Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Book of Memory?
The Book of Memory is a compilation of names of loved ones who are no longer with us and who are being remembered by members of our community.
 
What makes the Book of Memory meaningful and important?
In keeping with our Jewish tradition for remembering our loved ones at this time of year, we publish a Book of Memory for our Yom Kippur afternoon Yizkor Service. It enables us to pay tribute to our loved ones who are no longer with us.
 
What is Yizkor?
Yizkor is the memorial prayer recited on the first holiday after a loved one passes and during four holidays throughout the year. These holiday services include: Yom Kippur, 8th day of Passover, 8th day of Sukkot and 2nd day of Shavuot. Originally, Yizkor was only recited on Yom Kippur. However, since the Torah reading that is done on the last day of the pilgrimage festivals – Passover, Sukkot and Shavuot – focuses on the importance of charitable donations, which is integral to this memorial service, Yizkor has since been added to these three-holiday services. While Yizkor is typically said at a synagogue during the four different services mentioned above, it can be said privately within a home or sanctuary as well.
 
Do I light a memorial candle when Yizkor is recited?
A memorial candle should be lit the night before Yizkor, typically at sundown. It will burn through the entire service (as long as 26 hours) to show the time of mourning. (A Beth Am Kaddish reference with a prayer to be said during candle lighting is available online.)
 
Has Congregation Beth Am had a Book of Remembrance for a long time?
Beth Am has a long history of producing an annual Book of Memory that is distributed during the Yizkor service on the afternoon of Yom Kippur. This year, our virtual Yizkor listing will remain available on this site throughout the year.
 
Is it customary to give tzedakah (a donation) in memory of a loved one during this time?
Yes, in keeping with the origins of Yizkor, it is appropriate to make a tzedakah contribution to honor those who you are remembering.
 
Can I say Yizkor privately?
Yes, there is no technical requirement for a minyan (quorum of 10 Jews necessary for communal prayer).
 
How can I ensure that my loved ones are included in this year’s Roll of Remembrance?
Having your loved one’s name included is easy. Just click on “Submit Names of Loved Ones” in the top navigation bar and complete the form.
 
How can I find the names of my loved ones already listed?
Type your family name in the search box, or click on the “Family Name Index” on the Book of Memory homepage.
 
How can I add a plaque with my loved one's name to the Beth Am Memorial Wall in the Outdoor Chapel?
Place a yahrzeit plaque request by Friday, August 13 using the downloadable form. For more information, please visit betham.org/plaque-request. Names will be read at the Shabbat Shuvah service between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
 
"As long as we live, they too shall live, for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.”
 
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