Chesed Shel Emes is on cordial terms with all the local Coroners and Medical Examiners' offices, as well as with the Local Police Departments in all the areas where they operate. Often, the doctors or investigators from the Medical Examiners offices or Police Detectives will call Chesed Shel Emes, asking for help in identifying the deceased and/or locating and notifying next-of-kin.

Chesed Shel Emes is also very instrumental in bridging the gap in communication between the family and the medical examiner or police personnel, because very often the family, due to their situation, will be all confused, and they won't be able to answer the questions put before them properly, which might cause further problems. This is where the Chesed Shel Emes volunteers will step in, and act as liaisons between the family and the government personnel.

Another thing that Chesed Shel Emes has a reputation for, is preventing autopsies. Countless times, the Medical Examiners were prepared to do an autopsy and Chesed Shel Emes was instrumental in preventing the desecration of the niftar (deceased). In a case that it's impossible to fight the autopsy, for instance if the niftar was a victim of a homicide etc., Chesed Shel Emes would have 2 trained volunteers present at the autopsy, to make sure that the autopsy is minimally invasive, they will clean all the equipment used by the autopsy, and make sure that all the remains will be buried with the niftar.

Recently A delegation of Chesed Shel Emes Flew to Montreal together with the deputy chief of the NYC Medical Examiner, in an effort to educate and inform the Coroner's office of Quebec, on the Jewish laws regarding autopsies, and on the guidelines that were created within the NYC Medical Examiner's office on how to prevent autopsies on Jewish deceased without compromising their work.

The meeting was requested by the Montreal Askanim, after several unnecessary autopsies were preformed on jewish deceased children, that in the U.S. would've been prevented.

Since then, the Coroner's office of Quebec, started to use the same guidelines, that is being used by the NYC Medical Examiners office. And Boruch Hashem several autopsies were already prevented.

Chesed Shel Emes is also very instrumental in locating next of kin. It has occurred many times that the authorities weren't able to locate next-of-kin in several weeks, then they called Chesed Shel Emes for help, and within a day or two, Chesed Shel Emes would find the next-of-kin. A while back, a women passed away, in a car accident on the NY Rt. 17, 2 hours passed since the accident and the State Police weren't able to locate next of kin, they called in Chesed Shel Emes for assistance, within 15 minutes the husband was located in shul, 5 miles away of the accident location, and within a half-hour he was broght by a volunteer to the hospital.

During the years, Chesed Shel Emes has developed a close relationship with the NYC Public Administrators office, which is responsible for the well-being of a niftar, in case next-of-kin cannot be located. They would release bodies to Chesed Shel Emes in a fraction of the time that they would release it to anyone else, knowing that if next-of-kin would exist, Chesed Shel Emes would've located them, and in these cases where there is no next-of-kin, Chesed Shel Emes would become next of kin, and bury the niftar at their own expense.

How do we stand up against the various Government Agencies and their rigid rules? With tact and diplomacy, asking them to understand and appreciate our religious laws. 99% of the time, we are successful. Occasionally, Chesed Shel Emes has to resort to calling local politicians to use their connections. Usually, if the request is presented in a professional and caring manner, it will be fulfilled. Regardless of what is involved, Chesed Shel Emes is always ready, always available to 'pull the right strings' and ensure that every single member of Klal Yisroel receives what he or she deserves: a taharah, levaya, and kevurah in a respectable manner, according to Halacha.

Chesed Shel Emes also recently met in Washington DC, with representatives of the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), FBI, and The national office of the American Red Cross.

At those meetings Chesed Shel Emes explained to the authorities the needs of the Jewish community, when disaster or tragedy strikes, developed a working relationship with the Federal Government, and established protocols on how to coordinate efforts together if disaster strikes, that affects the Jewish community, and we also got their Pledge to cooperate with us in times of need.


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