Jewish artifact burial site raises concerns in NJ

Stephen James Johnson

From the Associated Press.

LAKEWOOD, N.J. – Environmental regulators in New Jersey are trying to decide what to do about an unlicensed religious artifact burial site.

A rabbi coordinated the dumping of 2,000 trash bags full of Jewish text and clothing on private land in Lakewood during Passover. Orthodox Jews are not permitted to discard the items, called shaimos, by normal means.

Some neighbors complained, calling it an illegal dump. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection issued a warning last week and ordered that the site be cleaned up.

The agency, however, says it is sensitive to the religion’s requirements. For now, it is allowing the bags to stay until it decides how to relocate them.

The rabbi is expected to discuss options with DEP officials next week.


Information from: Asbury Park Press,