Cemetery Matzevot Photographs #general

Steven Lasky <steve725@...>

It has been brought to my attention that Mt. Hebron Cemetery is no longer
taking photographs of gravestones (matzevot) for free and mailing them to
those who request them.

This is what I have learned >from my conversation with the Mt. Hebron
Cemetery office. Perhaps what I am about to say is also true, to one degree
or another, for other cemeteries, whether you pay them to take photographs
or not. Mt. Hebron told me today that in the past they have taken photos for
free, for the elderly who live far away and cannot visit the gravesite of a
loved one. This is their stated policy now, and is not how I had understood
it (correctly or incorrectly) in the past. They also state that this is high
season and they need all of their people for planting, etc.

It seems that since it has become known that they take matzevot photos for
free that they have become inundated by requests for matzevot photos, some
requests >from "genealogists for ten, twelve photos at a time." This, of
course, is the danger in requesting multiple photos (especially when there
is no cost involved.) Part of the problem is announcing to them when they
ask you why you want all of these photos, that you are requesting them for
genealogical purposes.

So, if you feel you fit into a category of someone who can easily justify a
request for a matzeva photo or two, e.g. being elderly and living far away
and cannot get to the cemetery, etc., do make your request, preferably in
writing. You might also like to wait until mid-August, during your time in
NYC for the conference (if you plan to attend) and visit the cemetery
yourself. You might also think of making your request for matzevot photos
during a time that isn't peak planting season, when activities slow down at
most cemeteries. You can also post your request to one of the
JewishGen-associated discussion groups and ask if anyone who will be
visiting a particular cemetery could take a digital photo for you.

I certainly can't say if the Mt. Hebron policy of taking photos on request,
for payment or for free, is true at all cemeteries or not. The only way to
know is by contacting them with your request. We should be thankful, of
course, that Mt. Hebron and several other cemeteries have put online
searchable databases that allow us to search for burials that are of
interest to us.

Steve Lasky
New York

Join main@groups.jewishgen.org to automatically receive all group messages.