**Updated Saturday, February 6, 2021**
Governor Cuomo announced updates to the Guidelines for Religious and Funeral Services.
Effective February 2, 2021, the maximum occupancy for funeral homes is 50% (up from 33%) of the maximum occupancy for a particular area as set by the certificate of occupancy when available.
CLICK TO READ Reopening New York – Guidelines for Religious and Funeral Services
These guidelines apply to all religious and funeral gatherings, including burial and committal services, statewide.
Masks continue to be mandated by New York State and are required to attend funeral services.
**Updated Friday, July 17, 2020**
DOH Emergency Rule on Masks / As of July 9, 2020
Funeral Homes MUST Require Face Coverings
Pikuach nefesh (Hebrew: פיקוח נפש, “saving a life”) describes the principle in Jewish law that the preservation of human life overrides virtually any other religious rule.
Please observe this rule when entering our facility
Non-compliance puts our business in jeopardy of local and state enforcement of monetary fines and possible loss of license. State leadership encourages community members to report non-conforming businesses. Consider the implications your actions may have on our business, employees and the family’s wishing to Honor, Remember and Celebrate their loved one.
the Finger Lakes Region [Monroe County] is in Phase Four allowing the funeral homes to hold public visitations and services under government-mandated restrictions:
The owner, Jarrod Krieger, has integrated the following “social distancing” provisions for visitations and services held inside our facilities:
- 33% occupancy for public visitation at our facilities limits total occupancy to 30 individuals in a visitation room at the same time
- Socially distant “lines” are able to form inside our facilities within the constraints of social distance definitions. Our staff will direct guests in both direction and socially distant spacing
- 33% occupancy for public services in our chapel limits total occupancy to 40 individuals in the chapel at the same time
- Masks or face-coverings are required during visitations and services
- 6 foot social distancing must be observed
- Outdoor gatherings allow for a maximum capacity of 50 people
- [NOTE: Each outdoor venue may set its own limitations at less than 50 people. When services are held away from the funeral home we must observe the guidence and rules of the selected venue]
Jarrod Kriger and the staff recognize and hear the unhappiness experienced by families wishing to Honor, Remember and Celebrate their loved ones under these restrictions. We remain committed to creating solutions meeting the needs of our families while continuing to honor a social contract to follow the rules and regulations from state and local leadership.
Additionally, we recognize our community’s social isolation fatigue [not visiting loved ones in the hospital or nursing home, not celebrating birthdays publicly, the inability to Honor, Remember and Celebrate loved ones…]. We share this fatigue as individuals and as funeral service professionals limited in our ability to support individuals walking their individualized grief pathway.
We are available by e-mail at Jarrod@brighton.com or phone (585) 427-8520 to discuss questions and concerns for any member of our community.
Jarrod M. Krieger
President & Owner
Below is a letter from the Rochester Board of Rabbis:
Dear Members of the Rochester Jewish community,
We find ourselves at a very difficult time when social distancing is our number one priority in stopping the spread of the COVID-19 virus. With the request of our government, we understand that lowering the amount of people present at any gathering will lead to preserving and saving life.
With great pain, we must address what will take place when families face the passing of a loved one. We always encourage others to honor the deceased and pay respects to the family, which usually results in large gatherings. Currently, this is not possible. The necessary protocol for all funerals is to hold a graveside service with immediate family aiming to have a gathering of 10 for the family to recite the mourner’s Kaddish. This will allow the appropriate distance between people while still conducting all necessities of a funeral service.
We understand that this is a pressing time in our lives and the world at large. At a funeral, our Mitzvah is to show the proper Kavod, honor to the deceased. In today’s situation, we believe that the highest level of Kavod we can give to the Neshama is to display the greatest concern for preserving life.
In response to conduct during Shiva, we ask that no visiting hours be scheduled and that minyanim at the mourner’s home not take place. We encourage that the Shiva visit be accomplished through phone call or skype.
We invite all families who face the pain of loss to speak with their Rabbi to plan accordingly during their time of grief.
May this difficult moment in our history find an end. May the tears of sorrow and pain transform to a day when tears of joy and celebration fill our world.
With sincere wishes of safety and health,
Rochester Board of Rabbis,
Rabbi Avi Kilimnick, President