Bereavement Support / End of Life

Congregation Tikkun v’Or’s Bereavement Support Group was formed with the kavana or intention of providing support at times of bereavement, as well as when anticipating the death of a loved one or thinking about the end of one’s own life. 

The Bereavement Support Group can be reached at:

When a loved one dies, we would like to be able to assist you as quickly as possible. Please use the following procedure:

  1. Email the Bereavement Support Group at:, which reaches everyone in the group, including Rabbi Shifrah and Naomi Wilensky. You can also email Rabbi Shifrah directly at:
  2. If you prefer to not use email, please call Rabbi Shifrah at 607-229-6747 or the TVO office at 607-256-1471.

The Bereavement Support Group has put together several guides that honor the spirit and traditions of Judaism while also suggesting ways of adapting traditional practices for modern times and for our multicultural community.

  • JEWISH PRACTICES AND RITUALS FOR DEATH AND MOURNING describes traditional and alternative Jewish practices during the period leading up to the end-of-life and for the year following a death. 
  • LOCAL RESOURCES WHEN A LOVED ONE DIES focuses on resources in the Ithaca area, and lays out the chain of communications and decisions needed when faced with the death of a loved one.
  • MA’ARIV FOR A HOUSE OF SHIVA: Evening Service for the First Week of Remembrance is a compilation of traditional and contemporary prayers, poetry and other readings for gatherings during the initial mourning period following burial.  This booklet is available on request by contacting the Bereavement Support Group (
On September 11, 2022, the Tikkun v’Or section of Greensprings was consecrated. Rabbi Shifrah Tobacman led the ceremony, with Lauren Korfine singing. The participants made seven stops as they circumambulated the grounds.
The celebration was lovely, with singing, psalms, poems, and reflections on the importance of all of the stages of life in our experiences, and of the importance of restoring nature. A little rain was dripping through the trees and provided the perfect setting for the consecration.
We were joined by Nancy Emerson, from Temple Beth El, who coordinates the local chevra kedisha (Jewish burial society), and Michelle Menter, the manager of Greensprings. Special thanks to Martha Armstrong for working with TVO and Greensprings to make all this happen.
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