Common Jewish Funeral Traditions

By: Danny Amoruccio
Wednesday, November 2, 2022

The Jewish funeral ceremony is grounded in millennia of tradition and adheres firmly to a set of practices per the principles of the Torah. Some Reformed Jews have made changes to certain customary Jewish funeral traditions, while the Conservative and Orthodox Jewish communities continue to place a strong emphasis on them. When Jewish families need funeral and burial services, they should approach a funeral home that can customize services for them.

Facts about Jewish Funeral Traditions

If you are attending someone's Jewish funeral, it's essential to know what traditions mean. Here is some information from the experts at Willowbrook Cemetery:

  • Traditional Jewish burial customs include shredding a garment ( keryah) or cutting ceremonial black ribbons that the mourners afterward wear. This may occur just before the funeral ceremony in a small chamber with the officiating Rabbi. As an outward gesture of mourning and acknowledgment of death, shredding clothing is a familiar ritual. A benediction, or prayer of thanks to God, is also often said at this time.
  • Jewish funeral traditions dictate that the ceremony be held at funeral homes or the gravesite, with the odd ceremony conducted in a synagogue.
  • The funeral would be short and straightforward, serving to pay respects to the deceased and provide mourners with an opportunity to express their sympathy to the family.
  • Readings, eulogies, and prayers may all be a part of a Jewish burial ceremony.
  • Flowers are often not offered at Jewish funerals. An alternative would be to make a gift in the person's name to a Jewish charity or other groups they were active with in life. The family would appreciate a kosher food present, which is acceptable.
  • Even though there are many variants of the Jewish funeral service, most Conservative and Orthodox Jews are buried in a plain wooden casket in a natural burial location in a Jewish cemetery.
  • The Chevra Kadisha, a group of specialized caretakers, will give them a ceremonial bath and wrap them in a tachrachim, or burial shroud. From the moment of washing until the time of burial, the caretakers will help the family.

For more information about Jewish funeral traditions, contact Willowbrook Cemetery. We can help you pick the ideal final resting place for the departed soul at our serene cemetery. 

Leave a comment
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.


Please wait

Previous Posts

Creative Ideas For Funeral Services

Funeral services are a time-honored tradition for honoring and celebrating the lives of our loved ones who have passed away. While traditional funeral services are still popular, there are now more...

Cremation - The Advantages and Disadvantages

Cremation is a funeral practice that involves reducing the body of a deceased person to ashes through burning. In recent years, it has become an increasingly popular choice for end-of-life services...

Benefits of Planning Your Funeral While You’re Still Alive

Death is an inevitable part of life, and planning for your funeral may not be something you want to consider. However, at Willowbrook Cemetery, we believe there are many benefits to planning your f...

7 Unique Ways to Memorialize a Loved One

At Willowbrook Cemetery, we have seen how families struggle to cope with the passing of a loved one. We strongly believe that when you find a unique way to memorialize a loved one, you honor them a...

5 Memorable Ways To Honor Your Loved One Once They’ve Passed On

Losing a loved one is never easy. Despite having said their final goodbyes, the inevitability of death can leave a person feeling empty. Even if your loved one is no longer physically present, they...

7 Funeral Etiquette Tips You Need to Know

Death has been referred to as the last taboo: the one topic that many don't want to contemplate, much less discuss, more than any other. Funerals do occur, and how we behave and what we say before,...

Building The Perfect Video Memorial For Your Loved One

We at Willowbrook Cemetery think a video memorial is a beautiful way to remember a loved one who has passed. The pain of loss and the helplessness we may feel in the face of our sorrow is a well-kn...

Coping with Memories of Grief and Loss During Hannukah

Even while the holidays are a powerful reminder of our losses, they are also an appropriate time to remember and celebrate the lives of those we have lost. Dealing with a loss during Hannukah can h...

Care Essentials While Grieving The Loss Of A Loved One

Grieving the loss of a loved one may sometimes test even the strongest of people. Experiencing loss is a personal journey everyone must do on their terms. Willowbrook Cemetery knows how difficult i...

Remembering A Loved One At Thanksgiving

When we still mourn the loss of a beloved one as the Thanksgiving holiday season approaches, everything seems different, as if the world were turned upside down. We are frequently expected to conti...