Two dozen complete strangers paid tribute to Francine Stein by attending her funeral after no guests were expected to attend.
Only the funeral director and Rabbi Elchanan Weinbach were expected to attend the funeral of the former Julliard teacher, but a Facebook post from the rabbi’s daughter prompted a crowd of people to turn up.
Stein’s only relative was a cousin who was overseas and unable to attend the funeral.
According to an online obituary, Stein died at age 83 in Orangetown.
There was no eulogy prepared, as the rabbi did not have enough information about her before the funeral.
“The funeral director said, ‘This is the easiest funeral you’re ever going to do’,” Rabbi Weinbach told Journal News.
“The idea of a woman dying alone, as I thought about it, it went from being the easiest funeral to a very difficult one.
“It just seemed so sad. I was pretty overwhelmed, actually.”
It was the rabbi’s daughter Ora Weinbach’s Facebook post that prompted the crowd.
Ora thought it was unimaginable that someone would be buried in these circumstances, without anyone there to pay tribute or show compassion for the passing of a life.
“That really bothered me and I felt, like, ‘How could that happen?'”
“I just felt if anybody could be present that would be a beautiful thing for this woman.”