Facilities for Jewish burial in Manchester are under strain after a fire which gutted the Jewish mortuary at North Manchester General Hospital.
Interim facilities to perform the taharot, the halachic cleansing rituals before burial, have been arranged at
Heathlands Jewish care home in Prestwich, which has its own small mortuary. But according to Malcolm Simon, the main liaison with the hospital, “there has been logistical difficulty in carrying out men’s and women’s taharot separately without adequate space and there is no time frame to rebuild the [hospital] mortuary”.
Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs North Manchester General, said the damage was estimated at £60,000. It confirmed that the trust has agreed to rebuild the Jewish facility, with a spokesperson explaining: “We hope to begin repairs to the mortuary building very soon. An insurance claim has been submitted by the trust and this is currently being assessed.”