E. B. Gormley Funeral Home has always served the needs of the
entire Jewish community. We are experienced in all aspects of
traditional preparations, services and burials. Our staff
personally handles and conducts all aspects of notifications to
Rabbi, Chevra Kadisha (if requested), cemetery, burial society,
The following specific information is often relevant at the time
1. Hebrew Name
2. Father's Hebrew Name
3. Mother's Hebrew Name
Decisions also need to be made with regard to:
1. Taharah (see Chevra Kadisha of Greater Kingston, below)
2. Tallit (prayer shawl for men)
3. Do you prefer a funeral home (chapel) service, service at the
synagogue and/or graveside?
4. Preference for Rabbi and/or Cantor
5. Casket bearer preferences
6. Newspaper notices should be placed in which cities?
7. Cemetery information
8. Burial society or contact person
9. Preference for memorial contributions
Chevra Kadisha of Greater Kingston
It is the responsibility of the Chevra Kadisha to prepare the
deceased for burial according to traditional practice. Chevra
Kadisha literally means "Holy Society", and refers to the holiness
of spirit with which these duties are preformed. Members of the
Chevra Kadisha who perform the ritual tasks do so with a sense of
responsibility to serve the needs of the community, and derive no
personal or monetary gain. The Chevra Kadisha of Greater Kingston
provides the Jewish community with the rites of traditional Jewish
burial. Functioning as a Jewish Burial Society, volunteer members
of the Chevra Kadisha work in cooperation with a local funeral home
at the time of need.
It is said that the act of caring for the deceased is one of the
highest mitzvot that a person can perform, since it is an act of
righteousness and loving kindness which the recipient can never
return. It is in that spirit that many of our volunteers have
chosen to learn and participate in the traditional rites of the
For more information call (845) 331-9003 (evenings). To find area
synagogues visit the Jewish Federation Newspaper
If desired, death notices will be composed and placed in
designated newspapers. A death notice is a paid item that will be
listed on your funeral purchase agreement. Generally, information
regarding survivors, services, calling hours, donations, etc. are
incorporated into the death notice, and it usually appears in the
newspaper up to the day of the funeral. If there are any specific
items you would like to add or omit, please let us know.
Obituaries are considered "news items" by newspapers, which is why
there is no charge by most newspapers to the family. Data from the
death notice is combined with biographical background information.
Unlike a death notice, the editors have full control over the
content and wording of the obituary. Obituaries are "run" in a
newspaper one time only. The use of photographs are run at the
discretion of the newspaper.
The Daily Freeman is our largest area newspaper and published
seven days a week. The Times Herald Record is also a well-read
newspaper. The funeral home must have notices called in to the
paper by late afternoon the day before it is to be published.
We provide the service of placing newspaper notices in any area of
the country should previous residence or family ties be considered.
A fee may be charged by the newspaper.
Preparation of the Body
The tahara (purification) us performed by the Chevra Kadisha
consisting of Jewish men and women who are knowledgeable in the
area of traditional duties, and can display proper respect for the
deceased. In addition to the physical cleansing and preparation of
the body for burial, they also recite the required prayers asking
Almighty G-d for forgiveness for any sins the deceased may have
committed, and praying that the All-Merciful may guard him/her and
grant him/her eternal peace.
Jewish tradition recognized the democracy of death. It therefore
demands that all Jews be buried in the same type of garment. A
simple, handmade, white shroud (available from the funeral home)
symbolizes purity, simplicity, and dignity.
A Jewish man is then wrapped in his tallit-regardless of whether
or not it is expensive, or how new it is. If a tallit is not
available to the family, the funeral home has a supply for burial
Earth from the Holy Land is placed in the casket with the
Should the synagogue not have an organized Chevra Kadisha, the
Chevra Kadisha of Greater Kingston, Inc. will be called by our
funeral home to promptly tend to the prescribed rituals. A deceased
woman is taken care of by women and a deceased man by men.
Traditionally the practice of embalming is prohibited (except for
special circumstances.) Therefore, the deceased should remain in
refrigeration until taharah.
In the event of an autopsy or embalming, there may be problems
with performing the taharah; Rabbi should be consulted.
Keriah (rending the garment)
The most striking Jewish expression of grief is the rending of
garments by the mourner prior to the funeral service. Seven
relations are involved: son, daughter, father, mother, brother,
sister and spouse. They must be adults, above the age of thirteen.
There are certain circumstances which allow others to
The eulogy is a significant focus of the funeral service. One of
the most important obligations of mourners is to provide for this
eulogy. The eulogy is almost always spoken at the chapel or,
occasionally, at the cemetery prior to burial. In order to make a
dignified and honest presentation, the Rabbi will have to know
certain basic facts of the life of the deceased. Be prepared to
tell him all of the departed's good qualities and accomplishments.
The Rabbi will want to know the relationship of the deceased with
the family, how he earned his livelihood, what was his educational
background, organizational involvements, memberships and charities
the deceased participated in, the extent of his observance of
Judaism, and his identification with the Jewish people.
This discussion with the Rabbi should be held by one close to the
deceased, but who is not so emotionally exercised that he cannot
impart the necessary information.
