Memorial Services

Humanistic Judaism recognizes that, although death may be painful and tragic for those who survive and may be profoundly regretted, there is nothing in death to fear. Memorial services are designed to respect the intelligence and feelings of mourners and do not pretend that an incomprehensible, but wonderful, benefit has befallen the deceased. The service respects the life of the deceased by honoring the individualís life rather than alleging that mystical forces have taken a loved one away. Humanistic memorial ceremonies assist the living in accepting their loss by strengthening them with the presence, encouragement, and love of friends and family.

Humanistic Judaism does not promise immortality or eternal salvation. Instead, it emphasizes the need to find one's purpose and meaning in the life that one leads. Humanistic Judaism does not object to an autopsy when it will provide information that may save lives and improve health. In a similar vein, it recommends the donation of organs and other body parts for transplantation purposes. Further, Humanistic Judaism is not opposed to cremation.

Funeral Services

Funeral Services can be scheduled to precede or follow internment or cremation. Services can be held at a chapel or other location. They may be held at the graveside or the location that has been selected to bury or spread the ashes of the deceased. There is no requirement that the memorial ceremony occur within 24 hours of death, nor are there restrictions on the day selected to hold the service.

Unveiling Services

Unveiling Services, if desired, can be scheduled at a time that is determined to be appropriate by the family.

Life Celebration Services

Life Celebration Services provide an opportunity to share the accomplishments and legacy of a individual prior to their death. This form of service can be planned and scheduled with the terminally ill loved one. A Life Celebration Service can be held in place of a funeral service.


Jeffrey Schesnol has been Or Adamís Ceremonial Leader for 2 years conducting Shabbat and Holiday celebrations and services regularly. He has guided Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations and our Adult Education discussions. Jeffrey is now in his 3rd year of Para-Rabbinic training through the International Institute of Secular Humanistic Judaism toward his 2015 ordination as a Madrikh (guide). He has qualified to add the role of pastoral guide and counselor to his responsibilities by performing Baby Welcoming/Naming or Adoption ceremonies of Brit Ahavah (Covenant of Love) or Brit Shalom (Covenant of Peace). Funerals, Memorial Services, and Unveilings as life affirming celebrations and remembrances which are performed with dignity and love. Jeffrey continues Bar and Bat Mitzvah services for children and adults as celebrations of the beginnings of coming of age and the maturity process with responsibility or a life passage of understanding and achievement celebrating Jewish community connection.