Membership of the Jewish Joint Burial Society — serving Reform, Masorti, Liberal and independent synagogues — has reached 39 with the affiliation of Peterborough Liberal Jewish Community and Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue.
EHRS was a result of the merger of the Edgware and Hendon Reform shuls and the JJBS now provides funeral benefits to former Hendon Reform members.
Hendon’s cemetery at Southgate and its burial rights through West London Synagogue at Edgwarebury Lane have been taken over by the JJBS.
Former Hendon members will also have access to the JJBS Woodland Cemetery and the other cemetery it uses at Cheshunt. Philip Bright, co-chair of EHRS and former Hendon Reform chair, was “delighted to ensure the continued funeral arrangements for our members. It removes any concerns about available burial plots.
“We particularly welcome JJBS’s willingness to provide benefits for our older members which would otherwise have been difficult to continue.”
Peterborough was formed in 1991 and has 47 members and associates. Its chair, Christine Hassall, said affiliating to the society “will be an important factor in encouraging new people to join our community”.
In 2013, the society opened the Woodland Cemetery, offering burial in a “natural environment” surrounded by trees and with a small memorial stone rather than a large tombstone.
It also has dedicated areas where Jews can be buried with their non-Jewish partners in double depth graves. More than 110 people have been buried or interred in the cemetery. Some had no Jewish affiliation or belonged to non-JJBS synagogues but particularly wanted a woodland burial.