Bereavement Guidance

The death of a relative or close friend is a difficult time. Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation has published a Guide for the Bereaved which provides comprehensive information and guidance at this difficult time. By clicking on the link below you will be able to download the 8-page Guide for the Bereaved in PDF form which you can then save on the computer and print.

Basic Guide For The Bereaved

The notes below provide an overview of what needs to be done prior to the funeral. The Synagogue office staff, the Rabbi and Rebbetzen, Rev. Sklan and the Chevra Kadisha team are there to help and support you through this stressful time.

What to do in the event of the death of a loved one or close friend:

  • Firstly you should contact the BHC Shul office on 01202 557433 (option 6) so that they can begin preparations. The office will inform the Rabbi and contact the Funeral Directors (usually Head and Wheble Tel: 01202 551190) on your behalf, and inform the Chevra Kadisha team.
  • Although the Synagogue office will notify the Rabbi, the family should also  contact the Rabbi personally on 07932 723811.
  • During out of office hours , or in the unlikely event of the phone being unattended during the working day,  leave a message on the shul office answer phone, and telephone Rabbi Jesner on 07932 723811.
  • As soon as the death occurs light a candle if possible near to the body; if your loved one died in hospital this may not be possible, so you should light a Yahrzeit candle as soon as you get home.
  • It is very important in Jewish law and tradition that the burial takes place as soon as practicable after death, ideally on the same day. You should obtain a death certificate from the doctor or hospital as soon as possible after death.
  • You may have to explain that Jewish Law requires burial as soon as possible and ask the doctor to expedite measures, most hospitals are familiar with this request and are happy to help.
  • The death certificate must be taken to the Registrar for Births, Marriages, and Deaths in the vicinity where the death occurred. In Bournemouth deaths can be registered at:

Registration Services
Town Hall
Bourne Avenue
Tel: 01202 454945

The Registry Office may only be open for a few hours each day so you should telephone and make an appointment explaining the need for expediency as Jewish Law requires burial as soon as possible. Once the registrar has issued a green certificate giving permission for burial to take place let the Synagogue office know as soon as possible.

Once you have obtained the green certificate, the Rabbi and Synagogue office can confirm the funeral time and arrangements and advise you what to do next.

  • The office will send out notification to all members to advise them of the bereavement and relevant arrangements.
  • It is usual for the officiating Rabbi to speak at the funeral and it would be helpful for those sitting Shiva to prepare a few notes about their loved one.
  • The office will also arrange to deliver low chairs and siddurim to the Shiva house.
  • All mourners sitting Shiva are expected to tear an item of clothing for example a shirt, jacket or jumper. This is known as Keriah. This will be done in private at home or in the prayer hall, before the funeral service. This garment must be worn by the mourner throughout the Shiva week (except on Shabbat). Non leather shoes should be worn after the funeral and throughout the Shiva (except on Shabbat).

In summary:

  1. Contact the Synagogue office.
  2. Obtain a death certificate stating cause of death.
  3. Take the death certificate to the registrar for births marriages and deaths.
  4. Phone the Synagogue office once you have the green certificate.

The Rabbi and his team will be available throughout to guide you through the funeral arrangements and Shiva.