Guest Author Sharon Rosen ShivaConnect
September 26, 2013
ShivaConnect was developed by Sharon Rosen, who turned to the internet for help when her beloved
Mother passed away. She searched for local Jewish funeral homes and information about Jewish shiva
customs, sent emails to friends thanking them for their support and to tell them of her mother’s passing.
Another email was sent with final arrangement information and one more with location, days, and times
for sitting shiva. She found the internet to be the most efficient and comfortable way to communicate.
Stress grew as the phone kept ringing with questions about food. Friends called to ask what was needed,
when to send it and people from out of town called not knowing where to order from. An abundance of
food was delivered, platters were taken back to delicatessens for overnight refrigeration and others
were donated to a local shelter.
Exhausted and overwhelmed by this experience, she conceived the idea of a comprehensive online
resource to conveniently provide information, assistance and coordination for the bereavement period.
Synagogues, funeral homes, hospices and Jewish charitable organizations are directing families to
ShivaConnect providing shiva information cards and encouraging use of the Shiva Registry system.
Many charities are linked for direct memorial donation. ShivaConnect has begun to list helpful resources
throughout the United States, such as funeral homes, gift basket shops, bereavement groups, geriatric
home care services, senior living facilities, realtors, movers, legal assistance, financial and insurance
consultants, pre-need planning, etc.
ShivaConnect.com is a free resource that features educational articles, Jewish funeral homes, a personal
Shiva Registry to conveniently share funeral & shiva details with a calendar to coordinate food for each
day, links for charitable donations and many other services that are helpful at a time of loss.
A mourner, relative, synagogue representative or funeral director can quickly enter pertinent
information on a private Shiva Registry page. Much more than an online Jewish obituary, it includes
funeral and shiva dates, times, places, interactive directions, mourners’ contact information, food notes,
synagogue affiliations, family charitable requests, eulogies and who to call if you have a question. A
direct link to the Shiva Registry page is then emailed, texted, tweeted, posted on Facebook or found
through a search on ShivaConnect’s home page.
With “just a click,” family and friends learn sitting shiva details, find local delis to deliver shiva platters,
view and post food already planned, make charitable donations, find helpful resources, read eulogies
and send thoughtful messages to mourners. Each Shiva Registry is typically viewed by more than 100
visitors, making it easy to “connect” with people both near and far. Mourning families appreciate fewer
phone calls, less stress, confusion and wasted food. More people offer their support and make
donations in memory of the deceased.
Shiva Connect has articles that are of interest to Jews and non-Jews about sitting shiva customs,
traditions and preparing your home for sitting shiva, visiting the shiva house, Jewish prayers, poems,
kaddish, etc. There is a zip code search to find delicatessens/restaurants throughout the United States
that deliver shiva platters and food. Another unique feature is the “Yahrzeit Reminder” which is emailed
Alan R. Cohen
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