Proposed Change to the
constitution and Cemetery Policy 2023

Learn more about this proposed change. 

Letter from Rabbi Oren & Board President, Daniel Petcher

Dear Congregation Shaarie Torah Members,

We hope this letter finds you in good health and spirits. We are writing to inform you about a proposed change to our constitution, which would allow the creation of a new section in our cemetery, which we believe will be of interest to many of you.

As you know, our cemetery has been a place of reverence and respect for members of our Jewish community for many years. It has been a place where our loved ones can be laid to rest in accordance with Jewish tradition and customs. Our cemetery was created in order for us to fulfill the mitzvot of kavod hamet (Honoring our deceased) and Nichum Aveilim (comforting mourners). That is exactly what this community has done with sensitivity and care for many decades.

In recent years, we have received an increasing number of requests from Jewish families who are seeking a final resting place for their loved ones who are not Jewish. This question had been studied and discussed by synagogue leadership for over three years. The ritual committee (now – Jewish Life and Leadership Team) studied all the relevant Jewish texts and reviewed the choices made by other halachic communities. Our cemetery committee and board leadership have had deep and meaningful conversations about the need to support and care for current Jewish families and our obligation to all of those already in our trust. After careful consideration, it has been proposed for a small section of our cemetery be designated as a special section that will halachically allow for mixed interments. In this proposed section, non-Jewish community members will be allowed to be buried with their Jewish family.

We understand that this may raise concerns among some members of our community, and we want to assure you that if approved this new section will be clearly identified and will also be treated with the same level of dignity and care. Furthermore, we will continue to follow all traditional Jewish customs and practices in all other areas of the cemetery.

We believe that this new section will allow us to serve a wider community while maintaining the sanctity and reverence of our cemetery. It will also allow us to honor the memories of all those who are laid to rest here, regardless of their religion.

To address concerns and questions and to hear your thoughts we have scheduled three town-hall meetings and one learning session prior to our annual meeting in June. We encourage you to participate as this is a decision that needs to be made together as a community. The dates for these meetings are scheduled as follows:

Town Halls and Learning Session:

1. Thurs. May 11, 6:30 pm – 1st Town Hall: (Zoom ONLY) Information session and Q&A / REGISTER HERE

*2. Sun. May 21, 4:00pm – 2nd Town Hall: (In-Person Only) Has been cancelled due to low attendance*

3. Mon. June 5, 6:30 pm – Third Town Hall: (Zoom ONLY) Information session and Q&A / REGISTER HERE

4. Sun. June 11, 4:00 pm – Deep Dive Learning the Jewish Sources (In-Person Only) Learning session and Q&A / REGISTER HERE

Read the full letter here

*Additionally, your presence is requested to vote on the proposed constitution change at our Annual Meeting on June 25, 2023, 4 pm.*

Office hours: 10am – 2pm on Mon, Wed, & Thurs.
You can always call us and leave a message or send general questions to

Subscribe to our Email newsletter