Boxes of Books are Buried

On November 30th, JCAM accomplished its second Book Burial in 2001 and in the process emptied the Pultusker Chapel on Baker Street, West Roxbury. An estimated one hundred boxes of shammot were carefully removed, packed in a truck and driven across town to the Congregation Sharei Sedeck Cemetery on Centre Street in West Roxbury. Under the supervision of Rabbi Abraham Halbfinger, Executive Director of the Vaad Harabonim of Massachusetts, all of the shammot was respectfully buried in a grave.

From all over the community, synagogues, schools and individuals brought their shammot (anything containing the name of G-d, any item intended for holy use) to the chapel. Bibles, prayer books, photocopied prayers, tfillin, talitot, a Torah cover and other sacred artifacts were all inspected by Rabbi Halbfinger and carefully boxed by JCAM staff members Jay Trilling and Jane Salk.

JCAM provides the land for each burial, usually a cemetery lot about the size of an automobile. There are, however, grave opening expenses charged by the caretaker. Participating congregations and individuals are encouraged to make donations to JCAM to help defray these costs.

Please remember that the Pultusker Chapel is always open for “drop-off”. The community is encouraged to carefully browse through the shammot, and to remove any items that are needed or useful. You are welcome to browse, but please be neat! Re-pack any items that you decide not to take. JCAM normally plans on book burials in the spring and in the fall. For more information, please contact JCAM at 617-244-6509.

Please remember:

  • Keep the chapel neat. A barrel is provided outside the chapel for
    disposable trash.
  • Only appropriate shammot should be left at the chapel. Please do not drop
    off textbooks, Hebrew primers, newspapers or literature unless they include the name of G-d.
  • Place all items in cardboard boxes. We can not bury plastic bags as they do not decompose.