Frequently Asked Questions about Jewish Funeral Services
Gutterman’s & Gutterman Warheit — Jewish Funeral Homes in New York and Florida
When you are a member of the Jewish faith and your loved one has passed, you can have many questions that need to be answered. We understand—at Gutterman’s and Gutterman Warheit, we have served the Jewish community for more than 125 years. We view our work as a calling—we’ve been family-owned and operated for generations. Many of our employees have been with us for decades, or have spent their entire careers with us.
Here are answers to some of the questions we hear most often. If there’s a question you have that we haven’t answered, or if you want to learn more about the professional and compassionate funeral and memorial services we offer to the Jewish communities in New York and Florida, call us at one of the numbers listed below or contact our firm online.
Q: How do I start the process?
A: The first thing you should do after the passing of a loved one is call Gutterman’s or Gutterman Warheit, and then call your synagogue and inform your rabbi. Your rabbi should provide guidance with funeral arrangements, but will also work directly with your funeral director. Tell your rabbi that you want to have us handle the details. If you don’t have a rabbi, we can help you engage one.
Q: How much will everything cost?
A: While there are many variables, such as the type of casket or monument, Jewish funerals are typically less expensive than non-Jewish funerals, for a number of reasons. Jewish tradition typically doesn’t include embalming or the use of cosmetics on the body, and doesn’t involve displays of flowers. In addition, the casket is traditionally a simple wood coffin. These are some of the variables that will determine the overall cost for the funeral service.
Q: What can I expect at a Jewish funeral?
A: The first thing to understand is the k’vod ha-met, or “respect for the dead,” which requires that the body be treated with utmost respect from the time of death until burial is finished. This requires the appointment of a guardian/watcher, known as a Shomer, to stay with the body until burial. That person is customarily a family member or friend or can be a member of the Chevra Kadisha.
In addition, while a Jewish funeral is conducted with dignity, modesty and sanctity, it also conveys the message that death is a natural process, a normal part of the cycle of life.
Q: When do I choose a monument?
A: You can select a monument at any time, but don’t need to feel rushed. Within the Jewish tradition, there’s a ceremony called an “unveiling,” where the monument is placed at the grave and formally dedicated. The unveiling typically takes place within one year of a person’s death.
At Gutterman’s and Gutterman Warheit, we offer granite headstones and footstones in a number of styles. To learn more, see our monuments page.
Q: What do I do if my loved on passes in another part of the country or the world?
A: If you need to transport your loved one after death, call Gutterman’s or Gutterman Warheit immediately. We have a thorough understanding of the logistics and regulations involved in transporting remains. We work with an extensive network of funeral directors worldwide and can ensure timely and secure delivery of your loved one anywhere in the world, including Israel.
Professional Assistance in Your Time of Loss
Call us at one of the numbers listed below for answers to any other questions regarding our services or Jewish funeral practices. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support and assist you.
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