Yahrzeits & Automating them in Salesforce

 In hebcal, Hebrew Calendar, Jewish, salesforce.com, Yahrzeits

Ever wonder why Jewish holidays move around each year?

It’s because their observance is based on the Hebrew calendar which is orientated to the moon’s movements around the Earth. In contrast, the Gregorian calendar which we all use daily focuses on the Earth’s movements around the sun.

While finding the Gregorian date of a Jewish holiday is easy for any year using Google, translating a bunch of dates between the two quickly becomes a good bit of work.


A yahrzeit is the anniversary of a person’s death. Since many Jews memorialize the passing of loved ones according to the Hebrew date of the person’s death; converting between the calendars is an annual occurance and can take a bit of time. This is especially true in larger synagogues.

To make life easier, we’ve automated this process by integrating hebcal.com with Salesforce so it can update yahrzeits on a nightly basis. This means..

  • The list of rememberances every Shabbat is a report from Salesforce.
  • If a member calls asking for a loved one’s next yahrzeit, it’s on their record and always current.
  • If you have a member portal that’s connected to Salesforce, it can include a list of each family’s upcoming yahrzeits.
  • You can automatically prompt the clergy to reach out to members as yahrzeits come up.

How does it work?

Let’s say a member’s parent died in the evening of Aug 3, 2017.

  • Someone from the synagogue enters the date in Salesforce and marks that it occurred after sunset.  (On the Hebrew calendar, days begin at sunset)
  • Salesforce automatically determines that their Hebrew date of death is 12 Av 5777.
  • It also shows that their yahrzeit will fall on July 24, 2018.

Early in the morning of July 25, 2018, after that yahrzeit has passed, Salesforce automatically updates the next yahrzeit to be August 13, 2019.

Now you no longer have to worry about yahrzeits or dedicate staff time to calculating them.

Though greatly delayed, Yahrzeit’s for Salesforce is finally available on the App Exchange.

Leave a Comment