What to Expect at a Jewish Funeral

A funeral service is often an event that merges elements of faith with conventional traditions. Such is the case with Jewish funerals. Those who practice the Jewish faith typically fashion their funeral ceremonies to keep in line with their religious beliefs. If you are about to attend a Jewish funeral for the first time, the following information can help you better understand its traditions.

What to Expect at a Jewish Funeral - Skylawn Funeral Home - San Mateo, CA


Jewish funerals have no predetermined location. Where they take place may depend upon the wishes of the family and availability of spaces. Some ceremonies may begin in a traditional Jewish place of worship such as a synagogue. Others might start in a nondenominational funeral home. Some families might also choose to forgo these locations and have the funeral service take place at the cemetery.


Ritual can be an important part of a Jewish funeral. Time is especially critical. Jewish tradition holds that the funeral should take place within a day of a loved one dying. However, allowances can be made for funeral services where long-distance relatives and friends may be in attendance. Simplicity is another common facet of Jewish funerals. In particular, tradition states that the materials used for burial should allow for quick and natural decomposition. Depending on regional regulations, the deceased may not undergo customary embalming to facilitate this process.


Jewish funerals also place great importance on the bonds of the community. Immediate family of the deceased that are going through the mourning process often rely on their friends, neighbors, and fellow synagogue attendees to help them through their grief. For this reason, it is important for those who knew the passed loved one to be part of the funeral. Even though interaction between the family and funeral attendees might be restricted until the ceremony is done, a strong community presence is a typical hallmark of a Jewish funeral.

Skylawn Funeral Home & Memorial Park in San Mateo can help you coordinate a Jewish funeral that adheres to the tenets of your faith. If you have questions, our friendly and knowledgeable staff can answer them. Call (650) 349-4411 or visit our website to learn more about our expansive funeral and cremation services.

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