Books, other artifacts buried in sacred Jewish ceremony in Skokie
Simcha Wechsler, of Chicago, drops Jewish holy books into a grave for burial during a 'geniza' at Memorial Park Cemetery in Skokie. About 5 tons of holy books from synagogues, chabads and individuals were buried. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 1, 2012 6:21AM
Five tons of Jewish books, documents and other items donated by the community were buried Aug. 22 in a Jewish ceremony called a “Geniza” at Memorial Park Cemetery in Skokie.
A Geniza is a Jewish ritual in which used books, clothing and other items are donated by community members and buried in a sacred place to benefit both the community and future generations.
Nearly five tons of donated items were placed inside caskets and buried in plots donated by Memorial Park Cemetery.
Sponsored by Weinstein Funeral Home, the Geniza also included children of the Keshet who participated in the ritual by assisting with the burial of the donated items. All items of the Geniza were collected by Weinstein Funeral Home.
Rabbi Jeffrey Weill, of Ezra-Habonim, Niles Township Jewish Congregation in Skokie led the ceremony.
Marshall Kayman, of Weinstein Funeral Home, said that Weinstein holds a Geniza about every couple years.
Kayman said an ideal time to perform a Geniza is before the Jewish holidays when people are home and preparing for them.
Many of the five tons of holy books came from synagogues, chabads as well as individuals. Five filled caskets were buried at the cemetery.