In Good Faith: 'This place is my heart and soul'

loberle@islandpacket.comJanuary 18, 2014 

Name: Rose Mark

Church: Beth Israel Congregation

Town: Beaufort

Member for: 66 years

Every office. I was the first female president in the history of our congregation. It was a two-year term, and I served seven years in the '90s. Since then, there have been two females to follow me. It's sad because all the older ones are gone. I'm 86, and I'm one of the very few older ones left. I've held every office there is to hold.

A well-kept place. Right now I'm in charge of (Beth Israel's) cemetery on Bladen Street. I've got to make sure it's kept clean. And if there's any such thing, we do have one of the nicer looking cemeteries. I make sure the headstones are cleaned. If a grave sinks, I've got to get somebody to fix it. If anybody dies, I make sure they have a plot and make sure of their religion. It's a little background check we have to do. We can only bury Jewish people there.

A sign of respect. It's in respect to those who are there, and in respect to the family that's remaining, that they can go in and visit the graves. I can't have them come into a place that isn't well kept. I don't know who will take over for me as I'm getting somewhat up in age.

The synagogue. You walk into this little house, and you get a different feeling. I walk in, and I feel like I'm at home. It's hard to say the proper words because it's just been part of me. My children were confirmed there. My great-grandchildren were named in the synagogue. My oldest daughter is now president of Beth Israel, so the Mark family is keeping its foot in the door.

Next to him. This place is my heart and soul. When my husband died, they had to set chairs up in the social hall because there were so many people. A lot of people dying now are having graveside services. I want to be buried from the synagogue. And then they can take me to the cemetery on Bladen Street and put me in the plot I've had for years next to my husband.

Follow reporter Laura Oberle at twitter.com/IPBG_Laura.

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