Burial fees waiver at­tracts US re­cruits

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY - BY JOSH JACKMAN

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”.

Stephen Pack

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