“Birth is a beginning, and death a destination.” The most universal and powerful moments in our lives are the end points of the journey – the moment we come into this world, and the moment we leave it. At Temple Shalom we are here to provide a loving and supportive setting for the most painful of all transitions: the struggle and the mourning associated with the end of life. Our clergy and trained congregants work with the congregation to learn about Jewish customs and practices surrounding death and mourning, plan for and conduct funeral and shivah minyan services (services traditionally held in the homes of mourners in the days immediately following a funeral), and serve as a caring “bridge” for families navigating the details of dealing with hospitals, funeral homes, and cemeteries. We are here, as well, for counsel and whatever comfort we can provide in the face of sadness and tragedy and loss.
In February 2004, our synagogue made the decision to establish a new cemetery. In October that year, we took a new and important step in our history, and our ability to serve the members of our spiritual community. We formally dedicated our own Temple Shalom Cemetery, in partnership with and as a designated area of Garden of Remembrance, Gan Zikaron Memorial Park in Clarksburg, MD. Having our own cemetery allows us to provide for our congregants’ ritual needs in accordance to the customs and practices we believe in. This includes being able to meet many of the needs of interfaith families, as well as allowing some flexibility for different kinds of burial arrangements. The Temple Shalom Cemetery allows our congregation the dignity of side-by-side interments of our congregants' Jewish and non-Jewish family members. Those with specific questions about any of these areas should be in touch with our clergy well in advance of any need for emergency consultation.
You can read more about the Temple Shalom Cemetery in a series have articles that have appeared in the Shofar:
- Shofar letter from the Rabbi - May 2004 [pdf]
- Shofar dedication announcement - September 2004 [pdf]
- Shofar dedication article - November 2005 [pdf]
- Shofar article - February 2005 [pdf]
Finally, the complete documents for purchasing a cemetery plot are also available here: