Liberal Judaism holds dear the traditional principle of kavod ha’met (honour/dignity in death). It therefore works to ensure through its own burial scheme and individual communities, that provision at the end of a person’s life is as appropriate and meaningful as it is during life itself.
The Rabbis of Liberal Judaism provide pastoral care for those in the last stages of life and their families. A number of our communities also offer the support of trained bereavement counsellors.
Once a death has taken place, people vary considerably in what they require, and in how traditional they want the rituals and service to be. For that reason, in Liberal Judaism it is very much left up to the bereaved family to decide how they wish to hold the funeral and mourn afterwards. Rabbis and congregational leaders will give guidance where it is required, and explain practices at the time, but no-one within Liberal Judaism is compelled to carry out rituals which they do not want to perform. The prevailing practice in Liberal Judaism is to let families and individuals make up their own minds whether they prefer burial or cremation, without any pressure being applied.
Liberal Jewish communities attempt to support families through all the traditional stages of mourning if needed or wanted.