Congregation Beth El provides its members with a network of support that helps to guide them through life’s most challenging moments.
In our daily prayer service, we pray for members and their extended family, by name, after this information is passed along to the Rabbi’s Office. When our office has been notified of an illness, our clergy routinely visit those who are hospitalized or home bound. Please call the Rabbi’s Office (856-675-1166 x301) to keep them abreast of any illness in the Beth El Family.
When the situation becomes bleak, and doctors or hospice workers indicate that the end of life may be near, the Rabbis are often asked to come to the bedside to offer the Final Prayers known as The Vidui’i. This is a sacred moment that is often shared by family members who gather by the bedside with the Rabbi. Again, all a member of the Beth El Family need do is call, and one of our clergy will be there.
If a loved one passes, the first call should be to the local Funeral Chapel. They will give you instructions on what to do next and will contact one of the Rabbis directly. You can expect that once the Rabbi is called by the Funeral Director, the Rabbi will be in touch very quickly. Please wait until you have spoken with the Rabbi before making any funeral arrangements, including the scheduling of a service. If the service is scheduled without consulting the Rabbi, there is always a chance that he may not be available.
The Rabbi will quickly schedule a meeting with your family. The family should invite anyone who would want to share insight for the eulogy to this get together. Shiva services will also be scheduled at this time. Beth El can provide the shiva books as well as lower chairs on which the mourners may sit. You can expect that on most, if not all nights of shiva, one of the Beth El clergy will be there to conduct the service. If, on the off chance none of the clergy is available, a member of our Ritual Advisory Committee will lead the prayers. One does not sit Shiva Friday night and Saturday, and you and your family should come to our services at Beth El. You will be greeted with the traditional words of comfort during the course of both services, Shabbat evening and morning. The kriya (the torn clothing or black button) first used at the funeral is not worn on Shabbat and should be taken off prior to coming to services.
The obligation of saying Kaddish rests with those members of the family who would normally wear the kriya. Parents, spouses, brothers, and sisters all have the obligation of saying Kaddish for one month only. Children are obligated to say Kaddish for their parents for 11 months minus one day. Our daily minyan is an oasis of comfort for those who are in their year of mourning, and we are grateful that so many of our members honor their parents with attendance at our daily minyan. The minyan times are posted on this website. We would hope that our members would make the commitment to say Kaddish on a daily basis for their parents in the 11 months of mourning. However, our members also know that the name of the parent will be recited at the daily service when the Torah is read throughout the entire year, regardless of whether a family member is there or not.
The Beth El Family is here for you in sadness and celebration. Please know that Beth El will do all we can to make meeting life’s challenges that much easier. Please call the office and let us know how we can help.