Special to the Ledger
WORCESTER – Richard Perlman of Worcester recently reflected on his family commitment to providing funeral services to the Worcester Jewish communities.
“This has been a multigenerational effort that was started by my grandfather, Harry Jacob Perlman of Lowell in 1914. My father, George Perlman, continued in his father’s path by moving to Worcester in 1939 and opened Perlman Funeral Home.”
From an early age of 14, Richard became a working member of the funeral home personnel. Traveling to the Fitchburg area in a limousine when George was not available, Richard made funeral arrangements complete with Homburg hat and a portfolio of caskets.
“Learning about death afforded me the great opportunity of learning about life. My reverence for the human spirit allowed me to participate in all areas of funeral arrangements. I learned from my father, as did his father to participate in Taharah (the ritualistic preparation of the body), to provide support and guidance on how a funeral is conducted, and to treat family members and others with dignity and compassion when guiding them through their loss. I felt that this was the last act of human kindness that could be done for the deceased and for those who mourned for him. My philosophy has never changed. One hundred years of Jewish tradition inspires me to continue in the path that has been set before me by my grandfather and father.”
Now well older, Richard has continued his commitment in providing funeral services in the same consistent pattern. Although Perlman Funeral Home was sold to a national company, and subsequently left Worcester, Richard has remained in Worcester providing funeral services to those who continue to recognize his trusting presence, and are familiar with knowledge acquired from years of training. As in the past, he continues under the auspices of the Chevra Kadisha. As Richard thinks about his years of service to the Worcester Jewish communities, he notes that in 1914, his grandfather established a guiding principle passed on to his father when he opened the funeral home: “Consideration for the Living, Dedicated to Service.” Richard continues to perpetuate this thought one hundred years later.