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Sample List for Organizing a Shiva
Recruit support people
- For each of the bereaved, including children
- For close friends and neighbors who are strongly affected
- To make a memory book
- Speak to the Burial society (Chevra Kadisha) regarding arrangements, time, and place.
- Notify family and friends about the death and let them know the time and place of the funeral.
- Arrange the religious aspects of the funeral.
- Arrange speakers at the funeral.
- Arrange transportation to the funeral for the family.
- Help the family get ready.
- Make a schedule of visiting hours and prayers for the shiva.
- Have signs printed with the address of the shiva house and visiting times.
- Arrange low chairs for mourners.
- Arrange chairs for visitors.
- Buy a week-long yarhzeit candle (ner neshama).
Dealing with the phone
- Get important names and phone numbers from family members.
- Explain how to best relay messages (remember to place a notebook and pen by the phone).
- Arrange phone shifts.
Liaison for relatives
- Organize transportation for them (to and from the airport, etc.)
- Organize sleeping arrangements (some will be sitting shiva and some will not).
Liaison with the media
- Appoint one person to serve as liaison.
- Prepare a picture of the deceased for publication.
Food and household chores
- Appoint shifts of people to be at the shiva house at all times to oversee and manage meals and to keep the house tidy.
- Organize meals - post a list of who's bringing what and when.
- Appoint a person to serve food and drinks.
- Post a shopping list.
- Delegate someone to shop and clean.
- Arrange for cleaning and laundry.
- Arrange care for infants and small children.