I am writing in response to the JT’s June 5 cover story “The Cost of a Dignified Burial.” At a certain point, the article seemed less about Jewish funerals in general and more an opportunity to focus on our local Jewish funeral home. I regularly provide rabbinic support to Sol Levinson & Bros., and there is no praise high enough for the compassionate and professional care they extend to bereaved families. From the directors who meet with families to the men and women in the back rooms and back office, I am continually impressed by the outstanding staff at Levinson’s. I know from firsthand experience a family facing financial difficulty will find that Levinson ensures that the needs of the deceased are met with dignity. It is also interesting to me that your reporters relied so much on the Jewish Funeral Practices Committee of Greater Washington for their story. Anyone who remembers the reason for the founding of that committee in Washington appreciates the absolute professionalism encountered here in Baltimore when working with Sol Levinson & Bros. On a more personal note, my mother’s funeral in North Florida was conducted out of a chapel owned by a huge multinational corporation. My family did not opt for limousine service or a fancy casket, and the fees for her simple graveside service exceeded $10,000. Baltimore’s Jewish community should count its blessings that a local family with strong local commitments is at the helm of Levinson. Otherwise, we might need our own Jewish Funeral Practices Committee here in Baltimore.
—Rabbi David Greenspoon, President, Jewtique: Concierge Rabbinic Services