Questions & Answers
Please search through the following list for answers to commonly asked questions. If you cannot find what you’re looking for or you need further information, call the Garden of Remembrance at (301) 428-3000.
Q: What is the difference between the Garden of Remembrance and other Jewish memorial parks and cemeteries in the greater Washington, D.C. area?
A: The Garden of Remembrance is the area’s most inclusive Jewish cemetery and the only not-for-profit cemetery managed by a board of Jewish community leaders. We offer comprehensive services in accordance with all branches of Judaism and honor your personal preferences.
We allocate more space for each burial plot than other local Jewish cemeteries.
We have paved pathways for walking within the Memorial Park, as well as benches throughout the area for sitting and contemplation.
We respond quickly to your questions and concerns.
Q: Why is not-for-profit important to me?
A: By purchasing your burial space at the Garden of Remembrance you unite the Jewish community.
Our not-for-profit status allows us to provide high-quality service without having to make a profit for shareholders. The Memorial Park returns funds in excess of operating expenses and capital needs back to the local Jewish community.
Q: What is a community cemetery?
A: The Garden of Remembrance was envisioned by (lay members and clergy of Washington Hebrew Congregation) as a cemetery that is open to all Jewish people in our community, guided by a board of Jewish community leaders, and dedicated exclusively to meeting the personal and religious needs of our local Jewish community.
A community cemetery exists as a service to the community and is supported by the community. Also, please note that The Garden of Remembrance is a partner agency with the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.
Hank Levine, President
Kenneth Marks, Chair
Linda Collier, Vice President
Robert Banner, Treasurer
Rabbi Matthew Simon
Albert Small, Jr.
Ted Stein, General Counsel
Bob Shapiro, Audit Counsel
Sheldon Grosberg, Executive Director
Q: Who is the Advisory Committee, and what do they do?
A: The Rabbis and Executive Directors of our partner congregations comprise the Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee meets twice each year to provide input, ideas and critiques on the operations of the Memorial Park.
Q: Can you accommodate my needs?
A: Because the Garden of Remembrance is the most inclusive Jewish cemetery in the greater Washington area, we can offer comprehensive services in accordance with all branches of Judaism, reflecting the full range of Jewish practices and honoring personal preferences.
Funerals and unveilings take place at the convenience of your family and rabbi, including day and time of burial and graveside services. You can also choose grave memorials appropriate to your wishes and in accordance with Memorial Park standards.
As you tour and become familiar with the Memorial Park grounds, consider selecting your burial site through our prearrangement services.
Q: Can I be sure that appropriate care is taken to adhere to Orthodox traditions?
A: The Garden of Remembrance is committed to maintaining the integrity of proper Jewish burial practices. We have sections available for Orthodox individuals who are not affiliated with our Orthodox partner congregations. We offer services that fully comply with all requirements for Orthodox burials.
Q: When is the Garden of Remembrance open?
A: The business office and grounds are open to the public Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The grounds are also open on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Garden of Remembrance is closed on Shabbat and the first day of major Jewish holidays. A member of the Garden of Remembrance staff is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call (301) 428-3000 for emergency contact information.
Q: Do you have small stones to mark my visits to a grave?
A: Yes. Small marker stones are available on pedestals located throughout the grounds of the Memorial Park.
Q: Do you require liners/vaults for each grave? Why do some cemeteries require them?
A: Orthodox tradition states that cemeteries should not use liners for burials.
We do not require liners and vaults for any burial area, but we do strongly encourage the practice. They help protect the surface of the cemetery.
To accommodate Jewish burial practices, we use liners with holes in the bottom. Alternatively, we can place earth in the bottom of the liner to honor Halacha.
Q: Since the cemetery is new, is it convenient and easy to walk through the Memorial Park?
A: Yes. Smooth, paved walkways and wide roads traverse the grounds of the Memorial Park making it convenient and accessible for all to visit. The walkways were planned so you can avoid stepping on burial sites. Take a moment to rest and relax on the numerous benches located throughout the Memorial Park and at the gazebo near the Founders’ Garden.
Q: How will my non-Jewish family members be buried?
A: As a Jewish community cemetery, the Garden of Remembrance acknowledges the diversity of families in our area. Our rules of interment require that all services follow Jewish traditions and be conducted by a Jewish professional or lay leader approved by the Memorial Park. Only Jewish symbols and prayers are permitted.
While each partner congregation may establish particular rules regarding burials in their own cemetery area, the Garden of Remembrance permits the burial of those who are of the Jewish faith, and their spouses and their families. Only those of the Jewish faith may own burial plots.
Q: What is the benefit of prearrangement?
A: Without prearrangement, your family and loved ones face the burden and stress of making many important decisions in a few short hours. By prearranging now with the Garden of Remembrance, you spare your loved ones added anguish and anxiety during their time of grief.
Think about your family first by making burial arrangements in advance. You’ll keep your loved ones from making stressful decisions during an emotional time. And you’ll give yourself the peace of mind that everything will happen just as you intend.
In addition, you are able to tour the Memorial Park at your convenience and become familiar with our peaceful setting, special burial areas and services.
When you prearrange you also take advantage of today’s prices and get the experienced counseling to help you make informed decisions and ensure that your wishes will be understood and carried out.
Consult our Planning Guide as a starting point to discuss your needs with your family and our professional counselors.
Q: What are the administrative details I should consider, like paperwork, legal issues and payment?
A: When you call the Garden of Remembrance we will help you through the process, answering all your questions and ensuring that your wishes are met. All the details are taken care of by the Memorial Park staff. There are no hidden charges to process paperwork.
We accept payment by check or credit card.
Q: Are there pre-determined times for burial services, including funerals and unveilings?
A: No. The Garden of Remembrance will make arrangements to meet your requirements. Please remember that in accordance with Jewish religious practices, the Memorial Park is closed on the Sabbath and on the first day of major Jewish holidays.
Q: Where can I find more information about community support?
A: There are many organizations that provide support, referrals and more. Here is a list of some helpful organizations:
Chesed Shel Emes
Hebrew Free Burial Society
c/o Jewish Chaplaincy Service
Chevra Kadisha of Greater Washington
(301) 681-6787 (Men’s, Menashe Katz)
(301) 679-7333 (Women’s, Beverly Morris)
Children’s Bereavement Services
Family Service of Montgomery County
Hebrew Home of Greater Washington
Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington
Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington
Jewish Council for the Aging
Jewish Federation of Greater Washington
Jewish Foundation for Group Homes
Jewish Funeral Practices Committee of Greater Washington
Jewish Information and Referral Service
Jewish Social Service Agency
Q: Who are the local, major funeral homes that offer Jewish services?
Sagel Bloomfield Funeral Care
Torchinsky Hebrew Funeral Home, Inc.
Hines-Rinaldi Funeral Home, Inc.
Sol Levinson and Brothers
Joseph Gawler’s Sons
Borgwardt Funeral Home
Q: I still have questions and concerns about funeral and burial services. Is there someone I can talk to?
A: Please call us at (301) 428-3000, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our staff will be happy to answer your questions about services at the Garden of Remembrance and address any of your needs or concerns.