Many families prefer to have friends or other family members
assist in carrying the casket, rather than funeral home staff.
Those selected for this tribute should be physically and
emotionally able. In regard to safety, at least six bearers are
preferred. Their duty will be to carry the casket from the funeral
home, at the place of religious service, and onto the
If there are individuals unable to carry the casket, they should
be designated as "Honorary Bearers." They will walk with the casket
while the casket-bearers carry.
Unless otherwise specified, bearers should arrive the same time as
the family. If a synagogue service will be conducted, bearers are
encouraged to drive their own cars so they can be with their
families.. They will be fully instructed as to their
responsibilities on the day of the funeral. We will ask you for the
completed list prior to the funeral.
After the Funeral
Some families, after the funeral, have a gathering at a home,
restaurant or hall. Please let us know if you wish us to make an
announcement at the cemetery inviting those attending to this
gathering. Additionally, should at any time during the wake and
funeral you need wooden folding chairs, we store a supply at the
funeral home. You may borrow them and return them when
The Shiva Period
The seven days of mourning begin immediately after interment. They
end on the morning of the seventh day after burial, immediately
following the shacharit (morning) service. In computing the seven
days, Jewish tradition follows the principle of considering a
fraction of a day (at the beginning and the end) as a complete day.
Thus, the day of burial is considered as the first day. Thus, too,
the seventh day is considered a full day even though mourning was
observed for only a short time after sunrise. Two fractional days
of mourning are counted as two whole days of shiva, The house of
mourning must be prepared with a candle for the return of the
mourners from the cemetery. The candle, in memory of the deceased,
should be kindled and kept burning for the entire seven-day period
of shiva. It is kindled upon returning from the cemetery. The shiva
candle will be provided by us prior to the service and given to you
at the cemetery.
Wood shiva benches, upon request, will be provided by the funeral
home as well. These will be locally delivered to the home where
shiva is to be observed. Please call us when you wish us to pick
We recommend that Rabbi should be consulted regarding shiva and
all related observances.
The Sh'loshim Period The following principles are used in
computing the thirty-day period:
1. Counting starts from the date of burial, not the date of
2. Partial days are to be considered full days.
3. Sh'loshim ends after morning services on the 30th day after
Cemeteries require their charges i.e. opening fees, overtime,
weekend or winter rates, be paid in full at the time of burial. In
most instances it is not necessary for you to go to the cemetery
before the day of the funeral. Your check for the charges may be
made payable to the cemetery and given to us. We will present the
check along with other required documents to the cemetery
superintendent on the day of the funeral.
Should you need to purchase a grave or plot (multiple graves,) we
will go with you to the cemetery of your choice to assist in the
selection. Grave costs and opening charges vary. Many local
cemeteries do have overtimes charges for late in the day and
weekend burials. We have listings of all.
Montrepose Cemetery in Kingston has several sections owned by
congregations and burial societies. Each synagogue and society has
its own rules and regulations. We have a listing of individuals to
contact for information.
As of 2003, grave openings at Montrepose Cemetery are $445.00
(Monday-Friday) and $625.00 on Sunday. There are additional charges
for a tent, severe winter conditions and for rock removal. Any
interment orders for a Sunday must be given to Montrepose by 11:00
The Monument and Unveiling
Erecting a monument is a very ancient tradition. There are certain
guidelines suggested by Jewish law regarding when the stone should
be purchased, when the monument may be erected, inscription, style,
and other involvements.
Call us when you are ready to plan for a foot marker, monument or
other memorial. We will recommend you to a highly qualified
memorialist who will assist you.www.rockofages.com
The service of commemoration or unveiling is a formal dedication
of the monument. It is customary to hold the unveiling within the
first year after death. It may be held at any time between the end
of shiva and the yahrzeit.
After the funeral you may consider what must be done at the
cemetery regarding a monument. If you already have a stone on the
plot, we can help arrange to have the name, date, etc. engraved. In
most cases we can have the monument dealer letter the stone at the
Should you need to purchase a monument or grave marker, give us a
call and we will be glad to recommend a reputable monument dealer.
There is, of course, no obligation or cost for this service. We
also have brochures and other useful advice on selecting a monument
dealer and a monument.
Temporary anodized aluminum grave markers are available from our
funeral home. This permits the grave to be properly marked on the
day of burial. The name and years of birth and death are
Those who wish to honor the dead, or their survivors, may do so in
a genuinely religious spirit. They may bring a token of their
esteem with them during shiva or send it through the mail.
It is significant and useful to contribute a sacred article for
synagogue or school use. This might include Bibles, prayer books,
scholarly works, Torahs and Torah ornaments, etc. These will
usually be acknowledged by the synagogue or school immediately so
that the mourners will be notified of the gift during shiva.
Donations to charities at the time of the funeral is an ancient
Jewish custom. It is in the spirit of dignity and in keeping with
Jewish tradition to make such contributions as memorials to the
dead. Naturally, if the deceased felt close to a specific charity,
such as a medical research program, it might be wise to contribute
to that fund.
You may desire us to note in the newspaper notice the specific
request of donations. The full name and address should be obtained.
Please see the next page for a list of memorial suggestions.