Urgent Update: Upstate NY Cemeteries Vandalized​

CAJAC is now responding to a major desecration of two Jewish cemeteries in the upstate New York area – Congregation Beth Israel and Congregation Agudat Achim, both in Schenectady. Approximately 100 monuments were toppled, and it is believed this occurred during the past 10 days. 
Here is a recent article detailing the vandalism.

We will be assisting both cemeteries to respond to this horrific event. Unfortunately, in today’s hostile environment, we cannot ignore the possibility that further attacks on our Jewish cemeteries will take place.

Thank you again for your past support of CAJAC; it is your donations which enable us to respond to this tragic event and to help us to marshal the resources to assist synagogue leadership to respond in a timely and effective manner.

COMMUNITY ALLIANCE FOR JEWISH-AFFILIATED CEMETERIES

ENSURING NO JEWISH CEMETERY OR MEMORY IS FORGOTTEN

In keeping with the Jewish tradition to honor the dead, CAJAC represents the organized Jewish community’s efforts to preserve Jewish cemeteries and to create permanent solutions for ensuring their long-term sustainability.

 

CAJAC utilizes a model of centralized management and governance, bringing together a consortium of Jewish cemeteries, burial societies, and other cemetery organizations under one umbrella organization.

 

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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Know Who We Are

ABOUT US

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 exists to address and mitigate the decline of Jewish cemeteries by absorbing those organizations in peril and creating succession plans for those at risk for future insolvency.

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  • Succession planning
  • Financial analysis and risk assessment
  • Physical well-being and infrastructure
  • Indexing of graves and recording genealogy
  • Matters pertaining to Jewish law (Halacha)
  • 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 vulnerability of Jewish cemeteries and their systemic challenges.
  • Provide guidance, resources, and training to Jewish organizations who manage and/or operate Jewish cemeteries.  This includes synagogues, burial societies, and cemetery administrators.
  • Emphasize education and volunteerism as the primary vehicles to make kavod ha-met, respect for the deceased, a core concern to all Jewish people.
  • 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.
  • Herbert Block
  • Andrew Eisner, Vice President
  • Howard Feinberg
  • Richard Fishman
  • Alan Friedman, Board President
  • Stephanie Garry
  • CJ Kaplan
  • Rabbi Joseph Potasnik
  • Howard Schulberg
  • Rabbi Andrew Schultz, Executive Director
  • James Schwartz, Treasurer
  • Barry Yood, Vice President
  • Justin Laken, Outreach

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 Fishman Former Director of the New York State Division of Cemeteries

I am pleased to to support this worthy cause. Thank you for the wonderful work you are doing. It is said that the highest chesed is doing for those who have passed because it is not possible for them to repay or reciprocate. Our sages call this chesed v’emet.

David Lobel Past President, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun

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 Zohn Executive Director, NASCK

Jewish Community Legacy Project (JCLP) is pleased to be an active partner with CAJAC to ensure the preservation of small congregations’ cemeteries. We appreciate CAJAC’s expertise, commitment and concern in their interaction with synagogue lay leadership and cemetery committees. The metropolitan New York network of Jewish cemeteries is strengthened by the dedicated work of CAJAC’s professionals and lay leaders.

Noah Levine Senior Vice President, JCLP

CAJAC’s broad experience has provided wise counsel for the benefit of our Jewish cemeteries in central New Jersey. It is such a relief to partner with such caring, talented and committed people. I praise the day we started working together.

Michael Wasserman President of the Greater Middlesex, Jewish Cemetery Management Corporation

Our Affiliate Organizations

Partners

Organizations in which CAJAC is a member

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