Whether the loss of a loved one is anticipated or comes unexpectedly, family members often feel unprepared. Our clergy are here to support and guide you and your family. “Our Reform Jewish Funeral Practices” booklet provides a deeper understanding of the Jewish approach to life and death, and addresses many of the traditions and customs surrounding death, burial rites, and mourning. It also contains information about our funeral plan, whether a funeral service is held at Temple Beth-El, graveside, or at the Chicago Jewish Funerals’ chapel.
Our clergy want to offer support before a loved one has passed away. They know that being together with a family when death is near is a sacred moment. Their presence can bring comfort to one who is dying, and support to their family. And their knowledge of tradition and ritual can help to ease this difficult time.
After a loved one has passed away, please call the Temple before making arrangements so our clergy can assure their availability with you during your time of need. Our clergy will meet with you and your family to help you choose the best way to honor your loved one; can connect you with a Jewish funeral chapel, will officiate at your loved one’s funeral and burial services and make arrangements for shiva minyans.
From the rituals and customs of our religion — preparing for a funeral, sitting shiva, saying kaddish, and observing yahrzeit – to the emotions and grief surrounding a loss, our Temple community is here to serve.
Dedication or Unveiling Service: The term “unveiling” comes from the act of removing the cloth covering a headstone – as one unveils or dedicates the permanent marker at a loved one’s gravesite. Although it is often customary for this service to take place at the end of the first year of mourning, it may be scheduled any time after a month has passed from the date of the funeral. This service can be led by one of our clergy, or if one prefers to conduct the service on their own, we are happy to provide materials to do so.
Yizkor: Even after the official period of mourning comes to an end, one may find comfort attending a yizkor service at Temple Beth-El. Held four times during the year — on Yom Kippur and during the festivals of Sukkot, Passover, and Shavuot — the service is an opportunity for our community to come together in prayer, remembrance, and personal reflection.