NEWTON, MA – Oct. 29, 2006 -- On this beautiful Sunday, amidst swirling leaves and a brilliant autumn sky, the 5th grade Sunday school class from Temple Israel in Natick along with their parents and teachers gathered to participate in the JCAM Charitable Foundation’s “Cemeteries Are For The Living” educational tour and book burial at the Framingham/Natick Jewish Cemetery. The Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts currently manages the cemetery, founded in 1908.
Lisa Berenson, JCAM’s Director of Development led a group of about 40 through the cemetery and chapel. They listened as she discussed the engravings on cemetery headstones and various customs and traditions associated with Jewish burial practices.
The group also had a chance to participate that afternoon in a book burial.
Jewish tradition calls for prayer books, Torah scrolls or other printed matter that has the written Hebrew name of God to be buried in a dignified manner according to Jewish burial practices.
Children and parents helped unload the materialscollected by the temple and placed them in the large grave. Rabbi David Liben of Temple Israel officiated at the book burial service with Cantor Ken Richmond and Education Director, Karen Hayett looking on. Ms. Hayett thanked JCAM for their effort in making the day a successful happening for everyone.
“There was a lot of coordination and phone calls back and forth in planning the details. It was a very worthwhile experience for both the children and their parents.”
Another cemetery tour for Temple Israel is currently being planned for the Spring 2007 for 6th and 7th graders. For information on scheduling a JCAM Charitable Foundation educational presentation at your synagogue, please contact Lisa Berenson at 617-244-6509.