9th Annual JCANA Conference
Cemeteries: Where Jews Go To Remember
The 9th Annual JCANA Conference, hosted by Howard Jampolsky of Schara Tzedeck Cemetery, will be held in Vancouver, BC, May 21-24 at the Holiday Inn Vancouver-Centre. In attendance will be representatives from Jewish cemeteries throughout North America as well as speakers on a variety of subjects related to Jewish burial practices. A theme of the conference is restoring and utilizing cemeteries as a way to raise funds and generate income. Another theme that will be discussed is promoting legacy gifts and creating a sense of place; Cemeteries are a place where Jews come to remember.

The conference will begin with a Sunday evening reception, followed by dinner and special guest speaker presentation. Monday and Tuesday will offer lectures and presentations along with tours of Jewish cemeteries in and around Vancouver, as well as historical areas of Vancouver. There will be many sessions on a wide range of subjects related to the Jewish cemetery industry. One scheduled speaker will be designer, Bill Pechet. Bill is a Vancouver-based designer and architect who has worked on memorial and cemetery projects around the world. He will be speaking at the conference and joining the attendees on the tours of the local cemeteries.

The conference is a valuable opportunity to network with industry colleagues and exchange ideas. As an organization, JCANA continues to expand its efforts to support its member cemeteries – and the broader Jewish community – in their efforts to preserve Jewish cemeteries.

To register visit: http://jcana.org/jcana-conference
Early Bird discount is available until February 15th.
First-time attendees will receive complimentary membership in JCANA for the remainder of 2017.

Greetings to all of our members! With this first e-newsletter of 2017, I want to invite all of our current members, as well as any potential new members, to join us at our annual conference this spring. This year, we will be gathering in Vancouver, BC from Sunday, May 21st to Wednesday, May 24th. This is our 9th annual conference and it promises to be one of our best. In addition to the great list of speakers and presentations that our host member Howard Jampolsky has lined up, we will also have the opportunity to get out into the Vancouver community, touring some of the historic Jewish cemeteries in the area, as well as seeing the beauty of this scenic part of the Canadian West. There will be numerous occasions during the conference for attendees to meet and network with colleagues from around the U. S. and Canada. This is our most popular event each year, so you don't want to miss it. There is additional information about the conference in this newsletter, or you can register and find even more details on our website: http://www.jcana.org

JCANA is an organization of cemetery managers, temple administrators, funeral home employees, and others--all of us devoted to one core principle: the perpetuation of Jewish cemeteries and Jewish burial practices throughout North America. If you are already a member of JCANA, thank you for your participation. If you have not yet joined us, you can do so on our website. Better yet, come to the Vancouver conference--your registration includes complimentary membership for the rest of 2017.

Dan Brodsky, Chairman

By Lisa Berenson
Director of Educational Programming and Development
JCAM Charitable Foundation

Cemetery education is one of the most overlooked opportunities that Jewish cemetery associations mistakenly make in their quest to raise community awareness. An important element in changing the way people view Jewish cemeteries is to develop a comprehensive cemetery education program. By doing so, the level of Jewish communal awareness in the importance of maintaining and preserving the dignity of Jewish cemeteries begins to grow.

When a well-developed cemetery education program is established, amazing things start to happen. Soon synagogues, Hebrew schools and Adult education programs are calling to schedule tours of your cemeteries. And when a successful program is presented to the Jewish community, cemetery education programs may become incorporated into end of life curricula. Parents and children begin to talk about their own family histories, and children develop a new appreciation of their roots and share what they learned by their participation in a cemetery tour. After an informative and enlightening educational experience, attendees become more comfortable in visiting a Jewish cemetery, and more interested in learning about the Jewish lifecycle.

Before you know it, speaking engagements and invitations to promote your cemetery take root, and Jewish publications are requesting interviews, Jewish federations and communal agencies become interested in learning more about your organization, as well as supporting your efforts.

But how does one go about instituting a successful cemetery education program? First and foremost, the program must be interactive, educational and fun. A crucial component in developing a cemetery education program is to first dispel the apprehension on the part of parents to allow their young children to visit a cemetery. After all, a cemetery can be a scary place to a 4th grader. But when tours are presented as history lessons with Jewish cemetery traditions, customs and headstone iconography incorporated, a new dimension to Jewish end-of-life education evolves. There is an opportunity to showcase Jewish cemeteries as “museums of memories” and plant the seeds of community involvement to ensure that the next generation will carry the torch of preservation, maintenance and restoration of Jewish cemeteries.

One of the critical goals of the JCAM Charitable Foundation as well as the member organizations and cemeteries of JCANA is to educate and inform all members of the Jewish community—young and not so young—to connect with their past, embrace the present, and look to the future utilizing Jewish cemetery education. Our loved ones who have gone before us can be the bridge to a broader, more meaningful understanding of our rich and unique heritage. And our cemeteries are indeed that bridge.

For general information, please contact Dan Brodsky: danielbrodsky@jcana.org
For membership information, please contact Amy Koplow: akoplow@jcana.org
To send information or suggestions regarding the newsletter, you may e-mail newsletter@jcana.org

Please visit our website: www.jcana.org