BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO FINDING A JEWISH CEMETERY

ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR PERSONAL BELIEF SYSTEM.

The first step of course is to find a cemetery that is reasonably close to where you live so that you can visit easily.  Once you have found a few within close proximity, look to see which land is most affordable, and which one is aesthetically pleasing as a final resting place.  A great place to start is to check with a local congregation and find out if they have their own cemetery of if they have their own section within a larger cemetery, especially if you are already affiliated with the congregation.  Each person has a different opinion as to what constitutes a nice resting place, but in general most cemeteries try to place themselves in a secluded area, filled with grass, trees, and a feeling of serenity.  Take note of how well kept the cemetery is: Is the grass cut, are the graves easily accessible, do the monuments look like they are in good shape?

Figuring out who owns the cemetery will sometimes be a good indicator as to the level of service/maintenance that you will receive.  Many cemeteries are owned by large corporations, and those are usually not as well maintained, as the ownership is mostly concerned with financial gains.  While saying that, these cemeteries will usually have larger facilities that can accommodate many family members for years to come.  Smaller cemeteries that are privately owned will usually do a better job with service/maintenance, but may not be able to physically accommodate a later need regarding burial space.   Each cemetery has its own benefits and downfalls, you just need to evaluate which points are important to you and go from there.

Take note that each cemetery has different rules & regulations as to who is allowed to be buried there, and what kind of funeral & monument arrangements can be made.  This usually varies depending on level of religious observance, so make sure that the cemetery that you choose is in accordance with your personal belief system.