Norma Weisberg
B: 1936-04-05
D: 2018-07-04
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Weisberg, Norma
Norma Weisberg
B: 1936-04-05
D: 2018-07-04
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Weisberg, Norma
Morton Backal
B: 1924-04-28
D: 2018-06-15
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Backal, Morton
Arthur Paley
B: 1932-10-24
D: 2018-06-01
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Paley, Arthur
Vera Anzel
B: 1923-05-08
D: 2018-05-26
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Anzel, Vera
Michele Aboaf
B: 1941-05-06
D: 2018-05-24
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Aboaf , Michele
Irene Tucker
B: 1931-07-14
D: 2018-01-21
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Tucker, Irene
Hannah Kent
B: 1929-10-09
D: 2017-12-08
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Kent , Hannah
Stephen Brotter
B: 1948-06-25
D: 2017-12-05
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Brotter, Stephen
Ida Goldberg
B: 1919-10-27
D: 2017-11-14
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Goldberg, Ida
Tatyana Bank
B: 1936-03-25
D: 2017-10-05
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Bank, Tatyana
Sidney Krumholz
B: 1918-04-02
D: 2017-10-04
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Krumholz, Sidney
Lilly Teich
B: 1925-04-24
D: 2017-08-11
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Teich, Lilly


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All About Shiva

Shiva is a week-long mourning process that begins immediately following the burial of a loved one. It typically takes place at the home of the deceased or the home of an immediate family member. During this time, mourners do not work or participate in other community events. Instead, they stay at the Shiva home for the duration of Shiva. The purpose is to be free of distractions so you can focus on the loss and begin to heal. 
While the basic guidelines for Shiva have been followed for centuries, it is becoming more common for families to not observe Shiva as strictly. Depending on the family’s level of observance or the deceased’s wishes, many families may only sit Shiva for one to three days. Also, because many families are spread out and live in different cities, it is quite common to for Shiva to occur simultaneously at different homes of the family. 
If you planning to sit Shiva and mourn the loss of a loved one, we have created a helpful guide and checklist for preparing the Shiva home. 

How to Prepare the Shiva Home

Preparing for Shiva requires much attention to detail. The person responsible for coordinating Shiva should ensure that they are able to fully devote the level of attention needed in the short period of time they have. There are many items that need to be accounted for leading up to and throughout the Shiva. Some of these items must be purchased and others may be borrowed. 
One of the first and most important steps is determining how many people will be sitting Shiva and for how long. If your family is only planning to sit Shiva for a few days, the coordinator needs to adjust accordingly so that they do not gather excess food or products that are not needed. Once these details have been accounted for, the coordinator can begin to organize the items needed. For this guide, we have split products between food and non-food items that are needed. 

Food Items 

Hard-boiled eggs for seudat havara’ah
A meal for the family upon returning from the cemetery 
Enough food for three meals per day for each family member for the duration of Shiva
Food platers to put out during visiting Shiva hours 
Decaffeinated coffee 
Hot water and decaffeinated tea bags 
Sugar and sweetener 
Non-dairy creamer 
Cold beverages 
Disposable plates and cutlery 
Napkins/paper towels 
Ice and a cooler or large bucket 
Containers for leftovers

Non-Food Related Items 

Toilet paper for bathrooms
Hand towels for bathrooms
Garbage bags
Hangers or coat rack for guests’ coats 
Sheets/pillowcases to cover mirrors 
Sign in book and pen 
Prayer books 

Shiva Planning Checklist 

There is much more to preparing a Shiva home than simply organizing the food and items that are needed. The following checklist should help you make sure that every detail is accounted for when preparing a Shiva home. 
Decide upon the location, duration, and family members participating in Shiva
Plan times for guests to visit and time reserved for family members Coordinate food and items needed for Shiva
Receive any deliveries while the family is at the cemetery
Prepare or order food to be served during Shiva for family and guests 
Plan what to do with any leftover food 
Contact employer about the loss and a schedule for when you will return 
Cancel or reschedule any important appointments scheduled during Shiva
Clean and prepare the house 
Cover any mirrors with sheets or pillowcases 
Set up tables and seating 
Set up guestbook 
Coordinate parking for guests 
Notify neighbors of expected guests and increased traffic 
Coordinate with your temple, rabbi, or clergy about performing a service

Contact Us to Learn More 

If you have any questions about Shiva or would like further assistance with preparing a Shiva home, please feel free to contact us. A member of our staff would be happy to answer any questions you might have and offer further assistance.