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For My Bashert: A Double Jewish Headstone

double jewish headstone

A headstone should be a lasting testament to an individual’s life. With a beautiful headstone inscription, a description of their relationships to others, plus symbols, there is a lot that a headstone can say about a person. Ultimately, a headstone is a permanent, enduring tribute to the legacy of a loved one.

One factor that speaks strongly, though, is the sharing of a headstone. In the Jewish faith, sharing a headstone with a loved one is a testament to their lives together. At Fox Monuments, we strive to give Jewish couples the final resting place they deserve with respectful headstones.


What does Bashert mean?

The word “bashert” has Yiddish origins – it translates to “destiny.” However, it most often describes a soulmate or spouse. Bashert is a description of a romantic destiny. Essentially, it’s someone who serves as the ideal companion in life and death.

A double headstone allows couples to continue their journey together. It represents the eternal union of marriage. By burying both individuals in the same plot, their souls can continue to comfort one another.

Occasionally, parents who suffer the tragedy of a child’s death also elect to use double headstones.

Burying loved ones together helps to comfort grieving family members. Basically, it’s an assurance that they’ll be forever surrounded by love.

double jewish headstone

Reasons to Choose a Double Jewish Headstone

Financial Reasons

Unfortunately, funeral arrangements can be quite a financial burden for many families. This is especially true when the monument is not pre-planned. Purchasing a double Jewish headstone will help offset these costs for a more affordable headstone.

In terms of the headstone, it’s much cheaper to purchase one double headstone than it is to purchase two single headstones. The cost of materials is much cheaper. Additionally, a two plot grave is more reasonably priced than two separate single grave sites. Therefore, purchasing a double Jewish monument for your loved one is both a sound financial and spiritual decision.

double jewish headstone

Convenient Visitation

Locating a Jewish monument within a large grave site can be confusing and time consuming. When families don’t visit a gravesite for a long period of time, it becomes even harder. This is especially true during the traditional Jewish stages of mourning.

Burying family members together with a double Jewish headstone eliminates the frustration and inconvenience of locating multiple burial plots. By taking this route, both family members can be buried in the same plot. This is preferable, as arranging for two single plots next to each other is nearly impossible. This means that, when your family is visiting deceased relatives, they don’t have to search long for the correct area. Then, relatives may leave their stones, flowers, and gifts in one location.

Double Monuments are Larger

Similar to the convenience of visitation, double monuments are also larger. Basically, this means that they’re easier to identify in a group. They’re also more visually appealing. This is great for families who appreciate fine details in a headstone. A larger headstone enables families to honor their deceased relatives.

Relatives Can Be Buried at Different Times

It’s uncommon for two family members sharing a family monument to pass away at the same time. Instead, the ordering process normally takes place after the first individual passes away. The other half of the headstone is typically left blank.

After the second individual passes away, our craftsmen can inscribe the memorial symbols for the latter, whether it’s a spouse, parent, child or other relation. They can do this without ever removing the headstone. In fact, our staff can add new inscriptions while the headstone’s still in the ground.



At Fox Monuments, our goal is to help you give your family the honored burial they deserve. We strive to make this process as seamless and comforting for you during your time of grief.

Jewish Practices Immediately Following Death

A yellow Maple Leaf is lying on gravestone with the star of David symbol. Jewish cemetery background

At Fox Monuments, we have years of experience as a leading provider of Jewish monuments for Long Island. Providing guidance and support for the Jewish community in times of hardship has always been our highest priority. As Long Island’s most trusted provider of Jewish monuments, we hold Jewish tradition in high esteem.

The Jewish faith has rich historical significance. There are thousands of customs, practices and rituals that govern Jewish culture. Their practices regarding death and mourning are no different. The Meal of Consolation , Chevra Kadisha, and Shiva are just a few of the notable Jewish traditions passed down through generations of Jewish families.

Most of the customs we’ve discussed in previous posts concern how the bereaved family proceeds during and after the burial. However, according to the Talmud and Kabbalah, the time directly after death is a crucial transition period. The belief is that directly after a death, the deceased experiences as much hardship as their family.

In this post, we’ll discuss the Jewish customs practiced in the period directly after a death. Read on for more information.


The Transition

Jewish texts describe the period right after death as a challenging transition. Naturally, the family is devastated and doing their best to cope with their loss. However, the Talmud and Kabbalah states that the soul of the deceased is experiencing its own challenges.

The Jewish belief system states that the souls of their dead do not leave the world until after the burial. Disconnected from its former life and body, the soul is in a vulnerable state. This is why burials occur as quickly as possible. It is also believed that the presence and prayers of loved ones at the funeral is an enormous comfort to the soul.

Many of the grieving family members find comfort in their belief that the soul remains conscious and aware. It provides a consolation for them to view their loved one as going through a period of transition.



