Beit Olamim - Jewish community cemetery
Beit Olamim, the Madison Jewish community’s cemetery, dedicated in December of 2009, is located along the far northeast corner of Sunset Memory Gardens, 7302 Mineral Point Road, bounded by Westfield Road and Tree Lane. Beit Olamim was established by the Jewish Burial Association of Madison, which operates it in cooperation with the company that owns Sunset Memory Gardens.
Burial plots in Beit Olamim are presently available for purchase.
Because the Jewish Burial Association of Madison (JBAM) serves the broadly diverse, greater Madison Jewish community, JBAM has established two distinct areas for burial within Beit Olamim in addition to a community geniza. The two distinct areas are Sha’ar HaRachamin, a section in which plots are available for burial in accordance with halacha and traditional Jewish burial practice, and Sha’ar Shalom, a section in which plots are available for burial in accordance with less traditional Jewish burial practices. Therequirements for burial in each of these sections were developed by JBAM with the assistance of the Madison Jewish community’s congregational rabbis.
HOW TO PURCHASE BURIAL PLOTS AT BEIT OLAMIM
If you would like to purchase burial plots at Beit Olamim, it would be advisable for you to speak with your congregational rabbi about your family’s needs and the options available to you for purchasing plots in either of Beit Olamim’s two sections. If you are not affiliated with a congregation, you can contact Sunset Memory Gardens (SMG) during regular business hours and SMG will refer you to one of Madison’s congregational rabbis to discuss your options.
Sunset Memory Gardens offers a special 20% discount on burial vaults, markers and monuments to those who buy plots in Beit Olamim.
Office telephone numbers for Madison’s congregational rabbis are: Beth Israel Center (256-7763); Congregation Shaarei Shamayim (257-2944); Chabad (231-3450); Temple Beth El (238-3123). The Sunset Memory Gardens office is open Monday through Friday, 8:30am - 4:30pm, and the phone number is 833-7211.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How much will a burial plot cost? Plots are currently available for $ 795 each*. Other burial costs such as internment fees, caskets and markers are additional.
Are headstones allowed at Beit Olamim? Grave markers, headstones, and memorials are allowed in both sections of Beit Olamim. They must be constructed from high quality granite or bronze, maximally 36” high, 18” in depth and 24” wide (64” when spanning more than one plot).
My life partner insisted on cremation. May I purchase a plot for burial of my partner’s remains? “Cremains” may be buried in the Sha’ar Shalom section. Consult with your rabbi regarding specific regulations.
Can Sunday burials be performed? Yes. Burials at Beit Olamim may be conducted on Sundays and civil holidays.
Will there be an aesthetically pleasing boundary separating the Jewish plots at Beit Olamim from the remainder of Sunset Memory Gardens? Yes. JBAM is working with the owners of Sunset Memory Gardens to establish a “visual separation” between Beit Olamim and the remainder of Sunset Memory Gardens.
Are there plans to add some trees and shrubbery to Beit Olamim? Yes. In the near future, new plantings and signs will be added to Beit Olamim.
When and why was JBAM created? Burials of the Madison Jewish community have taken place at a municipally-owned cemetery for many years. By 2008, projections indicated that gravesites would be sold out within the near future, and a viable alternative was needed. JBAM was created as a non-profit corporation in 2009 to establish and maintain a Jewish cemetery that would serve the greater Madison Jewish community today and for generations to come. JBAM’s initial acquisition of plots at Sunset Memory Gardens was made possible through a generous financial grant from the Madison Chevrah Kadisha. In order to achieve its goal and ensure a new perpetual Jewish cemetery in the Madison area, JBAM has begun offering burial plots for sale at Beit Olamim. Now is the time to consider purchasing burial plots for yourself and your family.
This information was prepared by the Jewish Burial Association of Madison, Inc, February 2010/Shevat 5770
* The price of $795 is as of January 2010, but is subject to future increases. For the accurate price at the time of your purchase, please check with Sunset Memory Gardens.