Community Advice regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
18 May 2020 MCK Office Update
The MCK administrative office in St Kilda is open for essential client appointments (Mon -Thu: 9am - 5pm and Fri: till 9am - 2pm).
To report a death, please call 03 9534 0208 (24/7), for administrative matters please call 03 9534 0208 during office hours.
Cemeteries are open as usual and social distancing applies.
13 May 2020 Funeral Attendance Guidelines
MCK understands that these are trying times for us all, especially for families dealing with grief and loss, and we are here to guide you through the current Government guidelines. We are therefore instituting the following for all Funerals as of Wednesday 13 May and respectfully expect full compliance:
The Victorian Government has restricted the number of attendees at a funeral to a maximum of no more than 20 people indoors and 30 people outdoors with social distancing directives applying both inside and outside.
The Rabbi plus 20 family or friends (as chosen by the family) will attend in the chapel for a web streamed service. (MCK staff are not included in the 20 attendees).
MCK staff will act as pallbearers escorting the deceased to the grave.
Family will also choose and advise 30 family or friends (with a minimum of 10 males) for attendance at the gravesite for final prayers and the recitation of Kaddish.
Those who are part of the gravesite service (and not part of the chapel service) should remain outside the chapel until the procession to the gravesite begins.
All Funeral attendees must complete an attendance register with their name and contact number.
13 May 2020 Consecration Attendance Guidelines
Consecrations may be scheduled as per current Government guidelines. A maximum of 10 attendees at a Consecration service including the Rabbi.
“Only ten people (including family members) should now gather in public spaces and other areas of gathering - a person cannot organise or knowingly attend, a gathering of more than 10 people”.
Stonemasons may complete the installation of tombstones as planned, fulfilling the custom of ensuring a tombstone is erected, but the Consecration ceremonies will be deferred until after the Government guidelines are changed. This is acceptable under Jewish law.
Due to current Government directives regarding social distancing MCK has instituted the following policy effective immediately;
- All Funerals are by family invitation only.
- The family of the deceased are to personally invite only close family/friends to attend at the cemetery (maximum 20 inside or 30 outside).
- If a minyan (10) of Jewish men are not available, MCK will ensure that there are 10 Jewish men in attendance.
- All Chapel services will be webstreamed, allowing everyone to participate remotely.
- Social distancing within the Chapel will be expected.
- Hand sanitiser will be available.
- For advice regarding Minyan and Shiva etiquette, please refer to your Rabbi.
13 March 2020: Please be advised that while assisting families following the passing of a loved one (irrespective of the cause of passing) and bringing that person into our care, our Funeral Attendants will be wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as prescribed by The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS ) to protect both families and ourselves during the current period of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) concerns.
As an essential community service we must attend and perform our duties, so the PPE equipment is now a mandatory requirement. We apologise if this causes any extra stress at this already sensitive time.
When attending a Funeral please be mindful of all the precautions and guidelines issued by Government and Communal bodies regarding public gatherings and social distancing. Obviously, please refrain from kissing, hugging and hand shaking mourners or other attendees.
As a community service MCK will be offering all families free webstreaming of the Shtiebel service, allowing friends to particpate from home, rather than attending a large community gathering.