Immediately following a passing, decisions must be made. This is not necessarily unique, as in all religions, the family must make arrangements.

Many common burial traditions violate Jewish custom, however. Jewish law forbids practices by modern morticians, as they are considered a violation of the body. They are viewed as disrespectful to the deceased.

The grieving families must take these restrictions into consideration when making decisions. In some cases, there are no official documents left by the departed with specific guidelines.



Within the immediate moments after a death, holy rituals are conducted. A few primary factors are taken into consideration. Maintaining the dignity of the deceased is first and foremost. The body must return to the earth from which it came. The soul must receive guidance and strength throughout its spiritual journey.

Directly following the moment of death, those present recite the “True Judge” blessing, “Baruch Dayan Ha’emet.” This translates to “blessed be the true judge.” The complete version of this prayer is said during the funeral service, along with the Kaddish.

The eyes and mouth are then closed by whoever is present. A sheet is draped over the body to cover it. Many elect a child or close relative to perform this task. The body of the deceased is then placed on the floor. If death occurs in a hospital, this is most likely not possible. However, all of the other customs should be observed.

Candles are then lit and placed around the head of the body. If the body is lowered to the floor, those lowering the body should ask forgiveness of the departed. Once the candles are lit, Psalms 23, 90 and 91 are recited.

Once these Psalms have been recited, the funeral home and rabbi should be contacted. It’s important to inform the funeral home that a Taharah will be needed. Plan your memorial service accordingly.


The Vigil

According to the Jewish faith, the human body is a sacred vessel. The privacy, dignity and virtue of the body is under holy protection in Jewish tradition. After the passing, this body remains equally as deserving of reverence. Those near the deceased are expected to conduct themselves with grace and dignity in order to demonstrate the proper respect for the dead.

A shemira (honor guard) remains with the body as often as possible, if not constantly. Anyone keeping vigil over the body recites prayers or psalms to comfort to the soul of the departed.


Restrictions & Ritual

Autopsies, embalming, displays and cremation are considered a violation of the body.

The burial happens as soon as possible. Since Jewish custom forbids posthumous medical practices to preserve the body’s sanctity, the funeral must take place immediately.



Judaism is a faith rich with stories and tradition. The specific rituals following death have deep significance to the faithful. Like many of the other Jewish death traditions, it helps to bring closure and consolation to the family in mourning.

Fox Monuments works with Long Island’s Jewish community, providing them with memorials that are a tribute to their faith. We understand the importance of religion in healing from loss.

Honoring Departed Loved Ones During Hanukkah

Two happy Jewish sisters looking at a beautiful menorah candelabra glowing on the eight day of Hanukkah Jewish holiday

Hanukkah is, without a doubt, one of the most profound milestones within the Jewish faith. In simplest terms, it is an eight-day-and-night celebration of the tenacity of the Jewish spirit. Without a doubt, considering its supreme importance in Judaism, Hanukkah is, like Shiva, a quintessential opportunity to remember and celebrate those we’ve lost.

At Fox Monuments, we’ve helped Long Island’s Jewish community honor and celebrate their faith for decades. Traditions and practices regarding the end of life and lost loved ones is an incredibly significant (and complex) aspect of the Jewish faith. Therefore, part of our mission is to provide the kind of compassion, guidance and unforgettable service that pays both respect to lost loved ones and the appropriate reverence to faith.

In this post, we’ll explore five ways you can honor departed loved ones as you observe Hanukkah this year.

1. Storytelling Around the Lights

Once the menorah is lit, many families observe the tradition of singing songs, reading specific passages and reciting prayers. Mostly, the songs and prayers vary by family, as each have their own specific selections that they find most meaningful or appropriate. However, this is also an excellent opportunity to honor the memories of your lost loved ones.

If you’ve lost someone recently, this will be an even more impactful and emotional practice. Take a few minutes to share everyone’s collective memories of your loved one, and perhaps have others tell their favorite story about them. Even the simple act of acknowledging them, discussing, or just speaking their name out loud can be enormously significant.

Going around the room, give everyone present the opportunity to express gratitude for the ways the departed impacted their life. Hanukkah is the perfect time of year to firmly acknowledge that their enduring memories and legacy remain alive, as long as they live on in you.

2. Put Photos On Display

Of course, we take (and keep) photos so that our memories, and those we love, can live on long after we take them. Therefore, Hanukkah is the perfect time to put these pictures on display – not just to honor those you’ve lost, but to fondly remember Hanukkahs of the past.

Hanukkah is a time to revisit our collective history, celebrate our triumphs and remember our past. While Hanukkah is technically about revisiting our history on a collective scale, for all Jews, that doesn’t mean you can’t also acknowledge your personal memories, as well. Put a picture of those you’ve lost on prominent display, perhaps near the menorah. As a result, this will likely inspire whoever’s present to share specific memories and stories about them.

