Welcome to JCAM.ORG

Guidelines – Depositing Sacred Materials & Buring Books

Book Burial 2013

Guidelines for Genizah Drop Off

JCAM holds an annual Book Burial each spring at the King Solomon Memorial Park cemetery in West Roxbury. JCAM collects thousands of worn out siddurim (prayer books), Torah scrolls, tallism, tzitzit, tefellin, and other sacred materials containing the Hebrew name of G-d each year from the local communities, synagogues and organizations.

The materials are stored at our new community Genizah (book depository) located at the Sons of Abraham Chapel on the Baker Street Cemetery. We sort the materials and those found in perfectly good condition (right) are placed on our bookshelves in the Genizah. The rest are buried according to Jewish law (below).

Book Burial 2013

Call us at 617-244-6509 to make an appointment during normal business hours to drop off your sacred materials (Shemot). We ask for an $18 per box donation to help us defray the cost of sorting, transporting and burying these sacred materials.

Book Burial 2013

Book Burial 2013

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Guidelines for Book Burials

Books are first and foremost to help the living.
Materials in perfectly good condition should not be buried. New and slightly used books should be offered to other synagogues or schools, given away to libraries, senior centers, etc. We do not want to be wasteful with consecrated space. Only when no other use can be found should it be brought to the Genizah located at the Sons of Abraham Chapel on Baker Street, West Roxbury.

We do this to show respect and awe before the Holy Name.
Only material with the Hebrew name of G-d should be brought for burial. Books entirely in English or any other language do not need to be buried. Hebrew primers, literature and newspapers without the Holy Name do not need to be buried. Please separate this out and dispose of it normally.

The Genizah is not a depository for personal mail or junk mail, such as newspapers, solicitations, magazines, or school papers, unless the Hebrew name of G-d is found within them.

We treat the Shemot (items with the Hebrew name of G-d) as we do the human body-with dignity and care. Just as we bury bodies to be returned to dust, so do we with the Shemot. Please do not put anything in plastic since it is not biodegradable. Cardboard boxes are just fine. You can help us by sorting through your materials prior to bringing them to the Genizah and properly disposing of materials that are not deemed as Shemot.

JCAM takes the responsibility for the burial of Shemot, which include books, Bibles, scrolls, benchers, tefillin, talitot, photocopied pages, or papers with the Hebrew name of G-d on them to ensure that these items are treated with the respect our tradition accords them. These Shemot gathered from synagogues, schools and individuals are brought to the Genizah. When the Genizah is filled, JCAM arranges the burial and provides the land. There are costs to JCAM that are involved in opening and closing the grave.

For this reason, JCAM asks participating congregations and individuals for donations to help defray the cost. We recommend a donation of $18 per box. Donations should be mailed to our office payable to the JCAM Charitable Foundation. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY DONATIONS AT THE CHAPEL. The Sons of Abraham Chapel, located within the very end of the Baker Street roadway.

PLEASE CALL THE JCAM OFFICE AT 617-244-6509 DURING REGULAR BUSINESS HRS. TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT AHEAD OF TIME. DO NOT LEAVE ANY MATERIALS OUTSIDE THE DOORS OF THE GENIZAH AT ANY TIME!

The JCAM Charitable Foundation is a 501c3 corporation. All donations are tax deductible.

JCAM Charitable Foundation

189 Wells Avenue, Third Floor
Newton Centre, MA 02459

Ph. 617-244-6509  •  Fax. 617-928-1926