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Making Arrangements

Traditional Burial and Cremation

Without specific instructions made by the person who died, family members will need to make the important decision about whether to bury or cremate the body.

For some families, this is a simple decision; for others, the choice is very complicated, and there may be tension among family members. In either case, our funeral directors will talk with you and your family about your decision, help you understand everything that’s involved in the process, and find a solution that can satisfy everyone.

Traditional Burial

While many Jews traditionally buried their loved ones in the ground, other options are available as well. These include placing remains in a mausoleum (above-ground building) or columbarium (above-ground building for cremated remains). Sinai can help you facilitate any of these options.

It is also traditional for Jews to be buried in dedicated Jewish cemeteries or in distinct sections of multi-denominational cemeteries consecrated for Jewish burial.

Regardless of your choice—even if your family does not yet own a plot—we can assist you in finding the right cemetery choice for you and your family. Sinai Memorial Chapel serves all cemeteries where Jews wish to be buried. Sinai Memorial Chapel owns and manages two cemeteries in the Bay Area.

A Note on Embalming

Except in certain special cases, California state law does not require embalming. Embalming may be necessary, however, if you select certain funeral arrangements such as a viewing, where the body is on display. If you do not want embalming, you have the right to choose funeral arrangements that do not require embalming.


Sinai Memorial Chapel can arrange all aspects of cremation.

If you choose cremation, you can still bury the remains, place them in a crypt or niche in a cemetery, or keep them at home in an urn or other receptacle of your choice.

In addition to holding a service, scattering the ashes can be a meaningful ritual. Many people choose to have the ashes scattered by air or over water—both of which Sinai Memorial Chapel can help arrange—but you can choose any location that was meaningful to the person who died.