Burial fees waiver attracts US recruits
THE UNITED Synagogue will collectively waive thousands of pounds of burial fund entry fees for those new to the US who join its second Edgware congregation, the establishment of which has caused disquiet among the membership of the nearby Yeshurun Federation shul.
US president Stephen Pack says that, as with every new community, Ahavas Yisrael will allow those not previously with a US congregation, who sign up in the first three months, to avoid entry fees to its funeral expenses scheme.
This would save a 50-year-old £795, a 60-year-old £1,500 and a 70-year-old £2,700.
Mr Pack said such an amnesty had attracted 100 people to join the Woodford Forest shul formed by the amalgamation of the Waltham Forest and Wanstead and Woodford synagogues.
When new communities were launched, non-US members could be dissuaded from joining by burial entry fees, “so we offer the amnesty”.
Ahavas Yisrael — which starts services from the Langdon College premises from the end of January — is a fiveminute walk from Yeshurun. Some Yeshurun members have accused the US of attempting to poach its congregants, a charge it denies.
A Federation of Synagogues spokeswoman reported that it did not charge an entry fee to its burial fund, and that “the current average cost of belonging to the Federation Burial Society as a member of a constituent synagogueis£45per couple per year”.