An important note about mourning and loss during the COVID-19 outbreak:
In these highly unusual times we are all adjusting to the obligation upon all of us to save lives by insuring that we keep a safe distance from others. And, at the same time, there might possibly be times when families must gather. These, of course, include times of loss. We’d like to make you aware of requirements instituted by the Los Angeles Area Board of Rabbis for funerals. By sharing this information with you, we hope to facilitate your own planning should the need arise.
Our initial meeting with your family will be conducted using video or audio connections via computers or phones. Funeral services are best conducted at graveside only and if necessary a canopy will be provided. Only immediate family should attend the service. Any contact among those present at the funeral is to be avoided. This includes the sharing of objects such as the shovel for filling the grave or the kriah ribbons torn as a sign of mourning. We will all understand that the gesture of placing a hand over one’s heart indicates the very sentiments that a handshake or hug reflects in normal times.
It is possible to use a cellphone to transmit images of the funeral to those who cannot be present. Under most circumstances we strongly recommend that those over 70 avoid the service altogether so as to preserve their own health.
Shiva services will be conducted via the same video or audio connections as the initial family meetings.
We realize that these requirements add an additional layer of complexity during the very time when you need community most.
The clergy at Wise will endeavor to do our very best to offer you comfort and to insure that those whose presence will reassure you can be present during your time of loss.
We extend our deepest condolences to you in the hour of your loss. Our clergy endeavor to be present for you to the best of our abilities to help soften your pain.
Should you need a clergy person because of an immediate death. Please call the temple directly and you will receive an immediate response. After hours, the answering service will direct your call appropriately. Click here for guidance when you face the loss of a loved one.
Important: So that our clergy will be able to serve you most meaningfully, please do not set a funeral time without coordinating that time with the officiating clergy person.
Hillside has an excellent guide to answering children’s questions about death. Click here to download it.
Wise clergy are available to lead shiva services at any member’s home. We also recommend this website for assistance with shiva. Click here.
Wise Temple’s practice is to send an email notice to the entire congregation upon the death of a member or their loved one. When you notify the temple of your loss, we will ask your consent to send the email and work with you to ensure that we include the correct information. This email can include information about charitable contributions in memory of the deceased as well.