The United Synagogue, the largest Jewish burial organisation in the UK has buried “double our normal numbers” these past six weeks.
Melvyn Hartog, Head of Burial for the United Synagogue, told Jewish News: “Most days we have been doing burials on the half hour between Bushey Old and Bushey New Cemeteries. We normally would do them hourly. Our cemetery at Waltham Abbey has also had a large increase in funerals.”
Hartog added he has deployed “four vehicles every day to pick up recently deceased members. I am grateful to all the volunteers who have come in to help us by either answering the phone or going out in one of our vehicles”.
“To ensure that families are able to bury their loved ones and that funerals can take place promptly, we have cancelled all leave for the burial staff and they have been working six days a week. I am in awe at how hard the team has worked and cannot thank them enough. This has been echoed by the families themselves.
“At the funerals we are only permitting immediate mourners to attend in line with government guidelines. Many families have chosen to livestream the funeral service to allow family and friends to take part. United Synagogue Rabbis have been extraordinary and when a funeral has no rabbi they have quickly volunteered to take the service.