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Death of U.S. Citizen
 

I need to acquire an official report of the death of a U.S. Citizen. What do I do?

The U.S.  Citizen Services Unit is ready to assist you, as needed, in the event of the death of a U.S. citizen abroad. We can provide:

  • Information regarding the shipment of remains to the United States.
  • Within 5 to 10 business days, we can also prepare up to 20 reports of death, an official document that is acceptable in any jurisdiction in the United States for the settlement of legal, financial and estate matters.

You do not need an appointment for this service. Review our address, contact information, public hours, and scheduled closures.

  • Original death certificate from the Ministry of Interior (Misrad Ha'pnim). The document does not need to be translated into English;
  • U.S. passport of the deceased (for proof of citizenship);
  • Social Security card or number of the deceased, if applicable;
  • Information regarding the deceased's last address in the United States;
  • Information regarding the place of burial;
  • Information regarding the name of person or official who has possession of the deceased's personal effects and
  • Information regarding the name and address to whom the U.S. Embassy should send the report (normally next of kin).

I need assistance with the remains of a deceased U.S. Citizen. What do I do?

The following information is submitted in accordance with State Department requirements to provide current data on Israeli law on the disposition of remains. 

Maximum Period Before Burial 

  1. When remains are embalmed:  Israeli law does not require domestic burial of an embalmed body within a specified time. 
  2. When remains are not embalmed: Under Israeli law, a body must be embalmed before shipment outside the country and does not specify a parameter of time. 

Embalming Services in Israel 

Three Israeli offices embalm: 

1) The Israel Institute for Forensic Medicine (Official Israel agency under the Ministry of Health), 67 Ben Zvi Blvd. Abu Kabir, Tel Aviv/Jaffa, Israel, 972-3-412-7844/5; 972-3-512-7851/2;

2) Menucha LeAd (run by Yeshayahu Kariv), 2 Yagia Kapaim, Tel Aviv 67778; email: ies_ltd@012.net.il; landline: 972-3-687-2929; cell: 972-50-777-8804; fax: 972-3-687-4875

3) Noam Embalming Agency (run by Benny Noam) in Tel Aviv (private institution), 23 Moshe Dayan St
Ramat Gan, (office) 972-3-574-3339/0, (cell) 972-57-770-8532. 

Private companies must bring embalmed remains to the Institute for inspection and issuance of a non-infectious disease certificate.   

Cremation

Israel does not permit cremation. 

Caskets and Containers

If you plan to transport remains to the United States, the U.S. Embassy can generally assist you in obtaining necessary shipping requirement compliance orders within 48 hours.  

Caskets may be obtained by special order from: 

Benny Noam
Tel: +972-3-574-3330/9
Cellular Phone: +972-57-770-8532 

Yehezkel Gedalia
Tel: +972-8-928-2125 (H)
Cellular Phone: +972-52-277-0278 

Exportation of Remains

1. Remains: 

Israeli requirements regarding exportation of remains are as follows: 

  1. Death Certificate issued by the Ministry of Interior;
  2. Statement from the embalmer;
  3. Transit permit stating there is no objection to the export of the remains from Israel. 

The Ministry of Interior requires that the casket be prepared and sealed in accordance with Public Health (re-interment) Rules of the year 1941. 

2. Ashes: 

This is not applicable since there are no legal cremation facilities in Israel. 

Costs

1. Jewish Burial: Since Oct. 1, 1976, the Israeli National Insurance Organization covers the cost of the funeral for a person of the Jewish faith when the person is to be buried in Israel, regardless of citizenship.  This includes the preparation of the body, burial ceremony and local burial plot.  If the family wishes to choose a particular plot, however, the family must pay all expenses.  Private burial by the Jewish Burial Society (Hevra Kadisha), which includes a plot, gravesite preparation and funeral expenses, costs between $5,000 to $20,000 depending on plot location.  Every city has a Jewish Burial Society. 

2. Muslim Burial: The Israeli National Insurance Organization covers the cost of the funeral for a person of the Muslim faith who made regular Israeli National Insurance contributions.  Funds for a private burial include the plot, gravesite preparation, shroud, and offering for the sheik attending the funeral (the U.S. Embassy can provide you with the latest amounts).  The family of the deceased individual must make burial arrangements.  For further details, contact Haj Samih Al Tukhi, Head of the Jaffa Mosque, Tel: 050-565-6249.

3. Protestant Burial: Contact Father Ibrahim Azar of the Lutheran Redeemer Church at +972-2-6276111 or +972-54-556-6947. 

4. Roman Catholic Burial: Due to lack of space, burials plots are available to parish members only.  Contact Father Arturo Vazaturo at +972-3-6822-667. 

5. Polish Catholic Burial: Contact Father Gregory at +972-3-6822-680. 

6. Greek Orthodox Burial:  Due to lack of plots, only members of the community are eligible for burial.  Contact Father Damaskinos at 03-682-3451; Father Kostantine Nassar, at 052-318-7618; or the Office of Community Council at 03-682-3304.

Exhumation of Remains: 

In accordance with Israeli health regulations, remains of persons of the Jewish faith may be disinterred a year from the date of burial.  Israeli law does not prohibit disinterment of remains of persons of other faiths at any given time, provided that the Ministry of Health is in agreement.  Exhumation must be performed in the presence of a representative of the Israeli Ministry of Health. 

The Ministry of Health, having given the necessary permission for exhumation of remains, must also obtain the consent of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel for exhumation of the remains of persons of the Jewish faith.  For exhumation of the remains of persons of the Muslim faith, the consent of the Islamic High Council is needed, and for exhumation of persons of the Christian faith a Church consent is required.  The Jewish Burial Society is responsible for exhumation of remains.  Remains that are to be shipped out of Israel may require embalming, depending on the stage of decomposition. 

Remarks 

Cause of Death:  Israeli death certificates do not normally state the cause of death unless (1) the family makes a special request, (2) a specialist has performed an autopsy, or (3) the remains are to be shipped outside of Israel.

Autopsies:  Autopsies in Israel are generally not performed unless they are (1) required by the Israeli National Police or another Israeli government office, or (2) the family has specifically requested an autopsy be performed.  The INP will normally order an autopsy in cases where foul play is suspected.  Under circumstances where foul play is suspected and the INP requires an autopsy, the family is not obliged to pay the cost of the autopsy; the INP, however, must obtain permission from the next of kin when ordering an autopsy. 

How can I acquire more copies of a report of the death of a U.S. citizen abroad?

Review the procedure by clicking here.

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