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 community genizah (book depository) located at the Pultusker chapel on the Baker Street Cemetery. We sort the materials and those that are in perfectly good condition (right) are placed on our bookshelves in the genizah. The rest are buried according to Jewish law (below). Anyone dropping off materials can browse through and take what interests them at no charge.
Call us at 617-244-6509 to make an appointment to drop off your worn and unused sacred materials (Shemmot). We ask for an $18 per box donation when leaving materials at the genizah to help us defray the cost of sorting, transporting and burying these sacred materials.
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 Pultusker 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 shammot 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 shammot. Please do not put anything in plastic since it is not biodegradable. JCAM will not accept any materials that have not been properly sorted. Cardboard boxes are just fine. Do not bring your materials in plastic bags You can help us by sorting through your materials prior to bringing to the genizah.
JCAM takes the responsibility for the burial of shammot, 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 shammot 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 opening the grave, which can be as large as a grave for twelve people.
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. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY DONATIONS AT THE CHAPEL. The Pultusker Chapel, located within the Baker Street Memorial Park Cemetery in West Roxbury is located halfway up 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!
189 Wells Avenue, Third Floor
Newton Centre, MA 02459
Ph. 617-244-6509 • Fax. 617-928-1926
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