3. Prayers Following the Lighting

The spiritual teachings of Judaism enforce the idea that the moment a menorah candle flickers is a favorable time for prayer. One of these prayers can be a personal, heartfelt expression of our enduring love for whoever we’ve lost.

Of course, it’s very likely that you won’t be able to complete your prayers without sadness, and probably some tears. But that’s perfectly fine – it’s okay, likely even advisable, for you to have the cry you deserve. Feelings of loss, grief and sorrow are perfectly normal emotions. Also, expressing them is a healthy, typical, and necessary part of the process. Let your family and friends support you during this overwhelming moment.

In fact, mental health and grief experts tell us that experiencing the pain, rather than consistently trying to evade it, actually gives us advanced coping skills. Also, it helps us to feel better in the long-term.

4. Prepare Their Favorite Foods

There are fewer more resolute ways to honor a loved one (present or departed) than by preparing their favorite meals. Much like other Jewish holidays throughout the year, Hanukkah is a time to actualize our faith and gratitude with a festive, splendid meal. The Meal of Consolation isn’t the only meal that we may eat in memory of our departed loved ones.

Were there any specific recipes that your loved one was especially fond of?Was there anything they would often prepare themselves? What was their all-time favorite food? Contributing their favorite, or their signature, dish is a fantastic way to honor them. Also, this will allow you to share their memory with the friends and family present.

Conclusion – Fox Monuments

From our family at Fox Monuments, we wish you and your family the very safest, healthiest and happiest of Hanukkahs! This has been an especially challenging year for us all, and you and your loved ones deserve an exceptional holiday season to finish this year with a bit of celebration.

Hanukkah is a day about hope, and to remind us of our historical ability to triumph over adversity. Therefore, it’s important to keep the spirit of Hanukkah in mind as we conclude a particularly difficult year.v

Happy holidays from Fox Monuments!

Preparing for Shiva: the Shiva Home

grieving family

When someone in your family dies, there are a lot of things to take care of. One of the most important is making sure that the home is ready for shiva. Shiva is a Jewish mourning ritual that lasts for seven days. During shiva, the family of the deceased gathers in their home to mourn and remember their loved one. There are many things you can do to prepare your home for shiva. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most important things you need to know! We at Fox Monuments want to help you through this difficult time, and these tips will make the process a little easier.

When and Where is Shiva Held

In the Jewish tradition, the funeral is held as soon as possible. This practice helps the soul to move into a peaceful place early on and allows the family to process their grief.

Shiva is held immediately after the funeral, usually on the day of the burial. The mourners return to the home of the deceased, and shiva lasts for seven days. Shiva is the second stage of mourning.

How to Prepare the Shiva Home

There are many Shiva preparations that the family must make before starting the 7-day mourning period.

  1. The family sits on cushions or low chairs. It is traditional to sit on low chairs or stools during shiva. This is because sitting low to the ground is a sign of humility and grief.
  2. Cover all mirrors and pictures. During shiva, all mirrors and pictures in the house are covered. This is because Jewish tradition teaches that during shiva, we should not be concerned with our own appearance. We are focusing on mourning our loved one, and we do not want to be distracted by our own reflection.
  3. Keep doors unlocked. During shiva, the doors to the house are kept unlocked. This is so that people can come and go as they please.
  4. Burn memorial candles. Memorial candles are burned during shiva. These candles represent the soul of the person who died.
  5. Set out food and drinks. Food and drinks are set out for visitors during shiva. This is so that visitors will have something to eat and drink while they are in the house.
  6. Prepare handwashing stations. As family and friends enter, they are expected to wash their hands. Some families will set up a wash basin outside or just inside the front door. Others will allow mourners to go right into the bathroom or kitchen. This ritual cleanses their hands and prepares them to comfort those who have suffered a loss.


Customs for the Mourning Family

Depending on the family’s preferences, customs will vary. Families will choose which of the mourning customs they are most comfortable with. Typically, the older generations will follow these customs more closely.

Excusal from Work

Throughout Shiva, the family is excused from work and household duties. Meals are prepared by friends or relatives. It is customary for the Shiva house to be left tidy each night so that the mourners can return to a clean space after their day of reflection.

Wear Torn Clothing

The bereaved wear torn clothing as a sign of grief. The clothes do not have to be ripped, but many people will wear an article of clothing that is torn or cut. This is usually done on the day of the funeral.

Stay within the Home

Mourners are not supposed to leave the house during shiva, except for necessary errands like buying food.

Grooming and Dress

Traditionally, mourners do not shave, cut their hair, or wear leather shoes during shiva. This is done as a way of showing respect for the deceased.


