| After Abraham Rogarshevsky
passed away in July 1918, the Congregation Sons of Telsh, which was the
family's landsmanshaft or mutual aid society provided his family
with both practical and spiritual support. Members of the society's chevra
kaddisha, or "holy society" prepared Abraham's body for
burial and arranged for it to be transported by the undertaker, Abraham
Gutterman to a plot in Mount Zion Cemetery, located in Maspeth, Queens.
"My grandmother was collecting "SSI," social
security, because she worked here and because my grandfather worked here
for a lot of years. My father went to report that she was deceased
and get the death certificate, because you can get in trouble if you
don't. And what they were giving my grandmother, they gave to
him for the funeral. For the funeral, you do the viewing first,
usually one or two days depending on what you can afford - sometimes
you sing, you do a mass, you show pictures, you just talk about the person.
You don't serve anything in the funeral home, nothing to eat. After
9 o'clock on the day they're viewing the body, when my grandmother died,
everyone went to my father's house. You have crackers, coffee,
or juice, just something until the next day, there's a mass and they
pick up the body at the funeral home and then from there they go to the
cemetery. In my family, it was different. My grandmother
went back home to her country to be buried. We didn't all go;
it was just my father and my brother. She already had a plot next
to where my grandfather was buried."