End of Life Care

Beth Tikvah families receive support that recognizes the sanctity and dignity of human life in all its stages. We uphold the importance of belonging to the Jewish community by supporting you when you have lost a loved one. When a life nears its end, our Rabbi consoles and guides the ill, the aged, and their loved ones.

If you have a loved one who is ill, please contact us so that our Rabbi can visit and offer warmth and support in the face of difficult life challenges. To those nearing death and their loved ones, our Rabbi provides comfort and can offer spiritual guidance for difficult end-of-life decisions.

Upon losing a loved one, it is important to call the funeral home where the burial will take place. They will help you arrange many of the details. Our rabbi is honored to officiate at funerals or memorial services. It is important to contact the temple so that you may consult with the Rabbi about setting a time for the funeral and burial. Our rabbi will meet with members of the family prior to the funeral services.

Beth Tikvah shares property with Temple Beth Shalom at the historic Greenlawn Cemetery. Plots are available through Greenlawn Cemetery to members in good standing. Please contact Rabbi Kellner or Executive Director Debbie Vinocur  for additional details.


It is customary to observe the period of shiva. This is the first seven days following the loss of a loved one. The family may request to hold a minyan (prayer service) at their home during this time. The officiating rabbi will help make these arrangements with you. The Shiva minyan serves as a way to help the mourner gradually find wholeness. In modern times, Jews have adapted this observance to include an option for observing Shiva for three days. Please consult with the rabbi to determine what practice is most appropriate for your family.


An unveiling is the placement of a marker or gravestone at the place of burial. This takes place close to 11 months after burial. Arrangements can be made to observe this occasion at other times. Our Rabbi is honored to participate in an unveiling ceremony when requested. Some members choose to have an intimate gathering and lead this service themselves and the Rabbi is happy to assist you and guide you in this process.


Each year, on the anniversary of their death, we read aloud the names of our member’s loved ones who have passed. If you have not provided that information to the Temple, please do so, so that we might help you to honor a loved one’s memory in this meaningful traditional manner.

In addition to observing a yahrzeit, we have a memorial scroll that is displayed on the wall in the sanctuary. For a small fee, you may have your loved ones’ name inscribed by world renowned calligrapher, Ann Woods. Calligraphy is done twice a year and additional information can be obtained from the Rabbi or Executive Director.

Yizkor – We Remember

The Yizkor service is observed four times throughout the year, during Yom Kippur, at the conclusion of Sukkot, at the conclusion of Passover and on Shavuot. During this service, those who have lost a loved one at any point in their lives may come to recite the Yizkor prayer.

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End of Life Resources

  • “The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning” by Maurice Lamm
  • “Mourning and Mitzvah” by Anne Brenner