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B’nai B’rith volunteers put markers on unmarked graves; service will commemorate completion of project

B’nai B’rith Sahauro Lodge, which has been putting gravestones on 21 previously unmarked graves in the B’nai B’rith section of Evergreen Cemetery, will hold a service there on Friday, July 10 at 9:30 a.m., to honor the dead. Cantor Avraham Alpert of Congregation Bet Shalom will lead the service and community members are encouraged to attend.

Honey Manson, Ron Cohen and Alan Ziblat, the sole remaining members of B’nai B’rith Sahauro Lodge, took on the project several years ago, using funds from the sale of cemetery plots, says Manson. Over the last two years, they’ve had six of the flat markers placed at a time, says Ziblat.

“It bothered us that there were no markers. We felt an obligation to the people who were buried there,” says Manson, adding that both Evergreen Cemetery and B’nai B’rith kept records of who was buried in the graves. In one case, she says, B’nai B’rith was able to contact a family member of the deceased, who attended a service when that marker was placed.

The unmarked graves dated as far back as 30 years, says Ziblat, although B’nai B’rith has supervised that part of the cemetery since 1907, when the City of Tucson decided to move its cemetery from within the city limits to the Evergreen site. At the time, B’nai B’rith was the only Jewish organization in town, he says.

With the service on July 10, “we hope to put a real good finish to this project,” says Ziblat.