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CHICAGO JEWISH FUNERALS DEDICATES NEW CHAPEL IN SKOKIE. Cook County Medical Commissioner Nancy L. Jones, MD Honored. Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen Officiates Ribbon Cutting
Wed, 09/07/2011 - 2:44pm
Skokie, IL, September 6, 2011 – Hundreds of friends and family along with leaders from the business and Jewish community attended the dedication of Chicago Jewish Funerals’ new chapel in Skokie, Thursday, September 1, 2011.
David I. Jacobson, founder of Chicago Jewish Funerals, presided over the dedication. The program included:
• A special presentation to Cook County Medical Examiner Dr. Nancy Jones.
• Remarks by David Brezniak, Chairman of the Massachusetts State Board of Funeral. Directors, founding member of KAVOD, an organization of independent funeral directors; and longtime friend of Mr. Jacobson.
• Unveiling of the building dedication plaque.
• Ribbon-cutting with Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen.
The dedication program was held in the South Chapel and began with a presentation to Dr. Nancy Jones, Cook County Medical Examiner, for her long-time sensitivity to and support of Jewish funeral and burial traditions. As Mr. Jacobson, presented Dr. Jones with a plaque, she was joined by her two longtime colleagues Rabbi Moshe Wolf, Chicago Police Department Chaplain and Msgr. Kenneth Velo, senior executive for Catholic Collaboration at DePaul University. The plaque read:
“In appreciation of Dr. Nancy L. Jones, M.D. - Medical Examiner. For her commitment to and her caring for her fellow man, her community and for those we have loved and lost. One who is kind to the poor is looked upon as being a partner with the Almighty, it follows that someone who shows kindness to the dead (who are "poorer" than any living person), will certainly have gained this relationship with God. When God called to Abraham and to Moses, they each responded “Hineini!” – “I am here!” they meant not only that they were present but that they were ready—ready to act, ready to do what needed to be done. Dr. Jones, you embody Hineini”
“You established a standard for Jewish funeral services”
Mr. Brezniak, founder of Brezniak-Rodman Funeral Directors, flew in from Boston to pay homage to his long-time friend Mr. Jacobson. He said the new chapel was a testament to Mr. Jacobson’s commitment to the Jewish community. “You embarked on a journey. A journey that many said was impossible to achieve. How could you compete against the established names in the community that have been around for more than 100 years?” asked Mr. Brezniak. “But you found an opportunity in Buffalo Grove and there, in such a short period of time, you established a standard for Jewish funeral services.”
Mr. Brezniak went on to share his personal remembrance of David’s older brother Michael Jacobson, a good friend who died in August 2011. He closed his remarks with: “What will occur in this chapel will be a wide range of emotions: There will be oceans of tears. There will be enormous expressions of love. There will be reuniting families. And there will be hopefully resolving of conflicts within those families. For all that takes place in this space. They have trusted you because you have listened to them and helped them in a very special way. And that’s the way it should be.”
“You must feel the heat of the soul”
The program continued with Mr. Jacobson thanking family, friends and colleagues. “Chicago Jewish Funerals is not defined by a place. CJF is defined by our staff that cares about people. We have the same love, passion and respect for our profession, our traditions and our people as we did when we started 14 years ago,” said Mr. Jacobson.
He then described a lesson that he shares with new staff. “Where there is a deceased, we always have a candle lit. If you put your hand too close to the flame, you get burned. Ultimately, you can burn out in the profession. If your hand is too far away, you feel nothing. Therefore you should get out of the profession. The key is to be the appropriate distance. You must feel the heat of the soul. That is what we do.”
Recognizing mentors and loved ones
Mr. Jacobson’s personal reflections were followed by the unveiling of the dedication plaque, which will be mounted outside the chapel’s front door. He called his mentors Leon Wolin, Dr. Donald Greenberg and Seymour Abrams to join him at the podium. Mr. Jacobson read:
“Rejoice not over the ship that is setting out to sea, for you know not what destiny awaits it, what storms it may encounter, what dangers lurk before it. Rejoice rather over the ship that has reached port safely and brought back all its passengers home in peace”. – Midrash This place of comfort and compassion is dedicated to my family, my friends, my teachers, the professionals with whom I work and those whose families we are privileged to serve. It is dedicated in appreciation of my mentors Leon Wolin, Dr. Donald H. Greenberg and Seymour Abrams. It is dedicated in memory of Shimshon Mensher, Dr. Gary Siegel and my big brother Michael. Though Joseph S. Roth’s name is not here, he is present" – David Jacobson, Founder, Chicago Jewish Funerals
The plaque was donated by Matthews International and Troost Monument Company. Two colleagues from Matthews attended the dedication: Joseph C. Bartolacci, President of Pittsburg, and Richy Adelman, of New York. Seven Swinbank for Troost also attended.
The dedication concluded with the entire staff of Chicago Jewish Funerals and the Jacobson family joining Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen to cut the ceremonial ribbon.
A reception was held in the North Chapel and guests were invited to tour the new building with Chicago Jewish Funerals staff.
Founded by David Jacobson in 1997, Chicago Jewish Funerals is the leading, independently-owned,
full-service Jewish funeral home in the Chicagoland area. It is not affiliated with, nor a subsidiary of, any national funeral corporation. This independence allows for families to have funeral arrangements that best meets their needs and responds to the specific requests and traditions. Chicago Jewish Funerals has built its reputation by providing compassionate, concierge-level service that respects the wishes of the families it serves and the strong traditions of the Jewish people. Today it serves the Chicagoland area with chapels in Buffalo Grove and Skokie and a resource center in Highland Park.
Chicago Jewish Funerals: 888-509-5011.
Web: chicagojewishfunerals.com. Follow us on Twitter: @cjfinfo. Find us on facebook.
Chapels: 195 N. Buffalo Grove Road, Buffalo Grove, IL 60089 • 8851 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie, IL 60077. Resource Center: 818 Central, Highland Park, IL 60035