The town of Prestbury in Gloucestershire, England has joined a growing number of cities across the world that is making it easier for intermarried couples to spend the rest of their lives together. According to a recent article, Prestbury “will be home to Gloucestershire’s first all-inclusive Jewish cemetery.” The piece of land will be owned and operated by the county’s Liberal Jewish Community.
This means “Jews in the county can now be buried next to husbands, wives and family members of other religions in an all-encompassing Jewish cemetery.” But the decision to have an all-inclusive Jewish cemetery is indicative of something else – a realization that this option needs to exist in order to engage unaffiliated and intermarried families at all. “You have to change with the times and adapt to make your faith as relevant as possible in today’s world,” said David Naydorf of the Liberal Jewish Community.
If we want to see more intermarried families participate in the Jewish community, we have to show we support them through the entire life cycle. The message should be that if you lived as a Jewish family, you are welcome to rest as a Jewish family. If you know from day one that after a lifetime together you won’t be able to spend eternity next to your spouse, why get involved in the first place?