Hebrew Free Burial Association: A number of years ago, Drew Kopf, the President of The Mat King, wrote a small book, a booklet really, entitled, The Midgets from Cincinnati, which he published as a vanity press publication through the courtesy of a friend who ran a small printing machine as part of his work. Mr. Kopf wrote the book because a dear friend of his had lost her father a number of years prior and, because she had been pregnant at the time, was unable to travel to attend her father's funeral and burial. She was unable to come to grips with his death and, not having seen him dead and buried, she had been unable to put that part of her life in place. Mr. Kopf's book was written in hopes of helping his friend do so.
But, Mr. Kopf had not and would not know her true situation until a number of years later with the death of his own father. And then he knew how much his little book had actually meant to her. Whether it had helped her actually; he could never be sure. But, she surely knew that he, her friend, cared enough to have written it expressly for her. There was of course, nothing that could be done for her father. He had had a proper, respectful and fitting burial and she had, indeed, visited his grave on several occasions. She just needed something more.
It is ironic, when you are focused on a particular subject, as Mr. Kopf was when his father was so ill and dieing, that everything concerning that subject seems to pop out at you and is almost everywhere. Mr. Kopf was making the arrangements for the burial when he came across a pamphlet about the Hebrew Free Burial Association. He had naively thought that there would never be a need for such an organization; one that helps indigent Jews who die with no chance of anything but a Potter’s Field burial to be buried in hallowed ground, with a proper funeral conducted by a Rabbi and with respectful marker set in place to mark their grave. It sounded so familiar; so wonderful and so important.
Since that time, Mr. Kopf has made it his custom and that of our company to acknowledge the death of particular persons' deaths and to make a contribution to the Hebrew Free Burial Association in memory of those persons. The organization notifies the family of the deceased of such donations has been made. Mr. Kopf says, "It just felt and still feels like the right thing to do".
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