In the event of a death, we would advise you to take the following steps:
Notify one of the United Synagogue’s burial offices IMMEDIATELY and leave a contact phone number on United Synagogue Burial Office - 020 8950 7767.
If the Burial Offices are closed and you would like to speak to someone please call 07957 119 119 (this service is not available on Shabbat or Yomtov).
Obtain a death certificate from the doctor or hospital, stating the cause of death.
To obtain the burial certificate, take the death certificate to the Registrar for Births and Deaths: it must be the Registrar in the vicinity where the death occurred. If the death occurred in the Borough of Barnet please phone 020 8359 6400. For the Sunday emergency service, phone 020 8359 2000 between 9am and 10 am on Sunday morning. (For further information regarding the process for registering the death please click here https://www.gov.uk/register-a-death)
Phone the Burial Office once you have been issued with the relevant documentation. The burial office will advise what to do next.
Once funeral arrangements have been made, the burial office will contact the Synagogue Administrator who will assist with shiva chairs and prayer books and liaise with Rabbi Hackenbroch about the funeral and shiva.
Contact Rabbi Hackenbroch by email firstname.lastname@example.org or via the shul office on 020 8445 4236 . The burial office will also do this to discuss the funeral service and shiva arrangements.
Notify family and friends of the arrangements.
This article outlines the basic steps one should take in preparation for a shiva.
A candle should burn throughout the Shiva period - these can be bought at Jewish delicatessens and bookshops. Some burn for one day, some for three or seven days; there is no rule as to which should be used.
Two candles in candlesticks should burn during every prayer service. These may be extinguished and used more than once.
It is the custom to cover the mirrors in the home of the mourner, in the rooms that he or she will use (there is no need to cover television screens). The coverings can be removed for Shabbat.
Mourners are the parents, brothers and or sisters, spouse or children of your loved one. These are the only people for whom the laws of mourning apply. If other relatives, such as stepchildren or adopted children wish to be considered as mourners, they must consult their local Rabbi.
All mourners should have non- leather footwear ready to put on after the funeral, which should be worn throughout the shiva.
All mourners should sit on low chairs, which can be obtained from Woodside Park Synagogue. Please contact the Office (020 8445 4236). If mourners have problems sitting on low chairs they should consult the Rabbi.
It is usual that some visitors will bring items of food, or will offer to prepare meals.
It is not the practice to offer refreshments to visitors unless they come from a long distance.
A shiva house should not be treated as a social occasion and traditionally visitors wait for the mourner to initiate conversation.
Visitors may wish the mourners "Long Life" or may pray that they be comforted among the other mourners.
Sitting Shiva is the ancient and uniquely Jewish way of mourning. It shows on the one hand our bereavement and loss and on the other it provides members of the family, friends and community a way of giving us comfort and drawing us back into life
US Women – Kaddish Guidelines
Saying Kaddish provides structure to the mourning period. Men are obligated to say Kaddish but women are not. Even though women are not obligated to say Kaddish this does not mean women cannot or must not say Kaddish. Should a woman wish to say Kaddish she is permitted to do so and to this end US Women, together with and fully supported by the Office of the Chief Rabbi and US Living and Learning have published Kaddish guidelines to assist bereaved women who would like to say Kaddish during their period of mourning and on the anniversaries of the death of their close relatives.
There are many ways to remember our loved ones such as charity work, charity giving, learning in the name of a loved one – the list is long. Saying Kaddish is on that list. Many women find comfort, not only in the words of the Kaddish but in the structure and in the communal way in which Kaddish is said. For some women taking on the task of saying Kaddish helps them get up in the morning following bereavement, enables them to interact with other people and helps them move on with their lives; for others it is a process which grows in meaning and for others saying Kaddish is not for them, they find comfort in other ways.
The Kaddish guidelines answer many questions about how, when and where to say Kaddish – who should respond and how to deal with some of the barriers such as no mehitzah or what to do if no man is saying Kaddish. They also provide guidance of getting help from your Rabbi and Rebbetzen together with other suggestions on how to memorialise a loved one.
US women hope that should you find yourself bereaved, these guidelines help a little and may we only meet at simchas.
Please click on the guide to download the document
Woodside Park Cares
If you need someone to talk to following the death of a relative or friend, then Woodside Park Community Cares is able to offer you someone to talk to who had been specifically trained to provide you with bereavement support and if they are unable to help you to point you in the direction of someone who can.
It can also offer you a befriending service as well as help and support to the bereaved and their families. If you do need someone to talk to please call the 24-hour dedicated confidential helpline, on 020 8950 3344.