Over 200 Volunteers at Cemetery Cleanup
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It was an awesome sight to watch the stream of cars and buses rolling into Lansing Cemetery for the annual fall cleanup on Sunday. An inter-generational program, this year’s attendance topped previous years with over 200 volunteers of all ages including two busloads of students from Hebrew Academy, NCSY, Temple Israel Ner Tamid, YLD, and Solon Chabad. Most synagogues in our community were represented by volunteers who came to pull weeds, trim bushes, rake, and cut branches.
As the program closed, Ari Jaffe, Vice-President of the Commission on Cemetery Preservation, thanked this year’s committee: Jeff Morris (Chair), Judy and Marv Solganik, and Vivian Solganik, and our all community volunteers for their hard work. This is the ultimate act of kindness that cannot be repaid. Volunteer Bob Matitia, who assisted in arranging for Hebrew Academy students to attend, beautifully chanted El Maleh Rachamim (Prayer for the Dead) and Rabbi Matt Eisenberg from Temple Israel Ner Tamid led the volunteers in a group recitation of the Kaddish.
Co-sponsored by JVN and the Commission on Cemetery Preservation.
A Picture Says a 1,000 words!
Every year, Larry Heller, a member of Temple Israel Ner Tamid, brings his truck to the Cemetery Cleanup filled with tools and equipment to share with other volunteers in order to spruce up one of Cleveland’s Jewish cemeteries prior to the High Holidays.
This year, the Cleanup took on a special significance for Larry. At the end of the cleanup, Larry stayed behind. His 91-year old mother recently told him that her parents are buried at Lansing Cemetery and asked him to say Kaddish at their gravesite.
Using Access Jewish Cleveland’s cemetery database, we were able to locate his grandparent’s graves. Larry then had an opportunity to say Kaddish and place a stone on their headstones, a tradition that some say signifies that a visitor came to pay their respects and remember those that came before us.