Prayer Garden, Beit Olam Cemetery, Wayland
October 4, 1998 marked an historic occasion for the Metrowest Jewish community as ground was broken for the establishment of the Beit Olam Cemetery in Wayland. The cemetery would be the first Jewish cemetery in Massachusetts to be created since the 1950s and would accommodate the region’s growing Reform, Conservative and Interfaith families. It was created out of the demographic migration of Greater Boston’s Jewish population into the Metrowest communities of Wayland, Sudbury, Weston, Concord, Lexington, Wellesley, Acton, Westborough, Framingham and Marlborough. The need was there and JCAM responded to the desires of the community.
Beit Olam means “House of Forever” and is a 3-acre site which is contiguous to the town’s North Cemetery.
Aerial view of Beit Olam Cemetery
The cemetery was built-out and consecrated in September, 1999 and was hailed as the only Jewish cemetery in Metrowest with an interfaith marriage section welcoming family members of a non-Jewish spouse. Each section is delineated into Conservative, Reform and Interfaith to accommodate the religious diversity within our Jewish community.
The landscape of the Beit Olam Cemetery can best be described as serene, as if stepping into a private garden. Gravel paths connect the sections of the cemetery. The cemetery provides for separate sections in an equal, respectful and inclusive manner. A visitor to Beit Olam cannot easily see the different sections, but the subtle landscaping design, enables these sections to remain distinct and meet the biblical regulations governing Jewish cemeteries.
A raised, circular prayer garden that features a Star of David embedded in blue stone with a pedestal of carved, polished granite holds visitation stones for those who wish to leave a remembrance at a loved one’s gravesite. From an aerial view, the distinct layout of two Stars of David distinguishing the different sections of the cemetery can be seen.