Being Jewish begins right from when a baby emerges into this world, all the way through to death and mourning. Judaism provides a framework of laws and customs for every milestone in life.

On this page, you can find guidance on the Jewish approach to end-of-life, and how to practically plan a Jewish funeral, anywhere in Australia.

It is best to have a funeral plan in place well before your loved ones are approaching their end of life. This way, important decisions can be made with a clear sense of mind, and the wishes of your loved ones can be best accommodated.

Judaism considers the human body to be holy, and thus mandates that the body be treated with the utmost respect and care, following its passing. One should endevour to have plans in place that will allow for a burial as soon as is practically possible after the passing, in some instances taking place even on the same day.

There are many intricate customs that have deep meaning that are associated with a Jewish funeral. Chabad of RARA is well equipped with guiding you on this journey, and ensuring that you understand every part of the process.

Losing a loved one is a difficult experience. By having the appropriate funeral plan in place beforehand, you will be able to grieve and focus on your family, and ensure that your loved one has the most respectful and appropriate send off.

In Judaism, the body is buried in the grand after death. This is based of the verse "You are dust,and you shall return to dust." (Bereishis: 3:19).
It is forbidden to cremate (burn) the Jewish body, and it is also forbidden to embalm or preserve the Jewish body. We do not want to speed up or slow down the bodies decomposition ; rather, we let nature take it's course.

The Planning Process

A Jewish funeral is an intimate family event. At the same time, steps need to be taken to ensure the deceased to be brought to rest in the most respectful way.

There are 3 primary components to ensuring your loved ones can have a Jewish burial:

1. Selecting a grave site. This involves approaching a cemetery that has a Jewish section and purchasing or reserving a site there.

2. Engaging the Chevra Kadisha (lit: "Holy Society", "Chevra" for short; a Jewish funeral parlour). The Chevra is a full service funeral parlor, and will be able to take care of most of the technical aspects of preparing the body for burial. They will facilitate picking up the deceased, washing and preparing the body, and returning the body to the cemetery for burial.
In instances where there is no Chevra in the close vicinity of the place of death or cemetery, a local funeral parlour can be engaged, and given guidance on how to best care for the Jewish body.

3. Engaging a Rabbi to officiate at the funeral service. A Jewish funeral is unique in that it is one of the only Jewish ceremonies that has remained unchanged in its proceedings for thousands of years. The Rabbi will conduct the service, provide comforting words for the mourners, and will liaise with the Chevra or funeral parlour in regards to all technical aspects of the burial.


No two Jewish burials will cost the same. This is due to the various different elements that are involved in each funeral. As a general guide, the following costs are to be anticipated:

Plot fee: This is the cost of purchasing or reserving a plot (grave) at a cemetery.
This can range anywhere from $1,000 up to $10,000.
Internment fee: This is the fee paid to the cemetery upon using the plot that has been previously acquired. This covers excavation of the grave, and most services provided by the cemetery at the funeral.
This can range anywhere from $1,000 up to $5,000.
Funeral Parlour fee: This is the fee paid to the funeral parlour to pick up the deceased, and prepare them for burial. This fee includes the price of the coffin, burial shrouds, and transport from the place of death and to the cemetery.
Rabbis compensation: The rabbi attending to your family during this difficult time will invest much time and effort into ensuring that you and your family are best taken care of. While there is no set fee for this, it is appropriate to pay in the range of $500 to $1,000 for the service. This is in addition to any travel, accomodation or other expenses that the rabbi may have to undertake to attend the funeral.
Note: Some funeral parlours will include the officiating rabbis compensation in their funeral fee package.
Monument or headstone: This will vary depending on size and type of monument, as well as installation costs. It is best to consult the cemetery you are using to see what options are available.

Where should I be buried?

A Jewish person should be buried in the Jewish section of a cemetery. In Australia, there are over 70 Jewish sections in cemeteries around the country. There are major Jewish cemeteries in Melbourne, and Sydney, as well as in other larger cities around the country.

It is important to note that you can be buried in almost any cemetery, regardless of where you live. In Melbourne and Sydney there are large Jewish cemeteries that regularly have burials of people from all over the country.

There are a number of advantages in being buried in a major Jewish cemetery. Some of them being, more regular visits by family and members of the Jewish community, as well as much more straightforward planning of the funeral.

Click here to view a full list of Jewish sections in cemeteries around the country.

Which funeral parlour should I use?

In the first instance, it is best to engage the Chevra Kadisha to provide the funeral parlour services.

Contact the Chevra Kadisha nearest to you to enquire if they serve your area:
Melbourne (03) 9534 0208
Sydney (02) 9363 2248
Brisbane (07) 3356 4277
Gold Coast (07) 5596 6919
Perth (08) 9381 5888

Should any of the above Chevras be unable to serve your area, you may reach out to a local funeral home to provide services. Chabad of RARA is able to be in touch to provide guidance of Jewish customs when caring for, and preparing, the deceased.

Chabad Rabbis around Australia are also able to assist with liaising with a local funeral home.

Contact us

The process of planning ahead can be difficult. Please feel free to reach out to us should you require any assistance. Chabad of RARA is also able to provide a rabbi to officiate at the funeral. Contact made with us is with no obligations.

Phone: 0413 365 770
Email: [email protected]

Further reading

Our Jewish Practice page offers an extensive section of death and mourning in Judaism. Click here to access the page.

The Melbourne Chevra Kadisha offers great resources on Jewish funerals. Click here to access their resources page.