Since its founding nearly 80 years ago, Mount Sinai Cemetery has served the Jewish Community in times of sorrow as we have laid to rest the Holy remains of our families, friends and community members.
Despite the dedicated efforts of a small core of hard working volunteers, the Cemetery has come to a turning point. It has areas of damage and disrepair, its upkeep is not properly funded and it is becoming more and more difficult to balance its operating budget in today’s economy.
The Congregational Rabbinical Council of Volusia and Flagler counties, to its merit, has urged that a plan be developed to assist in the rehabilitation and the operation of the cemetery and also, to establish additional training and recruit volunteers for the preparation of holy remains for burial, a group known in Jewish communities around the world as Chevra Kadisha.
On Sunday, March 8th at 7pm, a meeting took place in the Congregation B’nai Torah sanctuary to determine a plan of action. One of the core developments was the decision to establish a Jewish Burial Society of Volusia and Flagler Counties, which will work with the Mt. Sinai Cemetery Association and the various Community Chevra Kadisha volunteers to try and coordinate our collective efforts.
In addition, several working groups were formed:
1. Mt. Sinai Cemetery Improvement group – these volunteers will coordinate with Cemetery Association President Rob Tabasky to inspect the grounds and to create a list of repairs and improvements necessary to preserve the dignity and evoke the appropriate atmosphere for such a holy resting place.
2. Mt. Sinai Capital Campaign group – Based on the recommendations of the Improvement Group above, this group will develop a strategy to meet the financial challenges associated with restoring the cemetery and creating an endowment for future needs.
3. Chevra Kadisha Group – these volunteers will coordinate the three established Chevra Kadisha groups and consult on training standards. Eventually, our goal is to have fully trained and available volunteers in Flagler County, East Volusia and West Volusia.
At a later date, a fourth group will be formed to assist the Cemetery Association in the operation of the facilities including establishing funding sources for sufficient or better maintenance of the grounds and to create a pool of volunteers to assist families at their time of need when choosing a burial site.
The Jewish Federation is proud to assist the Congregational Rabbinical Council of Volusia and Flagler Counties in this most honorable endeavor through raising awareness and fundraising on behalf of Mount Sinai Cemetery.
If you would like to join any of these working groups, please contact Rabbi David Kane at DavidKane@yahoo.com. He can also be reached at 386-872-8787.