Eagle Scout Genizah Project Completed

Ethan Sokol

After thirteen months of planning, organizing and hard work the NSJC Genizah was finally completed in late June.  This gift to the synagogue is the Eagle Scout project of 14-year-old Ethan Sokol, a Midreshet Leah student and the son of congregants Jacob and Mary Sokol. This genizah will serve the synagogue as a fitting burial site for unusable religious articles.  Hebrew school students will also be able to participate in the ritual burial as part of their education program.

Many volunteers contributed their time and effort to turn this forgotten and littered corner of the synagogue property into a beautifully landscaped area, complete with not only an enclosure around the burial site, but also a large flower box, walled burm, rock garden, and bench.  Because enough money was not earned to hire a backhoe to dig out the burial site, the 12 x 12' x 3 1/2' hole was dug out by hand and rocks, roots and debris were removed before all the soil was replaced.  Seven sections of new fence were installed on the east side and all the fence on the perimeter was cleaned and then stained and sealed. The flower box was constructed from 24 railroad ties weighing 220 pounds each.  The bottom of the flower box was filled with rocks and cement debris from the site and then filled with soil moved from a different area at the site.  The bench was constructed from cedar lumber and then it was installed and stained. The rock garden was added when that section proved to be unsuitable for a Hebrew School garden (Two nearby islands in the parking lot will be used for this garden).  Perennials and shrubs were planted throughout the entire area and pathways and the genizah were covered with landscape fabric and wood chips. The full impact of all the planting will will not be seen until these plants are completely established in another year. 

Hundreds of businesses donated all kinds of goods to this project. Pamphlets listing of all these helpful businesses will be available in the synagogue. Many individuals and groups have made donations to purchase those items which were not donated.

Boys and girls who are about to become B’Nai Mitzvot are encouraged to help maintain the area as part of Project Beyond so that this genizah may continue to serve the congregation of the North Shore Jewish Center.

The dedication of the NSJC Genizah will take place  on Sunday, September 23rd at noon, just after Hebrew School is dismissed and just before the Tashlich ceremony . 

Hebrew School students will place damaged books and other religious articles in a dugout section of the genizah and then cover these books with pots of soil.  A plaque, kindly donated by anonymous contributors, will be uncovered to designate this burial site in the northeast corner of the synagogue property.  Everyone is invited to participate in another first for the NSJC

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