Sympathy Gifts for a Jewish Funeral

When you think of someone hosting a funeral in a funeral home, you picture a room filled with flowers and wreaths. However, this does not work when it comes to a traditional Jewish funeral home in Cranbury, NJ. Jewish traditions don’t appreciate flowers at the funeral home, so do not send or bring them to honor the deceased. Instead, bring or consider one of these options.

Home Cooked Meals

The seven days after the burial is known as the “shiva” in Judaism. During that time, the family of the deceased focuses on mourning their loved one. They can’t do daily chores and that includes cooking. The grieving family relies on friends and other family members to bring their meals. So bringing a home cooked meal is a great way to show your sympathy to the family. The meal doesn’t have to be fancy, it can be whatever you are comfortable making that will serve a large amount of people. The gift of food expresses your condolences and is a practical gift that the family will be grateful to have.

Memorial Candles

In many Jewish traditions, there are burning candles at special events and that includes Jewish funerals. During Shiva, a candle will often burn all 7 days in honor of the deceased. It’s also traditional to light a candle on the one-year anniversary of the death. Giving a memorial candle after the funeral can be impactful to mourners. You can even make your own candle or give the gift of paper lanterns, which can be lit instead of a memorial candle as a moving tribute.

Charitable Donations

There’s no better way to honor someone who has passed on than giving a gift in their name to a charity. Many families will designate a charity that was important to the person, but if they don’t, you can ask for ideas or come up with something on your own based on what you know about them. You may even want to donate funds to the family themselves to help cover funeral expenses.

It is always hard to know what to do and say when you approach the funeral home to attend a service. Keep in mind that in the Jewish tradition, your presence alone is a sign of respect and sympathy. But if you want to go the extra mile and provide a gift, one of the above items is a good place to start. If you have other ideas and want to know if they are appropriate under the Jewish faith, contact Mount Sinai Memorial Chapels for advice by calling (800) 395-9199 or (732) 390-9199. Our facilities are located at 454 Cranbury Road (at Evergreen Blvd.), East Brunswick, NJ 08816 and you can find us online at We are a family owned and operated business and we want you to be able to honor those you have lost in the most respectful, appropriate manner. As part of your community, we will help you in any way we can.

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