LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Sixty-four unmarked graves of members of the Jewish community received new headstones during an emotional ceremony at Woodlawn Cemetery Sunday morning.
The Indigent Burial Program, a community-wide fundraising effort organized by Valley Jewish groups, gives those who have nearly been forgotten an identity.
“No one should die without a name, and no one should die without being a part of the Jewish community in life, as in death,” said donor Fran Fine.
The souls buried in the cemetery did not have the means or the chance to get a proper Jewish burial, until now. Sunday’s event included the unveiling of the headstones, as well as the placement of painted rocks on top of each one.
Stefanie Tuzman, president and CEO of Jewish Nevada, says each stone costs around $350. These memorials are made possible by donations from people like Fine, and thanks to the latest round of contributions, the initiative is set for years to come.
“Everyone should be buried with a name,” said Tuzman. “We raised enough funds to not only support and provide 64 headstones for today, but we raised funds to cover this for the next 10 to 15 years.”
The burial program was established over 20 years ago and oversees around 22 burials per year. King David, Temple Beth Shalom and Jewish Family Services are among the yearly participants.