In developing the Jewish section of the Chatham Rural Cemetery, The Chatham Synagogue Netivot Torah has given much thought to ways in which we can show our respect for the land and the cycle of renewal that is at the heart of life. What we learned from our research is that Jewish burial practice has been quintessentially “green” for thousands of years. Jewish burial, like green burial, advocates the return to the earth as naturally as possible, avoiding embalmment and using biodegradable materials.
Because of state-mandated restrictions, only members of The Chatham Synagogue Netivot Torah may purchase lots within the Jewish Section of the Chatham Rural Cemetery. However, many individuals, recognizing the beauty and affordability of our cemetery, have chosen to join the Synagogue for that express purpose and have found other benefits of membership in the process. In life and in death, we are a supportive and close community.
We have also resolved to use only flat markers in the Jewish Section. Not only is this consistent with our goal to rest lightly on the land, but it is also in keeping with our Synagogue’s strong belief in egalitarian principles. A benefit of our philosophy is that the Jewish Section is a beautiful, natural site that reflects the landscape we treasure here in Columbia County.