Saturday, November 6, 2010

Car Pool to Memorial Services for Professor Isserman

As you probably know, the memorial service for Professor Isserman is 1:30 PM on Monday in Southwest Champaign. Details on the memorial, burial and shiva can be found here

If anyone is needing a ride, or is just willing to car pool to the memorial service, either comment below or shoot me an email (gunnerso (at) and I will make sure we work something out.

I have room to take up to 4 (in addition to myself).

Also, my deepest condolences to those of you who were close to Andy. He was a well respected academic, a great professor, and a fantastic person. He will be missed.


Amber said...

I'm interested in car pooling. I have a car and can fit 4 (5) if necessary.

Stephen said...

I'd suggest getting there early. It's going to be packed.

I've gotten questions about Jewish mourning rituals from lots of different people, so I'm writing some things below which may clarify the questions I've gotten most. I'm not going to make assumptions about the Issermans' faith (or how they personally are mourning), so PLEASE consider what's below as general notes on the ritual.

1. A lot of people have brought up flowers. Typically there aren't flowers at Jewish funerals or graveyards, and they aren't usually at shiva but I have seen them there I think. If you want to be safe don't bring flowers as they can be considered ostentatious, which is a characteristic to avoid if mourning. Rocks are placed on graves, not flowers. The family has asked in lieu of flowers give to the Nature Conservancy at

2. As far as shiva goes, fish is OK (it's technically not "meat" in kosher law) provided it's a kosher fish (tuna, salmon, whitefish, herring, etc., and not shellfish). Consult wikipedia for more specifics if you have kosher questions.

3. The purpose of shiva is to console the bereaved. People eat. The mourners are supposed to avoid self-maintenance and ostentation so you may notice mirrors being covered, torn garments, and people sitting on the floor. Shiva is considered an open house. I know that at shivas for my relatives I've seen people come to the home whom I didn't recognize. Andy was a special person to a lot of us. Don't feel uncomfortable about coming and offering your condolences, and it is considered a good deed to do so, though you're technically supposed to wait for the mourners to initiate conversation.

I hope this clarifies matters a bit.

Stephen said...

One more thing:

Looking back at the announcement, it appears food for shiva is being coordinated by Matti and Drura Shalev, whom you should contact ahead of time. Their e-mail is below

They would have good, specific answers to your shiva questions.