We understand losing a loved one is a sensitive and sometimes traumatic experience.
Please click on the leaflet for a guide with basic Halachic instructions.

The Civic Process

The following information is intended to guide you through the initial arrangements at your time of bereavement.

Notify the Synagogue Office

Please notify the Synagogue office on 01702 344900 IMMEDIATELY. If the office is closed, leave your name, the name of the deceased and a contact phone number and your call will be returned when the office reopens. Inevitably, a death will sometimes occur on a Shabbat [Friday night to Saturday night] or Jewish festival. Please wait until the conclusion of these times before contacting the Shul office as no act of work can be allowed. Do not worry, as this is normal practice in orthodox Jewry. Your call will be returned after nightfall.

If your loved one has passed away in a hospital, their Health and Safety protocols will require the deceased to be taken to the safety of their mortuary until the funeral director is permitted to collect. Whilst traditionally the deceased should not be left alone and be accompanied by a loved one or someone from the Jewish community, this is accepted as not being possible within a hospital environment.

If your loved one has passed away on a Shabbat/Jewish Festival or out of office hours at home or in a private nursing home, you may wish or be requested to have the deceased removed from there before the office can return your call. The designated funeral director for SWHC is: F.P Guiver & Sons, 641 Southchurch Road, Southend on Sea, SS1 2PN.  Should you be charged for removal out of area or out of hours, please note that the membership will not cover these costs.

The office requires the green form, see forms below, and if the deceased is male please also provide his Tallit (prayer shawl) if available. Our trained staff will work in liaison with the Rabbi and yourself to book a time with the cemetery personnel for the funeral (levoya). The Rabbi will also arrange a place and time of mourning (shiva) with you when convenient. Prayer books and shiva chairs will be available for collection from the Shul for free loan during the shiva period. Burial costs, not including the stone, are covered by fees collected with your membership

Special arrangements will be made for non members by discussion between the next-of-kin, SWHC Treasurer and financial staff.

The Doctor’s Medical Certificate

When a person dies the Hospital Doctor or General Practitioner who was treating the deceased during his or her last illness will issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death which must be handed to the Registrar before the death can be registered.
A white release form must also be signed and left in the General Office for the attention of the mortuary.


Make an appointment with the municipal registrar to formerly register the death and obtain a death certificate. For Southend, see www.southend.gov.uk/deaths. It is preferred that a relative of the deceased registers the death. If there are no relatives, it is possible for the other persons to register. You should seek advice from the Registrar.

The Registrar will ask for the following information:

– The date and place of death.
– The full name of the deceased (the maiden name or any other names the deceased may have used).
– The date and place of the birth of the deceased.
– The deceased’s occupation and the full names and occupation of the husband if the deceased is a married woman or widow.
– The deceased’s usual address.
– The full names and address of the person giving the information and the relationship to the deceased.
– Where the deceased’s spouse is living, his or her date of birth.

If you have the deceased’s birth or marriage certificates it may be useful to take them with you for reference. The Registrar will also ask if the deceased was in receipt of a pension from public funds and for the National Health number. If the medical card is available, it should be brought to the Register Office. However, the registration should not be delayed if this information is not available.


After the registration the Registrar will issue two forms.

1 A certificate for burial or cremation (known as the green form). Pass this on to the shul office; see below.
2 A certificate of registration of death (form BD8/344). This form is for the Social Security office to enable them to deal with benefits and state pensions. The form contains instructions and a questionnaire which should be completed and forwarded to the local Benefits Office.

Death Certificate

To deal with the deceased’s estate, you may need to purchase Death Certificates which are certified copies of the entry. These may be required for banks, building societies, insurance claims, solicitors and some pension schemes.

For more extensive reading please click on the following links: