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Making Arrangements

Meeting with a Funeral Director

The first meeting you have with a Sinai funeral director is called an “arrangement conference.” At this meeting you will learn about your options for a funeral or memorial service and consider how you want to honor the person who has died. We suggest that this take place as soon as conveniently possible after the death of your loved one. When scheduling this meeting, please be aware that the next of kin (spouse, adult child, or parent) must be present.

When you meet with a Sinai funeral director, he or she will discuss all of your options with you in detail and will address any questions, issues, or concerns you might have. We’ve provided some questions below to help you think about the decisions you and/or your family will make, and to give you a better idea of what you’re going to be discussing in the meeting.

Choosing Burial or Cremation

  • Would you like to have a burial or a cremation?

Cemetery Options

  • Do you already have a cemetery plot or other final resting place? If you need to purchase a plot, we can assist you with those options.
  • You can also review a comprehensive list of Jewish cemeteries in the Bay Area.

Planning the Funeral or Memorial Service

  • Where and when will services be held? They can be held:
  • Do you prefer a funeral (usually conducted soon after a death, before the burial or cremation, and with the body present) or a memorial service (which can be less formal and held at any time in a variety of locations)?
  • At the funeral or memorial service, how do you want to honor the person who has died?
  • Who will participate in the service? Will there be clergy, speakers, pallbearers, or musicians?
  • Will there be a private or public viewing?
  • Do you want floral arrangements for the service or memorial, and, if so, what flowers are appropriate?
  • What transportation needs will you have for the service—e.g., from your home to the service, from the service to the cemetery, and return to your home or to the meal of consolation?

Incorporating Jewish Traditions

  • Which Jewish traditions do you want to incorporate, including ones that determine the preparation of the body for burial and the type of casket chosen?


  • Do you want to publish an obituary? If so, who will write it and where will it appear? Sinai can draft and/or edit an obituary for you, with the understanding that you will always have final approval before it is distributed.
  • Do you want to inform friends and families of a favorite charity for memorial gifts or donations in lieu of flowers? To assist you in making a selection, we have created a list of major Jewish organizations as well as local educational institutions.

Other Issues to Consider

  • Was the person who died a veteran, and if so, is he or she eligible for veterans’ burial benefits provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs?