Bereavements

It is with warmth and comfort that we wish you “a long life” if someone in your family has recently died. The Jewish Joint Burial Society can help you make the necessary practical arrangements for the funeral or cremation. Please call them on 020 8989 5252.

Please also contact the synagogue office on 020 8446 3244 if you would like one of our clergy team to officiate at the ceremony or Shiva prayers for you or if you simply need emotional support or advice.

We realise that all families are different and if you are Jewish and are mourning for the loss of someone who was not themselves Jewish, we can also help organise a suitable funeral or cremation, bridging the sensitivities of what will be needed or expected by different people.

Although it is Jewish tradition to bury the deceased as quickly as possible, we realise that for some people waiting an extra day or two so that family can attend from abroad or so that details can be communicated with everyone can be important. As the mourner you can take control to ensure that these rituals designed to take us though the grieving process are as helpful for you as possible.

The Reform Movement respects that many people in our community choose cremation over burial.  For a full explanation you can read all about it in the Reform Movement website. http://www.reformjudaism.org.uk/a-to-z-of-reform-judaism/contemporary-issues/cremation.html.  Our clergy will officiate at cremations at any local crematorium although Hoop Lane Crematorium is the most well equipped for Jewish cremations.

The Shiva period give mourners a time to be looked after and to be able to continue to share stories and memories of the deceased without having to be thrown back into normal life.  We do not proscribe how many nights of formal Shiva prayers a family must have but are here to help make this time as helpful as possible and to facilitate these prayers by providing someone to lead them, books, chairs and even cups, saucers and an urn.   

Many people choose to come to synagogue after a bereavement to say Kaddish, a prayer for mourners which affirms ones belief in God.  If you want to practice saying the words of Kaddish you can listen and follow along here.

It is recognised within the Reform Movement that since the Holocaust we are all in some way mourners and there are too many people who have no one to say Kaddish for them.  Therefore the entire community stands and recites the Kaddish together following the reading of a list of names of those people who are marking a yahtzeit (an anniversary of a death), that Shabbat.

More information on Jewish burial can be found on the JJBS website.  Chesed (our community support group) also have people with whom you can talk, many of them professionals in this field.

Click here for a copy of Kaddish

Listen to Kaddish being read using the player below.

Mourners Kaddish - spoken

Kaddish is a prayer found in the Jewish prayer service. The central theme of the Kaddish is the magnification and sanctification of God's name.

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