As the total number of Jewish Covid-19 funerals reported to the Board of Deputies reaches 900, Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl has urged the community to adhere to Government restrictions:
Marie said: “This Pesach will be a bittersweet experience for many. We will be holding a second round of sedarim without being able to meet with wider friends and family. For the many Jewish families who have lost loved ones in the last year, the hope that we can ‘all get back together again’ will never be entirely fulfilled. Our hearts go out to those who will struggle with loss this Pesach.
“As hard as it is, we must continue to observe all Government guidance scrupulously. With a possible third wave in Europe building, we must not allow Covid-19 to take life unnecessarily. If we all act responsibly now, then we will be able to, once again, celebrate Shabbat, festivals and our Jewish life in the way we want, as soon as possible.”
Working with the Jewish community’s burial boards, regional Jewish communities and the Jewish Small Communities Network as of the week ending 19th March 2021 there have been 900 Jewish funerals carried out where the deceased contracted Covid-19. This represents an increase of 4 such reported funerals on the previous week.
We wish bereaving families a long life, and pray that the memory of their loved ones should be for a blessing.
The Board of Deputies is liaising with seven of the largest denominational burial boards to collate an indicator of deaths where Covid-19 was a factor. These denominational burial boards are: The Adath Yisroel Burial Society, the Federation of Synagogues Burial Society, the Joint Jewish Burial Board, Liberal Judaism, the Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi Community, the United Synagogue Burial Society and the Western Charitable Foundation. The Board of Deputies has either received reports from the following regional communities, or has accounted for them through the largest denominational burial boards where they cover that particular community: Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bognor Regis, Bournemouth, Brighton and Hove, Canvey Island, Chelmsford, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Darlington, Eastbourne, Edinburgh, Exeter, Gateshead, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Solihull, Southend, Southport, St Annes, Stoke on Trent and Swansea. The indicator enumerates how many funerals were carried out by these burial societies and communities where COVID-19 appeared on the death certificate of the deceased. As such it covers both deaths in hospitals and in the wider community. When making comparisons of data, please note that data separate to this indicator may not have similar parameters. Please do not take successive figures as indicative of exact trend as smaller communities cannot report weekly.