Richmond Jewish Cemetery provides the greater Jewish population of Richmond a beautiful West-End location to fulfill the sacred mitzvah of burial in accordance with the highest standards of Jewish law. It is open to the entire community regardless of affiliation or level of observance, and synagogue membership is not required.
According to tradition, the human being is a unique creation; the only one created in the image of God. Thus, in addition to our Godly soul, the body of every human being is holy. For this reason, Jewish law dictates that the deceased be treated with utmost care, and never, God forbid, desecrated and destroyed via cremation. Burial returns the body to the earth from which it was created, and with which it becomes one again.
As this is true for Jew and Gentile alike, Richmond Jewish Cemetery also offers family members who are both Jewish and non-Jewish the opportunity to be buried close to one another in adjacent cemeteries. See below for details.
"THE DUST RETURNS TO THE EARTH AS IT WAS, AND THE SPIRIT RETURNS TO G-D WHO GAVE IT."
what is Jewish burial?
Jewish burial consists of three critical components:
The human being is composed of heaven and earth – a soul and body. When it comes time for them to separate, each must return to its primordial source, the soul to heaven and the body to the earth.
Just as special prayers are recited to prepare the soul for its return above, so too, the body is carefully prepared for its return to the earth. This is the job of the Chevrah Kaddisha.
As soon as possible, the body must then be returned to the earth, in a way that allows for the natural process of re-integration with the soil of which it was formed. Cremation and embalming are strictly forbidden. A traditional Jewish burial avoids using a steel or concrete liner which separates the casket from the ground.
The Jewish people are a family. A Jewish designated cemetery ensures that every member of our family is together, forever. Burial outside a Jewish cemetery suggests rejection of one's family and heritage and is considered disrespectful to the deceased.
why purchase a plot during your lifetime?
It is an ancient Jewish custom established by our forefathers to purchase a gravesite during ones lifetime and to own it outright prior to burial.
Having a plot and burial plans in place, greatly assists your family and loved ones in their moment of grief. It enables them to quickly and calmly fulfill this final act of kindness, and ensures that your own wishes for a proper Jewish Burial are carried out in full.
Additionally, it is a Mitzvah (Biblical commandment) to bury the deceased immediately after passing. Our sages state that the soul is in turmoil and cannot find rest until the body is properly buried in the ground.
why choose richmond jewish cemetery?
Richmond Jewish Cemetery preserves the traditions of our heritage while serving today's modern Jewish community.
From its inception, RJC was designed to provide interfaith family members an option to cremation, God forbid, or improper burial for either spouse. By purchasing two adjacent cemeteries, one non-denominational and the other Jewish, we are able to provide burial for both partners close to one another in a respectful and beautiful setting. The architecture and landscaping were specially crafted to abide by Jewish law while providing proper respect and burial for all people.
Each grave site will feature an upright tombstone, a tradition dating back to our forefathers who purchased plots and marked them with upright stones so that they could easily be seen and recognized by future generations. Tombstones will all be of a similar size symbolizing the unity and equality of our people.
Additionally, the liners used at RJC are specially designed so that the casket may be placed directly in the ground, facilitating the body’s return to the earth.
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