Death and Mourning

The days of mortals are like grass; We flourish as the flowers of the field. A wind passes over them and they are no more…But Adonai’s compassion is everlasting.  Psalm 103

flowers in field-700- holistic-monkey-flickr

Notifying the BJ Community

When we are informed about the death of a BJ family member a condolence email is sent to the BJ community as soon as possible.  Information about funeral arrangements and shiva plans will also be sent, if desired. An announcement also appears in the weekly Kol Jeshurun.

Other Support

Our Hevra Kadisha (Comforting Mourners) volunteers offer additional support and resources:

  • Perform tahara (preparation of the body for burial)
  • Assure  a minyan will be present to say kaddish when shiva takes place in Manhattan
  • Provide escorts for mourners into Kabbalat Shabbat services
  • Contact the family by phone at the time of Sholshim (30 days) and prior to the High Holy Days and Pesah

BJ sends a condolence platter to the family and provides siddurim, kippot and a havdalah set for shiva minyanim in Manhattan.

See our online Guide for Mourners.

Funeral Services

BJ recommends Plaza Jewish Community Chapel because it is the only non-profit and communally owned chapel serving the Jewish Community in New York. It also offers a host of useful resources including cemetery and synagogue directions, bereavement services, Jewish funeral customs, funeral etiquette, as well as practical and spiritual pre-planning materials.

Cemetery Plots

BJ owns cemetery plots in the King Solomon Memorial Park section of the West Ridgelawn Cemetery in Clifton, NJ as well as in Beth Olam Cemetery in Ridgewood, Queens. For information on burial arrangements, contact Billie Di Stefano.

Reading List

The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning by Rabbi Maurice Lamm, Jonathan David, New York 1969

Mourning and Mitzvah: A Guided Journal for Walking the Mourner’s Path Through Grief to Healing by Anne Brener, Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock, Vermont 1993

Consolation, The Spiritual Journey Beyond Grief by Rabbi Maurice Lamm, The Jewish Publication Society, New York 2004

The Jewish Mourner’s Book of Why by Arthur Kolatch, Jonathan David, New York 1993

On Death and Dying by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Collier Books, Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., New York 1969

The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker, The Free Press, a Division of Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., New York 1973