Thursday, October 30, 2008

Organize a cemetery tour in your community

Here's a great idea for a synagogue, Jewish genealogy or historical society to raise awareness of the value of Jewish cemeteries.

Why not help to propose and organize a tour like the one below, in your area? Help the public learn what historical and genealogical information may be located in cemeteries.

Don't forget to contact your local Jewish newspaper, community center, federation, schools or other institutions which may want to collaborate and even present additional related programs.

Is a clean-up project necessary? Don't forget to include local Jewish youth groups or a nearby university Hillel center.

In Monroe City, Louisiana, Temple B'nai Israel and the Ouachita Parish Library joined to present free walking tours of the Monroe City Cemetery and Temple B'nai Jewish Cemetery on October 26. A genealogy associate at the library - Lora Peppers - was the tour leader.

According to the newspaper article, the event was introduced last year as a way to educate the public about the town by looking at the past. Peppers said that the city cemetery tours are always very popular but people often inquired about the nearby Jewish cemetery.

B'nai Israel project chair Don Marcus agreed the combined tour was a good way for people to learn how Monroe's early citizens contributed to local history.

He is also making plans for a January 24, 2009 concert to benefit the Jewish cemetery.

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