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Perhaps, this question is too "trivial". It seems that Jewish funeral homes tend to be the primary "printer" and supplier of Jewish calendars. For decades, many yeshivot as well as shuls get the large colorful calendars from Jewish funeral homes.

Yes, I do get smaller calendars in the mail from the numerous yeshivot and other charity orgs that love to flood my mailbox this time of year. But, as stated, these are usually small "pocket" calendars and they are rarely as colorful and large like the "funeral" calendars.

Someone in shul joked, "It's not as if my grandma who died 20 years ago needs to know when Yom Kippur is this year!" There's both truth and some falsehood to that statement, but the question is why, how, and when funeral homes got involved in this "business"?

It does seem somewhat odd, in a sense. Their business is mainly handling the dead, whereas a calendar is more important for the living. I would think that a Judaica store or a shul should be the main printer and supplier of free calendars. As a matter of fact, perhaps they should supply these calendars to the funeral home, not the other way around.

  • 2
    This seems to be dependent on locale. I just got a full-size colorful calendar in the mail... from the town council. – Scimonster Sep 21 '15 at 14:51
  • @Scimonster I've seen this in at least three cities in the US, FWIW. I would expect that how communities work in Israel and outside would be significantly different, since in Israel, various levels of government participate directly in the Jewish communal infrastructure. – Isaac Moses Sep 21 '15 at 14:52
  • It's just advertising. They want their name conveniently hanging on the wall when the moment that people never seem to plan for suddenly happens. – Yishai Sep 21 '15 at 15:00
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    That is not necessarily true in Houston, I can't remember the last time I got a calendar from a Jewish Funeral Home here. Most of the calendars I get are either from Jewish charities in general or local stores that cater to the Houston Jewish Community. – Dennis Sep 21 '15 at 15:02
  • Chabad here sends out very large, colorful calendars. But I do agree that this seems to also be a regular thing for funeral homes to supply. – Seth J Sep 21 '15 at 16:07
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A calendar is important for the dead - this way the living can figure out when their Yarzheit is, and say Kaddish and learn as a Zechus for the Neshama.

  • Good point! For many Jews, Yahrtzeits are the main impetus, other than certain holidays, for having any awareness of the Jewish calendar. – Isaac Moses Sep 21 '15 at 15:46
  • Boy, I feel somewhat "dumbified" by missing a pretty obvious answer! – DanF Sep 21 '15 at 16:06
  • True, but this seems like more of a comment, not an answer. – Seth J Sep 21 '15 at 16:08
  • Those who care will either already know or will look it up. Those who don't won't. So this doesn't seem like a good rationale (FWIW, I keep a calendar on my Mac, I set it to show the AM dates in addition to CE and download the rest from Hebcal every few years.) I like a physical calendar for finding licht-bentschen for Shabbat and chaggim. – Noach MiFrankfurt Sep 21 '15 at 16:18
  • @NoachmiFrankfurt Don't you need a calendar to look it up? – Daniel Sep 21 '15 at 16:58

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