Jewish burials on the agenda

July 5, 2016 by Henry Benjamin
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Following complaints to the NSW Government, an administrator has been appointed to run Sydney’s Rookwood Cemetery with a priority being set to appoint a manager for the Jewish section.

rookwoodThe former Chairman and CEO of the Rookwood General Cemeteries Reserve Trust (RGCRT).were dismissed by the government following the finding of an inquiry launched as a result of complaints by both the Jewish and the Muslim communities s to the NSW government as to the way the cemetery was being run.

The charge for Jewish couples buried in the same grave is discounted by 40% by the Botany, Northern Suburbs and Woronora cemeteries.

David Knoll, who represents the The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies on cemetery matters told J-Wire: “At Rookwood, if a Jewish couple wanted to be buried in the same grave, the cost was increased by 20%. This decision was reached by the management without referring it to the cemetery board “.

Following the complaints, the NSW government ordered an inquiry resulting in the appointing of an administrator.

David Knoll told J-Wire that high on his list will be the appointment of a manager for the Jewish section and the acquisition of new land for burial.

Rookwood will be full around 2022 and so new land will be found elsewhere”.

Three years ago the office at the Jewish Section was shut down by the RGCRT and today is used to store archived material. Knoll is hopeful the office and the small prayer room attached will be reopened in the not too distant future.

Knoll added: “The previous board showed little respect for the community including ignoring advice from the Board of Deputies’ representative Richard Seidman that a planned board meeting was scheduled for Rosh Hashanah. The RGCRT ignored his request for a change of date.”


He added that if someone arrived late for a funeral, you had to go to the General Office by the Anglican sections to get information about it, as the Jewish office was no longer staffed. “

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff told J-Wire:  “We commend the government for addressing critical deficiencies in the way in which the Rookwood General Cemetery has been governed and managed, and are confident that implementation of the recommendations will lead to significant improvements at Rookwood.  We are already working co-operatively with the newly appointed administrator.”



One Response to “Jewish burials on the agenda”
  1. Adrian Jackson says:

    Why not have a single office for all information on burials be they Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Etc or No Religion?

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