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Jewish Cemetery in New Jersey Charged with ‘shocking’ Tactics

Beth Israel Memorial Park, a Jewish cemetery in Woodbridge, N.J., was charged at a hearing conducted by the New Jersey State Senate’s Business Affairs Committee, of attempting to “shock” customers into buying burial plots. The Committee is investigating practices of cemetery operators, headstone and vault dealers and funeral directors who accused each other at the hearing of alleged irregular practices.

The charge against Beth Israel Memorial Park was made by Howard Stern, a lawyer representing the New Jersey Monument Builders Association, who read excerpts from a manual of Beth Israel in which the salesmen were urged to confront the prospect with what was called a “shocker” describing the possibility of the sudden death of a member of the family. Irwin Shipper, vice-president of Beth Israel Memorial Park, said that the sales manual was no longer used.