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Help for Jewish Mourners

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ShivaConnect.com is a complimentary service for Jewish mourners and those wishing to express their condolences… providing instant communication to people near and far. Answers to who, what, where, when and how many are posted on a personal

Shiva Registry to organize the bereavement period. This unique website features the ability to order food, send gifts, make a memorial donation, find helpful resources and request an annual Yahrzeit reminder via email, with “just a click.”

A Shiva Registry can be created by any mourner, family friend, Synagogue caring committee or funeral home representative. To respect the privacy of users, a direct link to the Shiva Registry is automatically emailed back to the person who created it, for select distribution to family and friends.

After a year of research and intricate website programming, ShivaConnect.com now offers educational articles about shiva traditions, how to prepare for it and what to expect when “making a shiva call.” The Shiva Registry, which takes about 5 minutes to complete, informs family and friends of memorial service/funeral and shiva details, (including interactive directions). To avoid duplication and waste, food that has already been ordered or that someone is planning to bring can be posted. Users can conveniently make charitable donations, order food, send comfort gifts and sympathy baskets, find helpful resources, read eulogies and email thoughtful messages of condolence.

Any ShivaConnect.com visitor can register for an annual email Yahrzeit reminder, (the Hebrew calendar anniversary of the death of loved one), a day when a traditional memorial candle is lit.

ShivaConnect.com was developed by Sharon Rosen whose goal was to create a respectful website to help Jewish mourners. The idea came from personal experience last year when her beloved mother passed away and she turned to the internet for help. She searched for local funeral homes and then websites to learn about the Jewish tradition of “sitting shiva.” Sharon sent emails to friends, thanking them for their support, telling them of her mother’s passing, another with final arrangements information and one more with location, days, and times for sitting shiva.

Planning food for family and friends brought additional stress as platters of food were taken back to delicatessens for overnight refrigeration, friends continued to call asking what to send for which day and out of towners called not knowing where to order from. Exhausted and overwhelmed by “sitting shiva,” the idea was conceived- a single website to provide information, assistance and coordination to help mourners, their family and friends.

Sharon researched Jewish customs for a time of loss. She consulted Rabbis and met with Hospice Directors and Bereavement Counselors, Funeral Homes, Jewish Organizations and Synagogues who were all eager to share their knowledge, offer their support and direct their families to ShivaConnect.com.

Based in South Florida, ShivaConnect has begun to list a wide range of local helpful resources including: funeral homes, hospice bereavement groups, private grief counselors, senior living facilities, geriatric care services, realtors, movers, homeowner services, transportation services, legal assistance, financial and insurance consultants, thrift & consignment shops, movers, charities , synagogues, etc. Plans are underway to expand listings of services throughout the United States. Hospices and charitable organizations are encouraged to request a complimentary listing.

Sharon Rosen’s vision of creating a website to provide information, assistance and comfort to Jewish mourners, family and friends is now a reality. ShivaConnect.com is a tribute to her mother, Dorothy Kurlander, who always gave love and support to her family and friends.

Source: NYBlueprint

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Written by John

October 4, 2010 at 10:28 pm

Posted in Oct 4, 2010

Massachusetts Funeral Director Accused of Scam

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FALL RIVER, Mass (WPRI) – The Fall River Police Department is investigating a funeral home director accused of accepting money for prepaid funeral arrangements, then failing to provide the promised services.

Charles Szulewski was stripped of his license as a funeral director and embalmer back in June after the Office of Consumer Affairs found Szulewski misused client funds and refused to provide the names of clients who prepaid for arrangements.

Szulewski was the owner of the Niagra Funeral Home on Plymouth Avenue, which currently has a for sale sign on the property.

“What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but suffers the loss of his immortal soul,” neighbor Audrey Norian wondered after being asked about Szulewski.

Currently there is one complaint on file with the Office of Consumer Affairs against Szulewski for accepting $5,000 for a prepaid funeral.

However, the Fall River Police Department is looking into more than a dozen cases involving up the $90,000.

Szulewski is expected back in court on October 19.

Fall River Police are asking that anyone who thinks they may be a victim in this case to contact them.

Source: WPRI

Written by John

October 4, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Posted in Oct 4, 2010

Largest Parade of Hearses – Just Hearse’N Around sets world record

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HELL, Mich., USA–The annual Just Hearse’N Around international hearse enthusiasts club lined 43 hearses in procession from Hell, Mich. to the Terrorfied Forest north of Pinkney, Mich. – setting the new world record for the Largest Parade of Hearses.

The club often has more than 50 hearses show up for the annual event that started informally in 2000, followed by the formal procession that got started in 2002.

They ended up in Hell, Mich., “for the fun of it.”

Some club members drive their hearses year-round or take them to car shows or cruises.

The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus of Howell reports that the gathering to break the record went on despite intermittent rains.

Steve Frey, a member of Just Hearse’N Around, said most club members love Halloween and aren’t creeped out by the vehicles. No one has “ever died in a hearse,” he said “They’re dead when they get there.”

The vast majority of members, he said, don’t have professional experience as hearse drivers or morticians. They simply love Halloween and hanging out with other hearse enthusiasts. Members of the club meet at several statewide car shows each year.

Source: WorldRecordAcademy

Written by John

October 4, 2010 at 10:23 pm

Posted in Oct 4, 2010