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At times of great sadness, the Temple Isaiah community strives to offer support and help facilitate the rituals, demands, and challenges of the funeral and mourning period. Our clergy will stand with you as you grieve, assisting with the funeral, shiva gathering, and commemorating the death of a loved one. In the event of a pastoral emergency or death of a loved one, please contact the Temple Isaiah office at 781-862-7160, where you will always be able to reach a live person. When calling outside of temple office hours, the answering service will take your call and contact the clergy for you.

Death and Bereavement Committee

The Bereavement Committee strives to console those who have suffered a loss and is available to help facilitate aspects of the bereavement process. Upon the loss of a loved one, the committee is among the first to offer condolences on behalf of the congregation. The Bereavement Committee is available to help with:

setting up a customized "Isaiah plan" with funeral directors—a pre-selected casket and other details—to ease the burdens of decision-making at the time of death

• contacting friends and relatives who can help in setting up meals and in other preparations for the funeral and shiva period

• arranging for leaders to conduct shiva minyans in mourners' homes

• arranging for housesitters on the day of the funeral

• providing educational materials and occasional programs to help families understand and prepare for future losses

For further information, email temple members and Bereavement Committee Co-Chairs, Carol Sacerdote and Bonnie Kelly.

The following document provides advice on spiritual and practical aspects of dealing with the death of your loved one:

Temple Isaiah Funeral and Mourning Guide

Times of Mourning


Yizkor is a special memorial service observed multiple times per year, including Yom Kippur, the last day of Passover, the last day of Sukkot, and Shavuot. Yizkor services provide an opportunity for individuals to remember and honor their loved ones who have died. Temple Isaiah members can also honor loved ones in the Book of Memory, published yearly for Yom Kippur.


Yahrzeit is a special memorial observance on the anniversary of a death. It includes reciting the Mourner's Kaddish and lighting a Yahrzeit candle, a special memorial candle that burns for 24 hours. At Temple Isaiah, the name of the deceased relative is read at Shabbat services as an important opportunity to honor the memories of our loved ones and find comfort in the support of our community.

Unveiling of the Tombstone or Grave Marker

A ceremonial unveiling of the tombstone or grave marker is customarily done about a year after the death has occurred. The tombstone or marker is covered with a cloth, which is removed at the end of the ceremony, and this is what is known as an "unveiling."

Because this ceremony is a custom, not a matter of Jewish law, there is a great deal of leeway both in the timing and in the kind of ceremony you may choose to do. Its purpose is to provide comfort for the family of the deceased, who come together to remember the person's life.

The ceremony may include psalms and/or other readings, a eulogy and/or sharing of memories, the El Moleh Rachamim prayer, and especially the Kaddish. The covering is then removed.

You may ask a member of the clergy to lead the service, but clergy are not required. Whether or not the clergy will be present for the service, they can help with planning the unveiling. A sample service can be read here.

Most commonly, unveilings are small gatherings of close family and intimate friends. Again, there is wide leeway on what to do, and some people have a larger gathering followed by a luncheon. You may do whatever meets your needs and brings you comfort.

Fri, July 19 2024 13 Tammuz 5784