Beliefnet
The Bliss Blog

I am increasingly amazed at the quality of young people I have in my life.  Ian Montgomery and his dedication to being a force for good in the world, give me hope for the future.  He happens to be yet another teen cousin who has taken the values and guidance of his parents and turned it into positive action
How do you live your bliss?

At this point, I am still finding myself and setting goals. I am achieving some of them and making new ones. For example, I am an honors student, I am working towards my Eagle Scout rank, I am involved in the care of my elders, and I am continuing with my goal-setting.

As a teen, what are some of your interests and activities?

Some of my interests include camping, video games, and being with my friends.

Please tell me about the Eagle Scout project you are doing.

My Eagle Scout project entailed me working in an inactive cemetery. What this means is that no more money is going in to the upkeep of this cemetery due to no more plots of land being sold. What I did was that a group of volunteers and I removed the creeping ivy from the gravestones to prevent further damage to them, and photographed the stones. The pictures and ledgers were transcribed and the information was uploaded to a genealogy website – http://www.facebook.com/l/6c1bb2mBHjDBhbwi3WXKycn9ekg/findagrave.com

The fully transcribed ledgers will be going to the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Philadelphia, who will put them on the world-wide burial registry.

What motivated such an act of love?

My mother is very involved in genealogy and she has found long-lost family members in nearby areas. She found her great-grandmother at this cemetery and invited me to come along. I was interested in it and when I saw the state of the cemetery, I was astonished. There was extremely thick ivy around the stones, some gouging out pieces of the granite and marble of them. There were multiple trees, which were overgrown weeds, around some of the stones, uprooting many adjacent ones. This made me feel that someone should do something about it, and I felt that I would be able to accomplish making this cemetery better.

In our conversation, you mentioned that this is something you are doing for which the recipients will never be able to directly thank you. What inner satisfaction are you experiencing as a result?

Some inner satisfaction that I am experiencing as a result of this project is that I feel I understand my heritage better and it puts a sense of humility in me. I also have the realization that a small group of volunteers can make a world-wide difference.

What values are you being taught at home that fuels your beliefs and actions?

Values I am being taught at home are cheerfulness, humility, honesty, faith, and the greater good.

How can others get involved with this project?

My project specifically is finished, but being on a street corner, there is trash that will continue getting caught on the fences. If anyone has a low-power crane or something similar, some of the knocked over stones could be righted up. The name of the cemetery is Mount Carmel Cemetery, and it is on the corner of Frankford and E. Cheltenham Ave in Philadelphia, PA.

Ian let me know: “On a side note, there are 17 recorded Weinsteins in the cemetery, if you are interested.”

 
 

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