BEHIND THE SCENES at nasck
NASCK’s involvement in matters of Kovod Hames throughout the country keeps growing. We are the organization that people reach out to when seeking to strengthen the local Chevra Kadisha, when complex questions arise regarding burial or cemetery issues, or when in need of guidance and advice relating to potential cases of cremation.
The Governor of Illinois recently signed into law the Disposition of Remains of the Indigent Act. This law establishes procedures for dealing with bodies when there is no family. Rabbi Shlomo Soroka, Director of Government Affairs for Agudath Israel of Illinois, was instrumental in crafting a law which will increase the likelihood of Kovod Hames and K’vuras Yisroel in these circumstances. Rabbi Soroka reached out to Rabbi Zohn at NASCK and then publicly thanked him for being involved in the process, reviewing the legislation and offering invaluable suggestions. The final bill that was signed into law will hopefully B’Ezras Hashem lead to increased Kovod Hames and K’vuras Yisroel. Rabbi Zohn expressed his satisfaction with the law by saying, “This is probably the best system put into place in the entire country and should serve as a model for other states as well.”
In the past month, Rabbi Zohn traveled to Chicago and Toronto. Community programs in St. Louis, Memphis, Atlanta and Teaneck are also being planned for the next few weeks. He will be speaking to Chevros Kadisha, teaching refresher courses and answering practical Sheilos that frequently arise during Taharah and K’vurah. Community lectures address the need to educate our communities to sign Halachic Living Wills, encourage people to join the Chevra Kadisha and discuss ideas on how to deal with the 40% cremation rate among Jews. (Please click here to read about Rabbi Zohn’s trip to Chicago.) A Halachic Advance Medical Directive / EMES Card signup event is scheduled to be held on December 31st in North Miami Beach. It will be directed by our South Florida Regional Director, Rabbi Yaakov Lyons.
Before this past Rosh Hashanah, we received the following email as a thanks for help provided several years ago. ‘I would like to take this opportunity – a time to review past actions – and correct an overlooked misdeed. I am so appreciative of what you did for my community yet I have neglected to thank you profusely for your concern, efforts and expertise. You may or may not remember but, several years back, I called out to you in desperation regarding many inappropriate “doings” at the local Jewish Funeral Home here in NJ. To this day, our women’s Chevra retell and review all that you said and did, and are eternally grateful. Your actions and caring made a huge difference…to this very day! Further – as a Chevra – we still are in awe of what you accomplished in a day…that we could not do in several years!’
We recently received a donation accompanied by the following note. ‘Rabbi, I want to thank you and Robin Meyerson so much for your help in a time of need when I lost my son…. in Las Vegas. His burial would not have been possible without your help. I would like to make this donation in his memory to help another family.’
If you would like to contribute to help further NASCK’s mission, please click here.