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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 Headstones and Memorial Symbols

Judaism is a religion with unparalleled history and ancient roots. At Fox Monuments, we have spent years providing Long Island with Jewish cemetery monuments and memorials to honor their loved ones. Helping our clients through difficult times is our highest priority.

Whether you wish to have a Jewish double monument inscribed or design an individual headstone, we recognize the importance of faith during times of grief.

There are many different memorial options to choose from when making arrangements for a burial. Jewish headstones feature unique symbols that distinguish them from other faiths.

This post has been updated in September 2019 from its original publish date of May 20th, 2015. It has been edited for consistency and updated information on our services.

5 Common Symbols for Jewish Headstones

1. Menorah

The Menorah is one of two universally recognized Jewish symbols. Moreover, it has great significance to the Jewish people. The Menorah is a candelabrum that supports seven candles, with lit candles in each slot.

The Menorah is a reminder to all Jews of the unity that binds them. Additionally, its beacon of hope to all other nations, which inspires all to share the light of godliness.

On a Jewish headstone, the Menorah represents commitment to their faith throughout their lifetime. Specifically, the Menorah is commonly inscribed on women’s headstones.

2. Star of David

Along with the Menorah, the Star of David is the most recognizable Jewish symbol. It is composed of two equilateral triangles that together create three knots.

The three knots within the star represent Israel, the Holy Land, the Torah and the Holy One. The Star of David was found on King David of Israel’s shield and is also on Israel’s national flag.

Used primarily on the headstones of men, the Star of David is a strong affirmation of one’s belief in Israel as a home for all Jewish people.

Jewish headstone with menorah
jewish monument with torah

3. Torah

The word “Torah” in Judaism has two very similar, but different, meanings. To some, the Torah describes the Jewish books in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible. And, to others it comprises the entirety of the stories and teachings of the Jewish faith.

Studying the various texts of the Torah is considered a noble and self-improving practice, one that firmly affixes your roots in the morals of the Jewish faith. Inscribing the Torah on a headstone represents the enormous moral and spiritual growth one has accomplished throughout their lifetime in their pursuit of God’s wisdom.

5. The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life, also called the Kabbalah, is a symbol of the path one takes throughout their lifetime in order to reach God. It is regarded as a map of the universe, the creation of the cosmos, and the journey taken through life towards enlightenment.

The Tree of Life placed on Jewish headstones represents the figure at the very center of esoteric Judaism.

6. Two Hands

The symbol of two hands connected at the thumb, but separated at the middle and ring fingers, represents the blessings of the Cohen within the Jewish faith. “Cohen” is the Hebrew term used for priest. The term has biblical roots, and stems from the descendants of Aaron, brother of Moses, who were called “cohen.”

Two hands inscribed on a Jewish headstone is a representation of priesthood or a close relation to a Jewish priest.


Jewish Headstones at Fox Monuments

Having taken these symbols into consideration, whatever your needs may be, at Fox Monuments we can happily collaborate with you to create a fitting and lasting tribute to your loved one with any inscription, symbolic or otherwise, you might require. Contact us for more information.