January 2015- ShivaConnect.com Celebrates 4 Years of helping Jewish Mourners 'sit shiva'
With more than 200,000 visits, ShivaConnect.com is a trusted free resource and guide for the Jewish tradition of sitting shiva. Jewish mourners, their families and friends are relying on this modern technology to answer questions about ages-old religious practices and to assist with their specific needs at a time of loss.
Todays’ tech savvy generation appreciates the convenience of accessing information and the ability to connect online. ShivaConnect allows everyone, be they observant Jews, unaffiliated Jews or non-Jews, to learn about sitting shiva customs and find resources needed to respectfully honor the deceased and acknowledge the bereaved.
ShivaConnect.com visitors can: learn about sitting shiva rituals and why they are practiced, identify Jewish funeral homes, create a private ‘Shiva Registry’ to communicate funeral and shiva details with a calendar to coordinate shiva food, search by zipcode to find delicatessens nationwide, send fruit and kosher gift baskets, find helpful resources, make memorial donations and receive emailed Yahrzeit Reminders.
Articles such as “What is sitting shiva,” “ Making a shiva call- what to say and do,” “Planning a Jewish funeral,” ”Preparing the shiva house- a checklist,” “Visiting the cemetery” as well as Jewish funeral prayers, poems and more can be found on this comprehensive website.
After sitting shiva for the first time when her beloved Mom passed away, Sharon Rosen became passionate about creating an online resource to help other families. When ShivaConnect.com was launched in 2010, mourners and synagogues were introduced to the website and its innovative free ‘Shiva Registry ‘ tool. Her efforts were and continue to be applauded by Rabbis, Synagogues, Hospice professionals, funeral directors as well as Jewish mourners and all who visit the site.
ShivaConnect’s innovative ‘ Shiva Registry’ technology is used to quickly and conveniently announce a loss and provide pertinent information via a private page on the internet that is not visible to search engines. So much more than an online Jewish obituary, it includes very specific information with links for directions and who to call or text, if you have a question. A direct link to the Shiva Registry page can then be emailed, posted on Facebook or found through a search on ShivaConnect’s home page.
With “just a click,” well-wishers learn funeral and sitting shiva dates, place and times, 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 150 visitors, making it simple to connect with family and friends, both near and far.
“People have no idea how helpful posting a Registry can be, until they use it,” added Sharon. “Mourning families appreciate fewer phone calls, less stress, confusion and wasted food. As greater numbers of people are informed of a loss in a timely manner, there is increased support for mourners at a time when it is most needed. Those who want to express sympathy leran how best to do so.
An extremely popular feature on ShivaConnect.com, is the zip code search to find delicatessens/restaurants throughout the United States to deliver shiva platters and shiva food. Another is the “Yahrzeit Reminder” which is emailed each year a week before the anniversary date, noting when to light a memorial candle and that it is customary to make a memorial donation at this time. As families request them , free links to national and local Jewish charities are added to facilitate direct memorial donations.
ShivaConnect continues to grow its list of funeral homes that provide Jewish Services , as well as other helpful resources throughout the United States. They include: bereavement groups, geriatric home care services, senior living facilities, consignment shops, pre-need funeral planning, etc.
Synagogues, Funeral Homes, Hospices and Jewish charitable organizations are directing families to ShivaConnect, providing shiva information cards and encouraging use of the free Shiva Registry system.
Extensive online marketing promotes public awareness for ShivaConnect.com and the help it offers, 24/7.
With more than 7000 monthly visits and consistent increases in traffic, ShivaConnect.com is clearly fulfilling a need- respectfully providing information and assistance for Jewish mourners and those wishing to express their condolences.