Giving gifts to the Jewish family or individual who has lost a close family member is appropriate. Jewish religious traditions do not include the giving of flowers as a way to express condolences, but there are a few gifts that are appropriate to give to a mourning Jewish family.
Sending kosher food, such as a gift basket, is a very appropriate way to express sympathy to a grieving Jewish family. During the time of grieving, the family that is mourning does not cook. Family members and neighbors will cook or send food to the family. Send or bring a gift basket or cooked food to the mourners' home when they are sitting shiva, the mourning observance that takes place during the first week after a family member's death.
Donating money to a charity is a gift that can express sympathy for loss for those of the Jewish faith. The donation should be given to the charity that the family has chosen, which is most often announced at the funeral. After they receive a donation for this purpose, most organizations will send the family of the deceased a card acknowledging your gift.
Visiting the family is very appropriate at this time of mourning. In the Jewish religion this is known as making a shiva call; shiva means seven and refers to the seven customary days of mourning after the death of a close relative. When making a shiva call, it is best to go at one of the appointed times that have been announced at the funeral. Always bring up the deceased in conversation, as this is a time of remembering the person who has passed.
- Jewish holiday: menorah, book and sunshine image by Boguslaw Mazur from Fotolia.com