Jewish rituals around death sum up everything that is noble in our tradition. Once a person dies, their body is handled with utmost care and respect, as the dead person is in a state of utter vulnerability, they can do no more for us and we must now do everything for them. Every person is buried in the same simple plain wooden coffin, with the same set of simple linen shrouds.

The funeral itself is short. The eulogy is truthful, and should make the people present feel they can begin to mourn, because it sums up the essence of who that person was. There are no flowers or adornments, and the straightforward nature of the funeral itself brings the reality of their loss home; that person is truly gone.

Once home form the funeral, the mourners now enter a special sort of state, suspended from the ordinary world (hopefully) for 7 days of mourning. Family, friends and community come and keep them company, and prayers are held in the home. This stage is called shiva, which means ’seven’.

Nowadays, many people ‘sit’ shiva for only one or two days, but our Kehillah will support you to observe as many of the seven days as you wish.

The death is marked again at 30 days after the death, and then each year, on the anniversary, the yahrzeit, when their name is read out in synagogue and the community recites Kaddish.

We strongly encourage all of our members to join our Liberal Judaism funeral scheme, which covers all the costs of burial. Progressive Judaism also allows cremation. We have two cemeteries, at Edgewarebury and Cheshunt and cremations can take place anywhere.

Please do contact our administrator for details.

Where we are

Services are held at: 

The New Community Rooms, Spensley Walk, Stoke Newington Church Street, London N16 9ES.

Click here to contact us

A Prayer for London

Eternal God, now more than ever do we understand that everyone of us is connected, none of us is alone. None of us untouched by the suffering in our city, in London. Our ears are filled with the sounds of sirens, our eyes and minds are full of the sight of terrible terrible suffering. None of us is left untouched. We think of those who lost their lives in Grenfell tower. They and their families are like us and our grandparents and parents. They came here for a better life and a life of peace. We think about the terrible wounds, and the terrible deaths of those in Borough Market and London Bridge, and Westminster, and now outside the Finsbury Park Mosque and we search for the courage it takes to carry on. To live with such loss and such pain. Give us the courage to fight for what is right, and the gentleness to be open to our grief, and let every scar that we Londoners must bear, be one day part of what will make us strong, and let us say, amen.

Click here to read more about Kehillah North London.

Kehillah North London
(Formerly North London Progressive Jewish Community)

71-75 Shelton Street 
Covent Garden
London WC2H 9JQ

Tel: +44 (0)20 8123 5752
Rabbi Shulamit Ambalu: 020 7403 3779

Registered United Kingdom charity no.1097713

Click links below to download a copy of our latest newsletters

July 2017 calendar

February 2017 newsletter

July 2016 newsletter

January 2016 newsletter