Children under the age of thirteen are exempt from shiva. They are considered too young to fully understand death. Pregnant women are also exempt because it is considered bad luck to mourn while you are carrying new life.

The Meal of Consolation

Also known as the meal of condolence, the meal of consolation follows the family’s return from the cemetery. It is a opportunity for friends and neighbors to provide support and express their condolences.

The food is brought in by friends or neighbors and left in the kitchen. The family does not have to prepare the meal themselves.

The Meal of Consolation marks the beginning of Shiva. It is intended to help the family recover from stress.


The death of a loved one is a difficult time. Following the Jewish tradition of Shiva can help to bring some structure and order during this chaotic time. By preparing your home and yourself, you can create a space for grief and support.

Jewish Mourning Tradition: Shiva

Jewish Headstone in cemetery

The Shiva is central to the Jewish burial traditions. Serving as the first of several stages of mourning, the Shiva helps family members to stand together while grieving. Long before unveiling the cemetery monument, the Shiva offers families an opportunity to gather and console each other. Read on to learn more about the Shiva service, and the customs surrounding it.

What is Shiva?

The Shiva is a very significant part of the grieving process for Jewish people. After a Jewish person passes away, the family is responsible for burying the individual as quickly as possible. Then, it’s traditional for extended family members, friends, and members of the community to gather and pay their respects during the shiva.

The shiva is generally held in the home of the deceased, or a family member. To demonstrate a state of mourning, those attending wear either torn clothing or a black ribbon to denote mourning status. They are also expected to bring food, as a way of providing sustenance for those in mourning. Like selecting Long Island Jewish Monuments, paying attention to the shiva process is critical.

Traditionally, there is an expectation for family in mourning to refrain from pleasurable activities. This includes watching television, listening to music, and other forms of entertainment.

As indicated by Jewish customs, the shiva should last seven days. In fact, shiva means seven in Hebrew. However, in modern times, some families shorten this period of mourning. Throughout each day, families and those attending say the Mourner’s Kaddish.


The Shiva Home

To prepare for the Shiva, the family will prepare the home in a certain way. Over time, Jewish people in different regions have developed varying practices. Generally, though, the underlying principles surrounding these practices has remained the same. Like the principles behind selecting a Long Island Jewish monument, Jewish people take great care in preparing a Shiva home.

In the Ashkenazi tradition, mourners must sit on low stools. This is notably different from the Sephardic practices, in which mourners sit on either the floor or pillows. Both of these practices symbolize that the mourners are in low spirits, due to their recent loss.

Additionally, mourners are likely to cover all mirrors in the home. The reason for this is twofold. First, covering mirrors discourages vanity, creating an environment that allows for introspection and reflection. Secondly, and more traditionally, covering mirrors prevents the spirit of the deceased from becoming trapped. Regardless of the interpretation, covering the mirrors is an important element of the shiva home.

As a way of allowing mourners to continue grieving undisturbed, the family typically leaves the doors unlocked.

A fairly recent tradition adopted from Christian customs, some families have a condolence book intended to give families the opportunity to thank mourners.

The family also generally lights a Yahrzeit Candle in the home. This creates the proper atmosphere for grieving, without using any electrical lighting.

Finally, mourners should remove their shoes, as a way of demonstrating grief.


The Origin of Shiva

The Torah mentions the idea behind a period of mourning several times.

During the early periods of Judaism, mourners noticed that feasting in joy was inappropriate during a time of grief. Instead, they viewed this time as an opportunity to express, process and overcome their grief.

Later on, Moses solidified this practice as a formal custom. The progression of this custom is fairly similar to that of the Long Island Jewish monuments. In the beginning, the unveiling tradition existed because it took time to create the monument. Now, this principle exists as a manner of tradition, deeply embedded within Jewish culture.


How Long Does the Shiva Last?

In accordance with these customs, the shiva lasts for seven days. However, this does not include the Shabbat, or major Jewish holidays. Beyond the grieving period, these seven days also establish the idea that mourning should be taken as seriously as feasting, which also lasts for seven days. In fact, the Shiva ends long before the unveiling of the Long Island Jewish monuments.

After this period ends, the family customarily leaves the home. This symbolizes “rising from the Shiva”, or moving on in the grieving process.

Following the Shiva, the next step in the grieving process is the Shloshim, in which the family re-enters the world. In some circles, though, family members are not permitted to engage in leisurely activities.


Long Island Jewish Monuments from Fox Monuments

At Fox Monuments, we understand the state of grief that mourners are in after the death of a loved one. Being familiar with Jewish customs, we do our best to accommodate all of our customers. To purchase well-crafted Long Island Jewish monuments that are right for your family members, contact us.

