When someone passes away, the first call should be to the funeral home. The funeral home will send personnel to the location to pick up the deceased, take him or her back to their facility, and then prepare the body for whatever arrangements have been made. If those arrangements had been prearranged, it makes things a lot easier. If not, the funeral home will work with the family to make the necessary arrangements. The family can then call me, as Mausoleum Director, or the funeral home will call me. And that will put them things in motion in terms of planning for the funeral.
While tradition says that a Jewish funeral should be within 24 to 48 hours, that’s not always possible, depending on the circumstances of death, where the family is, and a lot of other variables, but we will make every effort working with the family and the funeral home to set a time that is convenient and appropriate, that will be within a couple of days. There will be several conversations back and forth to determine the exact time and location of the funeral, in terms of where the service will take place, and what the family’s wishes are.
The content of the funeral, that will usually come in a second conversation with the rabbi. That conversation will be important for the rabbi to get to know the decedent, especially if they had not ever met. Although we are fortunate that many of the mausoleum owners are also Temple members, and have been for quite a long time, but in the event that we don’t have that long-term relationship, the rabbis will spend time with the family, get to know a little bit about them, the history, and what the person’s life was all about so they can prepare an appropriate funeral.
Other things that we’ll need to know are members who are attending, those who will be speaking, and these days with Zoom funerals, we’ll need to know if anybody will be speaking via Zoom. But we’ll be with you every step of the way. We will work with the funeral home, the clergy, the family, to create a very meaningful and appropriate funeral service for the loved ones who have passed.