Meretz seeks to breathe new life into secular burials

Ra'anana's Meretz faction is demanding that Mayor Nahum Hofree come up with a schedule for the creation of a secular burial section in the city's cemetery, reports Meretz made its demand after seeing that no action seems to have been forthcoming to create the section, despite the council's having agreed one month ago to allow secular burials. According to the report, the party has been worried because although the council decided that the city's cemetery should be enlarged and that 10 percent of the space should be reserved for secular burials, it also decided that the Hevra Kadisha Orthodox burial society should be responsible for the creation of the secular section. The party wrote a letter to Hofree urging that the section be created "with the greatest speed," and that if the Hevra Kadisha did not meet the time frame, other organizations should be allowed to create the section. The letter also said the elements of a secular burial should be spelled out, with burials permitted in coffins (as opposed to the shrouds of Orthodox burials), and with funerals to be conducted by anyone chosen by a bereaved family, and not only those approved by the Hevra Kadisha. The report said that Hofree had acknowledged receiving the letter and had responded that he would discuss the matter with the Hevra Kadisha.