30 attend stranger's funeral in New York

Galvanized by a Facebook post, 30 people showed up for a funeral where only the rabbi and the funeral director were expected.

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Rachel Kaplan,

A jewish tombstone
A jewish tombstone
צילום: iStock

Around 30 people from the New York area attended the funeral of a woman they never met, after a rabbi's daughter posted of her plight on Facebook.

Francis Stein, 83, was buried on Wednesdsay in the Jewish cemetery in the town of Blauvelt, in Rockland County. Ora Weinbach, a high school teacher in New Jersey, sent out on Facebook after she heard from her father, Rabbi Elhanan Weinbach, that aside from him and the funeral director, no one would be attending Francis' funeral. Rabbi Weinbach, who leads the congregation Shaaray Israel in Montebello, New York, is on the short list for Hellman Memorial Chapels when there is no designated clergy for a funeral.

The post read: “Huge mitzvah (good deed) opportunity. A woman is being buried tomorrow who has literally no one attending her funeral, other than the funeral home director and the rabbi (my father). Who would like to join me at the funeral? I will be leaving Teaneck [New Jersey] at 10:45. Free lunch with the rabbi after.”

Less than 24 hours later, 30 people showed up at the funeral. Francis was buried and honored in accordance with Jewish tradition.

Before she retired, Stein had been a musician and teacher at the prestigious Julliard School. Stein lived in an assisted living facility for 10 years. In 2014, she was hospitalized for cancer, and then entered a nursing home. Stein never married.








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