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The “Plot” Thickens for Interfaith Couples

Jewish interfaith couples already face a distinct set of challenges when they decide to get married and start a family. And part of planning for a life together means planning for the inevitable – death. Unfortunately, interfaith couples who support and maintain a Jewish lifestyle are rarely given the opportunity to be buried alongside one another in a Jewish cemetery. But for interfaith couples in Toronto, that is no longer true. According to an article in Toronto’s Globe and Mail, Temple Sinai has “purchased a plot of land in the Lambton Mills Cemetery where it will offer 130 sites for intermarried couples in its congregation.”

Temple Sinai has now joined a growing list of synagogue sponsored cemeteries that allow interfaith couples to be buried together. This, we think, sends the right message to interfaith couples contemplating marriage and living a Jewish life. The article says:

It’s a move meant to promote inclusiveness in a congregation with more and more interfaith couples, Senior Rabbi Michael Dolgin said.

“It was only appropriate to create a place for these people who choose to live their lives affiliated with the Jewish community,” he said.

This makes sense. How can we deny active and affiliated interfaith couples of the community the privilege of spending eternity with each other? If we want to let these couples know that our doors are open and we welcome them into our midst, we have to mean that for the entire life cycle. Not allowing an interfaith couple to be buried in the same place is another unnecessary barrier to Jewish engagement.



1 Comment

  1. I think cemeteries for the intermarried are a wonderful idea. I do wonder however how many in-married congregants will end up being buried at this cemetary, and what Jewish funeral home will bury people there. The article doesn’t say or even hint that this may be a problem.

    Also the reference in the link to Temple Siani being a ‘Reformist’ congregation indicates that the writer knows little of Judaism to ask this question.

    Comment by Dave — October 26, 2008 @ 1:01 pm

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