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Jews and Church Burial: “no Instance of A. Known Jew Being Accorded Non-jewish Burial”

A reference to the recent case in which a man named Thomas Isaac Levin, and his wife and daughter, who were found dead after a suicide pact, were buried in the local churchyard with Christian rites (J. T. A. Bulletin of the 21st. and 23rd. inst) is made in to-day’s “Jewish World” by the Editor. In the ordinary way, he writes, they would have been buried by the Parish. On the strength, mainly, of the name by which he was known, however, the man was suspected of being a Jew. The woman was not Jewish nor, of course, was the daughter, and the difficulty of their being buried in a single grave at once arose. The authorities at the United Synagogue took promot action upon being apprised of the terrible happenings, but their interposition was not encouraged by the Vicar of the Parish, to put it at the least. Subsequently he consulted the Bishop of the Diocese in which the village is situated and he arranged for some special prayers to be used which would cover all the three deceased.

In this instance things were not made better, he continues, if it be true that the Vicar complained of the unfairness of placing upon the Parish the expense of having to bury Jews, having regard to his attitude when it was suggested that the man should be buried by the Jewish authorities. I have received a number of communications on the subject, and one and all can be satisfied that there has been no instance in this case of a known Jew being accorded non-Jewish burial. At most the Jewish origin of the man is doubtful, and the Jewish authorities did all they were able to do so as to prevent an abrogation of Jewish law and practice.

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