An Orthodox synagogue in Leeds regrets the lack of a minyan for a funeral prevented mourners saying kaddish.
Daniel Levy, former rabbi at Leeds United Hebrew Congregation, said: “This isn’t the first time this has happened and it is becoming all too frequent. It is a heartbreaking situation.”
Malcolm Taylor, president of Leeds Etz Chaim Synagogue, the shul involved, said it was “very unfortunate” that despite the shul’s best efforts it was not possible to secure a minyan to attend at the funeral on March 9.
“It is unfortunately not uncommon that bereavements occur where insufficient males are available to make the minyan,” he said.
“On this occasion it transpired that not all those who had undertaken to attend were in fact able to do so, and this did not become apparent until the time of the funeral.”
He added: “After consultation with the bereaved, the funeral was undertaken according to halachah. Pastoral care was extended to family members.”
The bereaved son attended synagogue the following morning for shacharis and could then recite kaddish in memory of his deceased mother.
Robert Dewar, president of Leeds UHC, said: “It is desperately upsetting for the family when they are unable to say kaddish. At UHC we do our utmost to ensure we get a minyan and, of course, we support other synagogues where we can. Our thoughts go out to the families caught up in these distressing circumstances.”
Laurence Saffer, president of Leeds Jewish Representative Council, said: “We are aware of this sad problem. The inability to sometimes achieve a minyan is one of the reasons LJRC is facilitating Shul Vitality Day on March 26.
“All shuls in Yorkshire have been invited to join us and the Jewish Leadership Council to see how we can work better together on a variety of issues.”
There are around 10,000 Jews living in Leeds, mostly in the Moortown, Alwoodley and Roundhay suburbs.