Matzeivah: The Jewish Headstone

jewish headstone with star of david

When someone in the Jewish community dies, it is important to mark their passing with a headstone. This is known as a Matzeivah in Hebrew. A Matzeivah can be simple or ornate, depending on the person’s life and death. At Fox Monuments, we specialize in creating Jewish headstones and etching inscriptions onto them. We provide monument inscription services all across New York.

double Jewish headstone

What is Matzeivah?

A Matzeivah is a Jewish headstone that marks the passing of a loved one. This stone is usually placed in a cemetery and can be simple or ornate, depending on the person’s life and death. Fox Monuments specializes in creating Jewish headstones and etching inscriptions onto them. Additionally, we provide monument inscription services to existing headstones all across the Tri-State Area.

What is the Origin of the Matzeivah?

The origins of the Matzeivah date back to biblical times. In the book of Genesis, we read about how Jacob erected a stone pillar at Bethel after he had a vision from God (Genesis 28:18). This stone pillar later became known as Jacob’s Pillar or the Stone of Vision.

“And Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. And Jacob erected a tombstone on Rachel’s grave” (Genesis 35:19-20)

Today, Jewish headstones are still made out of stone and they often have inscriptions with the person’s name, birth date, and death date. Sometimes there will also be a quote or bible verse etched onto the headstone.

Why is Matzeivah Important?

Matzeivahs are important because they help us remember our loved ones who have passed away. By having a physical headstone to visit, we can feel closer to them, even though they are no longer with us.

Whether you choose a monument that covers the grave, is a headstone, or a footstone, it serves 2 main purposes: to remember and to honor.

A monument is a physical embodiment of love that will last long after we are gone. It is a way for future generations to know who we were, what we did, and how much we loved them.

inscriptions on Jewish headstone created by Fox Monuments Long Island

Inscription and Style of the Matzeivah

When you etch the inscription on a Jewish headstone, it should be done with great care and thought. This is because the words on the stone will be there forever. Think about what you want to say and choose your words carefully. The inscription should be something that will bring comfort to those who visit the grave. Additionally, it can be helpful to talk to a rabbi about what to write on a headstone.

Here are some tips for writing a monument inscription:

– Keep it simple

– Use traditional Jewish symbols

– Write in Hebrew or English

– Include the person’s name, dates of birth and death, and any meaningful phrases or quotes.

Writing a monument inscription is a way to honor your loved one and keep their memory alive. Choose your words carefully and etch them into the stone with love.

When to Place the Matzeivah

While assumed that it must be placed 12 months after death, this isn’t true. In reality, it is usually placed immediately after shiva.

Fox Monuments will put the headstone in place. Then, the unveiling ceremony will be held after the Kaddish period. Typically, this is around a year following death.

The unveiling ceremony is a formal dedication of the Matzeivah. The rabbi will formally remove a veil, cloth, or handkerchief draped over the stone. The service has many elements, including the Kaddish. Additionally, the rabbi will suggest placing pebbles on the monument.



Matzeivah is the name that the Torah uses for a cemetery monument. It serves as an important symbol of honor. The headstone is placed as a reminder of the person’s life and their connection to the Jewish people. As such an important aspect of the mourning process, it is important to choose a Jewish monument company you can trust. Fox Monuments has decades of experience helping families create beautiful Matzeivahs. Give us a call today to get started.

Proper Attire at Jewish Funerals

Interestingly, a common question that many people ask about Jewish funeral services involves the best attire. Obviously, this is a question we ask ourselves on a daily basis – what should we wear? For most occasions, we have a pretty general idea of the best way to dress. However, when there’s been a profound loss and we want to pay our respects, we might question what is or isn’t appropriate. Last month, we discussed flowers and how they’re inappropriate for Jewish funerals.


What do I wear to a Jewish funeral?

In this post, we’ll break down the policies regarding attire for Jewish funeral services…

1. Colors & Clothing

Obviously, when it comes to wake or funerals, solemn and conservative clothing is your best option. Here in the U.S., we wear dark clothing throughout the stages of mourning. (Additionally, in many eastern cultures, they wear white to funerals, as black is unlucky to them.)

Since this is a time of grief and mourning, bright and lurid attire definitely is not acceptable. Obviously, anything you put on should be neat, clean and tidy. Men should stick with suits, slacks, ties and dress shirts. Women should wear dresses in the black, brown or grey shades. Additionally, women should keep in mind that while it’s a formal occasion, you may have to walk through unstable cemetery terrain. While you want to be respectful, you should also be comfortable.

2. Yarmulkes

One of the touchstones of the Jewish religion is the yarmulke. At any formal Jewish occasion, like weddings or funerals, people use them to cover their heads. Most people pronounce yarmulke as “yah-muh-kah.” The word is Slavic for “skullcap.”

