Toronto Hebrew Memorial Parks is unique in its origins as a community-owned organization. It exists to serve the Jewish Community of Greater Toronto by fulfilling obligations of establishing and maintaining cemeteries through the provision of professional administration and ongoing supervision, while showing respect for the Community’s beliefs and practices.
For a listing of our Cemetery closures in 2020, please visit our News & Information tab.
Our cemeteries will be closed to all visitors. We will only open for burials. PLEASE DO NOT TRY TO WALK INTO THE CEMETERY AND PLEASE DO NOT PARK YOUR VEHICLE IN FRONT OF OUR GATES.
Our office is currently closed. You may reach us at email@example.com
These protocols are effective as of April 8, 2020.
COVID-19 Protocols for Interments
The gates of our cemeteries will remain locked and will only be opened by our cemetery staff, and only to permit entry for scheduled graveside funerals. Please do not otherwise seek to enter the property.
- We require the Funeral Chapel to notify the Cemetery if someone has died from COVID-19 or is strongly suspected to have died from COVID-19. His/Her burial will be carried out with only Clergy and Cemetery and Funeral Chapel staff in attendance. Failure to comply with this directive will result in immediate summonsing of the police as a public and health emergency situation, and criminal charges shall be laid.
- The Funeral Chapel must prepare a deceased person who has died of COVID-19 or is strongly suspected to have died of COVID-19, with the required protocols.
- Graveside funerals for non-COVID-19 related or suspected deaths will be limited to 10 persons including Clergy but not including Cemetery and Funeral Chapel staff.
- Individuals attending graveside funerals must remain in their vehicles until they are instructed by cemetery staff and/or Funeral Chapel staff.
- Individuals at the service must stand at least 6 feet away from the grave, with a social distance of at least 6 feet apart.
- At least two hours before the service, the Funeral Chapel will provide the Cemetery with a full list of the names of all the individuals who plan on attending the service, along with their contact information. Individuals at the service must sign a register and provide contact information should tracing of infection become necessary.
- Funeral directors/assistants shall wait until the casket is lowered and cemetery staff have removed the lowering device and have created a social distance of at least 6 feet from the grave before allowing individuals to approach the grave.
- Funeral directors/assistants will direct families to create a social distance at graveside of at least 6 feet from one another and will use best efforts to remind families during the service. At all times, visitors and funeral chapel staff must always remain at least 6 feet away from cemetery staff.
- Only 2 shovels will be provided in order to enable the attending Clergy and one representative family member (please consult with your Clergy to determine who that should be according to Halacha) to throw dirt onto the casket. Once the top surface of only the casket is covered with a layer of dirt, attendees will be expected to complete the service and return to their vehicles and leave the cemetery, after which time, the cemetery staff will complete the filling of the grave. There is to be no passing of shovels. We are expecting that the total attendance time within the cemetery grounds for any graveside funeral will be 30 minutes or less.
- All pallbearers must wear rubber/latex disposable gloves and anyone who handles the cemetery’s shovels must also be wearing such gloves.
- No unveilings, nor grave visitations will be permitted until further notice as these are not considered to be essential attendances in the current circumstances.
- Our cemetery building will be closed to the public, including our public washrooms.
- To mitigate risk of transmission, we will not be providing any washing cups or water at our outdoor hand washing stations at the cemeteries. Visitors should bring their own water for ritual hand washing after their visits.
We thank you in advance for your cooperation with this latest protocol revision. These protocols are subject to change at any time. Thank you very much for your co-operation.
Issued: April 7, 2020
These Protocols have also been adopted by the following cemeteries:
Bathurst Lawn Memorial Park, Beth Tzedec Memorial Park, Mount Sinai Memorial Park and Shaarei Shomayim Synagogue: (Bathurst Lawn Memorial Park, Mount Sinai Memorial Park and McCowan Road)
NOTE: Entry into our cemeteries will not be permitted 15 minutes prior to the closing times below.
April through October
Sunday – Thursday: 8AM – 5PM
Friday: 8AM – 4.30PM
November through March
Sunday – Thursday: 8AM – 4PM
Friday: 8AM – 3.30PM
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