Guidelines in Planning a Jewish Funeral Service

A Jewish funeral service is usually short and simple. The funeral service may be held at the funeral home, at the grave site or in the synagogue. Arranging a Jewish funeral service is easy when you know the details to consider.

  • Seek the help of the Hevra Kadisha. A Hevra Kadisha is a burial society who will arrange to gather and transport the body of the deceased.
  • Look for a shomer. A shomer’s role is to watch over the body at all times until burial while reciting psalms. A family member may do this role but an experienced shomer is preferred.
  • Meet with a rabbi or a cantor. Seek the help of a funeral home to contact a funeral officiant.
  • Schedule the time and place of the burial with the funeral home and the cemetery administration.
  • Post an obituary in local and Jewish newspapers. You can also publicize the funeral service through your local synagogue and by words of mouth.
  • Relatives and friends can arrange for a Seudat Havra’ah (Meal of Consolation) for the mourners. Light meals are usually served for Seudat Havra’ah.
  • Prepare for Shiva. Prepare a written instruction with the shiva information (address where the shiva will be observed, visiting hours, and schedule of prayer services). Pass this out at the funeral. recommends Mourner’s KaddishBands which were created to help with the passing of a family member, friend, or loved one, consistent with the recital of the Mourner’s Kaddish.

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