Dear Kehilla Community Synagogue congregants, it is with great pleasure that I write this article for the Kol Kehilla. As many of you already know, we have embarked upon an effort to secure a burial site for our synagogue members. With unexpected success, all of you who secured a grave did so in the introductory offer period and thus bought your graves at a remarkable savings. Additionally, enough of you did so that we have already met our obligation to Mt. View to secure this particular area for us. This is a monumental evolution in our life as a congregation. It also meets a significant tenet in Jewish tradition. Historically, when a Jewish community moved, the first act of obligation, even before having a synagogue, was to establish its’ cemetery. We live in modernity now and some facets of our lives are markedly different than in years past. But, we do have strong, powerful, and meaningful traditions and rituals around the end of life and death and dying. Kehilla is embracing this facet of our lives as a collective whole and aiding in our maturation as a congregation.
To summarize what has been written previously in the Kol Kehilla, there are a total of 48 graves. Two have been purchased by Kehilla to hold the cremated remains of congregants who choose cremation. Each of those two graves will be able to hold ten cremated remains (cremains). Of the remaining 46 graves, 45 have been sold. One grave remains for purchase.
A cemetery committee is being formed to help Kehilla manage its’ two graves and to serve as a resource to the congregation, in general. Additionally, future efforts will focus on our relationship with Mt. View Cemetery to ensure that they offer burials in accordance with the wishes of our membership.
We want to invite all of you to join us for the Jewish consecration of Plot 70 on March 17, 2019 at 2 PM. This is a rite that many of us will never have participated in and may not have another chance to do so. Not everyday is a cemetery Jewishly consecrated! After the ritual, we will gather for a celebratory reception.
We hope you can be with us on March 17th. In the meantime, Mazol Tov to all who bought graves and to Kehilla for its’ vision for the future. Please contact Cathy or Jane for information or questions.
Cathy Steirn 510-289-2363
Jane Hoberman 510-333-1848