COMMUNITY ALLIANCE FOR JEWISH-AFFILIATED CEMETERIES

WELCOME TO CAJAC


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In keeping with the Jewish tradition to honor the dead, CAJAC represents the organized Jewish community’s consolidated efforts to preserve Jewish cemeteries and to create permanent solutions for ensuring their long-term sustainability. Through a collaboration of volunteers, community leaders and local agencies, CAJAC actively addresses the decline of Jewish cemeteries, frequently spearheading rehabilitation efforts to restore dignity and respect to distressed burial grounds.

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ABOUT US


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OUR MISSION

In accordance with Jewish tradition, the Community Alliance for Jewish-Affiliated Cemeteries (CAJAC) acts to assist the living in honoring their departed ancestors, who can no longer speak for themselves.

CAJAC provides the critical link in setting standards, developing strategies, and assisting those tasked as fiduciaries for Jewish cemeteries.  These standards help to fulfill the sacred task of preserving sanctity, ensuring physical well-being, and providing for financial stability into perpetuity.

CAJAC’s Core Objectives

  • Partner with the broader Jewish community to support and sustain a centralized model of cemetery management, through creating economies of scale and systems for sound fiscal management.
  • Provide day-to-day management and oversight of Jewish cemeteries, in accordance with best practices.
  • Raise awareness within the broader Jewish community about the vitality of Jewish cemeteries and their systemic challenges.
  • Emphasize education and volunteerism as the primary vehicles to make kavod ha-met, respect for the deceased, a core concern to all Jewish people.
  • Provide guidance, resources, and training to Jewish organizations who manage and/or operate Jewish cemeteries.  This includes synagogues, burial societies, and cemetery administrators.
  • Rehabilitate abandoned and distressed Jewish cemeteries.
  • Maintain liaison relationships with relevant governmental and regulatory authorities.  These relationships will serve as the Jewish community’s principal resource, and the secular community’s key partner, in securing the future of Jewish cemeteries.

CAJAC can assist and advise Jewish cemeteries with

  • Financial analysis and risk assessment
  • Physical well-being and infrastructure
  • Indexing of graves and recording genealogy
  • Adhering to matters pertaining to Jewish law (Halacha)

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“When you mention Jewish cemeteries in America, the interest is not always there. My feeling is, Jewish history is Jewish history and how could you allow Jewish cemeteries to fall into disrepair and be overgrown? CAJAC represents the Jewish community’s collective response to cemetery preservation and it is continuing to become backstop to take care of Jewish cemeteries in Metropolitan New York.”

Richard FishmanFormer Director of the New York State Division of Cemeteries.

CAJAC shares with the National Association of Chevros Kadisha (NASCK) a commitment to highlighting the Jewish community’s sacred duty towards end-of-life issues. I am pleased CAJAC continues to address the systemic challenges facing Jewish cemeteries,simultaneously sensitizing the Jewish community as it relates to its obligation to care for its cemeteries.

Rabbi Elchonon ZohnExecutive Director, NASCK

WAYS TO HELP


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