Essentially, a yarmulke is a representation of one’s firm commitment to the Jewish faith. Usually, men wear yarmulkes at formal Jewish occasions, like when sitting Shiva. However, it’s not unheard of for some women or girls to wear them, as well. No matter your creed or faith, most men or women wear yarmulkes to formal Jewish occasions. Usually, the chapel or family will provide them for all mourners present to wear them out of respect. At many Jewish funerals, women choose to wear scarves or lace head coverings.

3. Dressing for the Weather

Usually, Jewish grave site burials take place any day, any time of the year, regardless of inclement weather. If the funeral is scheduled to take place throughout the summer months, you should still place a high priority on dressing appropriately. Obviously, you want to be comfortable but still keep it tasteful and respectful. There are ways to stay cool and comfortable but also remain formal!

If the burial takes place throughout the winter, naturally you’ll want to dress as warmly as possible. Remember gloves, hats, scarves, and umbrellas if it’s raining!



At Fox Memorials, creating Jewish monuments to honor those we’ve lost is our mission. For years, we’ve helped Long Island’s Jewish community create all kinds of exceptional memorials. By continuing to revere Jewish customs, we craft monuments that are as much a tribute to faith as to the lives of those we’ve lost.

We’ve celebrated and served Long Island’s Jewish community for decades. Each month, we examine and discuss the rich tapestry of tradition surrounding the Jewish faith. Judaism is among the world’s most ancient and revered religions. Therefore, it has a countless array of practices and customs when it comes to the end of life and funerals.

Jewish Monument Buying Guide

star of david on headstone

In the Jewish tradition, it’s customary to make arrangements for a loved one’s funeral and burial immediately following death. This can be an emotionally distressing time, between contacting family members, friends, all while coping with your loss. And, while pre-planning your Jewish monument is the ideal route, this is not always a financial or logistical possibility. Ordering a Jewish monument that will serve as a final representation of your loved one’s time in life is imperative. In this blog post, we’ll describe the various steps involved in designing this monument.


1. Check on Jewish Cemetery Regulations

As you make arrangements for your loved one, you’ll likely explore the possibility of burial in a few cemeteries. Jewish cemeteries tend to have rather strict rules regarding the type of monuments that can be put in place. Some cemeteries permit double Jewish monuments, while others prohibit this. Additionally, some Jewish cemeteries will not permit headstones of certain materials. So, before settling on a cemetery, you should also confirm that you will be able to place your headstone there.

jewish headstone with rocks on top


2. Explore the Various Types of Jewish Headstones

There are multiple different styles of headstones, and depending on the regulations of the cemetery you selected, you may be able to use one or more.

  • Upright Jewish Monuments: The most common style of headstone, the upright monument is what tends to come to mind when people think of a headstone. This Jewish monument style is available in several materials. While somewhat of a standard, upright Jewish monuments may also be considered too large for some cemeteries.
  • Slant Monuments: Slant monuments are a proportionately smaller version of upright monuments. They still stand upright, but do not leave the same amount of room for text as upright monuments. And, while you can include some text, it may not be as large as it would be on a larger monument.
  • Footmarkers: Rather than being raised above the ground, foot markers are placed directly in the ground, with the text of the monument facing the sky. As the smallest type of Jewish monument, foot markers are the only monument permitted in some cemeteries without ample space. So, for families looking to bury their loved one in a cemetery with space regulations, this can be the ideal choice. Foot markers are also the most affordable Jewish monument option.
  • Benches: While it may not be a direct replacement for a Jewish monument, memorial benches are a meaningful way to remember a loved one. When placed in or around your home, it can serve as a friendly reminder of the individual.
  • Mausoleums: This expensive burial option is not as common now as it once was, but is a very honorable way to remember your loved ones.


3. Determine Your Budget

Unfortunately, the ideal Jewish monument may lie outside of your budget. After investigating price points and cemetery space availability, you’ll need to consider the financial aspect of this process. These are some of the costs that you should take into account:

  • Burial plot
  • Cost of memorial
  • Funeral
  • Headstone personalization

When corresponding with a Jewish headstone company, feel free to mention your budget. Once they have this number in mind, the salespeople can guide you toward a solution that fits this price range.


4. Select a Jewish Headstone Supplier

Next, you should select a company to purchase the Jewish headstone from. This is an important decision, as the quality of the headstone can vary based on the supplier. Before making this decision, be sure to review the quality of their previous work. The right Jewish headstone supplier will have examples, reviews, and be eager to make a positive impression.


5. Decide Which Material Your Loved One’s Headstone Should Be

Granite, marble and bronze are the most popular Jewish headstone materials. The material can have an impact on the appearance of the headstone. However, there are other variables that you should also consider when selecting the material.

