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Death & Mourning

Death & Mourning

When Confronting Death

Central Synagogue Clergy want to support our members as soon as there has been a death in the family. Please call our office so that our Clergy can learn more about your loved one, officiate at the funeral as needed, discuss shiva plans, and provide pastoral care to surviving family members. Members can reach Clergy at (212) 838-5122 x1000. After regular business hours, members can contact Clergy at our emergency line (347) 334-1043. 

Clergy also often speak with members before a death is imminent to offer spiritual support, suggest funeral homes, advise on issues related to burial or cremation, and talk through relevant customs, including the Vidui (the confessional prayer before death). In addition, trained synagogue volunteers run a “What Matters” program to help members crystallize and communicate their end-of-life wishes to important people in their lives. For more information about What Matters, contact Rabbi Sarah Berman at [email protected].

Spousal Bereavement Support Group

For members who have suffered the loss of a spouse or partner, we offer a bereavement group that meets approximately once a month from September through June. For more information, contact our social worker, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Typically a few weeks before the first anniversary of a loved one’s passing, family members gather at the cemetery to “unveil” the gravestone of the deceased. This resource provides guidance for how to conduct this informal ceremony.

Yahrzeit/Yizkor Services

Yahrzeit (Anniversary of a Death)

Members are welcome to provide names of loved ones they want read aloud and written in our Order of Service before we recite Kaddish on Shabbat. Names are also added when a death occurs in a member’s family. Yahrzeit (anniversary of a death) reminders will be sent to members in advance of the specific Shabbat when the yahrzeit is observed. Contact our .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), (212) 838-5122 x3084, to add your loved one’s name.

Yizkor Services (Remembrance)

Special Yizkor (remembrance) liturgy is a part of Yom Kippur, Simchat Torah/Shmini Atzeret, Passover, and Shavuot services. Please check the synagogue calendar for the dates and times of these services.  

Central Synagogue Member Cemetery at Rose Hills Memorial Park

Central Synagogue took great care  and consideration in finding a congregational cemetery at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Putnam Valley, New York. About one hour north of New York City, Rose Hills Memorial Park is beautiful, well-cared for, and affordable—and has been faithfully serving the Jewish community since 1936.

Any family member or loved one of a Central Synagogue congregant can be buried in our section. Only Central members may purchase plots.

For more information on the Central Synagogue Member Cemetery or to purchase a plot, please reach out to our .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), (212) 838-5122 x3084.

Prayer Book

Access and print the prayer book for Shiva Minyanim
*Pages 35–66

Are you a member interested in renting a room at Central for your life cycle event? Visit our Room Rental page to learn more.