Remembering Loved Ones
Click here to download a PDF of the Mourner's Kadish in Hebrew, English, and Hebrew Transliteration and click here to listen to an audio recording of the Mourner's Kaddish (scroll to bottom right corner).
At BHS, we read the names for Yahrzeits of the loved ones of our members on the Friday evening following the actual Yahrzeit date.
If you are visiting with us during the week of a yahrzeits that is important to you, please send us an email with your name and the name of your loved one, and the date you will be here.
There are two different methods for determining the date of the Yahrzeit.
The first method is based on the Hebrew date of death. The Hebrew calendar shifts in relation to the American (Gregorian) calendar each and every year. For example, the Hebrew date 1 Tishre (Rosh HaShana) falls on a different Gregorian day/date each year. If you wish to observe a loved one’s Yahrzeit proximate to their Hebrew date of death, the Synagogue needs to know the exact Hebrew date or the exact English date of death (day, month, year) along with the time of death (as deaths occurring in the evening--after sunset--are part of the next Hebrew day/date.)
The second method is to notify you based on the American (Gregorian) calendar.
if you would be unable to attend synagogue on the yahrzeits week Friday, it is also possible to have the name of a loved one read on a Friday night other than the one scheduled in a particular year.
Yizkor, from the Hebrew prayer-phrase “may God remember the soul of . . .” is the term that describes the memorial service recited by the congregation on Yom Kippur and Shemini Atzeret as well as on the last day of Passover and on Shavuot. It is a mitzvah to attend these particular services and recite the Yizkor, El Malei Rachamin and Kaddish prayers for one’s deceased relatives. In the Reform Movement, we do not encourage the custom of keeping children whose parents are alive away from Yizkor services. Young people should be taught from an appropriate age the Jewish way of remembering the dead. [Mark Washofsky, Jewish Living]
At BHS, we say yizkor prayers according to the calendar of Reform Judaism: on Yom Kippur afternoon, and during morning services on the 7th day of sukkot, on the 7th day of Passover, and the 1st day of Shavuot.
On Yom Kippur each year, we publish a Book of Remembrance, with names we wish to remember individually and as a community.
“That the yizkor service has had such wide appeal is to be welcomed, for it helps to bind the generations together in filial piety. Death does not end or break this bond. The virtues of parents work to mitigate some of the faults of children, and the virtues of children work to remove some of the imperfections of parents, ‘To pray for the dead is not an unjustifiable corollary of the belief in God’s boundless mercy . . . prayer for the peace and salvation of the departed soul commends itself as of the highest religious obligations.’” [Isaac Klein, A Guide to Jewish Religious Practice.]
Many of our members have chosen to purchase plaques in memory of their loved ones, for placement on the bronze Memorial Tablets in our Sanctuary. As a community, we have also arranged for plaques in the names of those who helped to build our congregation.
Memorial plaque form online | pdf
Beit Haverim (House of Friends): the BHS Cemetery
Several years ago, the Synagogue surveyed its members, and found that many of us would like to purchase gravesites within a Jewish cemetery that would also allow us to accommodate the needs of members and their immediate family – parents, siblings, and offspring – even if those family members are not Jewish.
Thus, Beit Chaverim was established, inside Maimonides Cemetery, a small, quiet place in Elmont, just half an hour or so from BHS, over the city line in Nassau County. The Synagogue has purchased 100 plots on behalf of our members; more than half have already been sold.