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Unwanted business boom for NY Jewish funeral home

TJI Pick
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Published: 5 June 2020

Last updated: 4 March 2024

Gutterman’s Funeral Home director says he’s seen nothing like the recent doubling in deaths over his 30-year career, and he never wanted to

WHILE MANY COMPANIES are on the verge of bankruptcy from the COVID-19 pandemic, one industry has seen a macabre spike in sales. Business is booming for mortuaries, or funeral homes.

Established in 1892, Gutterman’s Funeral Homes have been directing funerals for the Jewish community in the New York City area for 128 years. In mid-March, it became clear that the Gutterman chapels would be on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis as the pandemic swept the Tri-State area.

By early April, most mortuaries were operating at full capacity, receiving and burying bodies at an unprecedented rate.

Dominic Carella, manager and funeral director at the chapel’s Woodbury, Long Island, branch has been profoundly affected by what he’s experienced in the last two months.

“I have never seen anything like this in the 30 years I’ve been in the business,” he told The Times of Israel. Even following the 9/11 terror attacks, which killed thousands, “we did not have to endure such trials,” he said.

FULL STORY Inside a NY Jewish funeral home where COVID-19 means a regrettable business boom (Times of Israel)

Photo: Rabbi Greg Ackerman stands next to a deceased in the chapel of Gutterman's Funeral Home, May 15, Woodbury, New York (Jonathan Alpeyrie/Polaris Images)

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