In April 2019, we held the Burial and Benevolent Society AGM and as is often the case at these times we have new people to welcome and valuable contributors to thank.

I am writing as the newly elected President and want to start with a thank you to the existing President Diana Hoskyn for her support of me personally in this transition and for her long service and ongoing work for the committee.

In a small community such as ours the additional work that people contribute  –  at all levels of organising and attending, making financial contributions if not able to offer time, thoughtful words and deeds of caring – these are all  invaluable ways we support and care for each other – they become especially important in hard times such as bereavement or financial stress.  Thank you to the 2018 committee, to funeral Lay Readers Arthur Berman and Paul Wilton and to all members who have supported and continue to support this important work.

To retiring 2018 committee member Lita Summerfield whose thoughtful and active contributions were much valued  by the committee, we are so pleased that you have volunteered to continue working in the community through the newly invigorated Community Care Group. Due to a meeting time change, Sandra Brickman and Robyn Trugly have both reluctantly resigned their roles on the 2019 B&B committee but have generously committed to work with Community Care which they can more flexibly attend. The function of Community Care and the link with the Burial and Benevolent Society is critical to both groups and so we are doubly pleased to have such a strength of relationship there.

I wish to add an additional acknowledgment of Sandra Brickman for her longstanding role with the B&B.  I believe she must be the longest standing committee member ever with over 20 years of service to this committee! Thank you Sandra for all you have done over the years.

You will have all read the wonderfully articulate and educational Teruah  notices over the last few years. These have been the contribution of member and ex-President Ian Morrison. Ian has decided to more fully retire and put down the pen for now.  Learning and talking about our understanding of death and dying are important conversations to have and we thank you very much Ian for all you have contributed to this space.

Welcome to new committee members Stephanie Markson, Sue Pezaro, David Zussman and returning members Sue Berman [President] Diana Hoskyn [Vice President] David Singer [Treasurer] and Sonja Karon. We continue to enjoy a connection with Beth Shalom board rep Julie Dick.

The committee has had only one meeting to date. One of the key things we talked about wanting to achieve this term is to increase our access to education and raise awareness of the core work of the committee; to grow our capacity to support the mitzvah and obligations of Tahara [preparation of the body for burial], and the associated considerations required for the care of the dying and for those that have passed.

We hope you will join us in discussion with Beth Shalom’s Shavuot tikkun in early June on the theme Living with Death and Dying.

The committee is always open to approaches to discuss concerns about burial or benevolence.

We operate on a strictly confidential basis. We thank you, the members for your ongoing financial and moral support in the work.

Sue Berman, President  (022 051 3589)

Recently there have been requests to clarify the services provided by the Auckland Jewish Burial and Benevolent Society. In response to those requests, we set out below some of the services we provide.

In the event of a death in your family, please telephone either Sue Berman (022 051 3589) or Sue Pezaro (021 826 440)

Services to families after death

– initial and follow-up contact with the family;
– funeral and burial arrangements;
– taharah, including shrouds and gowns;
– offer shomer to accompany the deceased between death and the burial (where possible);
– provide food after the funeral, if requested
– provide a shiva candle
– after the funeral, the name of the deceased is put on the Synagogue Yahrzeit and Yizkor lists; and
– stone setting arrangements.The cost of the undertaker, coffin, plot and headstone are additional to the services provided by your membership.

Insurance can be obtained through any member of the Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand towards funeral expenses.

Membership of the Auckland Jewish Burial & Benevolent Society is separate from Beth Shalom fees, and not covered by the Synagogue. Subscriptions are: $50 family membership and $40 single membership.

Services to the community

– provide for the sale of Yahrzeit candles;

– ensure cemetery area is maintained

– maintain a Yahrzeit list; and

– provide assistance from the Benevolent Fund for people in need.

Membership of the Auckland Jewish Burial and Benevolent Society is open to members of Beth Shalom and people nominated by a Board member, and agreed to by our Committee.

If you have any other queries, please ask the office for a copy of our booklet “A Guide to Jewish Funeral and Mourning Customs”.


To make a donation to the B&B Annual Appeal 2019 click here.


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