On August 23, 2015, we dedicated the interfaith section of Beth Israel Memorial Park. We named this section Kulanu (“all of us”). This word is found in the phrase from the prayer for peace in the daily morning service: Barcheinu Avinu Kulanu K’echad b’or Panecha (Bless us, our Parent, all of us together as one with the light of your face). The name Kulanu reflects our desire to provide a burial place for all of us, including non-Jewish members of Jewish families with their Jewish spouses or other relatives. This is a previously unused section of the cemetery, clearly separated from the main sections by shrubs and paths, designated for interfaith burials.
At the dedication of Kulanu, we passages from Jewish sources about the honor and responsibility of burying the dead, as well as the classic source permitting burial of Jews with burial of non-Jews, from the Babylonian Talmud (Gittin 61a):
“We support the poor of the non-Jews with the poor of the Jews, and we visit the sick of the non-Jews with the sick of the Jews, and we bury the dead of the non-Jews with the dead of the Jews because of the ways of peace.”