Update 26 March 2020
The following advice has been issued by the Jewish Joint Burial Society (JJBS):
– In accordance with Jewish practice, the health of the living is most important.
– Attendance at funerals will not be allowed – this is in accordance with the decision of the Assembly of Rabbis of both the Liberal and Reform movements and is in accordance with our own thinking. This very difficult decision has been taken with Din V’Rachamim (Justice and Mercy), for if even one person is a carrier of Covid 19 it could be passed to our staff and we may not be able to carry out funerals at all.
-As you cannot attend then the service will be broadcast on WhatsApp, Zoom, or Skype etc. You may also wish to do the Shiva in this way – most services are being carried out on Zoom.
– All burials will be graveside to protect the health of our rabbis and staff – also all funerals will now take place as soon as possible. Due to circumstances totally outside of our control, we cannot delay them.
– There will be no Tahara (but the normal Tahara prayers will be said).
When the restrictions have been lifted, all friends and family will be able to mourn their loved ones in the customary way. There will be memorial services held for all these funerals held after this period which will be arranged by the synagogue or JJBS, at which the JJBS staff and rabbis will be available to assist with El Malei Rachamim and Kaddish, and for burials families will have the opportunity to put a small amount of earth on the grave to complete the filling in process so that they have taken part in the burial of their loved one.
Currently no stone setting services are able to take place.
This information is changing on a daily basis, and we will endeavour to update this notice regularly as changes occur.
To view this guidance in PDF form please click here.