Garden of Remembrance Breaks Ground on New Memorial Center & Chapel
The Garden of Remembrance (Gan Zikaron) Memorial Park in Clarksburg, Maryland has broken ground on a new Memorial Center and Chapel, announced Hank Levine, President of the nonprofit memorial park. Founded in 1999, the Garden of Remembrance was formed to serve the Greater Washington, Maryland, and Northern Virginia Jewish community one family and one congregation at a time, explains Levine.
Several generous philanthropic families have provided lead gifts including the Marilyn & Raymond Greenberg Memorial Center, the Tina & Albert H. Small, Jr. Memorial Chapel, the Wasserman-Gill Family Wing, and the Dreyfuss Memorial Hall. Each of these magnanimous families is a lifelong Washingtonian and has contributed leadership and charitable support to numerous local and national organizations in the general and Jewish communities. Dozens of additional generous donors are supporting the construction project by dedicating lobbies, rooms, and components of the 6,000 square foot building.
The project will also include the Rabbi Joseph P. Weinberg Memorial Garden in memory of the late senior rabbi of Washington Hebrew Congregation who recognized the need and was instrumental in creating the memorial park. The memorial garden will be a beautiful space for reflection and contemplation of loved ones in honor of Rabbi Weinberg’s communal vision and in memory of his good works.
For nearly twenty years, the Garden of Remembrance has been planning a Memorial Center and Chapel on the memorial park grounds for funeral services, a place to comfort bereaved families, a setting for educational programs on loss and life, and a place for families and friends to gather for a Shiva Minyan or meal of consolation, shares Kenneth Marks, Chairman of the volunteer cemetery board. Thanks to the support of Washington Hebrew Congregation, our major donors, our twenty-eight Partner Congregations, and numerous supporters, our decades long dream will soon become a reality, concludes Marks.
Levin/Brown & Associates of Baltimore, Maryland is the architect of the new center and chapel and Eichberg Construction in Rockville, Maryland has been engaged for the nine month construction project. The Garden of Remembrance (Gan Zikaron) Memorial Park is located at 14321 Comus Road, Clarksburg, Maryland 20871. For additional information please call 301.428.3000 or visit www.gardenofremembrance.org.
Garden of Remembrance Receives Green Burial Council Certification
The Garden of Remembrance (Gan Zikaron) Memorial Park in Clarksburg, Maryland — the region’s only nonprofit cemetery serving the entire Jewish Community — has become the first cemetery in Maryland to be certified as a Green Hybrid Burial Ground by the Green Burial Council (GBC).
“Our Board and Advisory Committee have been discussing what it means to be a “green cemetery,” said Hank Levine, president of the 150-acre memorial park. “Many aspects of Jewish burial practices are inherently ‘green’ such as wooden caskets, burial shrouds, and no embalming,” he explained. “We wanted the community to know and appreciate this, and to understand some of the steps we have taken to honor the environment even as we preserve and practice Jewish traditions.”
Gan Zikaron was certified as a “Hybrid” Burial Ground because some sections of the memorial park do not use concrete liners while others use liners which do not decompose even though all liners have openings on the bottom for decomposition of wooden caskets and remains. The seven-part certification assessment process reviewed all aspects of the Garden of Remembrance to evaluate compliance including operations, landscape and maintenance policies, family involvement, trust funds, and materials.
The mission of the Green Burial Council is to inspire and advocate for environmentally sustainable, natural death care through education and certification. “Recognition by the Green Burial Council is a testament to our commitment to the environment and the sensitivity and diversity of our community,” shared Glenn Easton, executive director of the Garden of Remembrance. “We look to our Advisory Committee of community rabbis and synagogue leaders for continuing guidance in our practices of ‘bal tashchit,’ the commandment to preserve our environment.”
The Garden of Remembrance has multiple sections throughout the memorial park for the community at-large and for its twenty-eight partner congregations. Founded in 1999, the Memorial Park has held over 2,100 burials, and accommodates the wide range of religious observances and practices of the Jewish community.
For information about the Garden of Remembrance, please contact their office at 301-428-3000 or [email protected]. The Memorial Park is located at 14321 Comus Road, Clarksburg, Maryland 20871.
For more information about Green Burials, please click here.
Garden of Remembrance Names New Executive Director
The Garden of Remembrance Memorial Park has named Glenn S. Easton as its new executive director, according to Hank Levine, president of the 150-acre nonprofit cemetery that serves all streams of the Jewish community. Easton, a Jewish communal professional for more than 30 years, follows Sheldon Grosberg, Garden of Remembrance’s founding executive director, who held the position for 20 years prior to his recent passing. As part of his role as executive director of three of the region’s largest synagogues, Easton brings decades of experience managing multiple cemeteries to his new position. He has been president of both the Jewish Communal Service Association of North America and the North American Association of Synagogue Executives; has served on the boards of numerous local and national community and civic organizations; has published in the areas of nonprofit management, fundraising/development, and technology; and founded an information and management consulting company that served the nonprofit and faith communities.Easton holds a master’s degree in public management and administration from American Jewish University in Los Angeles and a bachelor’s degree in history from California State University, Northridge, including coursework at UCLA and Tel Aviv University.
