New burial ground will serve Progressive Jews in South-East London

Bromley Reform initiative secures plots in Chislehurst cemetery


Bromley Reform Synagogue has acquired a burial ground for its members and other Progressive Jews in South-East London.

The 500-member shul has secured 50 plots at GreenAcres Kemnal Park Cemetery in Chislehurst. With no other Jewish cemetery in the region, leaders wanted to offer a facility for people wishing to be buried near their homes and families, rather than in North London.

“Opening the cemetery in Kemnal Park will enable us to arrange burials in a dedicated Jewish space easily accessible to our congregants,” said Bromley’s Rabbi Mati Kirschenbaum. “It will also allow us to be inclusive of mixed-faith couples who are members of our synagogue.

“It is something our members have wanted for many years and the fact we have been able to establish it now reflects the dynamism of our area’s Jewish population.”

GreenAcres Kemnal Park is a well-established cemetery with a number of areas dedicated to people of different faiths and none, including Muslim communities which have the same requirements as Judaism for burials to be held in the immediate aftermath of death.

“It is a beautiful, green space and it is very special that we are able to design our own gated area within the cemetery where, in accordance with Jewish tradition, all graves will face Jerusalem,” said Janet Posner, Bromley Reform’s representative on the Jewish Joint Burial Society.

“We know that many of our members are unable to travel to funerals or stone-settings in North London. This was a cause of great distress so we hope that having a local cemetery to which friends and family can more easily visit will be of enormous comfort and importance.”  

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