The National Insurance Institute pays for burial services for anyone who dies in Israel and is buried there, including someone who is not an Israeli citizen. Similarly, the National Insurance Institute pays burial fees for an Israeli Resident who dies abroad and is buried abroad or in Israel. For further information see Burial Fees for an Israeli Resident Who Died Abroad.
Who is Eligible?
- The following are entitled to funding of burial services:
- Anyone who dies and is buried in Israel, even if he/she is not an Israeli citizen.
- Israel residents who die abroad and are buried in Israel
- Those entitled to burial fees:
- Israel residents who die abroad and are buried abroad
Burial Services at No Cost
- Burial fees are paid directly to the burial society and to any other entity duly authorized to engage in the burial, which has signed a relevant agreement with the National Insurance Institute.
- The funding is given automatically and the family of the deceased does not have to contact the National Insurance Institute to arrange it.
- The family of the deceased may not be charged for the burial or accepted burial services including:
- Burial plot
- Ritual cleaning of the deceased
- Standard traditional burial shroud
- Digging and filling in of the grave
- Tiles for constructing the grave
- Placards with the name of the deceased
- A cantor and burial staff of at least two people
Transfer of the Deceased
- Transfer of the deceased from the place of death to a place for refrigeration:
- As of 01.12.2017, the National Insurance Institute will finance the transfer of the deceased to a place of refrigeration at all hours of the day (including on Shabbat and Holidays) and not only during the normal work days as it was before now.
- During the regular work hours (Sunday-Thursday, 8:00-16:00 and on Fridays and holiday eves, 8:00-13:00), the transfer of the deceased to a place of refrigeration is done by the burial society.
- If a person dies outside of a hospital and is family members want to transfer the deceased person to a refrigeration facility after the regular work hours they should contact the call center for the evacuation of the deceased at *0120.
- Important: family members who arranged transfer for refrigeration of the deceased in ways other than through this call center will not receive reimbursement for what they paid.
- Transfer of the deceased body to the burial on the day of the funeral is free of charge if the case is one of the following:
- When the hospital wherein the death occurred and the place of burial are within the local authority within which the same burial society operates,
- When the hospital wherein the death occurred is outside the local authority within which the burial society operates, however the closest hospital provides medical services to residents of the local authority where the deceased lived.
- Funding of burial costs apply also in a case of Civil Burial in civil plots that comply with The Alternative Civil Burial Law - 1996 and also in small communities and kibbutzim.
- In a case of Civil Burial, according to the agreement signed between the state and the National Insurance Institute, beginning as of 06.02.2017, the National Insurance Institute must fund transfer of the body to a far cemetery, if there is no civil cemetery in the deceased's hometown.
- In cases when the death did not occur in a hospital, the family is entitled to choose between bringing the deceased to be buried in his/her official area of residence, or bringing the deceased to be buried in the area where the death occurred.
- Transport of the deceased for burial on the day of the funeral may be performed at any time of day.
- Transport of the deceased to the funeral home before the day of the funeral may be performed during normal business hours: Sunday - Thursday 8:00 - 16:00 and Fridays and holiday eves 8:00 - 13:00.
Services for which a burial society (Chevra Kadisha) may charge fees for (amounts up to date as of January 2019)
- Burial in a "closed" cemetery (Click here for a list of closed cemeteries)
- Burial in special burial plots defined as "chalakot charigot" (חלקות חריגות)
- Reserved plot: When an Israeli resident requests to reserve a plot while he/she is still alive
- Transport of the deceased from a place of death in one local authority to a burial place in a different local authority, in which a different Chevra Kadisha operates. The price is 378 NIS for the first 10 km outside the initial local authority and 11.50 NIS for every additional kilometer.
- Transport of the deceased from the airport: The payment includes customs fees and management of the burial license expenses
- Deviation from a direct path to the funeral for purposes of delivering a eulogy at a different site or paying other last respects according to a the family's request:
- When the accompanying personnel is less than a quorum (minyan), the fee is 941 NIS for the first hour, and 471 NIS for each additional half hour.
- When the accompanying personnel constitutes a quorum (minyan), the fee is 1,882 NIS for the first hour, and 941 NIS for each additional half hour.
- Transport of the deceased before the day of the funeral outside of normal business hours
- Keeping the deceased in a refrigerated Chevra Kadisha room:
- For Monday through Thursday, the payment is collected from the second day onward.
- Fridays and holiday eves, payment is collected for the third day onward.
- The fee established according to the Ministry of Health schedule is 356 NIS per day.
- A linen burial shroud at the request of the family (only the difference in price between a special burial shroud and a normal burial shroud will be collected)
- Gravestone foundation and construction costs.
Funding Putting up a Gravestone
- Putting up a stone is not part of the burial services funded by the National Insurance Institute.
- Despite this, in the event that a lone person died and was buried in Israel, and it is someone who has no close family members in Israel (parents, spouse, or child), and no one was paid a deceased allowance for him, the National Insurance Institute will pay for a stone to be put up.
- If the deceased has someone who is defined as a child or a close family member (parent, spouse, child) that are coping with mental health issues, they are not considered "close family" in this circumstance and the the deceased has the right to have a stone put up for him, on condition that a deceased allowance was not paid because of him.
- The state also finances putting up stones in the following cases:
- Gravestones for Those Who Have Died Without Immediate Family
- Allowance for the Gravestones of Holocaust Survivors
- Participation in Gravestone Costs for Disabled Nazi War Victims
- Allowance to Put up Gravestones for Victims of Hostile Acts
- Participation in Putting up a Gravestone for Bereaved Parents and Spouses of Victims of Hostile Acts
- Gravestones for Organ Donors
- Putting up a gravestone for a fallen IDF soldiers in a military cemetery is free of cost. If the family wishes that the soldier be buried in a civilian cemetery and prefers a civilian stone, the family is entitled to the financing of the civilian tombstone for the amount up to NIS 4,480. (As of January 2017).
- The Chevra Kadisha that is obligated to bring the deceased for burial at no cost is the Chevra Kadisha that operates in the local authority where the deceased lived or the one that operates in the local authority where the deceased died. Some burial societies operate in several local authorities.
- Funding for burial services for someone who dies outside of Israel is given only if the deceased is recognized by the National Insurance Institute as a resident of Israel at the time of death (an Israeli citizen is not necessarily an Israeli resident). The family of an Israeli resident who dies abroad must provide the Chevra Kadisha with proof of residency from the National Insurance Institute.
- Kibbutzim and moshavim are not allowed to collect any payment for the burial of someone who died within their jurisdiction, unless the deceased purchased the plot while he/she was still alive.
Laws and Regulations
- The National Insurance Law Chapter 11, section 5.
- National Insurance Regulations (Burial Costs)
- The Jewish Religious Services Law
- Original information was written as part of a rights accessibility project performed by the Elderly Services Department, part of the Jerusalem Municipality Social Services Department, as the result of a generous contribution from MASHOV - Citizens Involvement and Partnership for Community Advocacy.
- English translation and maintenance by The Shira Pransky Project.