Since 1974

Phone: (773) 588-2762


Home | What is the JBS | Background | JBS Funeral Plan | Frequently Asked Questions | Testimonials


Throughout the centuries, every Jewish community showed honor to the dead by preparing the body for burial and performing tahara, the ritual washing. This act of respect is one of the greatest mitzvot  in the Torah.

   The JBS was created to help families pay respect to their deceased loved ones in the time-honored Jewish way and to avoid sales pressure when sales resistance is low.  A community service organization committed to these goals, the JBS works with licensed funeral directors to make available everything needed for proper Jewish burial.  Since 1974, the JBS has assisted hundreds of families wishing to obtain a dignified, traditional Jewish funeral, conducted according to Jewish law, at a fair and reasonable price.

 Why a Jewish Burial Society?

The Jewish Burial Society, Inc. was formed in 1974 by a group of socially conscious people in response to an FTC (Federal Trade Commission) investigation and a public television (PBS) series that documented severe consumer abuses in the funeral industry.  The FTC investigation revealed, and public TV reported, that in 1974 the average price of a funeral in the U.S. was $1,500.  At the same time, the average price of a Jewish funeral was $2,500.  After a home and a car, the cost of a funeral was the next highest expenditure incurred by families. 

The JBS founders believed that consumers should not be taken advantage of at a time when there is very little sales resistance.  

When the JBS was organized we were able to obtain funerals for Jewish families at a price of $795.  This low price, for a traditional Jewish funeral that conformed to Jewish law, was obtained by entering into an agreement with a cooperating funeral director who provided the necessary products and services for a Jewish funeral. 

The price of a Jewish funeral today, with the JBS funeral plan (click on the JBS Funeral Plans tab), is still significantly lower than the average cost of a Jewish funeral in the Chicago area. 

The JBS is an Illinois not for profit corporation with 501(c)(3) tax status.  Officers volunteer their time to administering the organization and receive no salary.  Administrative expenses are paid through fees received from families who use the JBS funeral plan.  All excess revenues are donated to organizations that promote Jewish education, awareness and identification.  Over the years, JBS has donated tens of thousands of dollars to these Jewish causes. 

The Jewish Burial Society has been endorsed by leading rabbis in the Jewish community.  They see us as a force that encourages funerals that adhere to Jewish law and offers an alternative for families who do not want to be “sold” something that is not necessary for a traditional Jewish funeral. 

The Jewish Burial Society is not widely known among Jewish consumers.  However, over the years more and more families have become familiar with our service to the community.  Families that have used the services of the JBS for help in obtaining funerals are extremely pleased.  Many write us letters of thanks (click on the testimonials tab). 

Who uses JBS services?  Families who use the JBS are as diverse as the general Jewish community in

Chicago.  Some are affiliated with synagogues, some are unaffiliated. They live in the city, nearby suburbs, and

outer ring suburbs. Families select the JBS funeral plan for various reasons including the low price,

the desire for a traditional Jewish funeral, the ecologically friendly nature of a Jewish funeral, or the no-hassle

aspect of the JBS funeral plan.  For whatever reason, all families are very satisfied with the service (see

Testimonials tab).

One measure of our success in serving the needs of bereaved Jewish families is the many imitators of the JBS funeral plan.  Several Chicago and suburban synagogues have funeral plans modeled after the JBS plan.

Jewish Burial Society

Home | What is the JBS | Background | JBS Funeral Plan | Frequently Asked Questions | Testimonials