CAJAC is a 501 (c)(3) organization incorporated in New York in 2007 and dedicated to the ideal of hesed shel emet “faithful benevolence”- the Jewish designation for kindness toward the deceased who are unable to make claims or offer thanks. CAJAC is supported by UJA-Federation of New York’s Caring Commission, the New York City Council, and private donors. Proudly, 90% of CAJAC’s donations are applied towards the preservation of Jewish cemeteries.
To honor the dead in accordance with Jewish tradition and to honor the living in their respect for their ancestors, the Community Association for Jewish At-Risk Cemeteries (CAJAC) is the critical link between the Jewish community’s living and the departed who can no longer speak for themselves. CAJAC sets standards, develops strategies, and assists those tasked as fiduciaries of Jewish Cemeteries to fulfill the sacred task of preserving their sanctity, ensuring their physical well-being, and providing for their financial stability into perpetuity.
CAJAC’s Core Objectives
- Raising awareness within the broader Jewish community on the vitality of Jewish cemeteries and their systemic challenges, emphasizing education and volunteerism as the primary vehicles by which to make kavod ha-met, respect of the deceased, of core concern to all Jewish people.
- Promoting best practices for long-term solvency and preservation of all Jewish burial grounds by providing guidance, resources, and training to Jewish organizations managing and/or operating Jewish cemeteries and burial grounds, including synagogues, burial societies, and cemetery administrators,
- Providing acute support to struggling Jewish cemeteries, including leveraging charitable and public resources to remediate physical and financial distress, with the core objective of assisting cemeteries in creating provisions for long-term care and self-sufficiency.
- Formulating responses to cemetery-related matters by establishing and maintaining liaison relationships with relevant governmental and regulatory authorities, serving as the Jewish community’s principal resource – and the secular community’s key partner in securing the future of Jewish cemeteries.
- Serving as a resource regarding consumer-related matters, fielding questions and concerns from a cemetery stakeholders and members of the public.