Who can officiate at life-cycle events?

The Jewish Secular Community of Cleveland (JSC) has three madrikhim who are licensed to officiate at life-cycle ceremonies, and another member who is a Humanist counselor, and licensed to perform weddings and other life-cycle ceremonies.

Bat/Bar Mitzvah

Although we currently do not have a Bat/Bar Mitzvah program, you may contact Sandra Arndt, Education Coordinator for Secular B’nai Mitzvahs, for information at arndt.s@sbcglobal.net.

Weddings and Other Happy Events

Four members of the JSC were married by two other members. Our officiants also perform other joyful events, such as baby namings and vow renewals. Ask us about it!

What to do when a loved one dies?

A death brings sadness and stress. Members of the grieving family will have many decisions to make in a short time. The Jewish Secular Community of Cleveland is committed to offering support to JSC members and/or survivors.

A Jewish secular humanistic memorial/funeral service can be provided in many settings. The JSC respects the decision of the family of the deceased to make a choice regarding venue and “degree of tradition of the service.”

When a death occurs, a surviving family member or friend should contact the President or Chairperson of the Good and Welfare Committee. The one who is contacted will notify the other.

The JSC can provide the following types of assistance.

  • Notify the JSC membership of the death
  • Find a location for a funeral/memorial service
  • Contact one of the JSC’s madrikhim who can develop and guide a funeral/memorial service
  • Provide food or an organizational donation

The JSC urges members and their families to plan ahead for these difficult times. Such planning can include:

  1. Ethical Will and other Advance Directives
  2. Funeral, Burial, Cremation—Costs and Services
  3. Secular Jewish Memorial Services and Traditional Jewish Funeral Services
  4. Site of Memorial Service
  5. Agency or institution to which memorial contributions can be sent
  6. Obituary

An important measure of the integrity of any congregation, whether religious or secular, is the degree to which members of that congregation can rely on it in times of need. When the death of a loved one occurs, the JSC reaffirms its commitment to reach out to members in this most trying of times.

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Berkowitz Kumin Bookatz
They offer a full range of funeral services and can assist in preplanning.

Cleveland Memorial Society
A nonprofit dedicated to simplicity, economy, dignity and forethought in funeral arrangements. The purposes of the Society: to promote, through education and other means, dignity and simplicity in funeral arrangements; to plan for its members and their families either simple cremation or simple burial; to aid in the bequest of body or anatomical gifts (cornea, kidney, temporal bones) to medical science.

Shapiro Funeral Service
Also works with Cleveland Memorial Society


Hillcrest Cemetery

Hillcrest is non-sectarian. This may be important to those whose immediate families include non-Jews. There are also plots available only for use by Jews and plots available for Jews and non-Jews. Thus plots for spouses/partners in interfaith families can be side by side. Their chapel can seat about 50 persons.

Lakeview Cemetery (nondenominational)

Mt. Olive Cemetery
27855 Aurora Rd, Solon, OH 44139
216-248-5100 (at cemetery)

Zion Memorial Park
51 Northfield Road, Bedford, OH 44146