The Indigent Burial Program is a cooperative effort between JFS, Chevra Kadisha of Dallas, The Foundation of the Federation, Shearith Israel, Temple Emanuel, Tiferet Israel, Dallas Jewish Funeral Home, Restland and Sparkman/Hillcrest. Every Jewish person should receive a traditional Jewish burial even when there are not adequate finances available from the individual or his or her family.
A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from a young man from our community, an Akiba graduate, telling me about an acquaintance of his who just passed away. The man is an Iranian Jew who fled his homeland because of political persecution. Now in his 80’s, he died without any family members in Dallas or the US. He experienced serious medical setbacks and was subsisting on public funds. Deborah Leibensberger, Director of our Older Adults Department, helped coordinate the burial arrangements.
Just days after receiving the initial call, I officiated at the funeral. I emailed the members of my “Chesed Group.” This group is comprised of members of our community who consistently respond to my request to help make a Minyan for a funeral. Despite the extreme heat of the day, people attended; we had well more than a Minyan.
The only one who knew the deceased was the one who called me and his brother who also attended. Everyone else was there to escort the person from this world as a member of the Jewish People. The Chesed (loving-kindness) we do includes meeting the final needs of an individual.
If you would like to be included on my Chesed Group emails, kindly email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to make a donation to these services, please email Chris Walters, Director of Donor Relations, at email@example.com or call 469-206-1675.
Rabbi Howard Wolk
JFS Community Chaplain