Durability should be a major factor in this decision. Granite is the most durable material, and for that reason, is a common choice. Over time, weather tends to damage all Jewish headstones, regardless of the other conditions. While granite will last much longer, you will likely need to have it repaired at some point.



6. Jewish Headstone Finish

In addition to selecting the material, another aesthetic choice is deciding which finish the headstone should be. Most Jewish monument companies offer several different finishes. And, the finish of the headstone may also have an impact on its long-term durability.


7. Choosing an Epitaph for the Jewish Headstone

The epitaph of the Jewish headstone can truly capture the essence of the deceased individual. It should serve to describe the individual in a positive light, and convey their best attributes or accomplishments.

The source of an epitaph can vary. For some individuals, it may make sense to find a quote from the Torah that is fitting. For others, a literary quote may be a fitting addition. Song lyrics may also be a fitting choice. Regardless, be sure that the Jewish headstone epitaph describes the deceased individual well.


8. Other Inscriptions and Font

In addition to the epitaph, there will likely be plenty of other text on your loved one’s Jewish headstone. All headstones should contain an inscription with vital information like the name, birth and death dates. But, many headstones also feature other information. For example, most headstones also describe the relationships that the deceased individual held. Because of this, you should pay close attention to the font (or fonts) that the headstone utilizes. Some traditional families also choose to include the Hebrew name. A qualified headstone company will help you make this decision.


9. Jewish Symbols

Finally, choosing headstone symbols is another important aspect of this process. Often, Jewish headstone symbols stand as a symbol of one’s commitment to God and their family. They also serve as a beacon of support.



Jewish Headstones Long Island

At Fox Memorials, we understand that ordering a monument is stressful. Over the years, our staff have helped many people to make sense of these options and create the ideal monument. We can guide you through this process and ensure that you have all of the information you need at each step.

Jewish Monuments: 4 Signs They Need Cleaning

Professional Monument Cleaning & Repairs - St. Charles Monuments

In Judaism, paying respects to deceased family members and friends is paramount. Observing the Yahrzeit is one way that Jewish people do this. Holding a proper Jewish monument unveiling ceremony is another way that Jewish people pay respects to their families. As Jewish monuments weather over time, they can become quite worn. In this blog post, we’ll explain how headstones become dirty, and the steps that you can take to restore them to their original beauty.

How do Headstones Become Dirty?

As a natural consequence of time and the conditions surrounding them, Jewish monuments tend to lose their initial sheen. Unfortunately, this is not preventable.

It’s hard to imagine that a worn-down Jewish monument could ever match its former beauty. But, with the proper cleaning and restoration strategies, we can make your monument as beautiful as it was when you first bought it.


1. Grass Accumulation

The Problem

Most Jewish cemeteries have staff on-hand to maintain the grounds, and cutting the grass is key among these responsibilities. It’s common for recently cut grass to end up on the headstone, and gradually fall to the bottom. This grass then dirties the base of the headstone.

The Solution

Theoretically, it makes sense that you should use the same substance to clean the Jewish monument as you would to clean your granite countertop. In practice, though, this is far from the truth.

Granite cleaner will likely scratch the monument. The same is true for wire and metal brushes.

Instead, the best approach is to use more delicate and basic materials. Spraying the Jewish gravestone with water and using a soft scrub brush is often the best tactic. This technique will remove grime from the headstone, without altering the text, pictures or symbols on the headstone. Mastering this technique, though, can be difficult. Despite its simplicity, this task is best handled by a professional, who will minimize the potential for damage.


2. Lichen

The Problem

Often found in cemeteries, lichen can prove quite damaging for headstones. Growing wider each year, lichen can be green, gray, yellow, or orange. It can be on the base of the Jewish monument, or over the inscripted area. Eventually, this invasive species can affect the inscription.

The Solution

It’s difficult to fully remove lichen. Even if you can remove all traces of the invasive species from the Jewish monument itself, it will often resurface later on. Engaging in more strategic methods of lichen removal– eliminating it at its source– is the only way to prevent regrowth.

lichen on headstone


3. Sinking Jewish Monument

The Problem

Weak soil could lead the headstone to sink into the ground over time. In doing so, it could obscure the name of the individual, or the carefully selected Jewish epitaph. This will cause the monument to look quite worn down.

The Solution

Fortunately, there is a simple way to stop a headstone from sinking, and prevent future sinking. A stone base will prevent the monument from sinking further into the ground. This will also improve the aesthetic appeal of the monument. This physical adjustment may also limit the potential for lichen to spread.


4. Fading Lettering/ Cracked Headstone

The Problem

Upon purchasing a Jewish monument, the lettering will be easily readable. After years in the open air, though, this lettering has the potential to fade quite a bit. The inability to read the name of the individual can limit the cathartic effect of visiting a deceased loved one.

