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Funerals/My wife is Catholic (non practicing) I am a Reform Jew

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Question
Can we both be buried in a Reform cemetery?  Is there anything you can tell me about being buried together?
My wife and I were also thinking about being cremated and having our ashes mixed.  Do Reform Jews cremate?

Thank you in advance for your time, information and advice.

Answer
Dear Bob,

Individual cemeteries and rabbis have their own requirements. Therefore, the questions you are asking are entirely at their discretion. Very few rabbis will officiate at a memorial for someone who is being cremated, but there are a few. You would have to ask around. I have never heard of ashes being mixed. This would require that you and your wife both die at the same time and, again, this would be up to the crematory and is probably also a matter of state law.

I'm sorry I can't be more helpful.

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Rabbi Sue Levy

Expertise

I will be happy to answer questions about Jewish customs and beliefs relating to death and mourning and how these are observed by the different movements in the Jewish community. I can discuss the content of the Jewish funeral service as well as options from which you may choose. I can also suggest some important questions which one may want to ask a rabbi or funeral director when planning a funeral service.

Experience

I have been a rabbi for twenty-seven years and have served congregations in the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements. I taught an undergraduate course in Death and Dying at Temple University in Philadelphia and have taught classes in Jewish mourning customs in numerous locations. I am also a widow. My experience as a mourner enabled me to see, in a very practical way, which of the traditions, "worked" for me and which did not. One of the most important things I learned is that, even for Jews who do not accept the authority of Jewish law, many of the traditional practices have enormous psychological wisdom. I can offer both an educated an sympathetic ear.

Organizations
Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, Houston Rabbinical Association, Rabbis for Human Rights, Southern Poverty Leadership Council

Education/Credentials
BA., Political Science, Temple University, 1965 MA, Religion, Temple University, 1983 MAHL (Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters), 1986, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Wyncote, PA Rabbinic Ordination, 1986, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

Awards and Honors
D.D. Doctor of Divinity, (honorus causa), 2011, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

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