In Jerusalem, the government pays to bury the dead. For many years, burials have been handled by groups affiliated with Orthodox Judaism–meaning that services follow the Orthodox rite, regardless of the deceased person’s own religious affiliation.
This is finally changing, Nathan Jeffay reports for Forward. In January, the city announced plans to build a secular cemetery. The 12-acre site will conduct burials in accordance with the family’s wishes, with or without religious elements. And, unlike Orthodox-run cemeteries, the new secular burial grounds will grant adjacent plots to intermarried or GLBTQ couples, and women and men will be able to stand together at burial services.