Some of the programming the Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts offers the Jewish community, and so much more!

For a full list of events and programs, visit our website at jcam.org.

Mitzvah Projects

We offer “mitzvah” projects to those who want to volunteer to help inventory our cemeteries, photograph monuments, rake and clean up debris on some of our cemeteries that need a little bit more TLC. Our volunteer programming is growing. We also offer cemetery educational tours. Our website has full details on the different kinds of cemetery tours available.

Related

This year we will be introducing a series of Cemetery Restoration Workshops. Participants will learn the proper way to reset halachically small monuments that are leaning, tilting or have fallen in historic cemeteries. In addition, volunteers will learn the correct way to clean a monument without the use of harsh chemicals that can actually damage the stone. We will be using a biologic solution that is eco-friendly and safe for all to use with or without a soft brush. The transformation is amazing to watch when you see the inscriptions come through on weather-worn monuments. Keep an eye out for opportunities to volunteer and attend one of our events!

JCAM Tours

A JCAM cemetery educational tour leads to greater appreciation of ancestral roots and opens up important family discussions. JCAM is the keeper of the history of Jewish Boston through our cemetery educational programs.

We have conducted tours (both physical and virtual) to hundreds of participants over the years. Our tours are hugely popular with the synagogue community. And it has even been written into the curriculum as part of their lifecycle module.

With 36 years of experience of caring, restoring and ensuring the continuity of Jewish cemeteries in Massachusetts, we are uniquely qualified to bring this type of programming to the Jewish community.

To schedule a Jewish cemetery educational program, please feel free to contact Lisa Berenson, director of educational programming and development at lisaberenson@jcam.org. Physical tours and most volunteer projects are conducted during fall and spring. Virtual tours are 90-minute interactive slide presentations where we bring the teaching to you during the winter months when cemetery visitation is difficult. The virtual tour mimics the physical tour in many ways.

The basic information covered at a Jewish cemetery tour is:

  • An overview of JCAM and the history of this communal organization
  • Jewish cemetery headstone symbols and their meanings
  • The origin and explanation as to why we leave visitation stones
  • The origins and history of Massachusetts’ Jewish cemeteries and particularly the one being visited
  • What makes a Jewish cemetery Jewish
  • Book burials and the proper handling of sacred materials, such as Torah scrolls and other Jewish artifacts (all tours to the Baker Street Cemeteries include a trip to the community genizah)

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