| 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."