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Funeral Standards 1981  
 
Policies Headlines
Jun 1, 1981 -- XVII. ON FUNERAL STANDARDS

THE RABBINICAL COUNCIL OF AMERICA IN CONVETION ASSEMBLED,

NOTES that over a period of years and decades, a deleterious laxity has entered both rabbinic and lay funerary practices, often leading to a violation of both letter and spirit of Halacha;

AWARE that rabbinic bodies must spearhead change and improvement;

CALLS UPON members of the Rabbinical Council to lead their communities in renewed efforts to avoid funerary practices that violate traditional Jewish forms; to monitor the availability of THE GUIDE TO A JEWISH FUNERAL in local funeral chapels, and to reprint it in local and synagogue ledia; to insist upon taharah, tachrichim, a wooden oron, bona fide k’riah, and k’vura b’karka as required by Halacha; and to decline to officiate at any funeral where these standards are violated or are not met;

CALLS UPON the Rabbinical Council through its Vaad Hakovod to implement and enforce these regulations;

URGES THEIR MEMBERS to announce this as national policy, in their respective synagogues and communities;

NOTES with satisfaction our fruitful and cooperative work with the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations and with the Jewish Funeral Directors of America, through the Tripartite Committee on Jewish Funeral Standards, to elevate and uphold Jewish tradition in the area of funeral standards;

CALLS UPON each member rabbi to establish a working relationship with the local member of the Jewish Funeral Directors of America, and not to use a non-Jewish chapel where a JFDA-member chapel is available;

ADVISES it members and all persons in the Jewish community to make use of the Tripartite Grievance Committee whenever necessary, in order to help restore k’vod hamet to its dignity, and proper role in Jewish practice;

CALLS UPON the Jewish communities through their appropriate agencies to establish local commissions for the purpose of monitoring the costs of funeral and interment, and to implement means of establishing fair costs for these services.

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