Founded in 2000, The Garden of Remembrance, a partner agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, is the region’s most inclusive Jewish cemetery. It is the Washington region’s only not-for-profit cemetery managed by a board of Jewish community leaders, with sections owned by twenty-six synagogues of all branches as well as extensive areas for unaffiliated individuals and families. Located in Upper Montgomery County, plans include the construction of a chapel and development of expanded grounds to accommodate the future needs of the area’s growing Jewish community.
Welcome Kehilat Pardes, our 27th Partner Congregation!
The Garden of Remembrance is proud to welcome Kehilat Pardes as our 27th Partner Congregation–providing a special section of the Memorial Park for their members and families.
Kehilat Pardes – The Rock Creek Synagogue is a modern Orthodox Jewish community located in Aspen Hill, Maryland known for its culture of welcoming, spiritual dynamism, and social responsibility. We welcome Rabbi Uri Topolosky, synagogue president, Miki Moskowitz, and the members of the Kehilat Pardes Community. Our thanks to Colin Alter and Jonathan Kirsch for their assistance with the arrangements.
Sheldon Grosberg z”l”
Sheldon Grosberg, the founding Executive Director of the Garden of Remembrance for twenty years, passed away on September 1, 2019. Sheldon was a gift to the Washington Jewish community, extending his vision and leadership as he served on the boards of many charitable organizations. He was a supporter of social justice and a bridge-builder, always finding (and sometimes creating) common ground. And he was a warm friend, extending kindness to all. Sheldon was frequently described as a “mensch of all mensches”. Read the Washington Jewish Week’s special tribute here.
For Immediate Release
April 1, 2022
Contact: Glenn S. Easton
Garden of Remembrance Memorial Park Awarded
Level 1 Arboretum Accreditation
The Garden of Remembrance Gan Zikaron Memorial Park in Clarksburg, Maryland, has been awarded a Level 1 Accreditation by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum. The Arboretum designation is in recognition of the identification and maintenance of dozens of varieties of trees and plants in the 152-acre memorial park and for achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens.
The nonprofit Garden of Remembrance recently expanded its Forest Conservation Preserve protecting thousands of trees and native species within 65 acres of protected woodlands surrounding the memorial park. It is currently the only memorial park in Maryland certified as a Hybrid Green Burial Cemetery. “Bal Tashchit” (protecting the environment) is a Biblical precept dating back thousands of years which we strive to follow as one of our core values,” explains Glenn Easton, executive director of the volunteer-led memorial park. “We want Gan Zikaron to be more than just a cemetery but a park that our families and community can visit to commune with nature in a beautiful and contemplative setting,” concludes Easton.
The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta at various levels of development, capacity, and professionalism. The Garden of Remembrance is also now recognized as an accredited arboretum in the Morton Register of Arboreta, adatabase of the world’s arboreta and gardens dedicated to woody plants.
ArbNet (www.arbnet.org) is an interactive, collaborative, international community of arboreta. ArbNet facilitates the sharing of knowledge, experience, and other resources to help arboreta meet their institutional goals and works to raise professional standards through the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program. The accreditation program, sponsored and coordinated by The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois in cooperation with American Public Gardens Association and Botanic Gardens Conservation International, is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta based on a set of professional standards.
The Garden of Remembrance Gan Zikaron Memorial Park (www.gardenofremembrance.org) was founded in 1999 to serve the Jewish communities of Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia as a nonprofit cemetery directed by a volunteer Board of community leaders. Its 29 Partner Congregations represent the widest span of Jewish religious practices and is open to affiliated and unaffiliated members of the community. It is located at 14321 Comus Road, Clarksburg, Maryland 20871 and can be reached at 301-428-3000 or [email protected].
Garden of Remembrance Memorial Park Contributes to County Forest Preservation
The Garden of Remembrance (Gan Zikaron) Memorial Park in Clarksburg, Maryland recently expanded its designated Forest Conservation Preserve. Working through the Montgomery County Planning Board of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, the expanded timberlands adds several acres of forests and trails to the 152-acre memorial park.
“The ethical Jewish concept of “bal tashchit” (do not destroy) has its origins in the Biblical Book of Deuteronomy,” explains Hank Levine, President of the nonprofit memorial park that serves the Jewish community of Greater Washington. “Sustaining and protecting the environment is one of our core values.”
The Garden of Remembrance was recently certified as a Hybrid Green Burial Cemetery by the National Green Burial Council and received a Montgomery County RainScapes grant to develop conservation landscaping and gardens.
