Monday, August 3, 2009

Burial Societies - consequences of their demise


Someone was buried in Florence Marmor's grave, and it was not Florence Marmor.

When Mrs. Marmor visited her deceased husband's cemetery plot in Flushing, Queens, one afternoon, she found that someone had been freshly buried in the spot next to his, where she had planned to rest someday. No one could tell her why.

Strange and wrenching discoveries like that have sprung up repeatedly in Jewish communities over the past few decades as families have discovered that the cemetery properties where they expected to be buried among spouses, children and parents are caught in a legal knot that no one can untangle.

The reason: the Jewish burial societies that sold the gravesites no longer have administrators. Founded by the immigrant ancestors of the people caught in this bind, the societies, in effect, have died. [...]

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