Death is a natural occurrence, and it is a normal reaction to feel overwhelmed and confused when a loved one dies.  JCFS Chicago and the Lauri S. Bauer Foundation for Sudden Loss offer this Guide for the Grieving as a resource for:

  • Reviewing descriptions of traditional Jewish ritual and mourning practices
  • Navigating practical decisions
  • Understanding the range of physical, mental, behavioral, and emotional responses one may experience following the death of a loved one

We extend our condolences to you at this difficult time and hope that this Guide supports you in the aftermath of your loss. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with questions or for additional support at JCFS Grief & Loss Services or call 855.275.5237.

Thank you to the Lauri S. Bauer Foundation for Sudden Loss for their generous support of this project, as well as additional grief and loss programming offered through JCFS.

Traditional Jewish Ritual and Mourning Practices

Aninut (the period from death until burial) 
The Funeral

Shiva (the first week after burial)
Shloshim (the first month after burial)
Occasional Visits to the Gravesite
Yahrzeit (the anniversary of the death)
Yizkor (special memorial prayers)

Navigating Practical Matters

During the emotionally challenging period following the death of a loved one, there are many decisions to make, people to notify and details to organize. Mourners might ask one or two trusted people to help with these matters. Download the Navigating Practical Matters checklist to help identify tasks and personal considerations in the upcoming days, weeks, and months. 

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For assistance or more information, call us at 855.275.5237 or email us at