The Bereavement Committee at Temple Beth Or provides individualized support to member families in the time of loss, based on the particular needs of the family and their situation. We work closely with the Mitzvah Corps to meet the needs of grieving community members. One of the services that our Committee provides is planning for funerals. We assist with the purchase of a cemetery plot, preferably in advance, but also at the time of need, in the TBO section of the GAR Cemetery. We present options, with the Rabbi, for the type and location of the service, musical participation, and provide prayer books, kippot, shivah candles and kriah ribbons, as needed. We also coordinate the meal of consolation, following the funeral. In the event of a loss of an out of town family member, the Bereavement Committee will coordinate a memorial service at TBO, to honor the member's loved one. The Bereavement Committee arranges for minyan services during shivah, if requested, and also notifies the community of the loss and any corresponding services, per the wishes of the family.
The Bereavement Committee also prepares, updates and maintains copies of "The Practical Guide to Jewish Burial and Mourning Customs" and "Memorial Prayers". These booklets are available to members at their time of need or can be requested in advance from the Temple Office. We also coordinate improvements and upkeep in our section of the cemetery, such as adding new plants and cleaning the gravestones. Additionally, we manage the yahrzeit plaques that are in the sanctuary. Of course, like all TBO Committees we develop an annual budget and track our finances.
Susan Cross is the chair of the Bereavement Committee, with assistance from team members Carolyn Wexler, Eileen Hinds, Melanie Field, and Amber Waldbaum. The committee does not hold regularly scheduled meetings, we meet on an as needed basis, which averages once per year. We are looking to add another member, if you are interested in being part of this group, please contact any member of the Committee directly. We can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope you never need us, but be assured that if you do, we will be there for you.