Forecasting the Financial Future of Jewish Cemeteries in the New York Area

Client: Jewish Community Relations Council
Faculty: John Brothers, Monte Kurs
Team: Rachel Chaskey, Dan Feder, Tara Goodwin, Stephanie Gunn
Year: 2010
The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) requested a Capstone team to review the finances of regulated Jewish cemeteries in New York. It has been suggested that the expenses of some of the regulated cemeteries in New York City will outdistance their income and reserves over the next 25 years. Absent outside funding, it is possible that some cemeteries will be unable to meet their significant future liabilities. The Capstone team worked with JCRC to quantify the extent of the problem and how much demand it will place on the communal dollars of Jewish nonprofits. The Capstone team developed a database of these cemeteries' publicly available financial information and produced a report that informs the Jewish community of the extent of the problem. Recommendations were submitted to JCRC regarding how to approach the problem from within the Jewish community. Finally, the Capstone team developed policy recommendations addressing state regulations and the amount of financial information reported by cemeteries to the IRS and the state.