Cemetery Visits

This page is designed for all who want to visit Jewish cemeteries.

Plans of United Synagogue cemeteries, with the kind permission of United Synagogues. Click the thumbnail to obtain an enlarged plan, which you can print, if you wish.

East Ham Plashet* West Ham Willesden

* Please note that the Plashet plan contains an error: There is no Section Z this should read Section I.

If you are not Jewish, don't be put off. There are just a few things to bear in mind and you will be fine.

Many Jewish Cemeteries are now disused and/or closed. Sometimes it is necessary to obtain a key in order to gain access to a cemetery, or to ask the key holder to open the gates for you. Cemeteries are often locked because they have been the subject of vandalism as an anti-Semitic act. Very occasionally cemeteries are completely closed or not open to non-Jews. First you need to research the cemetery you are visiting. International Jewish Cemetery Project has a list of cemeteries with contact numbers and addresses. Check the opening times and access. Some cemeteries are in the rough parts of towns or cities. It is recommended that you check the location and safety aspects (ask the list) and take precautions to make sure you are not vulnerable.

When you get there:
It is customary to cover your head. It is also customary to put a stone (pebble) on the grave to show you have visited. You might remember the final scene in "Schindler's list". It is NOT customary to put flowers on a Jewish grave. Upon leaving you should wash your hands, a tap will be provided for this purpose.

Certain days are days when graves should not be visited (indeed most cemeteries will be closed). Saturdays are not a suitable day as it is the Sabbath and many cemeteries close earlier on a Friday (especially in winter). In addition there are other dates which are holy days and so visiting cemeteries is not appropriate.

It is perfectly acceptable to photograph gravestones. You may see notices asking you not to, but there is nothing in Jewish law to prevent you from photographing. Discretion is the better part of valour. Once you have your photographs you can ask for help in reading the Hebrew.

List members quite often visit cemeteries and are happy to help if they can. There are sometimes organised visits to cemeteries (especially the disused ones). If you have a specific query relating to a cemetery feel free to ask the list.

Copyright by Sherry Landa & British-Jewry. All rights reserved.
This document last modified Wednesday, 11-Apr-2018 14:35:12 BST

Learn More:

You should have already visited our Jewish Graves page.

Submit a photo to Digital View for translation.

Check the Look Up Exchange to see if anyone is offering cemetery visit help.

Email the list to ask if anyone can visit a cemetery on your behalf.

Check our Burials Databases.

Remember to login to access our databases.