The death of a beloved family member is one of the most difficult and stressful events that we face in our lifetime. There are decisions to be made, many of which have to be done almost immediately. Jewish Memorial Gardens realizes how hard this is on the family, and has put a great deal of effort into minimizing the burden on the family.
Our Executive Director is well equipped to provide the necessary information required at time of death, and to advise you of the procedures surrounding the preparation for the funeral, burial, and shiva process.
When a death occurs, regardless of time of day, or night, unless during Shabbat or Yom Tov, telephone Jewish Memorial Gardens at 613-688-3530. There are several selections to choose from, but Option 1 can be selected immediately to report the death. You will be put through to the Executive Director who will then guide you through the process.
PLEASE NOTE THAT CALLS WILL NOT BE ANSWERED ON SHABBAT OR YOM TOV – YOU MUST WAIT UNTIL AFTER SUNDOWN ON THESE DAYS TO CALL – NO ARRANGEMENTS CAN BE MADE UNTIL THEN.
Please go to this site for this week’s Shabbat times. The site also provides monthly calendars where you will see the times for Jewish holidays.
Once you reach the Executive Director, she will ask you for the following information:
- English and Hebrew name of the deceased.
- Where the deceased is currently located.
- If the deceased has Interment Rights, and if yes, in the section of which synagogue.
(Each synagogue has its own section and exercise Halakhic control over that section.)
- If the deceased was a Member of the synagogue, in good standing, if not, their membership will need to be paid.
- If there has been a pre-arrangement with a funeral home.
- Contact information for next of kin, or person responsible for the deceased.
The Executive Director will then assist you in dealing with the following items:
- TAHARA – This is the ritual purification of the body, which is generally carried out by members of the Chevra Kadisha. It fulfills the Biblical verse: “As we come forth, so shall we return.” The Executive Director will assist you in determining if the Tahara is necessary.
- SHOMER – The shomer is a person who sits with the deceased until the time of the funeral. Should you wish to have a shomer, and don’t have a relative or family friend to perform this observance, the Executive Director can help to arrange for one through the Chevra Kadisha.
- TALLIT – The Executive Director will ask if the family has possession of a tallit (Prayer Shawl) that will travel with the deceased to the funeral location. A tallit can be provided by the Chevra Kadisha if necessary.
- SHIVA – The Executive Director will provide advice on the observance of the Shiva period which follows the burial.
- FUNERAL HOME – The Executive Director can provide information on the two funeral homes normally used by our community, and can arrange the appointment with the funeral home to complete the death registration, select a kosher casket, and decide on funeral package choices. You are not obligated to use either of these funeral homes, but they are the ones with the most experience with Jewish funerals in Ottawa.
- FINANCIAL – The Executive Director will advise the family member of what fees will be collected by the funeral director for the following items where applicable: Opening and Closing of Grave, Tahara (performed by the Chevra Kadisha), Shomer, Interment rights, Synagogue membership fees. There will also be the cost of the funeral home’s services, which cover items such as the price of the casket and transportation. JMG has a list of typical charges for these items, and can advise family members of pricing before they go to the funeral director’s office.
- SCHEDULING – The Executive Director will work with the family and the clergy to schedule the time of the funeral
- LOCATION- The Executive Director will provide information on locations where the funeral may be held. Possible locations are the Chevra Kadisha Chapel at 1771 Cuba Avenue, the Cwinn Chapel at the Osgoode Cemetery, graveside, or at a local synagogue.
- CLERGY & SYNAGOGUE – The Executive Director will notify the synagogue rabbi of the death, and will determine with the synagogue director if the deceased had interment rights, and has maintained their membership status.
- CHEVRA KADISHA – The Executive Director will notify the Chevra Kadisha of the death and the requirement for their services
The Executive Director of Jewish Memorial Gardens is here to serve you. She will answer your questions and will assist you with all of the details associated with the funeral and burial. She is also available to pre-arrange, which will minimize the stress at the time of death.