We are living in exceptional and challenging times and, as you know, we at Levinson's take the current situation very seriously. While we maintain communication with government agencies and are working diligently to reduce exposure to both families and staff, our goal will always be to provide compassionate funeral service to all those we serve.
Funerals are a fundamental part of a healthy grieving process. While there are certain restrictions right now, we urge you and your families to focus on the importance of what can be done, and to make use of the power of modern technology. Please see below for upcoming events, resources and information regarding our services.
This information is current as of:
Levinson's outdoor chapel can accommodate up to 20 attendees while following social distancing guidelines.
Levinson’s is actively working to do everything possible to ensure meaningful burial services out of respect for the deceased and for their family. You will still be able to:
Have a private graveside or outdoor chapel service
Speak to the rabbi so they can put together a eulogy
Have a few speakers of your own
Place earth in the grave
Receive a video recording of the service a day or two later, so people who can't attend will be able to hear what was said and witness the burial service. (Live webcasting available at outdoor chapel services only.)
Skype/FaceTime/Zoom at graveside services with family who can’t attend, so they can hear the service and participate if they wish
The main restriction is in the number of people who can attend the service. Based on the governor’s recent changes, both graveside services and outdoor chapel services can have no more than 20 attendees. To protect you and your family, all arrangements will be conducted by phone.
One of the impacts on our community is the loss of the support we get from the ritual of shiva. We strongly encourage families to set up their own Zoom shiva.
You can work with the rabbi to set a time for a virtual minyan and, if you wish, we can put the minyan days and times on our website along with your Zoom link. That way you can have support in prayer, as well as some time for multiple family members to share their memories.
How to support grieving families:
Support can be given to grieving families by offering condolences on the online memorial book and visiting their shiva page, where you can honor their memory by planting a tree in Israel or by making a donation to any designated charities. We have also posted several articles and resources on our Facebook page.
As you can see, while it may not be the funeral you would have planned, it still can be a profound and meaningful experience, even if some people are not able to be there in person. An opportunity to gather with the community for a memorial service at Levinson's will be offered to every family (once the health risk has passed). However, immediately following a death, we know that funerals and shiva are a vital part of that early time of loss and grief.
Kavod HaMet - respect for the dignity of the deceased - has always been the highest principle of Jewish burial, and adhering to that is always our main goal. But one of the things we feel sets us apart is our additional devotion to the needs of the mourners. If there is something else you believe we could be doing to help families at this time, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Matt Levinson at firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: We have considerably changed how we operate in order to ensure we are keeping our staff and our community safe and also remain fully operational. We ask that you understand that we are working in shifts and many of our staff members are working remotely, so some things may take additional time. If your question is not extremely time-sensitive, please reach out to us via email and we will reply as soon as we can. Please follow us on Facebook for future updates and resources.