death certificate

You will need to obtain a white Medical Certificate of Cause of Death from the doctor or hospital treating the deceased, and take the certificate to the Registrar at the Register Office in the area where the death occurred. Home visits to register a death can be arranged, but are at the discretion of the Registrar. The Registrar will give you a green Burial Order Certificate that you will need to give to the funeral director. You will also be able to obtain from the Registrar certified copies of the entry in the Register of Deaths.

Phone Ronnie King of Michael King Funeral Directors (Mosaic Liberal) 020 8368 7453 or Joint Jewish Burial Society (Mosaic Reform or Masorti) 020 8989 5252 once you have been issued with the relevant documentation; they will advise you what to do next. Be sure to tell the authorities that the deceased was Jewish and that you wish to bury him/her within 24 hours; they will understand and fast-track the appointments and paperwork.

People with legal responsibility to register a death include:

  • A relative of the deceased
  • A person present at the death
  • A person arranging the funeral

Contact your Synagogue Office or Rabbi about the funeral and shiva. Finally, notify family and friends of the funeral and shiva arrangements.

The website of the Joint Jewish Burial Society, which serves the Masorti, Reform, Liberal and independent communities in England, includes extensive information about what to do when someone dies and a list of frequently asked questions.