Strangers made sure one woman who died got the farewell she deserved.
High school teacher Ora Weinbach recently heard that nobody was planning to attend the funeral service of Francine Stein, who was 83 years old when she died. So she called on people across social media to come.
And that’s exactly what they did.
About 30 volunteers ― none of whom knew Stein ― showed up to her funeral in Rockland County, New York last week and even participated in the ceremony.
“People are actually willing to help out,” Ora, whose father Rabbi Elchanan Weinbach officiated the funeral, told The Huffington Post. “It’s just beautiful that there are people out there that are willing to give up their own time and come together and be there for somebody.”
Ora explained that during the service, which was a traditional Jewish burial, some volunteers served as pallbearers while many more picked up shovels and covered the casket with dirt after it was lowered into the ground. Care service agency Marquis Home Care offered free transportation to the funeral as well as water bottles.
The generosity from strangers is admirable, and it all stemmed from the Weinbachs. The rabbi was told that only he and the funeral director would be in attendance at the funeral ― something that didn’t sit right with neither him nor Ora. Luckily people jumped at the chance to memorialize Stein after Ora shared the information on Facebook.
Though Stein didn’t have a husband or children, she did have loved ones who would’ve attended. Gwen Curry, an assistant administrator and case manager at New Monsey Park Home for Adults, explained to the Journal News that many people from the home would’ve gone to the event if they’d known about her death as the 83-year-old, who lived at the facility for about 10 years, was much-loved.
However, she was happy to see that Stein was laid to rest, surrounded by caring people.
“It’s heartbreaking that we weren’t able to say goodbye... [but] my heart felt good that she wasn’t alone,” Curry told Inside Edition. “It’s a wonderful thing for strangers to come out and support her.”
The rabbi told ABC News that he hopes to officiate a ceremony at the home so that those at the facility can remember Stein.