When the Chabad House on SW Vermont Street was destroyed by fire in August 2020, about 2,000 holy books were ruined.
Holy books, papers and ritual objects dealing with sacred subjects are traditionally stored in a genizah, storage area, until they can be buried in a Jewish cemetery as a sign of reverence and respect.
“It is respectful to put the burned books into boxes and bury them in a cemetery,” says Chabad of Oregon Rabbi Moshe
Now Chabad of Oregon has arranged with Riverview Cemetery to create a burial plot in the Jewish section of the cemetery for the holy books. Chabad of Oregon has begun to gather the books damaged in the fire and will bury them in a public ceremony once a concrete box with a removable lid is built in the plot. The removable lid will enable more damaged holy books to be added in the future as needed.
Community members can contribute to the creation of the book burial plot at chabadoforegon.raisegiving.com.