Byron Shire’s Jewish cemetery consecrated

December 1, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Rabbi Nir Gurevitch drove from the Gold Coast in Queensland to Byron Shire in Northern NSW to consecrate the community’s first cemetery.

Rabbi Gurevitch [3rd left] with members of the community

Up until now, members of the area’s Jewish community of around 450 had to use the Jewish cemeteries in the Gold Coast 100kms away at Southport.

Thanks to Marianne McCormack and her recently-founded Northern Rivers Chevra Kadisha committee, space for Jewish burials was found in the Clunes cemetery near to Bangalow.

During the consecration

Recently she told J-Wire: “One lovely old man from Nimbin died without family or a penny to his name.  Although my husband Simon conducted Tahara for him, organised a coffin, Tachrihim and a Tallit, he ended up having a pauper’s burial.”

She added: “Forty people braved the intense heat to attend.   Nonetheless it was a very special moment for the whole community.:

Marianne says the majority of Jewish people in the Byron are live in Mullimbimy where the second language is Hebrew.

The new Jewish section at Clunes will accommodate 60 graves.

Shrub planting after the cemetery consecration.

Rabbi Gurevitch said: “It’s a historic day for the developing Jewish community in Northern Rivers which has finally has its own Chevra Kadisha and cemetery.  I am intimately involved in setting it up with Marianne and her husband Simon.

It shows the growth and expansion of the community especially  after the arrival of its full-time Rabbi Tomer Ben-Harosh to service their needs a few months ago.”

The three-year project sought the rabbi’s participation over the last three months to ensure all halachic requirements had been met.

Marianne MacCormack told J-Wire the project’s costs need a further $4,000 to cover expenditure and she has reached out to the Australian Jewish community to assist the new Chevra Kadisha.

Anyone willing to help can reach the organisation at byronchevra@gmail.com

Comments

One Response to “Byron Shire’s Jewish cemetery consecrated”
  1. Marianne Fabri McCormack says:

    Thank you Henry for supporting this initiative made possible entirely by the Byron Shire community. As the Northern Rivers Chevra Kadisha is in the red, we would happily welcome any donation however small toward our work for the Byron and Lismore Shire Community. Pledges can be made by email: byronchevra@gmail.com Thank you all.

    Marianne Fabri McCormack.

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