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Video: Sheldon Rubin Jewish Funeral and Readings
Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death, Funeral Expert Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death, Funeral Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Albuquerque, NM
Thursday, September 7, 2023

Video Clip: Click to Watch

Conducting a funeral for my father was my toughest assignment yet as a Certified Funeral Celebrant. But I got through it without breaking down, and it was a good goodbye.

Sheldon Rubin and Max

Sheldon Rubin and great-grandson Max in 2023

My dad Sheldon Rubin died at the age of 93 on August 29, 2023 at an in-patient hospice in Boca Raton, Florida. Decades earlier, he had purchased burial rights for he and my mom in King David Memorial Gardens in Falls Church, Virginia. The plots are right next to his parents and his sister and brother-in-law’s graves.

I helped get them to pre-pay for their funeral services ten years ago, when we made arrangements with the Hines Rinaldi Funeral Home. This is one of the funeral homes under contract with the Jewish Funeral Practices Committee of Greater Washington. This organization has contracted with local funeral homes to provide affordable Jewish funeral packages.

The funeral pre-need contract, put in place in 2013, saved thousands of dollars had my parents waited until 2023 to make these arrangements. The out of pocket costs from the funeral home were about $1,400, for transporting dad’s body from Florida to Maryland, the death notice in The Washington Post ($700!), and death certificates. There were other out of pocket costs for food and gatherings after the funeral, my services as a funeral celebrant (in place of a rabbi), and travel expenses for the family. I mention these items as costs that you need to consider beyond what you pay for a funeral, burial or cremation.

Here’s the video of the funeral:

Sheldon Rubin Funeral

Jewish Funeral Readings

The readings for this Jewish funeral included El Malei Rachamim (God of Compassion), the 23rd Psalm, the Song of Songs reading for a man conducted during the tahara ritual of washing and dressing the body, and the Mourner’s Kaddish. We started with the keriah ribbon-tearing ritual. I also included this reading by poet Bernard Barton:

The dead are like the stars by day,

Withdrawn from mortal eye,

Yet holding unperceived their way

Through the unclouded sky.

By them, through holy hope and love,

We feel, in hours serene,

Connected with a world above,

Immortal and unseen.

For death his sacred seal hath set

On bright and bygone hours;

And those we mourn are with us yet,

Are more than ever ours;

Ours, by the pledge of love and faith,

By hopes of heaven on high;

By trust, triumphant over death,

In immortality.

I hope my sharing of this video and reading can help you when you are faced with a death in the family.



Gail Rubin, CT, is author and host of the award-winning book and television series, A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die, Hail and Farewell: Cremation Ceremonies, Templates and TipsKICKING THE BUCKET LIST: 100 Downsizing and Organizing Things to Do Before You Die and The Before I Die Festival in a Box™.

Rubin is a Certified Thanatologist (that's a death educator) and a popular speaker who uses humor and films to get the end-of-life and funeral planning conversation started. She "knocked 'em dead" with her TEDx talk, A Good Goodbye. She provides continuing education credit classes for attorneys, doctors, nurses, social workers, hospice workers, financial planners, funeral directors and other professionals. She's a Certified Funeral Celebrant and funeral planning consultant who has been interviewed in national and local print, broadcast and online media.

Known as The Doyenne of Death®, she is the event coordinator of the Before I Die New Mexico Festival and author of a guide to holding such festivals. Her podcast is also called The Doyenne of Death®. She produces videos about the funeral business and related topics. Her YouTube Channel features hundreds of videos!

Rubin is a member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling, the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association, Toastmasters International and the National Speakers Association. Her speaking profile is available at eSpeakers.com.

Gail Rubin has been interviewed about funeral planning issues in national and local broadcast, print and online media. Outlets include The Huffington Post, Money Magazine, Kiplinger, CBS Radio News, WGN-TV,  and local affiliates for NPR, PBS, FOX, ABC-TV, CBS-TV and NBC-TV. Albuquerque Business First named her as one of their 2019 Women of Influence.

Sign up for a free planning form and occasional informative newsletter at her website, AGoodGoodbye.com.

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Name: Gail Rubin
Group: A Good Goodbye
Dateline: Albuquerque, NM United States
Direct Phone: 505-265-7215
Cell Phone: 505-363-7514
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