Info: Death in the Family

Chavurat Hamidbar – January 2015

General Information When There is a Death in the Family

Chavurat Hamidbar (Fellowship of the Desert) owns a section of the Fairview Cemetery that has been consecrated as a Jewish Cemetery. Chavurah sells these cemetery plots to its members. To purchase a cemetery plot, contact a member of the Cemetery Committee. Rules governing burial in the Chavurah section, burial services and purchase of a cemetery plot can be found in the Cemetery Rules document on the Chavurah website,

Functions and charges of the funeral home/mortuary and the Fairview Cemetery are separate. Many funeral homes/mortuaries and Fairview have prepayment plans. Chavurah does not recommend for or against prepayment plans. Doing so is entirely up to the member. Prepayment plan(s) are an agreement between the member and the provider.

1. Funeral Home/Mortuary.
Make arrangements with a funeral home/ mortuary of your choice. There are several in Albuquerque. Recently, members have used the French Mortuary and Daniels Mortuary, both of which are familiar with Jewish funeral traditions. The Chavurah was also informed that Riverside Funeral Home is familiar with Jewish funeral traditions. Shrouds are available for purchase at the funeral homes. Caskets may also be purchased from other vendors (e.g. The Old Pine Box). The Chavurah does not recommend a particular funeral home/mortuary.

Families that wish to have a Tahara service (Jewish preparation of body for burial) must let the funeral home know their wishes. The funeral home will contact Mark Yellin, the Chevrah Kadisha coordinator, who will make the necessary arrangements. Please note, at this time the NM Chevrah Kadisha does not provide Shmira (attending between death and burial). Contact Chavurah member Nikkihanna Baptiste with questions concerning the NM Chevrah Kadisha.

2. Fairview Cemetery.
Cemetery services, such as the opening and closing of the vault, are performed by the Fairview Cemetery and must be purchased prior to the burial. As of January 2015, the charges for Fairview Cemetery’s services are:
• Interment and recording fee, opening and closing of the plot, including complete set up of carpets, canopy and 8-10 chairs and lowering device: $845.00.
• Vault (dome only) starting price $995.00 for a basic dome (dome is required by NM health regulations).
• Taxes (7%) and a processing fee ($75) are also charged.
• These charges are for burials Monday thru Friday, 10:00am–3:00pm. Sunday burial can be scheduled from 10:00am–1:00pm for a $425.00 overtime charge. If preplanning contract has been signed prior to a passing of a member, the Sunday fee is waived.
• For further information, contact Lou Aguilar @ Fairview Memorial Park, 505-262-1454 or 505-379-4570.
3. Burial Service.
Families that wish the Chavurah to officiate at or assist with the burial service should contact a member of the Ritual Committee.

4. Memorial Markers.
A Hebrew and/or English memorial marker or tombstone may be purchased anywhere, but Fairview must install it. Recently, members used Worthen Memorials in Albuquerque. The Worthen staff has no knowledge of Hebrew, just the fonts. It would be helpful to have a Hebrew speaker/speller accompany the family to the Worthen office. As of January 2015, the starting price of a granite marker at Worthen is $500.00. Installation by Fairview starts at $120.00, depending on size of marker.

This document prepared by the Cemetery Committee and Rita Siegel.