Monday, December 17, 2018 -
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Boulder Jewry comes together in search to handle ultimate necessity

Boulder's Green Mountain CemeteryAmong the most basic and sacred obligations any Jewish community has toward its members is to provide a place to bury their loved ones who have passed away.

The Colorado foothills community of Boulder is no different, and it continues to meet that obligation honorably and efficiently, as it has for many years.

But there’s a problem.

For the Jewish deceased of Boulder, the clock is ticking.

Just as time never pauses for the living, it marches on relentlessly for the dead, and in Boulder, where the general and Jewish population has grown steadily in recent years, the sad fact is that it’s getting harder and harder to find a place to conduct a Jewish burial.

The Jewish section of the city’s beautiful and venerable Green Mountain Cemetery, the original resting place for Boulder’s Jewish community, is fully occupied. The only Jewish burials taking place there these days are in plots that were pre-purchased years ago.

In more recent years, Mountain View Memorial Park has become the cemetery of choice for Boulder Jewry. Boulder synagogues traditionally purchased plots there for their members, but Mountain View’s Jewish section is also filling up.

To buy some time, so to speak, the community recently purchased 23 plots at Mountain View, and now plans to issue them on an “as need” basis, in other words, when somebody is diagnosed with a terminal illness or actually dies.

In Boulder — where, on average, there is a need for some 10-12 Jewish burials a year — that will only meet the community’s burial needs for about two years. After that, in funereal terms, it’s crunch time.

But Boulder Jews aren’t daunted, nor are they neglecting their obligations.

Plans are being drawn up, committees have been formed and are meeting, negotiations are being conducted — all to solve the problem.

And — since Boulder is, after all, Boulder — the problem is being solved in unique and unusual ways, and with a level of intra-communal cooperation and harmony seldom seen in American Jewish communities.

The rest of this article is available in the January 2 IJN print and digital edition only. Contact Carol to order your copy at or subscribe to our online e-Edition.

Chris Leppek

IJN Assistant Editor |

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