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Bereavement Support

When a DC Minyan member experiences an aveilut loss (of a spouse, parent, sibling, or child), the Bereavement Committee will coordinate any part of shiva that is local and also make sure that the mourner is supported in a variety of ways throughout their mourning period.

Once the Bereavement Committee has been informed of the death, the committee will decide among themselves which one committee member will become the mourner's Aveil Liaison (essentially a “mourning buddy”) for the duration of their mourning period and beyond. The Liaison will serve as the primary point of contact for the mourner and will be the conduit through which information about the funeral, shiva, and opportunities for supporting the mourner will be shared with the DC Minyan community.

The Liason and the Committee can help in a wide variety of ways, including:

  • Making sure that the mourner has the resources and information that they need to plan a local funeral if necessary, explaining the pre-negotiated rates that come with our membership in the Jewish Funeral Practices Committee of Greater Washington and pointing them towards options for chevra kadishas, rabbis and shuls in the area.  Please be aware that DC Minyan is not equipped to organize a funeral, but that we will do our best to help the mourner find resources.
  • Helping the mourner think through general shiva practices and what makes sense for their personal situation.   
  • Setting up the house for shiva, with chairs, mirror coverings, candles and other materials from the DC Minyan shiva kit. 
  • Coordinating shiva minyanim, including finding gabbais, daveners, and leyners and providing siddurim and a torah as needed.
  • Coordinating food, childcare, and any things that would be helpful during shiva.
  • Coordinating meals for the post-shiva period.
  • Helping the mourner think through their post-shiva mourning rituals.
  • Educating the mourner about daily minyanim in the area.
  • Supporting the mourner’s desire to say kaddish at DC Minyan on Shabbat morning and/or mincha.
  • Helping the mourner think through/access resources for marking sheloshim, the end of saying kaddish, and the first yahrzeit if desired.
  • Making sure the mourner is invited out to shabbat meals as needed.
  • Periodically checking in with the mourner for the duration of the aveil period and beyond, just to see how they are doing.

DC Minyan members are entitled to benefits from the Jewish Funeral Practices Committee of Greater Washington.

Find additional Resources on Shiva and Mourning

Wed, July 24 2019 21 Tammuz 5779