Bereavement Committee


Our Purpose

Since 1995, Temple Emanuel’s Bereavement Committee has been a strong presence in our Temple Emanuel community, bringing support and comfort to congregants who have experienced a loss. We work with our clergy and professional staff to provide both practical assistance and emotional support to congregational members and their families upon the death of a family member.

Our Services

We offer the following:

  • Emotional support to the bereaved
  • Guidance on preparing the home for the shiva period
  • Volunteers to house-sit during the funeral and burial
  • Volunteers to lead morning and/or evening services at the house as well as people to help make up a minyan if needed
  • Delivery of prayer books and special mourners’ chairs to the house of mourning
  • Contact during shiva week and continuing through the shloshim period, if appropriate and requested by the family

In the event of the death of a congregant or close relative of a congregant, the synagogue should be notified immediately by calling the main number. The staff will notify the Bereavement Committee if appropriate. A Committee member will then contact the family to determine in what ways we can be helpful

To Volunteer

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Elyse Friedman, the Committee Chair, at 617-969-1081 or 617-816-3090. You can fulfill a mitzvah and a needed service at the same time.

Committee Needs

The Temple Emanuel Bereavement Committee is looking for volunteers in the following areas:

  • Monthly Coordinators for Shiva Minyanim: post requests for minyan leaders and congregants to round out a minyan. Frequency — once or twice a year.
  • Monthly Needs Assessors: contact bereaved families upon referral from the clergy, to assess their needs, both pre- and post-burial. Contact other volunteers to assist the family, if necessary. Informal training and support provided. Frequency — once or twice a year
  • Minyan Leaders: lead a minyan (lessons will be provided if necessary), evening and also morning, Torah readers for Monday and Thursday morning minyanim, volunteers to help make the required number for a minyan. Frequency — whatever you can manage
  • House-Sitting Volunteers: house sit during the funeral and interment, deliver shiva kits (prayer books and kippot), and special mourners’ chairs to shiva house. Varies — probably no more often than once a month.

Opportunities abound to reach out to our community and fulfill our obligation of ma’asim tovim (good works). To fulfill yours, please contact Elyse Friedman, the Committee Chair, at 617-969-1081 or 617-816-3090.