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Okanagan Jewish Community

FUNERAL PLANNING AND PROCEDURES GUIDE

 

CLICK HERE for the Okanagan Jewish Community Gates of Peace Brochure

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

 

1.  WHAT TO DO WHEN AILING AND DEATH IS IMMINENT

2.  WHAT TO DO AT THE TIME OF DEATH 

3.  WHAT HAPPENS TO THE DECEASED

4.  FAMILY CHECK LIST

5.  SHMIRA

6.  POST-FUNERAL

7.  EXPECTED COSTS

8.  CONTACT INFORMATION

_____________________________________________________________

 

 

1.  WHAT TO DO WHEN AILING AND DEATH IS IMMINENT:

 

Pre-planning for this event is very helpful in reducing the difficulty of doing so post-death. Although it is difficult to do many of these things in the months/weeks prior to death, it is often easier at THAT time rather than waiting until death and having to deal with these extra details on top of the emotions and stresses of losing a loved one.

 

PRE-PLANNING by the family may include; in random order:

·      Obituary

·      Being in contact with the OJC

·      Being in contact with Valleyview funeral home and Lakeview Memorial Gardens Cemetery to complete the necessary paperwork.

·      Thinking about the desire for a meal of condolence after the funeral and its location.

·       Thinking about the wish for Shmira (watching over the body). 

o   There are certainly limitations that one may encounter with this, as noted in section 5.

·       Thinking about having Shiva during the week following the funeral.

o   The ritual referred to as "sitting shiva" lasts for seven days, during which family members traditionally gather in one home and receive visitors.

·      Buying a plot at the Gates of Peace Jewish cemetery

·      Thinking about any special requests for Pallbearers

·      Assigning someone to deliver a eulogy

·       Deciding who will lead the funeral service

o   Some options available to the family include: 

§  Their bringing someone in (rabbi or lay-person) to lead the funeral

§  Choosing to use a lay-person from the OJC (if available)

§  Choosing to use either the OJC-Affiliated Rabbi or the Chabad Okanagan Rabbi.

·      Any other special requests from the deceased or family.  

 

2.  WHAT TO DO AT THE TIME OF DEATH: 

 

Contact the OJC office in order to connect with the OJC Funeral Liaison person.

a.       During off hours, the answering machine will provide you with the name and phone number of an executive member who will connect you with the OJC Funeral Liaison person.  

                                               i.     It is best that the family uses this Funeral Liaison person to coordinate the details.

                                             ii.     The family should choose one family representative with whom the Funeral Liaison person should work with. Communications involving multiple family members and multiple OJC contacts can be very non-productive and confusing.

 

The Funeral Liaison person arranges the following:

·      Ensures that the plot is purchased (hopefully this has already taken place)

·      Speaks to the Valleyview Funeral Home.  The funeral home will generally then contact the cemetery.

·      Notifies the Chevra Kadisha contact

·       Enquires with the family, who they would like to lead the funeral service. Some options to be given to the family include: 

o   Bringing someone in (rabbi or lay-person) to lead the funeral

o   Choosing to use a lay-person from the OJC (if available)

o   Choosing to use either the OJC-Affiliated rabbi or the Chabad Okanagan rabbi.

·       Setting the timing. Generally the funeral is within a few days but you may wait for family from out-of-town to arrive.

o   There are no funerals on Shabbat and certain Festival days.

o   Sunday is a good day but entails supplemental fees and may not always be possible from the cemetery point of view.

o   The funeral liaison person will coordinate the time

§  According to the wish of the family.

§  The availability of the person leading the service.

§  The availability of the funeral home/cemetery. 

·      The cemetery often requires 1 - 2 days notice to prepare the grave, and at times, may be busy with another funeral.

 

3.  WHAT HAPPENS TO THE DECEASED:

 

When death occurs at the hospital the funeral home will pick up the deceased once released by the hospital. The funeral home will call the ward/hospital, in order to find out if the "deceased has been released." If death occurs at hospice, the procedure is the same.

 

4.  FAMILY CHECK LIST:

 

The family needs to:

·      Initially contact the OJC.   It is preferable to initiate this contact when death is imminent. Waiting for the actually death prior to notification is often more difficult.

·      Supply the deceased persons tallit so it can be given to the Chevra Kadisha group and used as part of the preparation ritual. 

·      Write the obituary and submit it. It is often good to have the funeral time and location included.

·      Supply the Hebrew name. This is used by both Chevra Kadisha and the person leading the service.

·      Make a decision with regards to the post-funeral reception requirements (if any) and location: OJC, home, other hall?

·      Decide on pallbearers, if there are specific persons.   If there are no specific requests, often members are drawn at random at the cemetery ground.

·       Decide on who will write and read the eulogy (if desired).

·      Decide what other participation the family would like to do.

 

5.  SHMIRA:

 

Shmira (watching over the body until burial) can be a difficult issue for us in a small community.  This has been done a few times in the past, but only when specifically requested and/or pre-arranged. Shmira begins in the funeral home. Shmira is easier to arrange when the funeral is the next day.  If the funeral is several days later, there are practical issues of finding sufficient volunteers.  Family members may volunteer to be involved in Shmira. Please NOTE that there is a $65/hour EXTRA charge by the funeral home for off hours. Off hours are usually from 5pm until 8am and the funeral home hires a security person to be in the building. The family is responsible for this charge, if the overnight Shmira is desired.

 

6.  POST-FUNERAL:

 

Items to consider:   

·      An unveiling is done within one year of burial and after the ground has settled when a plaque (grave marker) is unveiled.  

·      Family may consider putting the name of the deceased on the OJC Memorial Board and/or Tree of Life.

 

7.  EXPECTED COSTS:

 

Approximate costs below can change without notice:

·       PLOT 

o   The plots are purchased through the OJC.  

§  OJC Member: $4000 (must be a member for 3 years)

§  Non-member: $5000

o   The cemetery committee chair is in charge of allocations of plots.

 

·       FUNERAL HOME (Valleyview Funeral Home)

o   Expenses are approximately $3500.

§  There is an EXTRA charge for Sunday ($450)

§  Extra charge for Shmira ($65/hour) during non-business hours

§  Extra charge for long-distance transport (over 45 km).

 

·       CEMETERY (Lakeview Memorial Gardens)

o   Approximately $2500

 

·       RABBI'S EXPENSES

o   Travel expenses, if applicable, (flight and accommodation)

o   An honorarium for the service.

 

·      PERSONAL EXPENSES.

·      OBITUARY

·      POST-FUNERAL RECEPTION.  

·       GRAVE MARKER

o   Allow 8-10 weeks to prepare

o   Purchased through the Cemetery

o   Will be installed just prior to the time of the unveiling.  

o   Approximately $2000.

The total cost will be several thousands of dollars. Families are encouraged to arrange burials while still healthy so that at the time of passing additional stress of financial burden is not put upon the shoulders of the family.

 

8. CONTACT INFORMATION:

 

Okanagan Jewish Community Association & Beth Shalom Synagogue

102 Snowsell Street North

Kelowna, BC, V1V 2E2

250-862-2305

Email: admin@ojcc.ca

Cemetery Chaiperson: dspevakow@gmail.com

 

Valleyview Funeral Home                                    Lakeview Memorial Gardens

165 Valleyview Road                                                2850 Dry Valley Road

Kelowna, BC V1X 3M5                                     Kelowna, BC V1V 2K1

250-765-3147                                                            250-765-2929

 

Information as of November 2016