Funerals and Mourning




I. Summary of Actions for the bereaved

Although death is a natural part of the human life cycle, it is a stressful time for the family. This section is intended to assist the bereaved make decisions during that painful period that follows immediately after a loved one dies.

This is a brief summary of key steps to take when a loved one dies.

· Call Rabbi and/or Temple Office and/or Temple President

· It is important that the Temple, and especially the Rabbi, be informed of the death as soon as possible.

· If death occurs at home, contact authorities (e.g., funeral home)

· Make arrangements for funeral (or memorial) service and burial or alternative

· Design funeral/memorial service with Rabbi

· Select location for service (Temple, Funeral Chapel, other)

· Purchase burial plot, niche *

· Select casket *

· Select pallbearers

· Make decisions about children’s attendance

· Decide location of Shiva

· Decisions regarding the deceased

· Private viewing of the body

· Sh’mira (guarding the body, reciting psalms)

· Tahara (ritual washing of the body)

· Shroud or street clothes

· Decisions regarding the funeral/memorial service (made with the Rabbi)

· Eulogy (Who will do this?)

· Will the cantor be there

· Eyl Maleh Rachamim

· Other readings

· Internment

· Seudat havra-ah (meal of consolation)

· Who will provide it

· Wash hands

· Round foods

· Mourning

· Shiva (3 or 7 days)

· Sheloshim (30 days)

· Aveilut (only for parents; 11 months)

· Provide for grave marker *

· Unveiling ceremony (after Sheloshim and Aveilut)

· Remembering

· Yizkor: Yizkor services are normally held at Yom Kippur and the major Festivals. At Yom Kippur, families may wish to remember loved ones in the book of remembrance. Only the names of those who have died in the past year are normally read at Yom Kippur

· Yahrzeit: The name of the deceased is read before the recitation of Kaddish on the Shabbat following the death and for each Shabbat during Sheloshim. After that, the name is read once a year on the Shabbat during the week of the anniversary (according to the Hebrew calendar) of the person’s death. Members are notified in advance of when the Yahrzeit will be observed, and dates are also listed in the Temple Bulletin.

· Memorial (Menorah) Board: Members are encouraged to purchase plaques on the Temple’s Menorah Board as a lasting reminder of their loved ones.

* Consider pre-planning for burial plot, casket and marker.

II. Funeral Information Form for Temple Shalom office

Full Name

Hebrew Name

Date of Birth

Social Insurance #

Highest Level of Education and Occupation

Spouse’s Name

Children’s Names (Spouse/partner in parentheses)

Parents’ Names (note spouses when remarriage has occurred)



Siblings’ Names (Spouse/partner in parentheses)

Grandchildren’s Names (Spouse/partner in parentheses)

Special Requests

Directions to Residence

Funeral Provider (contact information; information regarding prearrangement)

Location of Shiva

III. Information you can leave for your family

Dear Loved One,

These are my thoughts regarding my funeral and burial. I am hoping that by providing you with this, I can spare you some of the pain at a difficult time.

· My Hebrew name is:

· My will is held by

· I would like to

Be buried at (name of cemetery; note if you have made prearrangements and where the paperwork is)

Be cremated (if so, what would you like your family to do with your cremated remains?)

Be placed in a mausoleum crypt

Donate my body to science

· I would like my funeral or memorial service held

At Temple Shalom

At Chapel Lawn Cemetery chapel



· Gravesite

I have not yet purchased a plot

I have already purchased a plot at:

I wish to be buried in the family plot located at:

My family crypt is located at:

· Rabbinic preference???

· I would like the service to be public? Private?

· Specific requests for the service (prayers, psalms, hymns, music…)

· I would like the following traditional Jewish rituals to be observed

No embalming or viewing


Shroud; no jewellery

Wrapped in my tallith


Plain, all wood coffin

· I would/would not like fresh flowers

· My grave marker should be




· I would like

Memorial gifts made to Temple Shalom (specific fund?)

Memorial gifts made to specific charities (list)

A memorial plaque on the Menorah board

· Please have my obituary include the following details

(Should it include a photograph?)

Other wishes

IV. Traditional Jewish Funeral Practices

This section is provided to offer an overview of traditional Jewish funeral, mourning and memorial practices. In keeping with the diversity reflected among the congregants of Temple Shalom and the Jewish community of Winnipeg, it is left to each family to decide which of these traditional practices they wish to follow. Many will choose to adhere to only some of the traditions.

