The Woodland Cemetery allows members to choose to be buried in an environmentally-friendly way, in a beautiful natural environment, surrounded by newly planted trees. The burial can include a coffin made from plain wood, bamboo or wicker, all of which decompose naturally. If you wish, the grave can be marked with a small flat gravestone which is intended to sink into the ground over the years.
Guidance for relatives about the burial procedure and planting at the Woodland Cemetery can be found here with a list of permitted plants.
The Woodland Cemetery has a modern prayer hall built of environmentally friendly materials. There is a video link for Cohanim. Members can pay tribute to a loved one by planting a memorial tree or helping to sponsor the costs of construction of either the prayer hall or the columbarium and planned memorial garden.
The Lawn section provides a green alternative for Jewish and non-Jewish burials, with graves being marked by a simple upright stone.
Woodland burials meet all the halachic requirements for a Jewish burial and also help us to perform the mitzvah of Bal Tashchit . By developing a series of laws designed to improve the environmental quality of life, we are beginning to turn the negative meaning of this mitzvah: ‘you shall not destroy’, into the positive command ‘you shall maintain’. – Rabbi Paul Freedman
Non Jewish Partners
For the first time, JJBS can arrange to bury Jewish people with their non-Jewish partners in line with the fundamental progressive Jewish value of inclusiveness. These burials take place in double-depth graves in either the woodland or lawn sections of the Cemetery.
We usually arrange for the service of cremation to be at Golders Green Crematorium at Hoop Lane.
The remains may then be transferred to the Woodland Cemetery which has a columbarium built in a separate landscaped area where cremated remains may be interred with a memorial plaque.
* JJBS has a large dedicated area in this cemetery which is run by the Western Foundation under Orthodox Jewish guidelines. There are two prayer halls which hold 100 or 150 mourners, each with a Cohen room. Each grave has an upright headstone. There is a small Memorial garden adjacent to the Western which may be visited during opening hours. This is run by the JJBS.