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Volunteering at Willesden Cemetery

Volunteering is defined as: a voluntary act of an individual or group, freely giving time and labour, often for community service.

In the Jewish community volunteering for communal organisations is a way of life from synagogues, welfare and youth movements to cooking for refugees, the choice is vast. Many volunteers have a specific interest, others volunteer via communal organisations enjoying meeting new people and interacting with them. So – in that context – “why volunteer at a cemetery?” people ask. “Surely you are only interacting with the deceased?” In fact, the opposite is true, the volunteers learn about our residents’ lives as we like to call them, to inform present and future generations. Without learning about the past, we can’t learn about our heritage. A good example is the yearly cycle of Torah readings every Shabbat, when we use them to pass on Jewish heritage - our history - to inform and guide the way we live today.

Willesden Jewish Cemetery is a fascinating place to volunteer with a wide variety of roles and opportunities:

House of Life Heritage Centre ---- meeting and greeting visitors, answering queries, getting involved with ongoing projects, helping to run events.

Research ---- exploring the history of our residents to help devise new tours and exhibitions.

Tour Guides ---- learning about our residents’ lives, taking members of the public on guided walks and explaining Jewish burial traditions.

Social Media ---- creating content thereby enhancing the Cemetery’s presence on various platforms.

Education ---- establishing links with local schools and helping our education team to devise and present programs for primary and secondary students.

Gardening ---- Willesden Jewish Cemetery is roughly 8.5 hectares with over 29,000 graves. There are garden areas, some are wilding and others need regular upkeep. It is a magnet for keen gardeners who volunteer as part of a dedicated team.

The above is just a small example of the wide variety of roles undertaken by Willesden Jewish Cemetery volunteers. They are all part of a friendly and welcoming group. Encouraged by the management team, they follow their interests bringing a wide variety of skills to their role. They work collaboratively to enhance current programs plus devise and present new projects and events.

To find out more, go to our website: and click on: Get Involved.


A Willesden Jewish Cemetery Volunteer

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