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Burial Rights

Problem

Every Israeli citizen has a right to a free burial. However, burial procedures, overseen by the National Insurance Institute and local burial societies, are inconsistently carried out. Information available to the public can be inaccurate. At times, private companies offer services that the State should provide free of charge. Fees for additional services other than burials themselves, such as mourners’ transportation and headstone installation, can be excessive. In addition, burial procedures in particular circumstances, such as the burial of stillborns and newborns, run counter to contemporary thinking.

ITIM Achievements

  • Conducted a national survey of burial practices and fee structures
  • Partnered with other organizations to increase public awareness of burial rights
  • Reformed legislation affecting burial fees, burial plot planning, and more
  • Facilitated the development of a joint protocol between Israel’s Ministry of Health and Ministry of Religious Services to enable parents to participate in the burial of stillborns and newborns

Current Activities

The ITIM Assistance Center helps families locate the graves of stillborns and newborns, if, in the past, they were deprived of that knowledge. The ITIM Public Policy Center continually monitors State policies affecting cemetery planning, burial practices, and fee structures.

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