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Guidelines for Supporting Congregants in Times of Death, Mourning and Bereavement

When there is a need for assistance and support following the death of a loved one, please know that your rabbis and lay leadership are available for you and your family. At this time, during the Coronavirus pandemic, procedures for funerals and burials have changed to assure safety for those involved. Funerals are now generally performed at graveside with, in most cases, a limited number of attendees, including the rabbi. When possible, the funeral and shiva may be available for additional people to attend electronically. In this way, the larger community is able to to offer support to our congregants.

The following procedures are guidelines when the need for a funeral or shiva occurs.

1. Notify Rabbi Linda or Rabbi Nathan by phone through the BI office (610-566-4645) or by email ( The rabbis check both locations frequently.

2. You may want to use a funeral home to help with some arrangements. Please tell them to contact the synagogue office to coordinate building use, if currently allowed. The Jewish funeral homes serving the Philadelphia and suburban areas are listed below:

Goldstein's Rosenberg's Raphael-Sacks Funeral Directors, Inc. at (215-927-5800)

Joseph Levine and Son, Inc. at (215-942-4700)

Berschler and Shenberg Funeral Chapels, Inc. (215-329-2900)

In Wilmington - Schoenberg Memorial Chapel (302-762-0334) 

3. Purchase a cemetery plot, if needed. Congregation Beth Israel has arranged with Har Jehuda cemetery (8400 Lansdowne Ave, Upper Darby) to have a number of plots available for purchase by BI members. For more information, contact the Beth Israel office.

At the end of the first year of mourning, it is traditional to install a headstone at the gravesite and have an unveiling ceremony. The rabbis can assist you with this process.

Please contact the office to add your loved one's yahrzeit to the BI database for annual reminders. They can also assist if you wish to purchase a memorial plaque to place in the sanctuary.

Although death and funeral arrangements are sensitive topics that many people don't speak about until the need arises, your rabbis encourage you to discuss these topics in advance. They are pleased to help facilitate the necessary conversations.

CDC Guidance on Funerals

Thu, November 30 2023 17 Kislev 5784