“In addition to honoring loved ones and comforting the bereaved at their time of need, Gan Zikaron is committed to sustaining and enhancing the trees, shrubs, and wildlife habitat of our beautiful and tranquil memorial park with an emphasis on preserving native plantings,” commented Judi Kranz, Vice-President of the volunteer Garden of Remembrance Board of Directors. “Our volunteer ‘Green Committee’ will soon be working on Level I Arboretum Accreditation by ArbNet, the Interactive Community of Arboreta, and the creation of new raingardens and a butterfly waystation.”
The Garden of Remembrance Memorial Park is located at 14321 Comus Road in Clarksburg, Maryland 20871. The grounds are open to the public. For additional information, please call the memorial park office at 301-428-3000.
Garden of Remembrance Memorial Park Welcomes
Adas Israel Congregation as its 28th Partner Congregation
The Garden of Remembrance Gan Zikaron Memorial Park in Clarksburg, Maryland has announced that Adas Israel Congregation has become the 28th Partner Congregation of the Washington region’s Jewish nonprofit community cemetery.
For over 150 years, Adas Israel Congregation has been a vibrant, dynamic DC synagogue with a tradition of community leadership and involvement. Led by Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt and Rabbi Aaron Alexander, the Conservative congregation serves a diverse membership, offering access to Jewish life and community for people of all backgrounds.
“The number 28 represents the Hebrew word ‘koach’ meaning strength,” said Hank Levine, President of the Garden of Remembrance. “That’s entirely fitting, because Gan Zikaron — and the entire community — are strengthened by Adas Israel’s decision to become our 28th Partner Congregation.”
The Garden of Remembrance includes Partner Congregations from Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, and Renewal synagogues. It also serves Washington-area Jews who are not affiliated with a congregation, and is a partner agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. Founded in 1999, Gan Zikaron, has sold over 10,000 burial sites in its 152-acre memorial park and has held nearly 2,500 burials.
The Garden of Remembrance Memorial Park is located near Interstate 270 at 14321 Comus Road in Clarksburg, Maryland. For a complete list of the Garden of Remembrance’s twenty-eight Partner Congregations and additional information about the Memorial Park, please visit www.gardenofremembrance.org or call 301-428-3000.
Garden of Remembrance Marks 20th Year of Service with Plans to Expand
The Garden of Remembrance celebrates its 20 years of service to the Jewish community by expanding its service by breaking ground and building a memorial chapel on the premises in 2021. To read full article, click here.
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Garden of Remembrance Selected a Finalist in the American Cemetery of Excellence Awards
The Garden of Remembrance (Gan Zikaron) Memorial Park in Clarksburg, Maryland was selected as a Finalist in the annual American Cemetery of Excellence (ACE) Awards. Each of the finalists “has created a place where lives are commemorated, deaths are recorded, and legacies live on,” describes Patti Martin Bartsche in American Cemetery Magazine, sponsor of the ACE Awards. “And in the year of the coronavirus pandemic, every one found ways to connect with grieving families and provide meaningful services during uncertain and unprecedented times…and stood out not only for their performance, professionalism, and innovation, but also for their ability to look to the past to envision the future, “ she concludes.
Founded in 1999, the Garden of Remembrance is the only nonprofit Jewish cemetery serving the greater Maryland, D.C., and Virginia Jewish community. Located on 152 acres of rolling hills, forests, gardens, and grasslands, the Garden of Remembrance has twenty-seven Partner Congregations including Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative, Orthodox, and Renewal synagogues and serves those not affiliated with a congregation.
“Being recognized as a cemetery of excellence is a testament to the founding vision of our lay leaders and a demonstration of the dedication to excellence by our wonderful staff members, especially during these difficult coronavirus challenges,” relates Glenn Easton, Garden of Remembrance executive director. “We strive to serve the Jewish community one family at a time by honoring loved ones and comforting the bereaved,” he concludes.
The Garden of Remembrance (Gan Zikaron) Memorial Park is located at 14321 Comus Road, Clarksburg, Maryland 20871 and can be reached at 301-428-3000, [email protected], or through its website at www.gardenofremembrance.org. For more about the ACE award, click here. To read full article, click here.
Welcome Mishkan Torah, our 26th Partner Congregation!
The Garden of Remembrance is proud to offer a warm welcome to Mishkan Torah as our 26th Partner Congregation. Its Congregants now join thousands of others in making this inclusive Memorial Park their eternal home.
Mishkan Torah is a dual affiliated, Reconstructionist and Conservative Congregation in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Since the fall of 2000, many exciting developments have taken place at the Garden of Remembrance, helping to strengthen its role as the preferred cemetery for many congregations, organizations and individuals throughout the greater Washington area.
In addition to the growing interest from congregations, important traditions, news and events are helping to establish the Garden of Remembrance as a community-centered memorial park.
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