Michael Imlah

Streaming Media

Publication Date


Document Type



51 minutes


Sustainability, Jewish Cemeteries -- Oregon -- Portland, Synagogues


Interview of Michael Imlah by Dennis LaPrade at Congregation Shaarie Torah, Portland, Oregon on March 4th, 2009.

The interview index is available for download.


Michael Imlah, the office administrator at Congregation Shaarie Torah in Portland, was born in Hillsboro, and holds a MS in Education Administration.


This interview, of Michael Imlah, was recorded on March 4th, 2009 by Dennis LaPrade. At the time of the interview, Imlah was the Synagogue Administrator at Congregation Shaarie Torah. Common Jewish burial practices are discussed, which are very strict and are conducted quickly due to religious beliefs. In accordance with Jewish burial, the deceased are dressed and washed in a specific ritual and placed in a casket with holes drilled into it to allow for natural decomposition. Imlah proposes that this burial method could be considered more sustainable due to the lack of embalming as well as the type of wood selected for caskets. Generally, caskets are made of pine and are unstained because this will allow for a quicker rate of decomposition. Imlah also describes the many different sects that have developed within the Jewish religion over hundreds of years, each having slight variances of how burial rights are practiced. He concludes by asking the question, “What’s greener than a simple unadorned burial?”

This interview is part of “The Sustainability History Project: Documenting Sustainable Development and Practice in the Pacific Northwest” at Portland State University.


This digital access copy is made available as streaming media for personal, educational, and non-commercial use within the parameters of “fair use” as defined under U.S. Copyright law. It cannot be reproduced, distributed, or broadcasted for commercial purposes. For more information, please contact Special Collections at Portland State University Library at: or (503) 725-9883.

Persistent Identifier


Article Location