The passing of a loved one, friend, or acquaintance is never easy to bear. It can be difficult to know how to appropriately give condolences to the family as traditions vary widely by culture and religion. In the Jewish faith, the immediate family of the deceased will mourn for a seven-day period called a Shiva. This is a time for friends to offer comfort and support for the family either in person or by sending gifts.
While sitting shiva, relatives will not leave the house and are not allowed to cook or attend other daily duties. It is the job of the community to support the family so they may concentrate on remembering and celebrating their loved one. For this reason, it is customary that guests attending the shiva bring food for the grieving family in lieu of flowers.
Sending or bringing a basket or platter as condolences is both traditional and thoughtful. Baskets containing baked goods, cookies, dried fruit, nuts, and chocolate can bring a bit of comfort and joy to an otherwise sad occasion. Shiva trays or platters may have fish, salads, and fruit to provide nourishment to mourners. Be sure to inquire ahead of time whether the family is only accepting kosher foods. Making donations to a designated synagogue or charity is also a good way of showing sympathy.
Cookies, brownies, pretzels, and other treats comfort people in times of sorrow. Here are some good options for shiva baskets:
Classic Gourmet Gift Tray – This basket offers a wide variety of treats from cookies to caramel corn to roasted peanuts and even hot chocolate mix; a good option for a family of diverse tastes.
Deluxe Bakery Basket – Alongside the 40 cookies and brownies gracing this tray comes two loaves of pound cake, offering a sweet treat for breakfast.
Bakery Bites Basket – Inside of a round wicker basket sit 54 perfectly bite-sized cookies and brownies; a good option for kid-sized treats.
Sympathy Cookie Bouquet – Instead of flowers, send a sympathy bouquet of cookies. Simple and delicious, mourners will appreciate your kindness.
Grand Bakery Sampler – This basket features 80 of our most delicious and cheerful cookies, brownies, and loaves; the perfect option for large groups.
Black and White Cookie Tower – As the name says, this tower of black and white boxes contains nothing but cookies in 14 different varieties. A gift as elegant as it is comforting.