Yahrzeit Plaques in the Rabbi Merle Singer Sanctuary.

Learn more about our other memorial opportunities in this video from Mausoleum Director Mike Sirowitz.

Jewish Tradition & Spiritual Guidance

Yes. Since Abraham purchased the Cave of Machpelah as a burial place for Sarah, it has been a sacred tradition for Jews to be laid to rest either in or on hallowed ground. This is in accord with the widespread Biblical and post-Biblical custom of burying the dead in niches cut into the walls of a cave (Genesis 23:9), leaving no question that the Mausoleum at Temple Beth El is firmly within Jewish tradition.

Within the Reform community, cremation is very much an acceptable option. Over the last 25 years, it has become increasingly more popular, and there are many reasons why some people may prefer cremation. Learn more in this video from our Mausoleum Director, Mike Sirowitz.

There are two very important pieces of liturgy that we use to remember our loved ones. The first is the El Malei prayer, which asks us to imagine as if the holy one has enormous wings and asks us to imagine that the souls of our loved ones are tucked in tight under one of those wings, and that God is sheltering them and taking care of them in their last part of their journey.

And then of course, there are the words of the Kaddish prayer, which do not speak of death or loss, but ask us to give thanks to God simply for the gift of life and to acknowledge the greatness of all of the wonder and miracle that we experience in life. Not simply with our loved ones, but also just each and every day with each and every breath. Kaddish is a way for us, not only to sanctify the memories of those that we’ve lost, but also to find our way towards light in the darkness.

Learn more in this video with Rabbi Dan Levin.

Rabbi Dan Levin recommends a “just in case letter” that includes accounting and financial information and more.  Learn more about the impact it had on him and his family, and the benefits of creating one yourself in this video.

In addition to all of the logistical arrangements that have to be made, there are things that you can do not only to care for your own heart and spirit, but also to sanctify the memory of the one that you are remembering and that you have lost. First, in the immediate moments after a loss, it is certainly customary to say the words of the Shema so that you remember that not only is God one with your loved one, but also God is one with you. Additionally, if you can, call the temple, and a rabbi can often times come and be there with you to say some final prayers and to give you a chance to begin that long road to healing. Learn more about what to do after a loss in this video from Rabbi Dan Levin.

Rabbi Dan Levin says, “I think one of the most important parts of Jewish wisdom, part that I appreciate the most, is the idea that when we mourn, we don’t do this alone. We’re supposed to be together with sacred community. And that’s why it’s such a privilege for me and all of us at Temple Beth El to be there with you in those very, very difficult and dark moments so that we can be a source of comfort and strength, that we can share in the gift of memory.” Click here for a video from Rabbi Dan Levin where he explains how this wisdom helps him.

General Questions

There are so many things that make the Beth El Mausoleum really special. As the only mausoleum located on temple property in all of north America, it’s only a short walk down the hill from the main temple building. There’s spectacular artwork, engraved glass, mosaics and inlaid tile depicting scenes from our Jewish heritage, from scripture, from our background and from our faith. The craftsmanship of the marble, the beautiful landscaping and the care that our team puts into every detail of the mausoleum makes it a very comfortable and meaningful place. Learn more from our Mausoleum Director Mike Sirowitz, or watch our video tour.

Like every other aspect of this important process, determining the right time is very personal. There’s no doubt that making pre-need arrangements is in everyone’s best interest for many reasons. The first and perhaps the most obvious is that you lock in the prices of today. The other, perhaps less obvious reason is making arrangements for yourself well in advance is the greatest gift that you can give to your loved ones. We never know when our time will come. We hope that it will be many, many, many years into the future. But we all know that things don’t always work out that way, and leaving your loved ones to have to make this critical decision at the time of loss is just a horrible situation for so many reasons. For one, financially, it’s a burden. But even more importantly, when a family is in mourning, especially if it’s unexpected, that’s not the time to make important financial and emotional decisions. So making pre-need arrangements is certainly in everyone’s best interest. Learn more in this video from Mausoleum Director Mike Sirowitz.

There’s no doubt that when someone passes away and there’s going to be a funeral, some people may have to travel. One obvious option is for the deceased to be flown to another location, which may work if the children and other family members are all together in one location. 

After the funeral, in the case that a surviving spouse is left alone here in Florida, many people, even if they have space up north or somewhere else, make the decision to purchase space here in Florida at the Beth El Mausoleum, where their family, their friends, their temple community, and where they, most importantly, are able to visit, to honor their loved ones for many, many years to come.

Learn more in this video from our Mausoleum Director Mike Sirowitz.

End of life is a subject that many people avoid. It’s scary, it’s emotional, it’s expensive, and there’s no doubt that this feeling that “It’s just not time, it’s not necessary, there are too many other things that are important right now.”

Those are all valid feelings, but what’s so interesting is that we spend most of our lives preparing for the future. We all know we go to preschool to prepare for elementary school, elementary school to prepare for high school, high school to prepare for college. We go to college to prepare for a career, and we spend most of our careers preparing for retirement. But those are all big question marks. The only thing that is definite, unfortunately, is that we will ultimately all die, and yet, there is a reluctance to prepare for the one thing that is definite. There’s no doubt planning in advance gives comfort, gives security, and a greater sense of peace.

Learn more in this video from our Mausoleum Director Mike Sirowitz.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Since Abraham purchased the Cave of Machpelah as a burial place for Sarah, it has been a sacred tradition for Jews to be laid to rest either in or on hallowed ground. This is in accord with the widespread Biblical and post-Biblical custom of burying the dead in niches cut into the walls of a cave (Genesis 23:9), leaving no question that the Mausoleum at Temple Beth El is firmly within Jewish tradition.

Within the Reform community, cremation is very much an acceptable option. Over the last 25 years, it has become increasingly more popular, and there are many reasons why some people may prefer cremation. Learn more in this video from our Mausoleum Director, Mike Sirowitz.

The Beth El Mausoleum has many affordable options, and is comparable to other choices in the area. Interest-free financing is available. A Mausoleum Advisor will help to select the best, most affordable option for your needs. Learn more about managing funeral costs in this video from our Mausoleum Director, Mike Sirowitz.

Yes. There are many beautiful spaces that can be purchased for use by future generations.

Many options are available, either at Temple Beth El or on the grounds of the Beth El Mausoleum.

A Mausoleum Advisor can provide guidance on the role of clergy, choosing an appropriate place for the service, funeral homes, and Jewish traditions and rituals and putting all of your financial arrangements into place.