Tombstone Reading Worksheet

For those of you planning to read and translate content found when you visit a Jewish cemetery, you might find this worksheet useful.

If someone takes some young people on such a mitzva-trip to capture and memorialize those who have passed away, this might be helpful.

Let’s say teams of two, with one possibly taking a digital image, while the teammate captures the location (cemetery name, row number, location in the row) then the information can be partially entered and filled in later.

As a group project, one person might be the aggregator of the data, possibly into a spreadsheet. Then there are people or places where the results may be submitted to check for accuracy. Or uploaded to an internet site for anyone to access.

Here’s a PDF to get started:

Here are some words or abbreviations (known in Hebrew as rashe tevot) you may recognize, but they are only a small sample.



Stone marker/Symbol …,פ”נ, פ”ט, ציון
Title …,הרב, ר’,מרת
Son/daughter of (father’s name and/or mother’s name) בן/בת
Wife of (husband’s name) … אשת
Age (xx years, using Hebrew letters) בן/בת __ שנה/שנים
__ ימי חי’
Hebrew Date of Death,
“short date”

or with millenium


…. ‘ה

Closing Eulogy/Rashei Tevot that is derived from the passage in the book of Samuel I, 25:29, meaning, “May his/her suld be bound in the bonds of eternal life.” ……,’ת’נ’צ’ב’ה
Mother’s Name, if indicated in this way ….ש”א

Feedback on the usefulness of this page would be appreciated!