We are very sorry for your loss and hope we can support you at this difficult time. In addition to the emotional challenges, losing a loved one can present several logistical challenges as well and we at Pinner Shul will try our best to help you with both of these. Below are a few questions you may have but please do contact us directly for anything else we can help with
I have just lost a loved one, who should I contact?
The United Synagogue Burial Society will be able to guide you through your first steps, particularly getting a death certificate, which will be necessary for burial. You can contact them on 020 8950 7767. 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.
When should I light a candle?
One can either light the candle immediately or upon returning from the funeral. The candle should remain lit for the duration of the shiva, either by using a seven-day candle or shorter candles that are replaced when necessary. We can provide our members with a candle, together with books and chairs (see below).
When not with the candle, please ensure it is left in a safe manner.
What happens at a Jewish funeral (levaya)?
Before the service begins, the mourners traditionally tear a significant item of clothing (keriyah) such as a shirt, top or jumper as well as reciting a blessing that reaffirms our faith in God. This is also a chance for a few close family to spend some time together and gather their thoughts before all other attendees enter the hall for the service itself.
The rabbi will lead an introductory paragraph and say the formal passages known as tziduk hadin in a mixture of Hebrew and English, following which a member of the family and/or the rabbi will speak about the deceased, known as a hesped.
On certain festive days of the Jewish calendar, the service is altered slightly and a short psalm (16) is said. A full hesped is not given, but some parting words of lighter tone (divrei preidah) are often offered.
After this, everyone proceeds to the burial on the grounds. The service leader will recite a blessing at the entrance to the grounds. Once the coffin is lowered by the ground staff, the family, followed by all those present may help fill the grave.
Following this, the service continues at the prayer halls, with a psalm, memorial prayer and kaddish. Many times, a slightly different kaddish is recited by children of the deceased at this time (see below).
What is Kaddish and can it be said by anyone? What if I can’t read Hebrew?
Kaddish is a traditional Jewish prayer, said in the presence of a minyan, declaring to all present our wish to see the greatness and benevolence of the Almighty recognised by all. Each human contains a spark of godliness and with the departure of a soul from this world, we try to fill that void with a public declaration that brings the presence of the God into this world.
A translation and transliteration of the regular mourner’s kaddish can be found here.
At the end of the funeral, on certain days, a slightly different kaddish is recited by children of the deceased. A translation and transliteration of this kaddish can be found here. Please check with your rabbi whether this kaddish should be recited.
What is a shiva and can the Shul help me organise one?
A shiva (literally meaning seven) is the initial period of mourning that follows burial. It starts at the conclusion of the burial service and ends on the morning of the seventh day after that. Someone sitting shiva traditionally stays at home during this time and is visited and supported by members of the local community, family and friends.
Many people have evening prayers in their home for some or all nights of the shiva. If you are sitting shiva in the Pinner area, we can provide you with low chairs (which are traditionally used by mourners) and prayer books, and we will try to organise someone to lead the service, if you would like. If the shiva is further away, we will try our best to support where we can and/or liaise with your local community regarding shiva prayers.
Pinner is a wonderful place for families with young children. It has several beautiful parks, and exciting places for outdoor adventures such as Ruislip Woods are very close by.
Pinner Shul has a warm and friendly atmosphere where children feel at home and are part of the community. Friendly, inclusive, relaxed services for all age groups take place every Shabbat morning and on festivals, visitors as well as local children are always very welcome.
The New Generation committee collaborates with the Community Directors to plan a full calendar of events, such as Chanukah and Purim parties, for Pinner’s children to build friendships, learn and have fun. On Sunday mornings, Pinner’s children come together for Spark, our innovative Jewish fun and educational programme.
Pinner Shul will work together with you and your family to ensure that we are accessible and inclusive for all.
We currently have wheelchair access for all downstairs areas and an accessible toilet. Additionally, for those who would benefit from a quiet space during the service we can provide this for you.
It is easier if you let us know in advance, but we know that sometimes these things can be difficult to plan ahead so please let one of the wardens or caretakers know if you require this on the day.
For some children and young people with special educational needs we know it can be helpful to plan in advance and think about what coming to Pinner Shul will be like. We have therefore created this social story which you may find helpful – see our special social story.
Additionally, please contact us ahead of your visit if there is anything else that you would like to discuss and have in place in advance of your visit.
Mazal Tov! A few points for you to consider
Can the Shul be hired for events?
Yes, we have two beautiful halls available to hire for your simcha (as well as for a conference, lecture, or other similar gathering). Our main hall can be set out with a stage and a dance floor area and our Cyril Rashbass Hall can also be used independently or to double up as a reception room.
We offer exclusive hire of the hall which also includes tables and chairs, security and use of our large, renovated kitchens. We have a state-of-the-art sound system, lighting and projection facilities and air conditioning in the main hall, as well as a fully equipped kosher kitchen.
Brit Milah/Pidyon Haben
Please see here for details of the ceremony [Rabbi Kurzer to provide content] but as with most other Jewish events, this is followed by a special meal and celebration. We are of course happy to help with this – please contact Rabbi Kurzer (07593 034381) for further information.
How do I organise a baby naming for a girl in Shul?
This usually takes place the first Shabbat following the birth of a baby girl.
Contact Rabbi Kurzer (07593 034381) to check the Hebrew date and to arrange the ceremony itself. We can offer a variety of options (see link to Bar/Bat Mitzvah) on Shabbat mornings and at other times and can also recommend people who are able to help prepare your son/daughter for the occasion (and beyond).
We will be delighted to discuss the requirements and options for the preparation, the aufruf, the ceremony and of course, the celebration.
Pinner has a variety of local supermarkets, specialist shops and other stores that are well stocked with supervised kosher products and pre-packed fresh meat and poultry.
Our local deli (Noshers) stocks a variety of supervised packed products and will order kosher meat from Kelmans and Louis Mann for local collection as well as fish from Corneys in Edgware. There is also a delivery service (minimum order value).
In addition, there are numerous delivery services from kosher shops in neighbouring areas as well as kosher restaurant takeout.
Since March 2018, Pinner has had an eruv, which enhances the observance of Shabbat in our community.
Pinner has a keilim mikva and there are mikvaot at Edgware and Borehamwood & Elstree United Synagogues, a short distance from Pinner.
Yahrzeit (literally ‘anniversary’ in the Yiddish language) is the anniversary of the Jewish calendar date when someone died. It is traditional to light a 24 hour memorial candle on the evening before and to go to Synagogue to recite the kaddish (memorial prayer).
Pinner Shul sends yahrzeit reminders to our members, with details of when to light the memorial candle, times of services and memorial prayers.
If you are commemorating a yahrzeit for a loved one soon, we hope that their memory will serve as a blessing and we wish you a long life.
If you would like to find out more or speak to someone about any aspect of this website and our community, please fill in the contact form, contact Rabbi Kurzer (07593 034381) or any of our professional team or our executive management team.
We’d love to hear from you.
The first Jew began by asking questions, finding answers, and asking questions on the answers. The quest continues…
We don’t guarantee that we have the answers, but we would unquestionably love to talk more, find answers, and ask more questions together – please join us and become part of our community.