Miscarriage and Baby Loss

You Are Not Alone

At Jewish Family and Children’s Services, we honor and support those families who have experienced the devastating death of a baby through miscarriage, neonatal and infant death.

Our clinical staff are sensitive and trained to respond to the unique needs of those suffering. We are here to support you and your family through the many stages of the bereavement process.

We can help with:

•    The practical steps after a loss
•    Rabbinic support in considering options for burial and memorializing
•    Grief and bereavement support and counseling

We are here to help you. Please call JFCS to speak with a counselor today:  415-359-2443

Learn what JFCS is doing to lead the way to a new path for Jewish healing after pregnancy loss here >

The Jewish Community Cares

Guided by the wisdom and rituals handed down over generations, the Jewish community is defined in  large part by the ways in which it takes care of its members and supports them through good times and bad. While Judaism offers beautiful lifecycle traditions and rituals for those who are grieving, Jewish customs for pregnancy and infant loss are only now catching up with modern times.

Communal Response of the Past

Historically, when this kind of devastating loss occurred, Jewish women — as well as their partners, families, and friends — were typically left without a clear Judaic path for rituals, support, and guidance in response to the gravity of their grief. This is because Jewish law does not consider a baby who dies before its thirtieth day of life to be a “viable” person. Thus, the baby would be buried in an unmarked grave, and the rituals that help families through grief were not available to them.

In contrast, if a child died after thirty days of life, the family would go through all of the rituals associated with Jewish burial and mourning.  Jewish law established this time frame for human viability because of the high mortality rates that were common in past centuries and as a way to protect the mother from being in a perpetual state of mourning.

Communal Response Today

There has been an important and positive change in the Jewish community’s sensitivity and responsiveness toward women and families experiencing pregnancy loss. Over the last couple of decades, certain branches within Judaism have established norms and rituals that respect, acknowledge, and respond to the gravity of baby loss.
JFCS has trained its clinical staff to understand the complexities of miscarriage and baby loss and to appreciate the challenges parents might face when turning to the Jewish community for help.

JFCS offers comfort and guidance through this mourning experience and offers two sessions of bereavement support with its trained clinicians at no charge for those in the community who need it after a loss, including a pregnancy loss.

Please call a counselor today to find out more: 415-359-2443.

JEWISH COMMUNITY RESOURCES

Planning a Burial in the Bay Area

Jewish Funeral Home and Chevra Kadisha in the Bay Area

Sinai Memorial Chapel: Responding to Perinatal and Infant Loss

Jewish Cemeteries in the Bay Area

Sinai Memorial Chapel: Memory Garden at Eternal Home Cemetery

Sinai Memorial Chapel: Gan Shalom Cemetery

Gan Yarok (Green Garden) at Fernwood Cemetery

Planning a Funeral and Ongoing Bereavement Support

Jewish Resources on Miscarriage, Perinatal and Infant Loss

My Jewish Learning: Miscarriage

My Jewish Learning: Stillbirth and Neonatal Death

Project Nechama at Congregation Beth El

Hasidah: Infertility Awareness in the Jewish Community

Kveller.com

Godcast: Creating a Funeral after Miscarriage

Ritualwell.org: Rituals after Pregnancy Loss

NechamaComfort

Jewish Pregnancy Loss

CONTEMPORARY LEGAL (HALAKHIC) RESPONSES TO MISCARRIAGE, PERINATAL AND INFANT LOSS

Conservative Movement on Miscarriage (PDF)

Conservative Movement on Stillbirth (PDF)

Reform Movement on Miscarriage and Stillbirth (PDF)

Jewish Books on Mourning the Loss of a Baby

Tears of Sorrow, Seeds of Hope, 2nd Edition: A Jewish Spiritual Companion for Infertility and Pregnancy Loss. Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin, Jewish Lights Publishing, 2007.

A Time to Mourn, a Time to Comfort, 2nd Edition: A Guide to
Confronting the Loss of a Baby: A Personal and Jewish

To Mourn a Child: Jewish Responses to Neonatal and Childhood DeathJeffrey Saks and Joel Wolowelsky (editors), KTAV Publishing House, 2013.

Additional Resources: Support after Neonatal Death

HAND of San Francisco

MISS Foundation

Earth Mama Angel Baby

Angels Babies

October 15th

Share

The Compassionate Friends

International Stillbirth Alliance

Blogs on Baby Loss

Glow in the Woods

Still Standing Magazine

Pregnancy After Loss Support

The Stirrup Queens

Healing Hearts Babyloss Comfort

Queerly Trying

These are the things I’m made of

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