JCF Gives Thanks for Community Involvement at New Camden Cemetery
This Fall has been an active time at the Jewish sections of New Camden Cemetery, and, with Thanksgiving approaching, the Board and staff of the JCF gives thanks for community involvement by four separate groups at the cemetery.
First, as we highlighted a month ago, volunteers from The Michaels Organization helped to beautify the cemetery by picking up leaves, trash, and other debris.
More recently, two separate groups visited the cemetery on Sunday, October 29, as the JCF was part of a Shamos Burial and a Mitzvah Project, making for a meaningful day for the local Jewish community.
Starting at 10:30 AM, Congregation Sons of Israel led a Shamos Burial (pictured, right), whereby holy books and materials are buried properly. Several dozen community members of all ages loaded up dozens of boxes of Shamos into two vans and then delivered them to the cemetery and placed them into the grave. Rabbi Michael Davies recited prayers and shared some words about the importance of this ceremony, and when completed the grave was covered with dirt. Among those taking part were Rabbi Emeritus Bernard Rothman of Sons of Israel, Rabbi Chaim Greenwald of Politz Day School, and Rabbi Yisroel Tzvi Serebrowski of Torah Links. Mazal tov to Sidney Goldberg for coordinating this event, which took extensive planning over the course of several months.
This was the first Shamos Burial at the cemetery in multiple decades, with two other plots marked off from past ceremonies.
Shortly after the Shamos Burial, a group of over 20 teens from the Temple Beth Sholom Hebrew High School took part in a mitzvah project of helping to tidy up the cemetery. This included raking leaves and relocating some of the dirt that was dug up from the Shamos Burial to fill in areas around the cemetery that need leveling. Todah rabah (thank you very much) to Rabbi Bryan Wexler and Youth and Teen Engagement Coordinator John Imhof for bringing the teens to the cemetery and engaging them in a meaningful mitzvah.
Last but not least, for the second year in a row, over 30 volunteers consisting of players and coaches from the South Jersey Buckets AAU basketball team visited the cemetery on November 11 to give back to their community and bond as a group. Special thanks to Head Coach Brandy Gauthier (who is also the Operations Coordinator for the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey) for coordinating this outing.
Once again, thank you to all of the volunteers and visitors to the Jewish sections of New Camden Cemetery, and thank you to the community leaders who helped plan these various initiatives. We appreciate all your efforts!