Cremation Services

While cremation has historically been, and continues to be, forbidden by traditional Judaism, it is becoming more and more acceptable to reform and secular Jews.  Cremation is a process in which the body is reduced to "ashes" by the process of incineration. Cremation is typically less expensive than traditional burial, and is believed by many to be more environmentally friendly, as the large plot of land needed for traditional burial is not required. 

Although you may not wish to do so, the decision to be or to have your loved one cremated does not preclude having a traditional funeral ceremony with the deceased present in a casket and then interred in a cemetery after the cremation. 

 There are many new and different ways to dispose of ashes today.   Cremated remains can be placed in an artificial coral reef in the ocean, they can be launched into space or sent up in helium balloons, or they can be spun into glass pieces of art or diamonds.  If interment is chosen, most cemeteries have spaces designed especially for cremated remains, either in the ground or in a columbarium where there are niche spaces in which to place the urn.

Cremated remains can also be split if the family decides to inter or scatter part of the remains and keep the remainder.  Multiple family members may choose to divide and keep the ashes as a keepsake.  There are virtually unlimited options when it comes to the disposition of cremated remains.  If this is of interest to you, we will guide you to the most appropriate option.

Cremation FAQ

What is Cremation?

Cremation is the process of reducing the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame.  Cremation is not the final disposition of the remains, nor is it a type of funeral service.

Is a casket needed for Cremation?

No, a casket is not required.  A cardboard container is used to transport the deceased from the mortuary to the crematory, and is placed in the chamber with the deceased inside.

Is embalming required prior to cremation?

No.  In fact, it is against the law for a funeral home to tell you otherwise.

Can the body be viewed without embalming?

Yes, most crematories allow immediate family members to briefly view the deceased prior to cremation.  If requested, this can be arranged by your funeral director.

Can the family witness the cremation?

Yes they can; some cremation providers will allow family members to be present when the body is placed in the cremation chamber. 

What can be done with the cremated remains?

There are endless possibilities when it comes to cremated remains.  If you can think of it, chances are it can be done.  Talk to us about your ideas, and we will help.

How can I be sure I receive the correct remains?

All reputable cremation providers have developed rigorous procedures in order to maximize the level of service and minimize the potential for human error.  Since it is illegal to perform more than one cremation at a time, and the vast majority of crematories can only cremate one body at a time, it is next to impossible to receive the incorrect remains.

How long does the actual cremation take?

It all depends on the weight of the individual.  For an average sized adult, cremation can take two to three hours at a normal operating temperature of between 1,000 and 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

What do the cremated remains look like?

Cremated remains resemble coarse sand and are whitish to light grey in color.  The remains of an average sized adult usually weighs between 7 and 8 pounds.

Are all the cremated remains returned?

With the exception of minute and microscopic particles, which are impossible to remove from the cremation chamber and processing machine, all of the cremated remains are given back to the family or returned to the mortuary for disposition.

Do I need an urn?

An urn is not required by law.  However, an urn may be desired if there is to be a memorial service or if the remains are to be interred in a cemetery.  If an urn is not purchased or provided by the family, the cremated remains will be returned in a temporary plastic container.