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Green Burial

Temple Sinai is a covenantal community of inspiration, innovation, inclusivity, mutual support, friendship, learning and much more. Together, we stand for social action and justice as part of our efforts to repair the world.

To demonstrate our commitment to environmentally conscious stewardship, Temple Sinai is initiating a ‘green burial’ program in a newly designated section of our Memorial Park. Temple Sinai Memorial Park is in certified by the Green Burial Council. 

A ‘green’ or ‘natural’ burial allows a body to return to the earth in a way as natural as possible. The green approach eliminates the traditional model which often includes a ‘protective’ or sealed casket, an outside concrete grave box or sealed vault to place the casket in and (sometimes) embalming the deceased. 

Key elements of green burial include:

  • No outer burial container (partial or inverted), sometimes known as a vault or concrete liner, or a vault lid, concrete box, slab or partitioned liner.  The casket or shroud is placed directly into the earth. This returns the deceased to nature in a relatively short time. It also saves resources used in the construction of the vaults.
  • All caskets are constructed of wood or other eco-friendly biodegradable burial containers. Renewable softwoods along with woven wicker and bamboo have become popular materials for casket construction along with linings of cotton and linen. The so-called plain pine box would fit into this description. The use of this type of casket saves the natural resources which are used to construct the traditional casket made of steel, semi precious materials (such as copper and bronze) and highly finished hardwoods, some of which are becoming increasingly rare (mahogany and black walnut for instance).
  • The option of burying the body wrapped in shroud without a casket
  • Generally not embalming or otherwise preserving the body, a traditional and widely practiced Jewish custom. 
  • Green burial can also significantly reduce the cost of a traditional funeral.

Pre-need planning is encouraged. The need to purchase plots and make arrangements often comes when a family is unprepared. They must deal not only with their grief, but with the numerous details of funeral arrangements. Choosing beforehand allows for careful decisions and for consultation with other members of the family.

Please call Drew Barkley, Executive Director, at (412) 421-9715 ext. 111, for a conversation about purchasing a plot, perpetual care, interment, and other Memorial Park information. There is no cost or obligation to learn more.

For information on purchasing a marker or Yarhzeit Plaque, please contact Judy Lynn Aiello at (412) 421-9715 ext. 124. Download a Yarhzeit Plaque Order Form.

Rules & Regulations for Green Burial

View map and directions to Temple Sinai Memorial Park

Donate to the Memorial Park Care Fund

Sat, August 8 2020 18 Av 5780