What to do in the Event of a Death

Death During Normal Office Hours


If the death is during office hours and you are a member of a JJBS synagogue then please notify your synagogue, or if your synagogue does not have an administrator then please call the JJBS on 020 8989 5252.


If you are not a member of JJBS then we can arrange funerals in the Western cemetery, Lawn cemetery, the Woodland cemetery or a cremation. We can also arrange a burial for non-Jewish partners in a double depth grave in either the Woodland or Lawn cemeteries. Please call the JJBS on 020 8989 5252.

Opening Hours:

Sunday to Thursday: 8am-4pm
Friday: 8am-2pm

Death Outside of Normal Office Hours

If the death is outside of office hours then please call the JJBS on 020 8989 5252.  However, if the death occurs in an NHS hospital outside of office hours, please call the JJBS first thing in the morning, or leave a message on the answer-phone.

For deaths that occur in private homes, nursing homes or private hospitals that do not have facilities to keep a deceased person then please call the JJBS phone line and listen to the message, you will then be re-directed to our duty sexton by dialling 302 – do not do this until a doctor has confirmed the death.

Next Steps

The Sexton at the Society will talk you through all the steps but briefly the following is what you need to do once we have been notified. Steps 1 and 2 are the same for a burial or cremation, but after that there are different steps that need to be followed and we will assist you.

If you wish to have a cremation, you must let either the GP or the hospital know, preferably before the death occurs. The procedures are very different depending on whether it is for burial or cremation. Please bear in mind that a cremation cannot be carried out quickly – there will be a delay of three to four days for a second doctor and for the cremation papers.

  1. Obtain a cause of death certificate from the GP or Hospital. Please note that a locum doctor’s certificate will not enable you to register the death.
  2. Take the death certificate to the Registrar for Births and Deaths. It must be the Registrar in the area where the death occurred. Some Registrars may require an appointment.
  3. Telephone the JJBS office on 020 8989 5252 once you have been issued with the relevant documentation. The JJBS will liaise with your synagogue (if applicable) and with the Rabbi. The JJBS will advise you on the paperwork for a cremation.Notify family and friends of the funeral arrangements, once agreed.

The Rabbi will speak personally to the family about the funeral service.

Notify family and friends of the funeral arrangements, once agreed.

Download these notes