Jewish Graves, Rookwood

Australian Jewish News writes more than 70 per cent of the current Sydney Jewish community is expected to be buried in Sydney’s newest cemetery in Varroville.

With Jewish burial spots at Macquarie Cemetery set to run out this year, and only about five years’ worth of spots available at Rookwood Cemetery, the community will find a new home near Campbelltown after an announcement by the NSW Independent Planning Commission this week.

“We first brought this issue to the government’s attention in 2005 and we’re delighted with the approval,” David Knoll, who has been representing the Jewish community in discussions with the government, told The AJN.

“The first time there was a realistic prospect of this moving forward was last year under the Berejiklian government and she has made this possible.”

The Sydney Chevra Kadisha thanked the NSW government for “helping provide for future Jewish community burial requirements”. 

“We would also like to thank the CMCT for including the needs of the Jewish community in this development,” the Sydney Chevra Kadisha said, adding, “We are grateful to the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies for their ongoing work to provide for future burials for the Jewish community.”

The Sydney Beth Din’s Rabbi Yehoram Ulman, who consecrated the new section at Rookwood last year, said, “Any provision for halachic burial is an important achievement within the community.

The location of the new cemetery is a farm estate dating back to 1810 that played a significant role in the horticultural development of NSW in colonial times. The heritage-listed property also contains a privately owned homestead dating back to 1858 and several outbuildings.

Due to the historical significance of the site, the DA was being contested and its approval comes after then NSW planning minister Anthony Roberts took it out of Campbelltown City Council’s hands in mid-2018. 

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