Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl has spoken of a “sombre milestone” as the UK Jewish community recorded more than 1,000 deaths from Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.
Working with the Jewish community’s burial boards, regional Jewish communities and the Jewish Small Communities Network, as of the week ending 11th February 2022 there had been 1,002 Jewish funerals carried out where the deceased contracted Covid-19. There were 6 funerals in the Jewish community where the deceased contracted Covid-19 reported to the Board of Deputies in the last week.
Marie van der Zyl said: “This week we have reached a sombre milestone. Two years since the Coronavirus pandemic reached the UK, we have recorded the 1000th death in the Jewish community where the deceased was diagnosed with Covid-19. Every death is a tragedy and few if any of us have been untouched by this pandemic. It is my earnest hope that we will be soon able to create a proper memorial to those who died. In future years, while we carry on with our lives, we must never forget those whom we lost in the worst health crisis of any of our lifetimes. May their memories 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.
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