We agree with the thoughts expressed by Sharon Ryave Brody (Letter to the editor, July 25 issue) concerning the availability of choices in our community for funeral and burial services providers. After all, this is the American way: freedom of choice. We also can attest to the commitment of her family to provide only the highest quality of professional service to families in their time of need. Yes, any licensed funeral home is capable of providing quality service. However, there are other things to be considered. In this case, Ms. Brody’s is the only Jewish funeral home at present serving our community as they have for nearly 100 years. Yes, there are alternative businesses with personnel trained in Jewish funeral and burial practices. What sets Ms. Brody’s family business apart is their commitment to honor the dead according to Jewish halacha and tradition. They also honor the traditional Jewish responsibility to take care of those loved ones the deceased has left behind.
Not withstanding the burden of grief at this time, families are overwhelmed by the details surrounding preparations for the funeral and burial. Our family has been through this in recent years and this funeral home guided us through the process with the highest degree of heartfelt compassion, dedicated service, and respect for our choices. Our personal choice will always be loyalty to Ms. Brody’s family in gratitude for their dedication at our time of need.
There is an old adage: “you get what you pay for,” which also holds true for funeral homes. However, in the case of this funeral home, you also get what you don’t pay for. We are referring to the fact that the “indigent” deceased are buried by this funeral home in association with the Jewish Cemetery and Burial Association. Having officiated at many of these burials, as well as “regular” burials, I [Cantor Rick] have observed that the highest level of service as well as the compassion with which it is rendered is consistent in both cases.
There can be no question as to the commitment and dedication of Ms. Brody’s family business to this community. This is priceless.
Cantor Rick and Mary Berlin,
Highland Park and Venice, Fla.
(Cantor Rick Berlin is the retired spiritual leader from Parkway Jewish Center.)