A dynamic group of thirteen teens from eleven high schools, representing six different communities across greater Boston have come together to make up the spring 2015 cohort of Brandeis|HSP Design Lab Teen Fellows with the Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts (JCAM).
The fellows have coalesced into a team of designers, directly applying their newly learned design thinking skills to relocate JCAM’s Genizah (repository for storing sacred materials) from one of its cemetery chapels to a larger chapel to be redesigned and repurposed into JCAM’s Genizah and Education Center on the Baker Street Jewish Cemeteries (West Roxbury). The new location (Sons of Abraham Chapel) will not only house sacred materials prior to burial, but a new education center has been incorporated into the design for JCAM’s “Cemeteries Are for the Living” educational tours.
The rededication ceremony will be Sunday, April 26 at 2 pm. The community is invited to attend. (The Sons of Abraham Chapel is located at the end of the Baker Street Memorial Park cemetery roadway.)Click here to read more about the project!
Teen Fellows Work on Chapel Redesign.
The Jewish Cemetery Association of North America (JCANA–of which JCAM is a member), representing more than 300 Jewish cemeteries across the United States and Canada, stands in solidarity with the Jewish community of France. JCANA strongly condemns the desecration of the historic Jewish cemetery in the Alsace region of France that occurred over the last few days where more than 250 historic monuments were vandalized.
JCANA believes deeply in the continuity of Jewish values and our members are devoted to the preservation and continuity of Jewish burial places and the promotion of ethical standards in Jewish cemetery management. As leaders of the Jewish cemetery community in the United States and Canada, we stand as one with our Jewish brethren during this difficult time.
A rare, pristine copy of The Children’s Haggadah, published in Germany in 1933 is now in the hands of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum having been discovered among sacred materials that were dropped at JCAM’s community Genizah. JCAM’s Cantor Alan Kritz spotted the Haggadah in the materials left for sacred burial. After recognizing the importance of this publication, particularly in light of the Holocaust, he contacted the director of the library at the Museum to donate it. The video below tells the awesome story. Since this video was posted in April of 2014, another copy was donated by someone in Denmark.
JCAM collects and stores worn and unusable sacred materials for the Greater Boston Jewish community at its Genizah located at the Baker Street Cemeteries in West Roxbury until its annual book burial. Cantor Kritz is JCAM’s Assistant Director of Field Services. He helps in facilitating this effort. Please feel free to contact the JCAM office regarding specific procedures for preparing and dropping off materials at the Genizah.
One of JCAM’s most recent acquisitions is the Netherlands Cemetery in Melrose, established by Dutch Jews. The cemetery dates to 1860. It has been neglected for years, and many of the headstones have been toppled and broken. JCAM has recently brought in its craftsmen to raise and repair these monuments. (Click here to see the full story and Before/After photos.) In the spring of 2015 a complete power washing of all the headstones and markers is scheduled. The cemetery is in desperate need of attention. Based on availability of funds we hope to begin masonry work on the rear retaining walls, stairs and railings of the cemetery. If you’d like to make a donation toward the Netherlands Cemetery restoration project, please go to our Donation page.
Over the last two years, JCAM has been restoring and repairing gates, fences and walls at several Woburn, MA cemeteries. See our slide show of before and after picutres!
We appreciate our sponsors who help us with our mission to protect and enhance Jewish history through cemetery preservation. If you need help in any of these areas, click below to find information to reach them.
From advance need planning to cemetery and chapel services.
Property management, cemetery caretakers.
Architectural, Construction, Groundwater, Preservation
Bankers, and insurance specialists.
Monument design, installation and maintnenance.
Landscape design, maintenance and tree services.
Our wide network of community services.