Two-tiered graves an option for Sydney’s Jewish community

September 17, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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Jewish married couples in Sydney are to be given the option to be buried one above the other in the same grave.

Jeremy Spinak

Jeremy Spinak

The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, the Sydney Beth Din, and Rookwood General Cemeteries Reserve Trust have announced a new protocol for Jewish interment practices at Rookwood Cemetery, Macquarie Park and Botany Cemetery, as well as at other sites where Jewish burial is undertaken in NSW.
The current burial practice in Jewish sections of cemeteries inters one person per grave site. Commencing October 1 (the beginning of the Jewish year 5775), married couples will have a choice – to purchase two graves side by side or to be buried one above the other in the same grave, subject to certain conditions prescribed by Halacha (Jewish religious law) being met. It is expected that the cost of the new option utilising one grave for two persons will be considerably less than the cost of purchasing two graves side by side.
In addition, if more than one member of a family dies in an accident, it will be possible to use one grave, again lowering the cost of burial.
Board of Deputies President Jeremy Spinak acknowledged “the outstanding cooperation of the rabbis of the Beth Din – Moshe Gutnick, David Rogut and Yoram Ulman – and also the Board’s consultant rabbis, Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence and Jeffrey Kamins, who worked tirelessly with David Knoll on behalf of the Board and with Richard Seidman on behalf of Rookwood General Cemeteries Reserve Trust over many months to developing the new protocol. They have  achieved an extremely meaningful outcome for our community that will benefit all Jewish families,” he added.
Rookwood General Cemetery Trust CEO Fiona Heslop also welcomed the new protocol and reiterated Rookwood’s commitment to “redeveloping Rookwood Cemetery and, in accordance with Jewish beliefs, implementing new burial options to ensure we can continue to meet the needs of the Jewish community both now and in the future”.

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