The Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts
Protocol and Important Information Concerning the COVID-19 Pandemic
May 21, 2020
The following protocol regarding Jewish death and burial in the time of the Coronavirus is intended to give guidance and compassion for those who grieve, for the their beloved dead, and for all who selflessly labor to meet the needs of the living and the dead in this time of crisis.
The Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts (JCAM) is committed to the health and safety of the community-at-large and specifically individuals visiting our cemeteries, the families who are making funeral arrangements, our caretakers, funeral directors, clergy and the JCAM professional team. JCAM is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and guidance from the CDC, the World Health Organization and protocols promulgated by federal, state and local governments, including the March 23, 2020 emergency order and the May 1, 2020 order issued by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. Based upon these efforts, JCAM is operating according to the following protocol, effective immediately, to be revised as conditions allow or require.
In an effort to avoid gatherings and crowds and to minimize the risk of further spreading the COVID-19 Virus, JCAM cemeteries will be open to the public for visitation on Sundays ONLY, beginning May 10, 2020 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All restrooms, chapels and the Sons of Abraham Genizah will remain closed. A secure face covering or mask must be worn at all times while on cemetery grounds and roadways.
We will continue to perform all scheduled burials on JCAM cemeteries. However, in order to keep families, JCAM caretakers, clergy, funeral directors and the public as safe as possible, participation in graveside burial services will be limited. A secure mask or face covering must be worn at all times by clergy, funeral directors, caretakers and the public. JCAM’s intention is to be as sensitive to the bereaved as possible. For the safety of our caretakers, clergy and funeral directors, a maximum of ONLY 10 people will be permitted out of their vehicles to go to the grave for up to 30 minutes after the casket is lowered AND the grave is filled by the caretakers. This will allow mourners to have private time to grieve. We encourage adherence to the time limitation in order to be sensitive to others who are also experiencing a loss and waiting to enter the cemetery to go to the grave of a loved one for a service or to say prayers. Anyone unable to attend the burial is welcome to visit the grave during Sunday visitation hours. Funeral Directors, their staff and clergy are expected to adhere to this protocol and communicate it to families with loving firmness and sensitivity.
JCAM conveys our deep sympathy to mourners who have lost loved ones during this difficult time. We are working with solemn discomfort in balancing the needs of mourners while protecting public health during the pandemic. Therefore, in addition to the hearse, the funeral director and clergy, the cemetery gate will be opened to allow up to 10 vehicles to enter the cemetery grounds. In order to minimize traffic on cemetery roads, it is strongly encouraged that individuals in the same household who can safely travel together do so in the same vehicle. Opening of caskets and viewings for any reason are strictly prohibited on JCAM cemeteries and JCAM property. JCAM personnel and/or caretakers will direct vehicles where to park and will use best efforts to ensure that the vehicles of mourners may park
as close to the burial as possible on a marked cemetery road. As soon as the burial and service are completed, all vehicles shall exit the cemetery grounds immediately. For the sake of collective wellbeing, JCAM reserves the right to require anyone visibly experiencing cold or flu symptoms, including coughing or diagnosed with COVID-19, to leave cemetery grounds. As we honor the dead with lovingkindness, our greatest concern in this time of crisis is to protect the living, therefore choosing life in the face of death.
Grave Sales and Pre-Planning Meetings:
JCAM professional staff is available by telephone appointment to assist families where a death has occurred or is imminent. JCAM professional staff is available by telephone appointment to answer questions and handle sales appointments, pre-need purchases and payment.
Public Programs and Educational Tours:
Until further notice, all JCAM programs, special events and educational tours are canceled and will be re-scheduled where possible.
JCAM Business Office:
The JCAM Business Office remains open for all JCAM business. However, the public may only contact us by telephone at (617) 244-6509 as opposed to in-person visits. JCAM will not be scheduling external meetings at our offices until further notice.
JCAM’s Professional Staff and Officers will continue to monitor the situation and will modify this protocol as appropriate. Any individual who violates this protocol will be asked to leave the cemetery. We appreciate your cooperation as we do our best to mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19 while at the same time serving the Community in these challenging times.
Issued May 21, 2020
Grave Opening Charges:
Grave Opening/Closing without Liner: $1900.00
Grave Opening/Closing With Liner: $2200.00
- Beit Olam/Beit Olam east
- Temple Emanuel Memorial Park
- Moses Mendelsohn-Randolph
- Framingham/Natick Jewish Cemetary
New Tifereth Isreal Everett (includes liner): $2450.00
**Note: On Sundays, additional Liner fee of $300.00 must be approved by either Barry or Alan**
Cremains without a liner: $950.00
Cremains with a liner: $1100.00
- Beit Olam/Beit Olam East
Danvers/Peabody Cemeteries Grave Opening: $1790.00
- Ahabot Sholom $2150.00
Administrative Charge (required): $275.00
Winter Charge: $325.00
Overtime Charge: $325.00/hr
- Greenfield & Son – (M-F 3PM, Sundays/Holidays 2PM)
- Sal Cerro – (M-F 3PM, Sundays 2PM)
- Tony Cerro – (M-F 3PM, Sundays 2PM)
- John Ross & Son – (M-F 3PM, Sundays/Holidays 1PM)
- Drake Thadzi – (M-F 3PM, Sundays 2PM)
- Fuller Service – (M-F 3PM, Sundays 2PM)
AJ-Dana Chapel: $350