· The body of the deceased is washed according to the practice of Tahara

· The body is not embalmed, nor are cosmetics used on the body

· The body is robed in a shroud rather than street clothes and may be covered with a tallit

· The body is not left unattended at any time prior to burial. A shomer will stay with the deceased

· There is no public viewing of the body

· Burial takes place within 24-48 hours after death

· In-ground burial in a plain wooden coffin is traditional (like the shroud, this reflects concepts of modesty and equality)

· Traditional practice excludes cremation

· Traditional practice excludes above-ground (mausoleum) interment

· Traditional practice requires a plain, unadorned pine coffin with no metal parts

· Cut flowers are not normally used at a traditional Jewish funeral or at the cemetery

· Funeral services may take place at the Temple, at the Funeral Chapel or graveside

· Funeral services are normally conducted by the Rabbi, sometimes the Cantor is present, and include psalms, the El Melah Rachamim and the Mourner’s Kaddish

· The family sits Shiva for 7 (3 in Reform tradition) days following the funeral

· The family observes Sheloshim

· A memorial stone is unveiled within a year of the death

V. Glossary of Terms

Ahlav/Aleha HaShalom May he/she rest in peace

Aninut Period between death and burial (in traditional practice, no more than 24 hours)

Aveilut Period of 11 months of mourning for the death of a parent

Chevra Kedisha The “holy society,” a group of volunteers who take responsibility for preparing the deceased for burial

Eyl Maleh Rachamim A prayer requesting God’s compassion for the deceased; normally recited at the conclusion of the funeral service, the unveiling, and at Yizkor services

Hineni “Here I Am,” a synagogue committee (often part of a “Caring Committee”) that comforts congregants

Kaddish A prayer extolling God; the Mourner’s Kaddish is recited at the internment, at services during the mourning period and to mark a Yahrzeit and at Yizkor services

Kriah Tearing of garments as a sign of mourning* (usually replaced by wearing of a torn black ribbon)

Minyan Traditionally, a quorum of ten adult Jewish men required for the recitation of Kaddish

Seudat Havra-ah The first meal for mourners* returning from the cemetery. This is normally provided by individuals outside the bereaved family, frequently by the Temple. It should consist of round foods symbolizing the cycle of life

Sheloshim The first 30 days after burial. Traditionally, mourners* would attend services and recite Kaddish each day during this period

Shiva The first 7 (3) days following the funeral. During this period, Kaddish is recited by a minyan (Shiva Minyan) in the home. It is a time for family and friends to visit and offer their condolences to the mourners*

Shomer (Shomrim) Individuals who remain with the body, often reciting psalms, prior to the funeral; also refers to the practice itself; Sh’mira also refers to the act of performing shomrim

Tachrichim White linen shroud traditionally used to cover the deceased

Tahara Ritual purification/washing of the body in preparation for burial

Tehillim Psalms recited during Shomrim or at the funeral

Tzedakah Charitable donations; traditionally made in honour of the deceased

Yahrzeit Observance of the annual anniversary of a death

Yizkor “May he Remember,” prayer service of memorial recited on Yom Kippur and the 3 Festivals

Zichrono/Zichrona LeVeracha “May his/her memory be for blessing”

“Beit Chaim ….. Mikdash Shalom”

“Alternative & Traditional Jewish Burial in our segregated area of the Chapel Lawn Cemetery”

Temple Shalom Cemetary – 4000 Portage Avenue

Although death is a natural part of the human life cycle, it is a stressful time for a family. Temple Shalom, provides flexible options in keeping with the principles of Reform Judaism for members of the Jewish community and their families. We strive to help families by providing pre-planning, cemetery and funeral services which will assist them prior to and at the time of the death of a loved one.

We adhere to the Jewish principles of treating everyone with respect and dignity. We will attempt to honour the wishes of the deceased and the preferences of the family whenever possible. Our services are available to all members of the Jewish community regardless of their affiliation.

Cemetery Services:

We can provide for traditional burial in our cemetery section, Beit Chaim Mikdash Shalom, located within the Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens (4000 Portage Avenue). For those who wish, we can help to arrange for cremation; remains can be buried in Mikdash Shalom. According to accepted Reform Jewish practice, all Jews and their spouses (whether or not they are Jewish) can be interred side-by-side in Mikdash Shalom. The staff at Chapel Lawn can make arrangements for transport of the deceased to the Funeral Home and preparation of the body for burial. They will also make provisions for the Registration of Death. Chapel Lawn can provide a choice of caskets. Based on Reform practice, the deceased can be buried in tachrichim (a traditional shroud) or street clothes; a tallit is appropriate if desired in either case.

Funeral and Memorial Services:

Temple Shalom provides funeral and memorial services in the Temple Sanctuary, in the Chapel at Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens and graveside. Services are normally conducted by our cantor, Len Udow. Mr Udow will also officiate at unveilings. Services can be followed by a meal of consolation in either Temple Shalom’s social hall or at Chapel Lawn.

For Prearrangements or

When a Death Occurs Contact:

Terri Hlady at Chapel Lawn 982-8108

Temple Shalom Office 453-1625