American Reform Responsa
101. Choice of a Cemetery
(Vol. XXVII, 1917, pp. 88-89)
There is no law requiring the burial of the dead in the nearest cemetery. As a matter of fact, the only consideration in the choice of a cemetery was either the probable preference by the dead of the place where relatives of his were buried or the better security of the body against bad conditions of environment such as inundation.
K. Kohler and Jacob Z. Lauterbach
Our society has become very mobile. The nuclear family has replaced the extended family, and we find more and more often that families are spread out over vast distances.
The family cemetery plot, which at one time served the burial needs for generations of families, can, in today’s society, often create unforeseen problems at the most difficult of times. In addition, our mobile society–beginning with the years when our youngsters attend colleges great distances from their home, and where they often meet future mates from still more distant regions–has added to the problems of dispersion. We also see families in their search for employment opportunities moving to different locations in the span of their working years. Therefore, it would be advisable for families to discuss in full their choice and preference for place of burial when the matter can be discussed rationally and without pressure.
Responsa Committee (1980)
If needed, please consult Abbreviations used in CCAR Responsa.