Opening Times

Sunday to Thursday 
8.30 am to 4.45 pm

8.30 am to 3.45 pm

The cemetery is closed for Passover/Pesach on Tuesday & Wednesday 23rd/24th April, and also on Monday & Tuesday 29th/30th April.

Stone Settings


Stone Setting or Consecration arrangements are made through members’ respective synagogues and contact should therefore be made direct using the details below. We do not normally liaise directly with families to book a stone setting.

The Cemetery has Memorial Stone Guidelines, approved by both communities, which all stonemasons must follow. These include the type of material and lettering options, maximum heights and thickness for the headstone and colour choices for chippings where appropriate.

S&P Sephardi Community
020 7289 2573

West London Synagogue
020 7723 4404

It is customary to wait between 9 to 11 months before setting the stone, to allow the ground to settle.

There are two stonemasons listed below who are licensed to work at Hoop Lane Cemetery. The cemetery cannot recommend any one stonemason over another. Individuals/families who are purchasing the stone are responsible for carrying out their own due diligence.

A Elfes
130 High Street, Edgware, Middlesex HA8 7EL
Tel: 0203 974 1621
12 London Road, Aveley, Essex RM15 4XS
Tel: 01708 983 022

Gary Green Monumental Masons
14 Claybury Broadway, Clayhall, Ilford, Essex IG5 0LQ
Tel: 020 8551 6866
14 Manor Park Crescent, Edgware, Middlesex HA8 7LY
Tel: 020 8381 1525


What is a Yahrzeit?

A Yahrzeit marks the anniversary of the passing of a loved one. The day holds special significance to the family and friends who come together to remember the life and legacy of the departed. The Yahrzeit also marks a period in which mitzvot (positive deeds) carried out on that day are hugely beneficial to the soul of the departed.

Some of the customs which are followed during the Yahrzeit period:

The family will light a Yahrzeit candle at the beginning of the Yahrzeit (this begins at nightfall) It should stay alight for 24 hours.

Family and friends visit the grave of their loved one where psalms (tehillim) and the mourners kaddish prayer are recited. (In order to recite the Kaddish, some communities will require a minyan of 10 males above Bar Mitzvah age).

The Yahrzeit is one in which we reflect on the lives of our loved ones and the legacy they left, and through good deeds we can help to uplift the spirit of the departed.

Why do we place Pebbles on a Memorial?

The custom of placing small stones or pebbles on top of a memorial is an old Jewish practice that goes back to medieval times and possibly earlier. One reference is found in a commentary to the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law) called the B’er Heitev. This explains that the custom is for the honour of the deceased person by marking the fact that his/her grave has been visited.

Long ago, the deceased was not placed in a coffin, but rather the body was prepared, washed and wrapped in a burial shroud, or for a male, in his tallit (prayer shawl). Then the body was placed in the ground, covered with soil and then large stones would be placed on top of the gravesite, preventing wild animals from digging up the remains.

Over time, individuals would go back to the gravesite and continue to place stones, ensuring the security of the site and as a way to build up the “memory” of the loved one. As time passed on, and carved monuments became the preferred memorial, the custom of leaving a visitation stone become a symbolic gesture for the visitor to say to the loved one, “I remember you…”

A common theme, however, is that stones last for eternity – as opposed to the short life span of flowers. Like the memory of our loved ones, stones will never die. Placing flowers which wither and die has never been a Jewish custom though individuals may choose to do so. In life, people may enjoy the beauty of their physical surroundings, but when they die, all of their material possessions and beauty are meaningless, and left behind. it is only their accumulated spiritual wealth that remains immortal, just like a rock, which stays forever.

Another idea is that Kohanim (Jewish priests) could become ritually impure by contacting a deceased individual—whether directly or by proximity. By using stones and rocks to mark a gravesite, therefore, visitor stones could have served as a warning to Kohanim not to approach too closely.

There are two stonemasons who are licensed to work at Hoop Lane Cemetery: