This post first appeared as “Winnipeg Synagogue Builds Interfaith Cemetery” on The Shmooze blog at the Forward.
Winnipeg’s Shaarey Zedek, western Canada’s largest Conservative synagogue, is once again ahead of the curve. The congregation, which was the first Conservative shul in Canada to fully welcome and include LGBT Jews, has now opened the first Jewish interfaith cemetery in the country.
Ian Staniloff, Shaarey Zedek’s executive director, said that the interfaith cemetery is a response to demographic realities. “We are serving a growing need in our community. The Winnipeg Jewish community numbers about 16 thousand and up to 70% of our young people are marrying outside the faith,” he told the National Post. “In the past, the Jewish spouse was forced to make a decision — either be buried by themselves in a Jewish manner in a Jewish cemetery or be buried with their partner elsewhere.”
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© 2012 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.