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Dairy Meal

Condolence Catering

When a death occurs, there is a heightened sensitivity and awareness about the ways each religion, faith, and culture may observe different traditions, rituals, and customs relating to burial, visitations, and mourning practices.

Whether you are coordinating food for a large Memorial Service or Celebration of Life, or a smaller need to send a Hot Entree for a Funeral Repast, providing a Dessert Tray or light platter of Pin Wheel Sandwiches for a Wake, sending a Dairy Meal or a Deli Tray for a Shiva or simply want to send a Meal in the days/weeks following the loss of a loved one. Around Downtown Catering can make this time a little easier and as stress-free as possible.

We have a wide range of platters, hot & cold menus, along with dessert & beverage options available. The food can be delivered hot and ready to eat or cold and ready for the oven. Our menu can be fully customized to meet your tastes, needs, and wants. If you don’t see something you’re interested in just ask. We would be happy to try and accommodate whatever you’re looking for. Please email to or call us at 216-861-7522 to discuss your options.

Dairy Meal - $24.95 per person

Add Boiled Eggs $.50 each

Platter of Smoked Salmon

Creamed Herring

Egg Salad

Chopped egg Mixed with Celery, Onions, And Sweet Relish Tossed with a Mustard Mayonnaise Dressing

Slices Assorted Cheeses

Swiss and Muenster

Fresh Baked Bagels

Served with Cream Cheese and Preserves

Platter Smoked White Fish

Albacore Tuna Salad

White Albacore Tuna Mixed with Eggs, Sweet Relish and Celery Tossed with Mayonnaise

Cottage Cheese

Sliced Tomatoes, Onions, and Cucumbers

Funeral Repast

What is a Funeral Repast

Funerals are a chance for those who knew a deceased person to gather for collective mourning. This process helps folks connect with others who share the same grief, and to begin the healing process. After a funeral, many families will host additional memorial events. Sometimes a reception occurs, and closely linked to the reception is the funeral repast.

A Chance to Grieve with Those You Love

The repast is the meal shared by family and close friends after the funeral. The breaking of bread together is a symbolic and practical way of aligning those who are grieving. Bringing loved ones closer together to share a meal, reminisce and grieve is just the first step for a community of people who have lost someone special. Repast exists to remind friends and family members that they're not alone in their grief.

The main purpose of a repast is to celebrate the existence of life and love in the midst of death. It's a time for families and friends to catch up, learn new things about each other and get closer. The word "repast" has Latin roots and translates to "to eat." In the past, the word was used to mean any mealtime, but eventually became solely used for the meal eaten after a funeral. The point of this tradition was to offer those who were closest to the deceased the chance to grieve privately.

Modern Repast

In recent times, the definition has somewhat shifted. While some families do choose to keep repast as an intimate meal shared only with close family members, others will host a more public reception. It can either be held at a family home, church, a civic hall or at the funeral home.

Some keep repast as a meal, but expand the guest list to include friends and extended family, while others turn repast into a full-blown celebration of life. In fact repast is nearly synonymous with reception nowadays. At a repast, there might just be snacks and drinks or there may be a complete meal, depending on the funeral budget and wishes of the family.

Why is Food Appropriate Condolence Item?

Food that is sent to the home after the funeral provides a meaningful way to show that the family is in your thoughts, while meeting a very practical need. In the early stages of grief, simple tasks like preparing meals are challenging and stressful for the mourning family. Providing food and meals are a thoughtful and heartfelt expression of compassion.

When a death occurs, the family often undergoes not only the stress of mourning, but the demands of time. Normal everyday occurrences such as eating or planning and preparing meals may prove to be a difficulty. It is a kind gesture to provide sympathy baskets containing food items that may be sent to the funeral home or the residence of the mourning family depending on the traditions and customs of the mourning family and circumstances surrounding the loss.


When a death occurs, there is a heightened sensitivity and awareness about the ways each religion, faith and culture may observe different traditions, rituals and customs relating to burial, visitations and mourning practices. When considering how to express condolences to family, friends and co-workers of the Jewish faith, one of the most commonly asked questions is: What is appropriate to bring or send to those in mourning during a shiva?

The Basics of a Shiva

Shiva (translated literally to “seven”) is the weeklong mourning period for first-degree relatives of the deceased, and it is the first part of structured mourning in Judaism. The primary purpose of the shiva tradition, or "sitting shiva," is to create an environment of comfort and community for mourners. Throughout the observance of a shiva, mourners come together in one family’s home to offer their condolence and support. Specific observances may vary depending on the Jewish community, but it is a time for first-degree relatives of the deceased to focus on mourning, honoring and remembering.

Why Is Food Customary during a Shiva?

In Judaism, family, friends, and the greater community take on the responsibility of comforting and providing for those that are mourning by tending to their basic needs while a family is sitting shiva. During the shiva, mourners are required to abstain from participating in some of the most basic functions of everyday life, including cooking and preparing meals. Emotional and physical support, most importantly nourishment is provided by the community.

The first meal occurs upon return from the cemetery, and is called the seudat havara'ah. The seudat havara’ah is considered a private meal to be shared among immediate family members, not a public event where condolences are offered.

For the balance of the shiva, it is the community's responsibility to ensure that mourners receive sufficient food and proper nourishment.

What Is a Shiva Tray?

In Judaism, a shiva tray is a customary condolence gift containing a variety of food items that is sent to the home of those sitting shiva following the loss of a loved one. These food items are generally intended to provide nourishment for those in mourning throughout the weeklong duration of the shiva, as mourners traditionally do not leave the shiva house during this time.

Shiva Trays, Platters and Meals

In Judaism, following a death, it is customary and traditional to express sympathy and offer condolences by bringing or sending a meal and condolence trays (referred to as ‘shiva trays) to the family members of the deceased who are sitting shiva. There are several different types of food options that may be sent to a shiva following a burial in Judaism. A shiva tray or platter generally contains meats, fish, specialty salads, fruit and sweets that are delivered to the shiva home as a meal. In addition or as opposed to sending a shiva tray, family, friends and colleagues may elect to even consider catering a meal for the family.

When to Send a Shiva Tray or Meal

Shiva begins immediately after burial, with the day of the funeral counted as the first day of a shiva. Families are grateful to receive food and condolence items at any point during the seven-day mourning period. Additionally, it is tradition for friends, neighbors and the broader community to supply and prepare the seudat havra’ah – or “first meal” – upon return to the shiva home, which is generally consumed following the funeral.

Where to Send a Shiva Tray or Meal

Shiva trays are generally sent to the home where the family is sitting shiva. The location of a shiva is commonly announced at the funeral and may even be included within the obituary. Family, friends, synagogues, and places of employment may also circulate a bereavement notice containing a contact persons name/number to help coordinate food and/or the address and hours that the family is receiving visitors.

Why Are Food Items Sent to a Shiva Home?

The shiva period is a time to mourn and reflect and family, friends and the community are relied upon heavily to not only tend to the home of those sitting shiva, but also to provide meals to help the family in mourning. The customs of bringing and sending food items to a shiva home have evolved over time into a gesture and appropriate offering of support to a family of the Jewish faith in mourning.