Bereavement Resources

The Beth Sholom community is here to provide support, comfort, and guidance in the event of grave illness and end of life. What follows is information about the process of making arrangements at a time of need.

What to do when there is a death in your family

  1. Notify the Rabbi: (215-887-1342 ext 108), Executive Director Robin Minkoff (ext 107) or the office at 215-887-1342. If you have already called the funeral home, the Funeral Director can notify the Rabbi. (If a death occurs at home, outside a hospital or nursing facility, or without a doctor or hospice, you need to notify the police.)
  2. Notify the Community: Information about the death of a loved one will be sent as a condolence email to the entire congregation. Information about funeral arrangements and shiva will be sent as soon as plans are made. Please contact Stacey Salsman ( to arrange for this information to be sent to the congregation.
  3. Arrange for the Funeral Service:
    Preplanning is highly recommended
    If you haven’t already made arrangements with a mortuary and cemetery, our local Jewish funeral homes are:
    Goldsteins’ Rosenberg’s Raphael-Sacks, 215-927-5800
    Joseph Levine and Sons, 215-927-2700.
    These Jewish funeral homes can provide a list of Jewish cemeteries in the Philadelphia area.
  4. Contact The Beth Sholom Bereavement Committee which can offer assistance and guidance as needed.

For additional information:

Shiva, Shiva Minyanim and Making a Shiva Call

It is customary to have shiva at the home of the deceased or a member of the immediate family. Often this is not possible, so community rooms of apartment buildings etc and a space at Beth Sholom are options.

The house of mourning should reflect solemnity. Mourners should not be doing any of the hosting or serving of their guests. The attendees should exhibit respect and appropriate decorum. For further information about making a shiva call, please see the following link:

The clergy will guide and support you in arranging for shiva and shiva minyanim. Volunteers from our Bereavement committee can also provide support during shiva.

Additional shiva information

  • is a website offering basic information about Jewish mourning customs and practices
  • Ritualwell is a website featuring innovative ritual ceremonies from a variety of religious traditions.

The Unveiling Ceremony

The unveiling of a grave stone or marker usually takes place in the first year following the burial of a loved one. The clergy are honored to assist families and preside at this important tradition.

If a clergy member is not available, family members or friends are welcome to lead the ceremony. The following links will lead you to sample ceremonies that can be led by members of your own family.

Guides for Parents on Ways to Talk to Children About the Death of a Loved One:

PJ Library’s website has a wealth of resources. Start with the following link:

A Schedule of Services for Mourners and those observing yahrzeit may be found here.