By design, cemeteries are open areas. Rain, snow, and other precipitation will reach headstones. This precipitation could cause a small or large crack to develop over time. This will detract from the nostalgic impact that the headstone should have.

dirty monuments

The Solution

Even after a thorough cleaning, Jewish monument lettering may still be faded, and possibly, unreadable. A talented headstone cleaner can easily use engraving tools to refurbish the lettering.

Alternatively, many families choose to add new lettering, even while the headstone is in the ground. This is a common choice for families who wanted to add a new row of lettering, but lacked the finances to do so at the time.

Fixing the lettering on the monument will ensure that people will be able to read these important details.



Professional Monument Cleaning by Fox Memorials

At Fox Memorials, we strive to enable our family of customers to properly pay their respects to family members. Hiring professional cleaners to perform routine maintenance is the most efficient way to keep these headstones clean. Contact the team at Fox Memorials to ensure that your loved one’s headstone is taken care of.

How to Avoid Emotional Overspending for Funeral Services

When a loved one dies, you may feel compelled to make a grand gesture, to show how much you loved them. This can lead to spending a lot of money on their Jewish funeral, depleting savings or even falling into debt. Elements like casket selection, flowers, or obituaries can all add up. As a result, it leads to a bill far beyond what your loved one would want you to pay. So, what exactly is emotional overspending, and how can you recognize and avoid it?


What is Emotional Overspending?

Emotional overspending is selecting services or merchandise due to the “need to have it” versus a necessary purchase. Your emotions may compel you to buy an ornate casket in the perfect style to compliment your mother’s outfit. Or, you may want to pay $1,000 in flowers, consolation gifts or even on an obituary (it happens). After suffering a terrible loss, it’s natural to want to prove that money is no object when saying goodbye.

Does this sound familiar? Many people experience this when planning for a wedding. You can be paying off a wedding dress for years, and it’s the same principle with a casket. Cars and vacations are another expense where emotional overspending is common. If you recognize some of these areas in your own life, it’s especially important to plan ahead. This will help you avoid overspending in moments of grief.

Woman and child standing by grave in mourning

Some Ways to Combat Overspending

There are several ways to combat emotion overspending, both for yourself, and for your family. The simplest thing to do is to plan ahead. We know that death is inevitable. So, begin by looking into life insurance or a pre-paid funeral contract. Either of these options will provide funds to take care of your funeral services. This means that your family will have the means to pay for it. It’s also important to discuss your wishes. Do you want to have a horse-drawn carriage carry your casket through the cemetery? Or maybe you want to ensure that a reception can be held afterwards at your favorite restaurant?

jewish headstone with raised base

By simply writing down your wishes, and discussing them, you can give your family peace of mind that they don’t need to spend an outrageous amount on you. This can ultimately help them through their grief. Spending time together and sharing love now will also reassure them that you know they love you, and when the time comes they may not feel that same sense of need to overspend. If you are the one making the funeral arrangements after a death has occurred, there are also ways to avoid emotional overspending in that moment.


Did you know?

In the same way you can pre-plan your funeral services, you can pre-plan your monument. Families may feel compelled to have a cemetery monument or headstone that is ornate and outside of the family budget. With so many etchings, lettering, epitaphs, and more to choose from, the cost can add up. A simple way to avoid this is to pre-plan your cemetery monument.


When Making Arrangements

You may feel overwhelmed in the moment of planning the funeral arrangements. Lots of different options are being thrown at you, and you will be under a tremendous amount of stress while being asked to make dozens of decisions. It is easy to get overwhelmed, or hyper-focused on a big ticket item. Remember that expensive casket? Six months after the funeral you won’t even remember what it looks like, but you’ll still be paying it off on your credit card.

  • Have a budget in mind going into the funeral arrangements. There will be some unavoidable costs, like the cremation fee, or the use of the hearse, but an overall sense of what you really have available to spend will help you in making your decisions.
  • Have a family member or close friend come to the arrangements to hold you accountable. You’ll be surprised how much this strength and support can help you stay on track.
  • Look to your family and friends for talents to use to personalize the service.  A poet who can write a special verse to read, or a musician who can sing or play an instrument can add value to the service. There are lots of creative, yet inexpensive ways to personalize a funeral service. This also serves to demonstrates your love for the deceased without stressing your budget.
jewish funeral

Remember, it is the experience itself that everyone will remember, but only you will be footing the bill.



At Fox Memorials, we’ve been guiding Long Island’s Jewish community through losses and grief for decades. By providing high-quality custom headstones and monuments, we help our clients say goodbye at fair and affordable rates. Jewish monuments are the most personal, enduring tributes to the lives and legacies of your lost loved one.