Rabbi Krishef has written a booklet entitled “Death and Mourning in the Jewish Tradition: A Guide for Mourners.” In addition to explaining Jewish traditions, he also explains what to do when a loved one dies, who to call, and what decisions do you need to make. It is a 24 page booklet, available in the synagogue office or downloadable here.
Congregation Ahavas Israel owns two Jewish cemeteries:
- Ahavas Israel Cemetery, 1801 Garfield Ave NW (at Richmond and Garfield), and
- Ahavas Israel section of Greenwood Cemetery, 1401 Leonard Street NW
Many of the graves in the Ahavas Israel cemetery have been photographed and transcribed on the US GenWeb website found here:
The Cemetery Committee of the congregation is responsible for maintaining the cemeteries and selling plots. Please contact Ed Miller, the chair of the committee, for more information.
The congregation has both a men’s and women’s Hevra Kadisha to prepare bodies for burial with traditional tahara (purification) rituals and takhrikhim (burial shrouds).
Cemetery Rules and Regulations:
1. The Cemeteries of Congregation Ahavas Israel are intended for the burial of the deceased owners of lots and members of their families and such other persons as may be permitted to be buried therein by the Cemetery Committee and Board of Trustees of the Congregation. Burial in the main part of the cemetery is restricted to those of the Jewish faith. Burial in the Designated Interfaith Burial Section is restricted to mixed faith household members in good standing of Congregation Ahavas Israel. Two adults from each mixed faith member household, minor children (age 18 or younger) and permanently dependent adult children may be buried in this section.
2. Any person having purchased a family lot and wishing to dispose of the same can only return same back to the Congregation as a donation which will be receipted by the Cemetery committee. Lots may be transferable from one member to another only with the express written consent of the Cemetery committee.
3. No Jewish person shall be buried in any of the cemeteries of the Congregation except according to observant Jewish rites.
Regarding non-Jewish burial in the designated Interfaith Burial Section, the Hevra Kadisha will not prepare the body for burial, but the grave liner and casket must conform to regular cemetery policy. No non-Jewish funeral rites may be conducted graveside. Only the rabbi or cantor of Congregation Ahavas Israel, or other rabbis or cantors approved in advance by the rabbi of Congregation Ahavas Israel, will be allowed to officiate. No Hebrew or traditional Jewish prayers may be used, and while Biblical passages may be included, they will be not be done in Hebrew. Poetry and eulogies are permitted.
No religious symbols will be permitted on monuments, including headstones, foot stones, or any other marker. The design for the marker must be approved by the rabbi of the congregation. Markers or objects which are in violation of this policy will be removed at the expense of the family. Only the rabbi or cantor of Congregation Ahavas Israel, or other rabbis or cantors approved in advance by the rabbi of Congregation Ahavas Israel, will be allowed to officiate at any ceremony to dedicate or unveil a monument.