Paying honor to the dead is a central value in Jewish tradition. Our cemetery dates back to the late 1800s, a time when the early immigrants pooled together their limited funds to make sure that their community had a sacred place that would be dedicated to the dead.
Honor is given to the memory of all our loved ones, Jewish and non-Jewish. The congregation maintains a cemetery in Clarksburg for the burial of our members.
There is a section of our cemetery in which both Jews and non-Jews may be buried together and a section in which only Jews may be buried. Non-denominational funeral services for non-Jewish members may be conducted in the synagogue and at our cemetery. We welcome our Jewish members to recite the Kaddish in honor of their non-Jewish relatives, and we also welcome non-Jews to recite Kaddish in honor of their Jewish relatives, if they so wish.
Directions to Beth Israel Cemetery
The cemetery is always open to the public. It is located on a beautiful hillside overlooking the Berkshire Mountains. From State Road (Rte. 2) in downtown North Adams, travel east. At the intersection with Main St. and Walker St., turn sharply left (north) onto Walker St. Stay on Walker St. for about a mile. (You will enter the town of Clarksburg). The cemetery is on the left just by Brooks Heights, which is on the right.
Tending to the dead of Congregation Beth Israel since 1895
The Chevra Kadisha consists of two groups of volunteers, one male and one female, who care for the bodies of deceased members of the congregation before burial. According to custom, the Chevra insures that the body (mais) is given respect and care and buried according to Jewish law. The body is ritually washed and dressed in a burial shroud (tachrichim). The tachrichim is a plain white garment that is the same for everyone. This symbolizes the equality of all men and women. The mais is buried in a plain, all wood casket that does not contain any metal including hinges or screws.
Both male and female Chevra committees are looking for new members. While the thought of being on the Chevra may seem a bit overwhelming at first, fulfilling this important mitzvah is spiritually satisfying and healing. If you are interested in learning more about our Chevra committee, please contact Len Radin or Darlene Radin. No special skills are necessary, just a desire to give a final gift to our departed friends.
This committee was founded in 1895.