Close up of a man using mobile smart phone.
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
The Tzohar religious-Zionist rabbinical association has instituted a bereavement program to help families through the difficulties of losing a loved one and guide them through the various bureaucratic requirements of the burial and funeral service.
The organization, best known for its marriage program that has helped 50,000 couples get married, says its bereavement service is a natural outgrowth of its efforts to help Jewish citizens in coping with religious life cycle events.
Rabbi Aharon Cohen, who is heading the project, said that while people who are part of a religious community are more easily able to come to grips with the requirements of events such as bereavements, those without such support systems need more assistance.
Through the program, bereaved families can call a Tzohar hotline, through which the organization will connect them to a rabbi trained to deal with bereavement issues.
The rabbi will then contact the family to answer their questions, give advice and be available to visit them before the funeral, as well as conduct the burial service if requested, help during the shiva period of mourning and generally assist the family in any way they need.
Tzohar has trained 10 rabbis for this program so far, and will train more if the service generates demand.
“Over the past two decades, we have been blessed to participate in countless happy occasions and share them with millions of Israelis, but we understand that our commitment is also to ensure our services and support are available at less joyful periods of life,” said Rabbi David Stav, Tzohar’s founder and chairman.
“Our intent in this program is to help support these families emotionally and logistically and give them the understanding that Halacha and Jewish tradition should not be perceived as any sort of burden. We wish to show them that they are being supported and cared for by our rabbinic community at all times of life,” he added.