Liberty, NY – Chesed Shel Emes Cemetery Supervisor Denies Any Involvement With Medical Waste

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    Liberty, NY – A Brooklyn man accused with environmental violations after red bag medical waste was discovered at the Jewish cemetery in Liberty says he was the victim of circumstance.

    “I just came at the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Mayer Berger. Berger says he is a volunteer supervisor with a group called Chesed Shel Emes that buries indigent people and also does cleanups at scenes where people have died violently, either in car crashes, suicides or homicides. The group buys plots from the Swan Lake Synagogue, which owns half the cemetery. According to Jewish tradition, all blood must be buried with the body.

    On Tuesday, DEC environmental police and sheriff’s deputies found blood-soaked linens, cloth and bandages in three red bio hazard bags, while they were questioning Berger on another burial. These bags had been dumped in an area of the cemetery where Berger’s group had been burying people. They had been lying on the ground for several days, near some tombstones in a corner section. Animals had begun to tear them open and carry off the contents.

    Berger denied in an interview Thursday having anything to do with the bags. He had showed up with two other volunteers to bury a fetus and while authorities were verifying that he had a permit, the bags were discovered. He said his organization has buried dozens of people in the cemetery on Hysana Road in the past 12 months and the bags were associated with none of these graves.

    “I don’t know where it came from because it did not come from our people,” Berger said. “It definitely didn’t come from this summer. We don’t know where it came from. It didn’t come from our people or any of our burials.”

    Berger also disputed that he was evasive with investigators. Deputies have theorized that Berger’s group buried a body but didn’t dig the hole deep enough and left the bags lying there.

    “I have no clue why the sheriff would say I was not cooperating,” he said. “I answered politely and tried not to be a wise guy with them. I would have no idea why they would say that.”

    Berger was issued a summons under the Environmental Conservation Law for unlawful disposal of regulated medical waste.

    The bags must now be removed and disposed of by a company certified to transport medical waste. His group faces a penalty of up to $15,000 a day.

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    23 COMMENTS

    1. Since Martin Grossman was Buried in this Cemetery by Chesed Shel Emes, the Under sheriff Eric Chaboty started harassing Chesed Shel Emes on every oppurtunity he has, this happens to be strike #4.

    2. I know Mr. Berger very well and worked with him at many funerals and kevires..He would never leave and bags like this behind when they have to be buried halachadig and i have never seen Red bags only in hospitals or medical facilities..Chesed shel emes and all other chevra kedishes use only black bags . Mr. Berger is a very well respected member of Chesed shel emes and he deals with law enforcment at every tragedy that strikes the jewish community. He was at the Buffalo airplane crash when Continental air crashed and also when the Doctor form Monsey crashed and now when Moshe Menora from Chicago got killed with his 3 grand kids. He is a true chevra kadishe professional and never looks for kuved or public exposure.

    3. Mayer hersh berger is a baal mesiras nenash no one would be able go get in his way when it comes to chesed shel emes keep up your good and hard work hoshem is with you all the time

    4. Mayer Hersh
      keep up your work,
      Chasak V’emotz
      please post if you need any help from Klal yisroel, Askonim. ect.
      we will always be there for you and for Chesed Shel Emes

    5. If Mayer Hersh or CSE needs help fighting this, the community is ready willing and able to help. There is no greater chesed, then to help such a chesed person and organization?

    6. Mr. Berger is a man of great honor & an amazing Baal Midos & Mitzvah Man!!!
      This whole story is just a Blood Libel!!
      Meyer Hersh, were all here for you & You & the whole CSE team Keep up your amazing Chesed & don’t let them knock you!!!

    7. Mr Berger a friend and a associate in our organiztion is a true example of EMES.
      I don’t doubt his side of the story. Again I don’t blame the sherrif for writing a summons, like Mr Berger said He was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Time will tell. Like it says Shlichai Mitvos Eina Nizokin.

    8. In my opinion, there is a problem which needs to be addressed. When an investigator, lawyer, judge etc. questions someone that English is not his first language, they many times claim that the person is evasive.

    9. typical catskill anti semitism! the copper is bored! what’s he gonna do in sept. when the towns and villages become ghost towns again? tell him to get a life.and catch some real criminals.

    10. Enviromental laws are very srict. If they find hazardous material on your property they can make you clean it up. Even if you have no idea who put it there. Instead of starting a major pidyon shvuim campaign to save Mr. Berger, why doesn’t someone just arrange for the materials to be properly disposed of and I am sure the case can be settled quietly. We all know that in the end it will have to be done. So instead of waiting for the matter to become a federal case someone should step up and do the right thing.

      • #24, nobody makes a pidyon shvuim campaign here, all the materials were legally disposed the same day they found it, this whole thing was just a smear campaign against chesed shel emes.

      • a company picked it up right away,
        but the under sheriff made sure to get a snapshot with the bags
        (looks like that what he was told to do by the so called good do’ers from klal Yisroel )

    11. So let me understand this…, a person dies from AIDS and it’s no problem that his AIDS stricken body is buried six feet under. A bandage that this AIDS stricken person was wearing that is placed in a biohazard bag must be picked up by a special company and incinerated because it would be hazardous to bury it six feet under. Am I the only one that has a problem with this?

    12. We all know which competing organization is behind this nonsense. We all know as well that CSE has no competition because there’s only 1 Meir Hersh Berger.

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