Bromley Reform Synagogue Opens New Jewish Cemetery for the South East
BRS has secured space at GreenAcres Kemnal Park for Progressive Jews, marking the opening of the only active Jewish Cemetery in the region.
Bromley, UK – Monday 7 September, 2020: Bromley Reform Synagogue (BRS) has successfully secured 50 plots at GreenAcres Kemnal Park Cemetery for synagogue members and other Progressive Jews in South East London and the surrounding area. With no other Jewish cemetery available in the region, the community needed to find a way to help those people who wanted to be laid to rest near their homes and families, but previously had no option but to be buried in a North London Jewish cemetery.
For the area’s active Jewish community, travelling to North London for funerals or graveside visits has been an ongoing struggle, especially at the short notice often required by the Jewish tradition of burial within 24 hours of death. For many years, BRS has been seeking a solution to this challenge, especially as it often inevitably arises at a very difficult time for newly bereaved families.
“Opening the cemetery in Kemnal Park will enable us to arrange burials in a dedicated Jewish space easily accessible to our congregants. It will also allow us to be inclusive of mixed-faith couples who are members of our Synagogue,” said Bromley’s newly ordained Rabbi, Mati Kirschenbaum. “Bromley Reform Synagogue is incredibly proud to be opening a new cemetery for the whole of the South East’s Jewish community; it is something our members have wanted for many years, and the fact we have been able to establish it now reflects the dynamism of our area’s Jewish population.”
GreenAcres Kemnal Park is a well-established cemetery with a number of areas dedicated to people of different faiths and none, including Muslim communities who have the same requirements for same- or next-day burials as in Judaism. With this infrastructure already in place, an agreement was reached between GreenAcres Kemnal Park and BRS to lease 50 double-depth plots in a designated Jewish area for BRS members and the local Jewish community, including those Jews wanting to be buried with a non-Jewish partner or the ashes of a cremated loved one.
“GreenAcres Kemnal Park is a beautiful, green space and it is very special that we are able to design our own gated area within the cemetery, where, in accordance with Jewish tradition, all graves will face Jerusalem” commented Janet Posner, BRS’ representative on the Jewish Joint Burial Society. Our burial society has enthusiastically supported the synagogue’s work to open this new Jewish cemetery. “We know that many of our members are unable to travel to funerals or stone settings in North London and this was a cause of great distress, so we hope that having a local cemetery to which friends and family can more easily visit will be of enormous comfort and importance to many in our community.”
The new Jewish cemetery will contain only Jewish symbols, and all markers and stones will be checked by Rabbi Kirschenbaum to ensure it adheres to Progressive Jewish tradition. The interment of non-Jewish remains would be carried out in a secular service led by the Rabbi, and the plots are available for use immediately through Bromley Reform Synagogue.
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
About Bromley Reform Synagogue (BRS):
BRS, a member of Reform Judaism, conveniently located to serve Jewish individuals and families across South East London and Kent. Our vibrant and growing community has around 500 members of all ages, and holds weekly Shabbat (Sabbath) services, as well as services for all Jewish festivals and lifecycle events, and a thriving religious school. In July 2020, newly ordained Rabbi Mati Kirschenbaum joined the community, and we welcome both Jewish and non-Jewish visitors by prior appointment. Please contact our Chair, Michelle Brooks-Evans (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit our website (www.bromleyshul.org.uk) for more information.
Additional Quote from Sharon Solomon, Senior Operations Manager at GreenAcres Kemnal Park:
“It has long been a wish of the BRS congregation to have a Jewish cemetery in South London and we are delighted that GreenAcres Kemnal Park has been chosen as the preferred location to provide this. Set in 55 acres of beautiful parkland and established woodland, we hope our stunning setting and ability to provide burials 365 days a year will support the Jewish community for many years to come. I am delighted and honoured to welcome Bromley Reform Synagogue to the GreenAcres family.
For more information about the new Jewish Cemetery, please contact:
For more information about GreenAcres Kemnal Park Cemetery, please contact: