The BETC Board of Trustees has designated a special section (R2) within the beautiful, new Beit Olam East Cemetery in Wayland MA for our congregation. Read on for further details including FAQs.
The Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts (JCAM) established Beit Olam East in 2010 on 18 acres of secluded, pastoral land. Only 10 acres of that was lovingly landscaped into 7,200 gravesites, prayer gardens, and strolling paths. The remainder of the land will remain wooded so that the cemetery is not visible from any roadway. It is adjacent to the now fully occupied Beit Olam.
This site is further enhanced by its proximity to the nearby Old North Cemetery established in the 17th century for the colonial citizens of Wayland and Sudbury. The environment is serene. There are huge, graceful trees. The peaceful quiet is broken only by birdsong.
Our special area (R2) is the just to the left of the entrance surrounded by towering evergreens on one side, and bounded by a graceful, curving low wall of Jerusalem stone on the other. A small cluster of slender birch trees provides a focal point. It is immediately adjacent to one of the meditation gardens accessed by a few steps through the Jerusalem stone wall.
The Beit Olam East lot price is currently $4600, but this is subject to change. This price includes perpetual care not only of the grounds but also perpetual care of the monument or marker as well.
BEIT OLAM EAST: Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will they permit interfaith plots?
Yes, in the Reform sections of the grounds. Anyone who is married to a Jewish person is permitted.
2. What are the options for tombstones--flat, upright?
All options are fine, each family/individual may choose.
3. Will BETC have a sign for their "section" of the park?
No, none of the congregational sections have signs. However, they do provide a labeled map. Green areas are labeled R = Reform sections, Yellow areas labeled C = Conservative/Traditional.
4. How long will the sites be held?
Sites are held permanently once purchased. However, they are happy to move or reassign a site upon request. Also, they provide the ability to have a site "bought back" or donated if it is not needed. For example those who own plots in the JCAM cemetery in Sharon can sell or donate those plots back to JCAM as appropriate for their estate planning and then secure new plots in Beit Olam East. They have an official resale policy, call Mr. Kaplan to discuss your special situation.
5. Can we choose the sites or are they assigned within our temple's section? Can we choose the section of the park we want?
Yes, we can choose the section of the park we want from among the unassigned areas and individuals/families can choose the specific site within that section or even in another section if they prefer.
6. Do they perform cremations?
No, they do not perform cremations, however cremated remains are allowed to be buried at Beit Olam East. A site must be purchased into which the urn or box of ashes is buried. Each family/individual is responsible for finding a cremation service provider.
7.What are the differences between the Reform and Conservative/Traditional sections?
The Reform sections allow burial of non-Jews and Jews not of matrilineal descent. Conservative Rabbis will not officiate at burials when the person has been cremated.
8.If a congregant has already purchased a Beit Olam East site, can that site be applied to the matching site count for BETC, and can they be buried in the BETC section?
Yes, they can be buried in R2, the BETC section, if they choose.
9. Are natural burials (no casket) allowed?
Yes, if wrapped in a shroud.
10. Is financing available?
Yes, JACM can arrange financing.
11. Will it be exclusively for BETC members or would relatives and/or friends of BETC members be able to get a plot?
All relatives and Jewish friends of BETC members are welcome to purchase their plots at Beit Olam East.
12. Could Beit Olam East ever be sold? What would happen to the interred bodies/ashes?
No, Beit Olam East could not be sold. It is owned by a special non-profit organization under the leadership of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP). In fact, the CJP/JCAM has been proactively supporting the families fighting the efforts of a church to sell a cemetery property and move the remains. Similarly, it has taken a very positive and proactive stance in support of the Muslim community seeking to establish their own cemetery in Massachusetts.
13. Should our temple establish a fund to purchase plots for members who can’t afford them when they are needed?
No, JCAM has funds available for this purpose. When the need arises, the funeral director simply needs to contact JCAM and let them know and the plot will be donated.
14. Can BETC members choose a location within the cemetery?
Yes, each individual or family may choose any available burial plot.
15. Are body modifications (e.g. tattoos, piercings, organ donations) allowed?
16. Can I visit the cemetery anytime?
Yes, the cemetery is only closed on Shabbat and on Jewish holidays.
17. Who can officiate at burials?
18. What is included in the price of the plot?
This price includes perpetual care not only of the grounds but also perpetual care of the monument or marker as well. It does not include the $2000 cost of opening the ground and closing it, although that can be purchased now to fix the cost. It does not include the costs associated with burial preparation such as the casket.
19. Okay, I am ready to purchase my plots, what do I do now?
Contact Stan Kaplan or Lisa Berenson at 617-244-6509 at JCAM and work with either of them to select your specific plot(s). Payment is by check made payable to East Beit Olam Cemetery Corporation. Send it by mail to the Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts; 189 Wells Avenue; Newton Centre, MA 02459.