Beautifying Lansing Cemetery Grounds
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“There is no greater mitzvah than honoring those who came before us.”
It was an emotional, but uplifting day at Lansing Cemetery in Newburgh Heights when more than 80 volunteers came together to paint the fences, clear debris, and beautify cemetery grounds for the Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s Annual Spring Cemetery Cleanup.
Lansing Cemetery is one of seven cemeteries under management of the Federation’s Commission on Cemetery Preservation (COCP). “The Federation has a responsibility for over 14,000 graves around Greater Cleveland,” said Ari Jaffe, President of COCP. “I am extremely grateful to the volunteers, who are preserving the legacy of our Jewish people. It’s considered one of the highest acts of chesed (kindness).”
Volunteers, of all ages, were able to help protect the legacy of the Jewish community. “It’s a good feeling to know you’re helping the community out,” said 12-year-old Arthur. “We’re able to connect to Judaism and do a big mitzvah (good deed).”
Pastor Steve Neptune of GateWay Church in Aurora was overwhelmed by the support of the community to maintain the cemeteries. “I'm amazed at the turn-out of a community coming together for a common goal of doing good. I feel this is something I have personally benefitted from, and a way that I can give back.”
Thanks to the preservation efforts over the last few years, sisters Terri Shaver and Donna Davis – who also have volunteered as part of the cleanup – are now able to truly honor their relatives buried at Lansing Cemetery. “We do this for our parents and grandparents and all the people here, who are no longer with us. What the Federation is doing to protect their legacy is incredible. Most of them probably lived hard lives; it's because of them that we're here.”
For more information on the Cemetery Cleanup, contact Susan Hyman at email@example.com or 216-593-2887. To learn more about the Commission on Cemetery Preservation, contact Ellen Miller at 216-593-2825 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To donate to the Cemetery Preservation Campaign, visit jewishcleveland.org/cemetery.