Jewish Funeral Practices Committee of Greater Washington records
Collection Scope and Content
The records in this collection consist primarily of correspondence amongst members and organizations involved with the Committee between 1976 until 1982. The collection includes letters, notes, legal documents, photographs, by-laws, publications, reports, newspaper clippings, publications, memos, and minutes. The Committee includes members from approximately 30 area synagogues, havurot, and B'nai B'rith lodges. Their mission is to coordinate activities for and educate members about practices for Jewish funerals. The collection covers a wide range of topics concerning the Jewish community and their funeral practices. It also includes many area funeral homes and the changing prices of funeral over the years. These materials date from 1975 to 1991 with the bulk of the materials ranging from 1976 to 1982.
- Jewish Funeral Practices Committee of Greater Washington (Organization)
Restrictions on Access
Some records may be restricted.
Restrictions on Use
Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.
Historical or Biographical Note
The Jewish Funeral Practices Committee of Greater Washington grew out of the Tifereth Israel Funeral Practices Study Group in 1976. The Study Group originated after an October 1975 retreat involving a discussion titled "The Righteous Community." A follow up meeting of the Tifereth Israel Social Action Committee on November 9, 1975, chaired by Harris Weinstein laid the groundwork for a funeral practices group to be formed. The group had nine meetings between November 19, 1975 and March 16, 1976. By May of 1976, The Funeral Practices Study Group became a committee within the Tifereth Israel Congregation. The three main points as outlined for the first meeting of November 1975 were simple and became the standard goals of the committee from that time on.
I. Cemetery Problems II. Funeral Directors and Funeral Practices III. Education of the Congregation and the community
With these basic ideas, the group set out to help the Jewish Community understand and manage a funeral in the most traditional as well as stress-free and cost effective way.
The Tifereth Israel Funeral Practices Study Group met with Mr. Edward Knapp, President of the Memorial Society of Metropolitan Washington on January 26, 1976. The meeting took place at the home of Bob Hausman. Mr. Knapp explained how his organization helps its members by negotiating with funeral homes and cemeteries. It also creates contracts with funeral homes, establishing common prices for its members. The Tifereth Israel Funeral Practices Study Group also began participating with the local Rabbinical Assembly and working with the Presidents Assembly to organize a community-wide interest. These actions not only created a name within the community by the work the group was doing, but also by working so closely with established groups with influence over the community.
By mid-June 1976, there was talk of a community organization to be formed and for Harris Weinstein to become the chairman. The Committee was formed and began to incorporate other congregations and interested parties into their meetings. On October 18, 1976, the Washington Hebrew Congregation Minutes of Board of directors Meeting read, "the Committee... has now become an all-Metropolitan area committee operating at varying levels. The Committee is trying to protect the bereaved from being exploited during a weak moment and to help families obtain and acceptable funeral at the lowest possible cost. Creating an educational brochure which would describe what to do and answer various questions on the subject." With the support of various different groups within the Jewish Community and membership from other congregations, the Jewish Funeral Practices Committee continued its work in securing education, prices, and good conditions for the Jewish Community.
Since 1975, people within the Greater Washington Region have been dedicating their time and effort to establish an understanding of Jewish Funeral Practices and to make it easily accessible for anyone who might need these services. The Jewish Funeral practices Committee works diligently to make an already difficult task as manageable as possible while still adhering to laws and customs and creating as little financial strain as possible. The Committee has served its community well and continues to do so today.
3 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
Collection consist primarily of correspondence amongst members of the Jewish Funeral Practices Committee of Greater Washington and organizations involved with the Committee between 1976 until 1982. The collection includes letters, notes, legal documents, photographs, by-laws, publications, reports, newspaper clippings, publications, memos, and minutes.
Organized into five series: Administrative files; Conferences, workshops, seminars; Cemetery files; Funeral home files; and Audio/Visual files.
Some of these records were donated by J. Ventura to Bob Hausman.
General Physical Description note
- Audiotapes Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Funeral rites and ceremonies, Jewish Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Jewish Funeral Practices Committee of Greater Washington
- Photographs Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Tifereth Israel Funeral Practices Study Group
- Washington (D.C.) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Guide to the Jewish Funeral Practices Committee of Greater Washington records, 1975-1991
- Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English
Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository
2130 H Street NW
Washington 20052 United States of America