‘Til Death Don’t Us Part

May 10, 2013 by  
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In a sign of increasing inter-faith ties, Sydney’s Jews and Muslims will share the last available burial space at Rookwood Cemetery.
Plots in the Jewish part of the cemetery would have run out in about 10 years, according to the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, but the Muslim section is so full it would have run out of space in three months, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday.

The NSW government said this week a new lot had been created for both faiths.

Minister Hodgkinson with Yair Miller 2nd from right

Minister Hodgkinson with Yair Miller 2nd from right

It will create room for some 8000 dead Muslims, and 2700 dead Jews, according to the report.

The new Jewish and Muslim burial plots will be divided by small roads inside the cemetery.

”Being able to see [members of] the Jewish and Muslim community being buried side by side and sharing the same ground will demonstrate the willingness of the community in Australia to work together,” said Ahmad Kamaledine, the Muslim representative on the Rookwood General Cemeteries Trust.

In September last year Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson said: “Rookwood is Sydney’s largest cemetery in the southern hemisphere and the new agreement will ensure it is managed more efficiently through greater cooperation,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

“The Anglican, General, Muslim, Jewish and Independent Trusts have been amalgamated into the newly formed Rookwood General Cemeteries Reserve Trust, which now manages Rookwood Cemetery alongside the existing Catholic Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust.

“To further strengthen the partnership, a Memorandum of Understanding between the two trusts has been developed and signed.

“These are the most significant reforms since the 1860s when Rookwood Cemetery was established.”

Melbourne’s Jewish community opened a new cemetery in Lyndhurst recently after its main burial site in Springvale ran out of space.

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